No one really wants to think about what will happen to them when they get old. It's hard to picture ourselves as getting old and needing additional care, plus it's not a very upbeat topic. But, if long-term care planning is not completed, a person can lose a lot of their assets to pay for their necessary medical care.
Long-term care planning is very important for Oklahoma residents. The earlier this planning occurs, the better because the earlier a person starts to consider their long-term care options, the more options they will have. Long-term care is qualified as in-home care, assisted living or skilled nursing care. Many people, when they get older, require this specialized care, but it comes at a great cost. Knowing that these costs are in many people's future can help them understand the importance of long-term care planning.
If long-term care planning does not occur, a significant amount of a person's assets will be used to pay for this care. But, with careful planning, a person can avoid losing their assets and qualify for Medicaid or a VA pension, which can pay for this care. This will help a person preserve their assets for the next generation. Spending down assets usually leaves a family broke and without any options. But, an estate planning attorney can help their client come up with strategies to preserve their assets while qualifying for government benefits. They can create complex trusts, gifting, annuities and transferring assets out of a person's name.
There are many options a person has besides liquidating their assets to pay for long-term care. Knowing what the options are and making good decisions regarding these options can help a family preserve assets for future generations.
Source: extension.colostate.edu, "Long-term care planning", accessed on Sept. 17, 2017