One of the most commonly understood reasons for planning for the future is ensuring that there will be sufficient resources available to cover one's medical expenses. It is understood and even expected that medical expenses often increase with age, and these expenses can become a serious burden on both the individual needing the medical care and his or her family members. Although Medicaid planning is an important part of long term planning, it should not be the only part--especially with the frequent changes, both good and bad, to the Medicaid program.
There are so many different aspects of long-term care planning that it is understandable that many people get confused or fail to engage in long term planning because they do not even know where to start. Medicare is one of the aspects of long term planning of which many people are aware, at least to some extent, although they may not understand how Medicare fits together with other elements of long-term care. Medicare itself is complex and is frequently in the news as developments occur and leadership changes.
There are so many facets to long-term care planning that many people fail to discuss it or investigate the options. This is a mistake, though, because long term planning is one of the best ways of protecting assets and ensuring that your wishes are carried out when you are no longer able to articulate them or make them known. Many people think that long term planning is unnecessary but the reality is that the majority of people will need some form of care, whether temporary or permanent, at some point in their lives. Furthermore, long-term care planning is not solely related to medical needs or designating powers of attorney in the case of incapacity.
Most Michigan resident are accustomed to the idea of planning for the risk of loss in certain situations. For example, people purchase car and home insurance to protect themselves financially if they are involved in a serious accident or experience severe damage to their home. However, many people fail to engage in long term planning, even though the need is quite significant.
Planning for one's death or physical limitations and health problems is not generally regarded as a pleasant experience by most people. However, long term planning is critical for aging Michigans who want to ensure that their wishes are followed with regard to their medical care and end-of-life plans. In addition, long-term care planning is important to ensure that rising medical expenses and potential nursing home expenses do not unduly burden relatives and caregivers.
The holidays have long been considered the season of giving. People give to charitable organizations that they believe need their funds. However, between 80 and 90 percent of people who give to charitable organizations during their lifetime, fail to leave a legacy to any charitable organization after they pass. However, with the right long term planning, Michigan residents will be able to secure the future of their families and the charities they have supported during their lifetime.
Many Michigan readers may believe that estate planning involves simply planning for how assets will be distributed after they die. While that is a good start, it does not include everything. A comprehensive estate plan encompasses quite a bit more, including planning for the later years of a person's life and trying to anticipate the issues that may occur. That is why most estate plans include powers of attorney - documents which designate an appointed person to make financial or medical care decisions, should the planner become incapacitated. This type of scenario does not happen to everyone, but almost everyone does get older and has medical issues that need to be addressed.
In the wake of the changes to federal tax law at the beginning of the year, many of our Michigan readers may have seen previous posts here about updating an estate plan to account for the differences from previous years. There is no doubt that tax planning is an important part of protecting assets, which in turn is one of the primary goals of estate planning. However, there is more to an estate plan than simply designating property distribution upon death. People in America are living longer, and as such many people, including many Michigan residents, will probably need to start thinking about long-term planning and retirement when they consider their estate plans. A recent article discussed many of these considerations.
This is the time of year when many Michigan residents are finding out whether or not they have taken the right approach to tax planning. Withholding too much or too little in taxes from a paycheck will often make the difference between receiving a refund and owing money to Uncle Sam. But what about long-term tax planning? How do Michigan residents make sure that they have the right structures in place for protecting inheritance and guaranteeing the distribution of their estate in the manner they desire?
The end of one year and the beginning of another probably has many of our Michigan readers thinking of what options are best for them when it comes to financial decisions. As our nation's leaders spend the beginning of the year working toward trying to figure out how much each of us should be paying in taxes, they are also working on changes to some government benefits, which could include Medicaid and Medicare. When the dust finally settles on these issues, our Michigan readers will probably want to make some tweaks to their long term planning, and one recent article has suggested that it may be time for many to consider long-term care insurance.