When a loved one is struck with the unthinkable, such as a diagnosis of impending Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia, planning should start immediately if it's not already in place. Unfortunately, both in Texas and throughout the country, the stress and shock of coping with such an overpowering disease is combined with extraordinary medical expenses that few can afford. Therefore, long-term care planning for dementia can bring about substantial benefits, both economically and emotionally.
There appears to be a competition between retirement planning and the need for long-term care funding. Add to that, the view shared by many observers in Texas and nationwide that Americans are in denial about the prospective need for long-term care, and a real problem seems to be emerging. The picture is not made brighter by the projected inability of Medicare and other government sources to fund the costs of long-term care into the future.
If you're one of the millions of baby boomers hitting retirement age, it is an ideal time to set up an elder law plan under Texas law. It will provide for long-term care if it becomes necessary. The fact is that becoming immobile and/or infirm in old age does not have to be the end of a useful and enjoyable life. However, the ability to function may be exacerbated by pressing financial and family strife caused by a lack of elder law planning for such a time.
Residents of Texas and elsewhere may sometimes have difficulty deciding which children or loved ones to designate to handle one's individual estate planning and long-term care needs. While one's spouse is the natural first choice, it may turn out that the spouse passes away first and leaves a void in the documents, unless you have alternative choices included in them. Therefore, it's generally advisable to discuss these questions with your children and to make mutually understood elderly planning decisions prior to drawing up the documents.
Many persons who must enter a nursing home or long-term care facility in their later years will come to rely on Medicaid for payment of the great bulk of the expenses. However, the rules for qualifying benefits in Texas and elsewhere require that a person have limited assets that are specified. That fact has resulted in the growth of Medicaid planning, which re-structures the assets so that when the time comes to request benefits, the applicant will be qualified.
Long-term care insurance (LTCI) is usually a good idea for someone 55 to 70 who wants to avoid the potential financial hardship that can occur if a nursing home or home-care becomes necessary. The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services estimates nearly 70 percent of people who reach age 65 will need long-term care at some point. That statistic of course applies across the board, including in Texas. Unfortunately, less than one-third of people over age 50 have begun to plan for their potential long-term care needs.
In Texas and elsewhere, being a caregiver for an elderly loved one can be a multi-faceted, daunting task. In addition to the emotional and physical demands of spending many hours each week assisting the parent with a variety of tasks, there are substantial economic demands that can take a toll. That's why elderly planning is an important function that can establish a successful framework for satisfying the many different needs of both the elderly loved one and the family caregiver.
When planning to help out one’s family members, a person may be so generous as to ignore some basic needs of his or her own. However, one should not be so generous in gifting to one’s children and grandchildren that it depletes what the person needs to survive in the future. Thus, the estate planning process in Texas or elsewhere should not ignore the elder law planning needs that must be incorporated into any strong and effective plan.
Sometimes as people age, performing tasks can become challenging. Even some of the most simple tasks may require assistance in one form or another. In these modern days, more individuals are working outside of the home, making it difficult or even impossible to care for their loved ones. In times like these, it's essential for Texas residents to plan for long-term care.
One key to effectively planning for long-term care is to coordinate the available benefits from government programs with other estate planning tools. Unfortunately, though, coordinating in this way can be complicated, and many people wait too late to begin planning for their long-term care.