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Planning for long-term care needs

Mar 20, 2018 | Probate & Estate Administration

Looking ahead to retirement, many individuals know that they will need a plan for financing their costs of living and the eventual distribution of their assets upon their death. Unfortunately, sometimes the costs of long-term care is overlooked when people assume that their health insurance will cover any of those needs. In Florida, a person has some options and strategies available when it comes to planning for medical needs in the event of decline or incapacitation. 

One way to ensure that needs will be met in the event that a person becomes too disabled to look after finances and daily needs can be to assign power of attorney. A durable power of attorney can act on one’s behalf according to standards set in advance health directives. The power of attorney can also handle financial affairs.

For long-term care specifically, many people believe that Medicare will cover the costs. Unfortunately, Medicare will usually only cover nursing home expenses and some qualified home care needs. Individuals who wish to live in an assisted living facility will need to find other ways to fund the cost. Long-term care insurance is one option, but it usually must be purchased before the policyholder becomes ill. 

Long-term care can take many forms such as assisted living, home health care, residential care communities and hospice. The right choice will definitely depend on the circumstances of the individual. Someone in Florida who is interested in long-term care planning may choose to work with an elder law attorney who can go over the planning steps and offer assistance drafting any documents that are needed. 

Source: USA Today, “Health care planning: Older Americans face tough long-term care choices“, Robert Powell, March 2, 2018