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Long-term care planning and its importance

Dec 14, 2021 | Estate Planning

The prospect of managing long-term care in Michigan is not a pleasant topic. That leaves many people unprepared to deal with care because they didn’t think about it or make a plan. It needs to be treated like a portion of estate planning, just like writing a will, because the costs of unexpected long-term care can be devastating without the proper preparations.

Importance of preparing for long-term care

It is hard to predict how much care a person will need and for how long. The level of care can range from needing a person to check on them every now and then to needing to stay full-time in a nursing home, and there are lots of levels in between. Each of them varies considerably in cost and time commitment as well as how they interact with insurance and other protections. Long-term care is not something to learn about in the moment when it is needed; it requires planning.

The complexities can interlock in unpredictable ways. For example, stays in a nursing home can be expensive, and tapping into Medicare or Medicaid may require spending down existing assets first. That can interfere with estate planning and wills, which is a big part of why long-term care has to be planned in concert with other estate-related topics.

Putting off long-term care planning because it is unpleasant will only make things worse when the time comes. The financial and legal dimensions of it make it just as complex as writing a will, and there are large implications for both the person and their family. Making these decisions ahead of time can improve the situation for the whole family.