What Is A Life Care Plan And Why Do I Need One?

November 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

In the elder law world we talk about the importance of having a life care plan, but what exactly is a life care plan and why should you and your loved ones have one? At its core, a life care plan is a guide that will help you navigate the often times confusing and stressful task of managing our care as we age. Some items that may be included in the plan are:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Power of attorney
  • Advance directives
  • Medicaid and/or VA benefits planning

What sets Life Care Planning apart from traditional elder law planning, however, is the Elder Care Coordination.  When you have a Life Care Plan, you get the services of an Elder Care Coordinator who assists you with all things related to the provision of care:  facility placement, procurement and retention of in-home care, advocacy, wellness checks, and all-around troubleshooting.  This aspect of the Life Care Plan takes the stress off family members and caregivers, and our clients tell us how relieved they are to have someone there for them.
Finally, a Life Care Plan also helps prepare you for the cost of providing long term care whether that be an assisted living facility or an in-home caregiver. MetLife issued a study this year that said, “National average rates for a private nursing home room increased 4.4 percent to $239 daily or $87,235 annually, in 2011”.
A recent article on the US News & World Report website (usnews.com) stated:
“If living longer is one of the great success stories of medicine and lifestyle changes, failing to plan for later-life care is one of the great failures. Relatively few people have any kind of plan for how they will take care of themselves or their spouses in old age. And even those who have been thoughtful are not likely to have set aside adequate resources to provide care that can easily top $100,000 a year.”
To be quite honest, most of us are ignoring the simple fact that we will get old and we will most likely require some sort of care. Genworth Financial, a major seller of long-term care insurance, recently issued the “2011 Financial Reality Check Study” which states that “6 out of 10 people will need long-term care at some point during their lifetimes, but three-fourths of adults surveyed have never had a conversation with family or friends about long-term care”.
Since it is a safe bet that health care costs will continue to rise, it may be a good time to consult an elder law attorney about putting together a life care plan that will not only provide for your future, but will also protect your family’s assests for future generations.

If you have any questions about creating a Life Care Plan for yourself or a family member, please contact the Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC. The law firm located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients. Their office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.

Every day of every week, Weekly Law is here for you.


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