The best reason to plan ahead for future long-term care is because with the right planning you shouldn’t have to worry about losing everything and living on less than a dollar a day in the nursing home. Greensboro estate planning attorney Dennis Toman explains why failure to plan means you might be out of money and out of options at one of the most frail and vulnerable times of life.
You know, many times, when people talk about planning ahead for long term care, the reason of that again is because we want to protect assets for our family, we worked hard, we’ve saved hard, we’ve put some money away, and we like to make sure that something can pass on to the children. And those are all good reasons.
But the real reason for planning ahead, in my opinion, is because that many times, families will say, “ Well, I don’t need to plan ahead. If I don’t plan ahead and I’m in a nursing home, I’ll spend all my money, I’ll have $2,000 left, but I’ll qualify for Medicaid, Medicaid will take care of me.”
Well, there’re a few things that are wrong with that. The first thing is that planning ahead for the nursing home is probably not exactly what you want to do. When I ask most people what they think about when they’re asked about long term care, they say one of two things; either it’s expensive or they say in the nursing home. But then when I ask them, where is the last place they want to get their long term care, the answer is usually the nursing home. Medicaid can help with the nursing home, but you need to plan ahead in other ways if you want to ensure that you’re going to get your care at home or in assisted living.
Now, the other reason for planning ahead is that, sure the person’s in the nursing home spends all of their money, got qualified for Medicaid. But at that point, Medicaid will not only require to have less than $2,000, but they only get to keep $30 a month. That’s less than a dollar a day. And living in a nursing home on less than a dollar a day it means there’s not much dignity.
No one wants to be out of money, because then they’re going to be out of options. And there’s no reason to be out of money and out of options at one of the most frail and vulnerable times of your life if proper planning is done. And that’s the reason for planning ahead for long-term care.