Estate planning is something that is intimately intertwined with the period of time that will precede your passing. Ideally, planning for the future should include addressing all of the eventualities of aging and there are some very significant elder law concerns that should be taken into consideration. Preparation is the key to enjoying your active retirement years to the utmost while being fully prepared for any contingencies that may arise. To bury your head in the sand is to invite difficulties late in your life.
One of the elder law matters that you would do well to prepare for is the possibility of a stay in a long-term care facility. The majority of senior citizens will eventually need long-term care, and in fact one out of every four individuals aged 85 and older are living in a nursing home at any given time. The average charge for a private room in a nursing home in the United States in 2010 was in excess of $83,000 and the average stay is somewhere in the vicinity of two and a half years.
So when you add it up this is a very significant end of life expense, and Medicare does not cover long-term care. Medicaid will cover it if you qualify, and it is possible to do so while retaining a considerable portion of your assets if you plan ahead carefully with the assistance of an elder law attorney.
The possibility of dementia setting in when you reach an advanced age is another thing to be aware of. Statistics indicate that approximately half of those who are 85 years of age and up are dementia sufferers. To avoid a court-ordered guardianship should such a circumstance befall you it is important to execute the proper powers of attorney, and this is another matter that is best handled by an experienced, licensed elder law attorney.