Estate planning has different facets. There is a perspective that involves the slicing up of a pie; whatever you happen to have left after you pass away gets sliced up and split among your beneficiaries.
Another perspective is you go through life paying your way without concerning yourself with what may or may not be left behind after you die.
A third perspective is there are other people that have specific legacy goals. They want to be able to do certain things for their family members. These individuals create a holistic financial plan that suits their own personal needs while still having the future interests of their heirs in mind.
The way that you want to approach your own situation is clearly a personal decision. That being stated, those who are concerned about having something left to give to their loved ones should certainly be aware of long-term care expenses.
That Giant Sucking Sound
That giant sucking sound you hear is the assets that you worked for all of your life being vacuumed up by assisted living costs. A year in an assisted-living community cost over $40,000 last year on average. Nursing homes averaged over $90,000 annually in 2012.
Medicare won’t pay for these costs.
Staying at Home
Fortunately, many seniors who need assistance with their day-to-day needs can remain in their homes. Most of the living assistance that is provided in the United States comes from family members and friends.
With this in mind we would like to recommend honest, frank communication among family members when someone needs living assistance. Even better, have the conversation before someone needs living assistance. It can be difficult for seniors to ask for help, especially if they feel as though they would be burdening others.
When everyone is being honest and open there are no misunderstandings. Practical steps can be taken to make sure that the situation is being handled in the optimal fashion.
A great deal of money can be saved if the family can pull together to provide the assistance. And of course, an aging relative is going to prefer the company of his or her family.
Home improvements can be made to make it easier for the senior in question to get around and take care of his or her activities of daily living. These could include walk-in showers, step chairs, motion sensor devices, and other types of modifications.
These days due to modern technology a senior’s home could be monitored electronically so that family members could be aware of any difficulties that may present themselves.
It should also be noted that you could bring in a home health aide if family assistance was not enough. The costs associated with this type of help are reasonable when you compare them to the expenses that you incur by living full-time in an assisted-living community.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday