How future health issues can influence the estate planning process

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Someone who is creating an estate plan often focuses on the people they love more than on themselves. They want their children, spouse or other loved ones to receive financial support and also an inheritance that reminds their loved ones of the relationship that they shared.

Creating a plan that offers proper protection and support for close loved ones is a process that involves many steps. People need to think about not just their future death but also what might happen when their health declines. Long-term care planning and incapacity planning can be crucial for the protection of adults as they age and become more dependent on others.

Those plans can also make a massive difference regarding what resources people can leave for their loved ones and how stressful someone’s passing is on their family members. What does long-term care planning in New York typically involve?

Planning for future medical costs

No one ever knows what will happen to their health as they age. Some people remain active and social well into their 90s. Others may have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease or other health issues that compromise their independent living abilities decades earlier. The only way to effectively protect against those risks is to plan for every possibility. In New York, long-term care planning often involves creating a trust or changing how one holds major assets to more quickly qualify for Medicaid if someone needs significant support. Proper planning can help someone get benefits quickly when their health declines and can preserve their assets after their death.

Arranging for future support needs

Addressing support needs is also a crucial step in long-term care planning or incapacity planning. Those without advance directives and powers of attorney may be at the mercy of family members or professional caregivers. People may go to court to ask for conservatorship or guardianship, stripping someone of control over their daily life and finances. Durable powers of attorney can protect people from conservatorships and guardianships by allowing them to choose an agent to handle their medical or financial affairs before their health begins to decline.

Long-term care planning can take pressure off of family members who may worry about meeting someone’s needs and covering the financial costs generated by someone’s decline. It can also help preserve more of someone’s estate for their loved ones after they die. Focusing on future care needs and legacy intentions when estate planning – and seeking legal guidance accordingly – may help people feel more confident as they enter their golden years.