Estate planning attorneys are going to recommend that you have a plan in place from an early age to protect yourself and your family on a number of different levels. However, this having been said it is only logical that you would take the matter of estate planning more seriously as you get older. Inevitably you realize that there are other matters to consider as you reach an advanced age as well, and they are connected to your legacy plans because your end-of-life expenses are going to impact your ability to provide for your family after you pass away.
One of the things that many people are unaware of is just how expensive long-term care is and just how likely it is that they’re going to need it. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services 70% of senior citizens will ultimately require long-term care of some sort. It is estimated that about 25% of people who reach the age of 85 are residing in a nursing home at any given time. In 2010 it cost an average of $83,500 per year to reside in a single room in a nursing home the United States, and these numbers are expected to rise year-by-year. The average nursing home stay is two and half years, so you could be faced with nursing home expenses that exceed $200,000 using current figures.
This is just one of the many things to take into consideration. Elder law attorneys help people create long-term plans that leave them fully prepared for any and all of the eventualities of aging. Oftentimes this involves implementation of strategies that the layman would simply not be aware of, such as making the proper preparations for retaining the lion’s share of your assets while qualifying for Medicaid to pay for long-term care. The intelligent course of action when planning for the future is to do so with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney who has a thorough understanding of elder law issues.