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Long-Term Care & Pre-Planning

Legal Matters

      

Presented by: Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning, www.bradfordholliman.com

The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies to long-term care planning.  

One of the primary goals that seniors voice is the desire to make sure their heirs receive certain assets at the senior’s death. A Last Will and Testament or a Revocable Living Trust can accomplish this goal; but, if those assets are spent on long-term care before the senior dies, the senior fails to achieve the real goal. Additionally, if care is not taken to preserve assets while also adding any source of available assistance to the long-term care plan, the senior may not be able to maintain independence or the desired standard of living as the senior ages.  

Pre-planning can prevent these mistakes. Pre-planning allows the senior to make educated choices about the various ways to preserve assets and to pay for long-term care. Done, at least, five years in advance, seniors can achieve most of their goals.

The best way to begin is to meet with an elder law attorney (you want one that has a lot of experience with long term care planning) to discuss your goals. The attorney can then help you develop a plan specific to your goals. Ideally, the plan will work to preserve assets and identify all available sources of government benefits, such as VA pension benefits, to enhance the senior’s income to remain at home. The plan will also address what happens in a worse case scenario when nursing home care is required.  

By planning early, the senior is able to maintains control over his or her life by deciding in advance how to handle various crisis issues that may arise. A plan also allows the senior to make sure key family and friends understand what to do as situations occur and have the legal authority to handle those situations for the senior.  

In summary, don’t think a Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust is all you need to do to plan for the future. Make sure you also plan for the events that may happen prior to your death that could derail your estate plan.   

-Melanie Bradford Holliman 

Partner, Bradford & Holliman, LLC

Practice focuses on estate planning, elder law and special needs trusts.

2491 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, Ala. 35124

205-663-0281, www.bradfordholliman.com

No representation is made that the quality of legal service to be performed is greater than the quality of service performed by other lawyers.

 

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