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3 ways elder law planning can help to protect people as they age

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Estate Planning

It is quite easy for people to procrastinate about estate planning matters because estate plans largely focus on what happens after they die. Some people dismissively declare that their children or other family members can settle the distribution of their property amongst themselves.

Others want to leave a specific legacy by providing resources and practical support for their family members, but they stop short of addressing their own vulnerability later in life. Thorough estate plans can include elder law plans as well. People can address the possibility of future health challenges by planning before their condition declines.

Long-term care costs

Affording in-home nursing support or a room in a nursing home is difficult for those living on a fixed income. Both options could potentially cost thousands of dollars per month. Medicaid can help cover those costs, but people generally need to plan in advance to be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Elder law planning often involves looking at personal resources to increase the chances of rapid approval if someone needs to apply for Medicaid benefits later in life.

Incapacity support

Advanced age can affect people’s physical abilities and cognitive function. Some people develop debilitating medical conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease, later in life. Older adults struggling to live independently are often at risk of guardianship or conservatorship. Other people could go to court to seek control over their finances, health care and daily lives. Incapacity planning often involves creating durable powers of attorney so that someone can choose who provides them with support when they become incapable of managing their own affairs.

Medical support guidelines

People often create more than just a durable power of attorney to address their future medical needs. Advance medical directives give aging individuals a location where they can provide clear instructions about the type of medical support they would like to receive. Whether someone would prefer to receive heroic interventions or does not want their family to keep them on life support, making sure that there are clear, written guidelines about someone’s medical preferences can ensure that families offer them the support they would prefer to receive.

Elder law planning can be an important addition to basic estate planning. Older adults who address their need for practical support later in life can feel comfortable about aging with grace.

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