Whenever someone thinks of Long-Term Care, their mind immediately goes to insurance. Yes, insurance can be one key component of your Long-Term Care Plan. However, there is so much other planning that can be done now (before you and/or your aging parents needs Long-Term Care support) that goes beyond just buying an insurance policy.
1. Identifying the type of care that you would like based on your age and health status:
- Some examples of different types of care include at-home services, health aide, assisted living facility, nursing home, etc.
2. Estimating how much that type of care will cost and determining the funding source:
- Some potential funding sources include self-funding with your own financial assets, getting support from family members, obtaining insurance, etc.
3. Detailing your Long-Term Care wishes in writing and sharing it with key people:
- For example: If I am ever diagnosed with Middle-stage Alzheimer’s and it is determined by my Doctor that I’m unable to complete X, Y, and Z activities, then I would like to move to an assisted living facility.
4. Appointing a trusted person your Financial Advisor could contact, if necessary:
- Your financial advisor is likely to be the first person to recognize if you’re experiencing diminishing mental capacity, but they can’t notify any family or friends unless you specifically appoint someone who is a trusted point of contact.
5. Reviewing your estate plan to ensure everything is in order and up-to-date:
- You want to make sure the appropriate people are appointed as your agents for Financial Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney, should you ever become mentally incapacitated or physically unable.
- You want to ensure your Medical Power of Attorney/Living Will aligns to your wishes for your plan of care in the end stages of life.
- You want to ensure Your Last Will aligns to your wishes for how you’d like your assets to be distributed at your passing.
- You should check your beneficiary designations and the titling of all your assets to ensure they align to the estate plan outlined under your Last Will.
Tackling these issues now before you need Long-Term Care and you’re in a good mental state can provide you and your family with a lot of reassurance in knowing that there is a plan in place that everyone can follow and that, most importantly, aligns to your own personal wishes.