Are You Self-Insured for Long Term Care Events?

Without any specific plan in place, such as how you’ll qualify for Medicaid or a long term care insurance policy, you are said to be self-insured for long term care events. Recent studies have shown that up to 80% of women aged 65 and above and 60% of men in the same age category will require long term care at some point in their life.

Given that the average annual cost for semi private nursing home is over $93,000 and the median annual cost for home care is $55,000, you’ll want some plan in place to help prepare you for the financial implications of long term care.

Even one spouse suffering a long term care event that requires a nursing home stay can decimate a couple’s retirement savings. Scheduling a consultation with an elder law attorney is your best opportunity to get questions asked about long term care insurance and other opportunities for funding these potential medical needs.

While no one wants to find themselves in the position of unexpectedly paying for nursing home care, this happens all too often. You’ll want to speak directly with an elder law attorney who can help you work through the connections between your estate plan and your long term care plan.


New Study Identifies Challenges in Estate Planning After the Pandemic

The pandemic represented a seismic shift in the way that many people view their estate plans. Those who did not have documents like powers of attorney and will in place flocked to estate planning lawyers to create these, but other factors have made estate planning more challenging in recent years.

The main areas of risk as perceived by people in the United States has changed since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, at the outset of the pandemic, family conflict was the greatest threat to estate planning but this has now been surpassed by the risks associated with prolonged life expectancy and health care costs.

In fact, health care costs and prolonged life expectancy was named as the number one threat by three times the percentage of people who reported those concerns in 2019. Many people have become more aware of the rising costs of expenses associated with long term care, especially if their loved ones had to move into assisted living or nursing homes in this past year.

Family conflict dropped from around one quarter of respondents down to 10% in the last year.

Family conflict can still remain a potential risk to your estate plan as it relates to blended families. As a result of the pandemic, divorce rates skyrocketed, difficult family decisions had to be faced and made and priorities shifted overall. This may have caused you to rethink your estate plan and your other strategies. Going forward, scheduling a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer in New Jersey can help you to accomplish your personal goals.


What You Need to Know Before You Purchase Long Term Care Insurance for Future Protection

If you have read any of the recent studies or had a personal connection to someone who had to enter a nursing home suddenly, you might have questions about long term care insurance. Long term care insurance can be a critical financial stop-gap to assist you and your loved ones if you needed advanced medical care and did not want to have the payments for this pulled from your personal resources.

However, there may be some alternatives available to you, so before you purchase a long-term care insurance policy, make sure you have done your research. One of the most common phrases told to people who are purchasing an LTCI policy is to lock in the rates.

Thousands of people who purchased a long-term care policy were told at the time that they bought it, that it was smart to take out their policy now because the premiums could become extremely expensive. However, the premiums on LTC insurance can increase at any time, since within the fine print of your policy there is likely a statement that your rates are subject to future increases. This means that nothing was ever guaranteed to you as far as your insurance cost. 

One of the reasons that premiums have increased for LTC insurance policies is because insurance companies misjudge the cost of claims and the duration of claims. In 1980, the numbers for LTC expenditures across the United States were $30 billion. However, by 2015 that number had jumped to $225 billion. This can raise questions about whether or not it is the right idea to purchase a long-term care insurance policy. You might choose instead to use a whole life insurance policy that has a chronic illness rider.

This could help to protect you in the event of the majority of long term care protection problems. One of the major perks to using these types of policies is if you were to gain an inheritance or to sell your home, you could have a safe place to hold your money until you need it.

Mortality tends to increase alongside the cost of long term care and ultimately this favors the return inside a life insurance contract. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is also a solid tool to consider exploring in the event of trying to protect your best interests for your loved ones.


The True Cost of Long Term Care Highlights Longevity Concerns

A recent survey shows that many people are willfully unprepared for the significant out of pocket costs from long term care facilities. More than 2,000 family caregivers and patients were recently surveyed, and most underestimated the possible need for long term care as well as the typical expenses connected with getting the support. Approximately 70% of all patients today end up needing some form of long term care support, but just under half of patients who responded in this study felt that they would need long term care.  

Patients also underestimated the age at which it was likely for them to need long term care. Most survey respondents anticipated that they would need this additional support from a facility or caretaker at age 79, although the national average in the United States for getting this kind of treatment is 73. This gap of 6 years’ worth of treatment can mean that you don’t have enough money set aside to prepare yourself for the rising cost of long term care.

Long term care has an average cost of $47,000 or more, depending on the facility that you select. A private nursing home, for example, comes with a price tag of $100,000 whereas an assisted living facility comes in at an average of $45,000.

When discussing a possible move to a long-term care facility, the family caregivers and patients who participated in the study said that the cost of care was one of their biggest concerns and for those family members who had already undergone this situation, the cost of long term care ended up being much higher than they anticipated. Although there is no way to guard against all possible negative outcomes or issues associated with long term care, there are many things that you can do to protect yourself as well as your loved ones from the challenges of recovering after an incapacitating event or needing consistent long-term care from a facility.

While it’s impossible to predict just how long you’ll live, it’s good to plan for a long and healthy lifestyle.

Talking with an estate planning and elder law planning lawyer now can open your eyes to all of the opportunities available to you and can help to ensure that you have the appropriate documentation and strategies in place to guard against the problems.


Will Your Long-Term Care Planning Default Keep You from Proper Protection?

Most people assume that they do not need long term care planning in their overall estate planning. Since illness and death are both extremely difficult subjects to broach on your own, many people don’t even realize the serious possibility of facing the high statistics. In fact, a recent fidelity study found that the amount of money people will have to spend on typical medical and health care expenses in retirement is up 70% from 2002 numbers. LTC-lawyer-NJ

A person retiring this year at age 65 will have to come up with around $280,000 just for their health care, and the cost for long term care insurance is not helping the situation either. In fact, long term care insurance premiums have been rising dramatically in recent years and this means that people now have to pay more to get even less support from their long-term care policies. It is a huge mistake to assume you won’t be touched by long term care. There is a possibility that you have already encountered a family member who did not do appropriate planning and has had to suffer financially as a result of a sudden incapacitating event, such as a diagnosis of dementia or even a broken hip that leaves them in the nursing home for far too long.  A tsunami of baby boomers is expected to retire in the coming years and have a significant need for long term care.

Details from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that a person turning 65 this year will have a 70% chance of needing long term care. But fewer than 16 % of American adults today have long term care insurance to pay for that. Avoidance is the planning default because many people don’t realize the opportunities available to them or how to most appropriately fit it into their existing schedule. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer in New Jersey today to learn more about your options and to consider how Medicaid and other planning tools can help you while you are still alive.


Don’t Forget to Plan for Long Term Care

It seems like every day you may hear about updates to Medicaid and Medicare, and many people who have scheduled meetings with estate planning attorneys come in very confused about the difference between Medicaid and Medicare. Although both programs were created by federal laws, they accomplish very different things. 

If Medicare does not pay for long term care, you could find yourself very stressed out how to proceed and protect yourself. Most people are already aware of the benefits of long term care insurance, but fewer insurance companies are offering these traditional policies and it can be very expensive. Other products that cover needed services like continental care, home care, a nursing facility, recovery or an indemnity plan have come into the marketplace. Furthermore, there are some life insurance policies you can purchase that may pay for long term care and similar services if they are outside of traditional LTC setting.

You’ll also want to set up a time to consult with an experienced Medicaid planning attorney to discuss how to qualify for this critical government program in the right way and ensure that you are not facing any penalties for the way that you approach planning. A consultation with a Medicaid planning attorney and an estate planning lawyer can ensure that you have the assets set aside for your retirement that you may need, while also getting the peace of mind that you have taken the necessary steps to protect yourself in terms of needed long-term care.

Given that so many people will have to rely on some form of long term care services in the future, it is in your best interests to identify an attorney who can help you articulate a plan that protects your best interests.  

