How future healthcare costs may affect the estate planning process

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Medicaid Planning |

The most basic estate plan in New York may contain just a will. A testator may draft a single document explaining what should happen to their property and their dependent family members when they die. However, New York more comprehensive estate plans can address and assortment of different concerns, including financial challenges that may arise while someone is still alive.

For example, estate planning often involves elder law planning. Many people choose to consider what may happen to their health later in life and plan to cover their care costs if they want to preserve as much of their resources as possible for their selected beneficiaries or even their own comfort. Those who plan to cover the cost of long-term care can preserve more of their resources for the people that they love the most.

The healthcare people need later in life is costly

Some people remain relatively strong and mentally fit throughout their golden years. Others will start to struggle with aspects of their daily lives, like balancing their checkbooks or remembering to attend certain appointments.

When someone reaches a point where they can no longer manage their own affairs, they will likely need to move into a nursing home or similar assisted living facility. The cost of such care will add up to thousands of dollars each month. Even the cheapest options in New York state average more than $96,000 annually. Most people do not have enough in their retirement savings accounts to cover multiple years of such medical support late in their retirement.

Their only option for getting the care they need will likely be to qualify for Medicaid. Advance planning plays a key role in getting benefits when someone’s health changes as they age. For some people, long-term care planning may involve taking out special insurance policies. For many others, they may change ownership of their assets or start a trust.

These efforts will make it easier and faster for someone to obtain Medicaid benefits when they need them later in life. Those same estate planning tactics can help protect their resources from creditor claims or Medicaid estate recovery efforts after they die.

Too many adults preparing for retirement in New York make the mistake of assuming that Medicare coverage is all that they will need after they leave the workforce. They then end up scrambling to cover their healthcare costs when they realize they need more support than Medicare will provide. Alternatively, planning for future healthcare costs as early as possible can give people peace of mind about having access to the care they may need as they age.