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Proactive Planning with a Springfield Long-Term Care Attorney

In today’s ever-changing healthcare climate, planning for the possibility of long-term care can be a daunting task. Healthcare costs, especially long-term nursing home costs, are on the rise, and the planning tools available to protect from these costs are challenging to navigate alone. An experienced Springfield long-term care attorney should be consulted to keep the process as stress-free as possible.

Long-term care insurance is an option (and many times a good option), but far too often, our clients are uninsurable due to age or pre-existing health conditions. Furthermore, these insurance premiums are typically not guaranteed, so the premium cost could rise to a level the client cannot afford by the time they need the benefit.

Fortunately, there are options available through our elder law practice, which can ensure the protection of your family’s assets from these unpredictable and expensive costs. Elder law proactive planning does not discriminate based on age or pre-existing health conditions, and there are no monthly premiums.

Plan Now with the Help of a Branson or Springfield Long-Term Care Attorney at Our Firm

Planning now is your best option because the costs of proactive planning are lower, the strategies are less stressful, and the outcomes are easier to accomplish than when people wait until the last minute to plan.  For those who reasonably have five years before they may need nursing home care, planning options are available to protect and preserve assets to ensure their needs will be met for for the remainder of their lives.

These planning options keep you in control of your property and financial affairs, yet ensure your assets stay protected from nursing home expenses, Medicaid liens, and the spend-down of assets. Failing to plan could impoverish and diminish quality of life for those who need long-term care. In addition to maintaining the well-being of the person entering a nursing home, a spouse living in the community is most often dependent on the couple’s joint and separate assets to continue living in the community.

Creating an Elder Care Plan in Missouri

An elder care plan is a comprehensive strategy that helps define your wishes for later in life and ensures that the burden of your care does not fall on your family and loved ones. A successful elder care plan considers your physical, personal, and financial affairs, and considers your family’s capabilities. An experienced Springfield elder lawyer will generally advise that your elder care plan not only encompass your will or living trust but additionally makes plans for long-term healthcare, funeral expenses, and more.

Navigating long-term care needs for a loved one includes a realistic assessment of the family’s ability to physically care for the care needs of the individual. If your house or skill set simply is not equipped for full-time care, you will need to consider whether hiring someone to help provide care is within your budget or if other planning options need to be implemented.

Unfortunately, because discussing the end of life is generally set on the “back burner” of life’s priorities, many families neglect to put an elder care plan in place, which causes them to respond reactively rather than proactively as a loved one begins to age. This often results in more costly care and missed opportunities to maximize insurance or benefit program eligibility. Instead, we recommend working with a Springfield long-term care attorney as soon as possible to get your elder plan underway.

Get Your Paperwork in Order When Preparing to Meet with a Springfield Long-Term Care Attorney

It’s important to have any wills, trusts, or other legal documents in order and ready to be deployed in the event of your passing, but it’s equally as important that any health and financial records are in the hands of a family member or trusted advisor. Your elder care plan will identify weaknesses and opportunities for ensuring that your family is left with a minimal burden at the time of your passing. These documents are a crucial first step in ensuring your plan is effective.

Some of the documents you will want to have on hand when you meet with your Springfield long-term care attorney include:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Life insurance and annuities
  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Burial and funeral plans

Other Important Aspects of Long-Term Care and Proactive Planning

Proactive Planning seeks FIRST to safeguard assets so they can be used to SUPPLEMENT care above and beyond the benefits the government provides. If those creating the plan are married, it also serves to ensure the spouse remaining in the community will not be forced to spend down half or more of their assets before the spouse entering the nursing home can qualify for assistance. A secondary benefit of proactive planning is the increased likelihood assets will remain intact to pass on to one’s beneficiaries.

Family Land and Heirlooms

Proactive Planning is a great way to protect assets intended to remain in the family for generations. Our elder law attorneys have successfully protected family farms and other important assets to ensure a legacy is left for many generations to come. In addition to real estate, other types of assets can be safeguarded.  Because each family’s situation is different and certain types of assets are treated differently than others, professional analysis by an elder law attorney provides personalized planning to protect what is most important to you and your family.

Proactive Planning involves careful analysis of your current health, what you own, your income streams, and family situation. This type of planning typically involves the use of a certain type of trust. There are all different kinds of trusts, but essentially a trust is a receptacle for assets—an empty bucket if you will. You will name a trustee, lifetime beneficiaries, and identify the assets you desire to safeguard. Our firm will help you navigate the planning options and the specific process to be followed, helping families comply with legal requirements and successfully make it through the five-year waiting period and beyond.

Gifting Assets

Gifting assets away without the specialized guidance of an elder law attorney can do more harm than good. While the same five-year rule applies to giving a gift as is it does to creating a trust, a trust has many tax advantages and creditor protection advantages over outright gifting strategies. The trust also allows you to remain in control of your assets, rather than subjecting yourself to the creditors, divorces, and even the death of the person to whom you have gifted assets. Before taking elder planning into your own hands, meet with elder law attorneys who can educate you on the lurking pitfalls and help you understand all your options.

Contact a Branson or Springfield Long-Term Care Attorney at LifeGen Law Group Today

If you are concerned about long-term healthcare costs and want to ensure you and your loved ones are protected from this burden, contact LifeGen Law Group for a FREE consultation to find out how Proactive Planning can provide peace of mind for you and your family. As Branson and Springfield long-term care attorneys devoted to protecting clients, we look forward to helping you and your family.