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What is long-term planning?

Most individuals are generally familiar with what estate planning entails. It involves a person sitting down with an attorney to draft a will, power of attorney, health care directive or other legal documents. These guide your loved ones, doctors and financial institutions regarding your final wishes. A concept that you may not yet be familiar with is that of long-term care planning. It's a process through which you can decide how you want to be cared for as you age.

Medical care costs are particularly high for seniors as they often require more frequent doctor's or hospital visits as they age. These health care expenses can be financially devastating if you don't plan for them early on. If you add rehabilitation, a nursing home placement or at-home care to the mix, then things become even more financially crippling.

There are two common types of documents that an individual may draft as part of the long-term care process in addition to estate planning ones.

Life care plans allow seniors to document their health and legal needs and plans for all interested parties, including a geriatric care manager, family member or lawyer. These often detail the nursing home, in-home care and assisted living preferences that an individual has.

Care contracts allow a senior to transfer their assets to a loved one legally. That relative is supposed to use any property transferred to them to cover the care costs for their elderly loved one. This document generally details any caregiver payment rates and remittance terms.

Many Michigan residents don't get around to sitting down to engage in long-term care planning until they're already incapacitated or their money has already evaporated. It's often too late at that point for you to set your goals and meet them. A long-term care planning attorney here in Oakland County can aid you in documenting your final wishes now so that you don't have to worry about your future.

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