Study Shows That More Nursing Homes Residents Are Sicker

A new Kaiser study confirms what many people already working in the long-term care industry already know; that there are fewer long-term care residents in nursing homes but many of these patients have decreasingly successful conditions. Investigators recently determined that approximately half of the people in nursing homes across the country had a diagnosis of dementia, whereas under one-third had psychiatric conditions such as mood disorders and schizophrenia. 

Approximately two out of three residents are currently taking psychoactive medications such as sedatives, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics or anti-anxiety drugs. The total nursing hours increased to more than four per resident day in 2016 and Medicaid is the primary payer for most of these facilities.

If you are thinking about looking ahead into the future and encompassing a comprehensive plan for your estate as well as your assets and Medicaid, you will need the experience of a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.

Six Ways to Afford Long Term Care

Long term care insurance is not the only way to afford your future, but it is one of six ways that you may be able to approach health care costs that may surge into your later years. Given that the average cost for a person turning 65, in need of long term care services, is $138,000, it is thoroughly responsible to ensure that you have a plan in place. 

If you have already checked whether or not a long term care insurance policy is possible or accessible and identified that it is not within your financial reach, there are still five other options you can consider to fund your long term care expenses. These include health savings accounts, adding riders to your current life insurance policies, using your personal savings, taking advantage of veteran benefits when you are eligible, and exhausting all of these options to have your long term care cost paid through Medicaid.

Medicaid planning requires advanced consideration and will likely need insight from an experienced estate planning lawyer who is thoroughly knowledgeable about how to protect your best interests. Scheduling a consultation today with an asset protection planning attorney and an estate planning attorney can help to clarify what’s next.

New Study Can Reveal Alzheimer’s Symptoms 10 Years In Advance

A new study identifies that there is artificial intelligence that could help identify the early signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia-related problems approximately a decade before the actual symptoms begin to emerge in an individual patient. More than 67 MRI scans were explored from the Alzheimer’s Disease Narrow Imaging Initiative Database located at the University of Souther California, Los Angeles. Of those evaluated cases, 29 belonged to healthy individuals and 38 were from Alzheimer’s patients. The machine learning developments have shown significant promise for a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s since early detection is critical when it comes to treating this disease. long term care planning Alzheimers

When someone receives an earlier diagnosis, they can get treatment sooner rather than later and may have the opportunity to put their financial and legal affairs in order. After a diagnosis of Dementia affecting one of your parents, it is important to get their financial and legal orders in affair immediately while they are still able to make decisions for themselves. Otherwise, issues of mental capacity may arrive and could lead to a contest of the estate planning documents down the road.  

Did you know that once someone is diagnosed with a cognitive problem that the process of estate planning is much more difficult? The good news is that you have lots of options when you notice the early signs of Alzheimer’s and similar conditions. Proper planning can prevent problems for your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are followed when the time comes.

I’ve Got a Long-Term Care Policy. Should I Stop Paying or Keep It?

If you’ve had a long-term care policy for several decades and have continued to pay the premiums, this is an important component of being able to protect yourself against decimating your savings. However, many people who have long-term care policies have reported that these premiums have increased significantly in recent years. Do you have an LTC plan?

Some people are concerned about whether or not they should let the policy lapse or continue paying for it. The decision about whether or not to continue paying the premiums on your long-term policy can only be made after evaluating your individual financial situation. If you have significant assets but no long-term care policy, a sudden incapacitating event that sends you or your spouse to the nursing home, could completely eliminate all of your savings. With substantial assets you may not be able to get support for Medicaid, at least for a period of time after you’ve spent down your individual assets and wealth. A long-term care policy must be carefully considered as part of your vision.

While many companies used to offer long term care insurance, many of those smaller businesses ultimately closed up shop after becoming insolvent. Today there are only a few major insurance companies that offer long term care. The older long-term care policies will typically have better benefits than the newer ones, so allowing your long-term care policy to lapse could be a big mistake if you are not careful.  

