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A few considerations regarding long-term care

It will likely not surprise most people in Texas and across the country that, given the steadily rising costs of medical care, insurance and other matters relating to aging, expenses relating to long-term care are also increasing.

That fact is not so much a warning to heed as it is a clarion call to act for most families. Costs do rise, and that is a simple reality that must be accounted for in contemplation of elder family members and their care as they grow older.

Things can of course become worrisome for many individuals and families, but proactive engagement with the process and sound estate planning in a timely manner can do much to instill confidence and alleviate concerns regarding loved ones. Consultation with an experienced and empathetic elder law attorney can be both an instructive and, ultimately, money-saving communication for families as they seek to understand and best employ care-planning strategies that are in the best interests of older family members.

In its just-issued 10th annual "cost of care" report, Genworth Financial, a national insurer that sells long-term care policies, confirms that nursing home costs have progressively increased over the past decade. That fact naturally begs the question: How can a family best ensure that a loved one's senior years will be adequately provided for and as stress-free as possible?

Every family is of course a unique unit, and each family is differentiated by its wealth, income, special needs and the singular circumstances that might surround it. A proven estate planning attorney well-versed in elder law will take an exacting and comprehensive look at all relevant family factors and help members prepare for and do what makes the most sense.

That can include preparation of advance directives, creation of various planning documents (e.g., wills, trusts and other instruments), Medicaid planning, guardianship considerations and many other things.

Preparing for the future through sound and tailored estate planning can help ensure confidence as loved ones near retirement or otherwise approach their later years.

Source: New York Times, "Long-term care costs rising," Ann Carrns, April 9, 2013

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