Estate planning needs to include a long-term care plan in the event that such care becomes necessary as the planner ages. This is a critical aspect that people may miss if they do not seek help.
An estate planning attorney helps people determine the right long-term care plan. Depending on where an Illinois resident lives, the costs and services vary. Long-term care requires careful consideration so that the estate planner can continue to live as comfortably as possible while getting treatment or assistance.
Home or a Facility?
One of the primary considerations is whether or not long-term care should be provided from a facility or from home. Much of this will depend on each individual’s finances and the support they can get from loved ones. The costs are higher in Illinois than the national average, so it is important to consider all long-term care needs before they become a serious financial problem.
Typically, living at home costs less, but it may require a lot of upfront costs for remodeling and reworking areas so that they can accommodate the aging inhabitant. There is also the cost of having regular assistance when loved ones cannot be around.
When to Start Planning for Long-Term Care
Long-term care planning should begin as soon as a person starts estate planning. By the time a person knows that the care is required, it is usually very difficult to ensure it is not too much of a financial drain. Beyond determining where care will occur, there are many other costs to consider, such as appointments and regular check ups. The majority of people will require some sort of long-term care in later years.
Planning for Guardianship or Powers of Attorney
It is also possible that a guardianship may be required as part of the care if proper powers of attorney and advanced directives were not properly signed by the person in need of assistance. In cases where someone suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s and has not previously executed powers or attorney for property and advanced health care directives, a guardian will need to be appointed through the court system to make a number of decisions. It is best for everyone to make as many of these decisions as possible for themselves ahead of time, instead of leaving it to a guardian later. Another important consideration is determining who will be the guardian if it is likely to be required.
An estate planning attorney can be instrumental in setting up the guardianship and in other long-term care needs.