Estate Planning Efficacy and The Impact of Dementia

Unfortunately, the aging population in the United States is becoming increasingly affected by dementia. Furthermore, family members who are seeking assistance on behalf of their loved ones with dementia may be confused about how to proceed if they have never made a will before. Testamentary capacity is one of the most important components of the estate planning process for someone who has recently been diagnosed with dementia. hire a NJ lawyer for incapacity planning

A person who is in the more advanced stages of dementia may not be able to understand what they are signing or be able to explain what they wish to happen to their property. This means that the will could eventually be challenged when that person passes away. the sooner on in the dementia diagnosis that you can share these concerns directly with your loved one and begin to put together a plan of action for addressing the major concerns for his or her future, the better all of you will feel about the situation and the less likely it will be to face a contested will situation down the road.

It is never easy to deal with a major diagnosis in your family, particularly when you have estate planning intentions that you wish to carry out. Having a knowledgeable estate and elder law planning attorney who has managed these delicate situations before and who can give you proper guidance about your future is extremely helpful in this difficult situation.

Long Term Care and Longevity: Will We Get Overwhelmed?

Most people know about the potential impact of costs tied to long-term care, but they haven’t taken time to protect themselves.

Long-term care costs could become overwhelming as a result of longevity. The number of individuals turning age 65 and older is set to double by 2060, by the time that today’s Millennials start to turn 65. They will also make up 24% of the population as compared with 15% today. That means that 1 in 4 individuals will be in an older age category at high risk of needing long-term care.  long term care costs

This is the result of data collected by a study referred to as Aging in the United States. The number of older individuals in the U.S. right now places a major burden on breadwinners in their productive years, but by 2030, there will only be approximately 2.8 adults of working age for every individual age 65 and older. This is a decrease from 5 in 2000.

Today’s working age citizens will be hit by a double whammy trying to build their own economic future and the economy. Data from aging parents shows that approximately 3 out of every 4 aging Americans will need some type of long-term care after age 65. The odds of a financial impact for any working couple with two sets of parents is extremely high if any of those parents does not have the resources for their own care. Long-term care services can be extremely expensive, costing between $100,000 or $200,000 per year, depending on the type of claim services and the location.

When multiple family members involved need long-term care, the cost can become extremely prohibitive, but these financial impacts extend beyond the cost of care. It can also lead to interrupted employment if one partner has to take time off work in order to care for an aging parent.

How Are You Going to Pay for Long-Term Care?

Plenty of statistics indicate that up to 70% of Americans will need long-term care at some point in time. Just one significant long-term care event or the diagnosis of a cognitive condition can significantly alter your retirement plans. Many people assume that Medicare will help to pay for all of your long-term care expenses. However, many of these are not classified as medical treatments and will therefore not be paid for through Medicare.

Medicare will help to pay for the first 100 days of nursing home care and some of the long-term care expenses may be covered by Medicaid but this program is typically geared for low-incomelong term care planning individuals. You may pay with three primary sources; family, self-insuring by paying through out of your own pocket, or a long-term care insurance.

The least complicated but often the most difficult or expensive way for long term care is to put aside extra money in your savings to pay for these costs. However, bear in mind that the average costs of long-term care can top $130,000. You might even assume that your family will help to take care of you. However, when it comes time that you need assistance, getting it from your family may not necessarily be available.

Family members like children may have moved away or you may have comprehensive healthcare needs that cannot be addressed by family members. The individuals who have a lot of assets will typically not qualify for Medicaid without advanced planning for Medicaid purposes so long-term care insurance could be a critical help but it is important to identify that this insurance opportunity early rather than later so that you can lock in rates while you are still relatively young and healthy.

Long Term Care Insurance on The Rise


Long-term care insurance, which covers critical expenses like late life needs, nursing home care and at-home nursing care, is becoming too expensive for many retirees to be able to afford. This is an unfortunate discovery because many retirees are not appropriately prepared for the cost of long-term care. long term care


A study conducted by LifePlans determined that the average premium for long-term care insurance was $2727 in 2015, representing an increase of more than 40% from 2005. Up to 55% of the individuals who had opted not to purchase long-term care insurance, who are over age 50 made that decision because it was too expensive. Long-term care insurance helps to fill an important stop gap for retirees.


