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Special Needs Planning: What You Need To Know…

5E8B353C-37D4-448E-BD3B-FC060FD44E2AI have written a few other blogs that discuss the legal aspects of special needs planning such as the difference between first party and third party special needs trusts, as well as ABLE accounts and pooled trusts.  

I am very passionate about getting the word out in the community about having the appropriate special needs planning documents in place to ensure that an individual with special needs will not lose their government benefits in the event that a family member passes.  However, this article focuses more on how just having the documents may not be enough.

Parents with children with disabilities often worry about how the child will take care of themselves or who will take care of them, and what will be their quality of life.  

Assuming that we understand the importance of having the legal documents in place, it is equally as important to make sure that your specific wishes for your child about where you want them to live and how you want them to be taken care of are known.  

Take the time to discuss your wishes with the important people who are named in your document who may be the executor of your Will, the trustee of your trust, or the guardian in the future for a child with disabilities.  It’s not enough to have the document, but you must set forth your instructions in detail so that there is absolutely no question about what you want.  

We encourage parents to do personal care plans that will document in writing the details of their wishes for their children with disabilities.  While it is important in other areas of estate planning as well, I don’t think there is any area where it is more important to specifically set forth your wishes.  

I have found in my practice that people will always try to do the best thing for the individual with disabilities.  But at the end of the day, they are not the parents.  The parents are the ones who know what their wishes are and putting those wishes in writing in a personal care plan and having those conversations with the other family members or individuals who will be assisting is invaluable and cannot be understated.

Take the time to put your wishes in writing so that you save a lot of heartache and make sure that your child with disabilities is taken care of, not only from a document perspective but from a care perspective.

We can help.  If you have questions about how to implement a personal care plan for your loved one with special needs just contact us here and we’ll reach out to connect with you and get you answers.

 

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Long-Term Care Insurance, Not Just for Nursing Homes

AC7548D0-C8CF-408D-8B64-9DF78ED42CF2Long-term care insurance is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts in estate and financial planning.

I am not licensed to sell long-term care insurance so I certainly do not have any horse in the race as I write this article, but I am compelled to take a few minutes to hopefully open your eyes to another side of long-term care insurance.

As an estate planning and elder law attorney, I am fortunate to be able to assist my clients with asset protection and asset preservation. We are often able to assist families with protecting assets even if a loved one is already receiving skilled level care in a nursing home. Many people assume that therefore I don’t think long-term care insurance is a good idea and that is just not correct.

In all of the years of my practice, I have never once had a client tell me that they wanted to move into a nursing home. I hear day in and day out that the clients want to remain in their home as long as possible and if that is not the case, that they have their personal care home of choice.

Personal care homes are just one step above independent living and provide assistance with day to day activities when the person needs some assistance but does not need skilled level care. These places are beautiful and often feel very much like a person’s home and is where people want to live if they can’t stay in their home any longer.

I have done other blogs about the different types of long-term care insurance such as the partnership policies and also hybrid policies that are life insurance policies that payout in a death benefit if they are not used during lifetime on skilled care. The purpose of this article is to simply urge the people reading it to understand that I believe the most important thing that a long-term care policy can provide, regardless of the one that you choose, is peace of mind that you will be able to stay home as long as possible and in the event that you can no longer safely reside at your house that you will be able to go to the personal care home of your choice.

I am an absolute believer in nursing homes and the services that they provide but it is nice to be able to stay home or live in a personal care home as long as possible and long-term care insurance will make that a reality.

I often hear from people about the expense of a policy and after digging, it usually becomes apparent that they have not had anyone in their family that had to move out of their home or move out of the personal care home simply because they could not afford to live there anymore.  But they may have been able to stay at home or in the personal care home had they had a long-term care policy.

In 100% of the cases where people have experienced that, they are always looking at long-term care insurance for how it can keep them where they want to be as long as possible and as long as it is safe. 

Please contact your financial professional or licensed insurance agent to discuss the long-term care policies and if they are a fit for you. I certainly don’t think that it’s a one size fits all for everybody but it is important to take a minute to acknowledge that having options to stay in your home or live in a personal care home is certainly worth the time that it will take to get a quote and discuss.

Don’t let misinformation or confusion stop you from doing something that can allow you to stay where you want to be. Contact us, or join us for one of our free educational workshops on estate planning and/or asset protection planning so you know your options when it comes to planning for your family.  Just click here to discover more!