Many of our Michigan readers may think that all of their estate planning needs will be met once they have a will, a trust and the appropriate power of attorney forms. While these instruments are vital to a good, comprehensive estate plan, there is another aspect that needs to be considered - long-term planning for care in advanced age or poor health.
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.
Our Detroit-area readers have probably seen previous posts that discuss the importance of considering future medical expenses and long-term care when forming a comprehensive estate plan. While it is obvious that no one can predict every aspect of the future, making certain financial preparations can help prevent some of the stress that many people experience in the absence of a clear plan.
The latter years of life, lovingly dubbed the "Golden Years," aren't always as easy as they should be. Unfortunately, many people reach these late-in-life years only to discover that a lack of long-term planning has left them unable to pay for the care they will need to combat failing health. While it is natural for one's health to deteriorate with age, for some people failing health is a more serious concern than for others. That is why planning ahead for necessities like long-term care should be considered vital to maintaining a good quality of life, not only for residents of Michigan, but for people all over the United States.
There's no doubt about it: when it comes to health care, the older we get, the more complex--and expensive--health care can get. Long-term nursing home care is perhaps one of the most expensive forms of health care, and one that many Americans will need in their later years. The good news is this: with some careful planning, the transition to long-term nursing home care doesn't have to be as much of a strain on Detroit residents' bank accounts.