Why This Discussion With Your Parents Should Be Your New Year’s Resolution

January 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

With the new year upon us, it’s time to compile your list of resolutions and hopefully keep one or two of them. This year one resolution that will be important to keep is sitting down with your elder parents to financially plan for their long term care.

Unfortunately, there are some things we simply don’t like to talk about. First among them is aging and our own demise, which makes it particularly hard to discuss with our parents. But the truth is, the sooner we face the inevitable, the sooner we can find solutions and stop adding stress to all parties involved.

Without a financial plan for long term care, assets can dry up quickly and soon the financial burden may fall on family members. According to a report from USATODAY/ABCNews/Gallup Poll, 41% of baby boomers are providing personal help, financial assistance or both to their elderly parents.

The first step in planning for long term care is to understand what the costs are now and estimate what they will be in the future.

A 2010 long term care survey conducted by MetLife shows the average daily rate for a private nursing home is $229 (up from $219 in 2009), assisted living monthly rate cost is $3,293 (up from $3131 in 2009) and home health aids average $21 an hour.

Besides these basic costs, there are other expenses to consider including medical supplies, medications, travel to and from doctors, etc. Obviously there are many aspects to think about and for many people it may seem like some sort of frustrating guessing game.

Below is a list of questions to ask your parents when evaluating their present income and assets. This list is courtesy of longtermcarelink.net.

  • What are their care options?
  • What type of long-term care can they afford?
  • Do they have long term care insurance?
  • Are there assets they can sell?
  • If they stay at home how will they pay for care?
  • Do they have to sell their house to pay for other living arrangements?
  • Are there other financing alternatives?
  • Do they have life insurance or the means to pay for a funeral and burial?
  • Will their spouse be cared for financially?
  • Should they do Medicaid planning?
  • Do they have the legal documents that may be needed?

Consulting with a professional like an Elder Law Attorney can help your family evaluate your parent’s long term care needs and their financial preparedness. Understanding their needs versus their financial resources is paramount before making any long term care decisions.

If you have any questions or concerns about long term care planning, 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 there for you.

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