Many people come into our offices thinking that the estate plan we help them create will be quick, easy, and above all the end of the line. They hope that once this item is crossed off the to-do list they can breathe a sigh of relief and never think about it again. For some people this is exactly what happens, but others find that the creation of an estate plan serves as jumping off point for other important planning strategies: Retirement planning, investment planning, Medicaid planning and long-term care planning are all important issues every family will have to eventually consider.
Most of these issues are at least somewhat familiar, but long-term care still presents a number of questions for many people: What exactly is it? Will I need it? Who will provide it? And how will I pay for it? In an effort to shine some light on the still murky issue, the AARP has published an article that helps answer these questions in a clear and concise manner. The article also addresses issues such as the difference between public and private services, and when you may need to utilize one or the other.
Answering the difficult questions, however, is only the first step. “Using a combination of support—family and friends, community services, private funds, and government assistance, if necessary—provides a balanced approach to getting the help you need in the setting of your choice.” Once again, having a plan is essential to ensure that you retain control over your own finances and care far into the future.