It can be uncomfortable to think about a time when we can no longer care for ourselves, but ignoring this possibility may not be in a person’s best interest. In fact, long-term care planning can be an essential part of an estate plan. It helps to communicate a person’s wishes for the type of care preferred, who will make health care decisions and what finances should be set aside for care when and if an individual can no longer make these decisions him or herself.
And while a long-term care plan can directly benefit the person requiring care, it can also have a profound impact on the loved ones who will also be affected by a family member’s care and health, including spouses, siblings and children. The ways in which long-term care plans can help loved ones can be broken down into three different areas.
The first area is the cost of care. According to a recent article, families spend about $11,000 more on a loved one’s care if that person does not have a care plan in place. Additionally, about 53 percent of family members also report losing income from a regular job if they are also acting as a person’s primary caregiver. An individual with a long-term care in place long before he or she ever needs it may be better prepared to financially contribute financially, requiring less out-of-pocket spending on the part of a loved one.
A long-term care plan can also make it easier for family members to make decisions on their loved one’s behalf. Without a plan in place, difficult choices, such as where a ailing person should receive care and what type of care that is, can be left to family members. This can be extremely difficult to do and places a significant burden on loved ones.
Finally, having a long-term care plan in place can relieve much of the stress that siblings, spouses and children deal with when a loved one is ill. There may be fewer arguments, less financial strain and less pressure put on a family member to provide care if pre-planning has been done.
By working with an attorney to put a long-term care plan into place, a person in Los Angeles may be able to save their family members from unnecessary stress, difficult decision-making and unexpected expenses.
Source: LifeHealthPro, “The cost of not planning for long-term care,” Maria Wood, Oct. 21, 2013