No one likes to talk to their parents about long-term care planning, but it is vital to have this discussion before the need for long-term care arises. According to an April 2019 article, What Is the Lifetime Risk of Needing and Receiving Long-Term Services and Supports?, “The prospect of becoming disabled and needing long-term services and supports (LTSS) is perhaps the most significant risk facing older Americans. . . . Our results show that 70% of adults who survive to age 65 develop severe LTSS needs before they die and 48% receive some paid care over their lifetime.” With statistics like this, creating a well-designed long-term care plan is crucial. For example, a well-designed plan would allow your parents to receive most of their care in their desired care environment. For the most part, this is in the comfort of their own home—while minimizing the impact on their spouse, children, or other family members.
A long-term care plan can also mitigate your parents’ financial risk from long-term care expenses to preserve their wealth for their spouse and family. Usually, a well-rounded long-term care plan will involve a combination of legal, health care, and financial tools to meet their goals and maximize their protection. Most people engage in long-term care planning due to the potential consequences to their loved ones.
Prepare Yourself First
It is important to understand the basics of long-term care planning yourself before beginning the conversation with your parents. Take the time to become knowledgeable about the types of care available, as this will help you when you have this conversation with them. With this information, you will lessen your parents’ fears by providing educated answers to questions they might have.
It is normal to experience feelings of guilt when you consider long-term care for your parents. Despite your feelings, realize that you are looking out for your parents' best interests. There may come a time when your parents need more care or supervision than you have the knowledge or time to provide. By planning and taking your parents’ wishes into account now, long-term care can provide the quality of care and life your parents need and deserve in a safe, secure environment.
For help in preparing for your conversation with your parents to discuss their long-term care planning, Carolina Family Estate Planning has a long-term care planning series. This series includes articles that can educate you about long-term care planning options beyond government assistance planning, such as planning for eligibility for Medicaid or Veteran's Benefits. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our elder law attorneys if you have any questions.
Though having a conversation with your parents about long-term care planning is in the best interests of everyone in the family, it is important to ask their permission first before discussing it. The need for long-term care is a challenging topic to discuss, and your parents might need some time to think about it first. When you ask their permission, this offers assurance to them that you will respect their wishes and honor them.
Place and Time for Discussion
Choose a place and time that is best for your parents so that they feel comfortable. A quiet location that is free from distractions could be best so that you will not be interrupted. On the other hand, family gatherings could also be another opportunity as you and your siblings gather together to focus on your parents’ needs and wishes when it comes to their long-term care planning. If your parents are in the process of drafting wills, advanced health care directives, or legal papers, this can also be an excellent time to discuss long-term care planning.
Carolina Family Estate Planning: Your Long-Term Care Planning Law Firm
If you are looking for an “estate planning attorney near me,” look no further. Having assisted many Wake County clients with long-term care planning, our team at Carolina Family Estate Planning understands that developing a long-term care plan is about not just protecting your parents’ independence and dignity but also protecting those they love from the physical, emotional, and financial toll that caring for a loved one can take.
As an attorney, Jackie Bedard owes a fiduciary duty to act in her client’s best interests and recommend the tools she feels will best help them accomplish their estate and long-term care planning goals. She firmly believes that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for long-term care planning. Instead, the best planning often involves building the right combination of legal and financial tools. When needed, we also work with other financial professionals that we have vetted, including verifying that they also hold the appropriate credentials that require a fiduciary standard to their clients.
We’ve helped many clients take an interdisciplinary approach to their long-term care planning by exploring legal and financial options. Usually, a well-rounded long-term care plan will involve a combination of legal, health care, and financial tools to meet your goals and maximize your protection. To learn more, call our office at 919-443-3035 or fill out our online contact form.
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