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Long-term care planning: Make it part of your estate plan

For many people, estate planning is all about decisions related to their assets. For example, they focus most of their energy on who will receive their assets upon their death.

Long-term care planning is often put on the backburner, as many people don't want to consider the fact that there may come a time when they're unable to care for themselves.

When you include long-term care planning in your estate plan, you won't have many questions or concerns about what will happen when you age. Instead, if you require this type of care, you'll know exactly what to do.

Here are three primary points to cover in your estate plan:

  • How you will pay for long-term care: This is among the most important details, as the cost of long-term care continues to rise. There are many ways to pay for care, including but not limited to retirement savings, Medicaid and long-term care insurance. By planning as far in advance as possible, you can ensure yourself of having enough money to pay for any care you may require.
  • The type of care you may need: You never know what the future will bring, so you have to plan for everything. There is more than one type of long-term care. For example, you may need to move into a nursing facility to ensure that you receive around-the-clock care. However, some people only need a nurse to visit once or twice a week to check on them.
  • Decide where your help will come from: As you age, you may find that you need more help than ever before. It's nice to have a plan on where this assistance will come from. You can create a power of attorney to designate someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your behalf.

Regardless of your age or current level of health, your estate plan should have a long-term care component. When you touch on the points above, you'll be happy with where things stand for the time being.

As you age, continue to review your estate plan to ensure that it meets all your requirements in regard to long-term care. This will give you and your loved ones peace of mind.

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