Many issues can arise when you’re planning your own long-term care. It can be a complex and emotional process that requires you to consider your finances, your relationships, and your options. Here are some insights on the best strategies for planning your own long-term care:
Advance directives are legal documents through which you can specify your wishes for medical care if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Advance directives come in two types: a living will and a healthcare power of attorney. A living will lets you specify your wishes for end-of-life care, such as whether or not you want life-sustaining treatment. A healthcare power of attorney designates someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. It’s best to create an advance directive early, and to regularly update it as your preferences and circumstances change. Also, you should communicate your wishes to your healthcare provider, loved ones, and anyone else who may be involved in your care.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that designates someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. There are two types of powers of attorney: a durable power of attorney and a springing power of attorney. A durable power of attorney takes effect immediately and remains in effect if you become incapacitated. A springing power of attorney takes effect only if you become incapacitated. The best strategy for a power of attorney is to choose a trustworthy and reliable person to act as your agent, and to make sure they understand your wishes and preferences. It’s also important to regularly review and update your power of attorney as your life situation changes.
Assets in Trust
Assets in trust are a way to protect your assets and ensure that they’re used for your care if you become unable to manage them yourself. A trust is a legal arrangement in which you transfer ownership of your assets to a trustee, who manages them on your behalf. You can specify the terms of the trust, such as who the beneficiaries are and how the assets are to be used. When designating assets in trust, it’s best to work with a qualified estate planning attorney to ensure the arrangement meets your specific goals and needs. It’s also important to regularly review and update your trust to ensure that it’s still aligned with your wishes and preferences, especially as your assets and circumstances change over time.
Purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance that covers the costs of long-term care, such as in-home care, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Long-term care insurance can help protect your assets and provide you with the care you need if you become unable to care for yourself. But long-term care insurance can be expensive, so it’s important to carefully consider your options before purchasing a policy. The best strategy for buying long-term care insurance is to start early while you’re still healthy and premiums are lower. It’s also important to carefully review policy options, coverage limits, and benefits to ensure that they’re in line with your needs and preferences.
A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. With a reverse mortgage, you receive payments from the lender instead of making payments to the lender. You can use the proceeds from a reverse mortgage to pay for long-term care, but it’s important to understand the risks and costs associated with this type of loan. You should thoroughly research the benefits and drawbacks of this option, and consult with a trusted financial advisor before making a decision on it. Consider other alternatives for accessing funds—including downsizing or using other retirement assets—before committing to a reverse mortgage.
Caregiver Agreement with Your Adult Child
A caregiver agreement is a legal agreement between you and your adult child that outlines the terms of their caregiving responsibilities and compensation. A caregiver agreement can help ensure that your child is fairly compensated for their services and can provide you with the care you need. When creating a caregiver agreement, you should have an open and honest conversation with your adult child about expectations, responsibilities, and compensation. It’s also important to have a written agreement in place to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Transferring Property to Children
Transferring property to your children can be a way to protect your assets and ensure that they are used for your care if you become unable to manage them yourself. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your children about your wishes and expectations, and to plan for contingencies such as changes in circumstances or family relationships. Also, because transferring property can have tax and legal implications, it’s important to consult with an elder law lawyer or financial advisor before making any transfers
Gathering your Resources
Depending on your situation, planning for long-term care requires that you carefully consider many strategies and options. It’s important to consult with an elder law attorney to make sure your wishes are respected and your assets are protected.
Get In Touch With an Estate Planning Attorney
For help with long-term care planning in Washington, you should reach out to the estate planning attorneys at Legacy Law Group in Eastern Washington, Spokane Valley, and Spokane itself. Contact us at (509) 315-8087 today to get started.