More than 40% of Americans over age 65 will spend at least some time in a nursing home, according to a recent report shared by MorningStar, others will need at home care as well. Medicaid will cover nursing care only for those individuals who have fully exhausted their financial assets.


Medicare will only cover nursing care under a few narrowed circumstances. Overall, more than $338 billion was spent on long term care services in 2013 alone. Long term care insurance may be a critical part of your plan for retirement and getting older, but you should also consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney about how to approach Medicaid advanced planning.


What Americans Need to Know About the Rising Cost of Long-Term Care

Do you have plans for what would happen to you if you were to become incapacitated? Many people are under the impression that long-term care is something that only older individuals need to consider. It is certainly true that a broad range of baby boomers and other elderly individuals have to think about their long-term care needs as it relates to their longevity and their healthcare concerns. However, anyone can be affected by a long-term care event. 

Consider that some of the claims paid out by long term care insurance companies affect those individuals in their 20s. Just one car accident could have significant repercussions for you.

This highlights the importance of not only having the appropriate long-term care insurance in place, given that the cost of a private nursing home room on an annual basis is edging closer to $100,000 a year, but it also highlights that it’s important for individuals of all ages to have critical healthcare powers of attorney and other documents that articulate who is eligible to make decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so. The right estate planning attorney can help you determine what documents are most appropriate for your individual situation.

The best way to plan for long-term care is to have a system in place in the event that something happens to you or someone you know. Consulting with an estate planning and elder law attorney may be the first step you need to take.


Long-Term Care Planning and the Great Wealth Transfer

Research shows that as more baby boomers entire retirement and pass away in the coming decades, $30 trillion in assets will be passed on to loved ones like children or grandchildren. However, far too many people have not even taken the necessary basic steps to protect themselves and their loved ones. Failing to plan can make for unnecessary confusion and frustration for your beneficiaries. This great wealth transfer is a good opportunity for any baby boomer to set up a meeting with an experienced estate planning lawyer.

One of the biggest reasons to accomplish this is simply due to the rising cost of long-term care. Someone who has not approached long-term care planning with the help of an experienced lawyer well in advance may struggle to make things happen in the way they want. It might also require them to go through the probate process. 

Long-term care has the potential to completely wipe out someone’s estate. The costs associated with long-term care, of course, depend on the patient’s individual needs and the location of the facility, but it’s expensive regardless. Just one long-term care event can take out a significant portion of someone’s savings or their estate, and this is to say nothing of long-term issues like cognitive decline associated with Alzheimers.

Bear in mind that research shows that the median cost per month for a home health aide is $3861 for approximately 44 hours of work. A private room inside a nursing home, however, carries a median monthly cost of $7698. Medicare only covers limited short-term issues and Medicaid, without proper planning, could require someone to spend through their assets before they qualify. All of this can make for a frustrating long-term care situation.

Thankfully, setting up a meeting with an experienced advanced planning lawyer can help you to lay the groundwork for your estate and your long-term care with enough time to achieve all your goals. Contact us at



Estate Planning and Long-Term Care Go Hand in Hand

There’s no doubt that estate planning is an important part of your looking ahead in your own life and even to after what happens when you pass away, but it’s important consider how you incorporate long-term care planning, too. 5

People in America are living longer than ever, and this means that traditional approaches to estate planning and retirement planning no longer cut it. Wanting to pass on assets to your loved ones is a worthwhile goal, but so is setting aside the time to ensure that you have taken care of your own future as well.

Long-term care planning involves multiple components such as thinking about your next steps if something were to happen to you, including safety nets like a long-term care insurance policy and a long-term Medicaid plan. Trying to deal with these concerns in the heat of the moment when a problem has already appeared is extremely difficult. It can also limit your options in the moment. Although no one wants to think about the potential for a disabling event or a cognitive decline, recognizing that the statistics show that at some point you’ll be dealing with this is the best way to approach the situation from a planning perspective.

Long-term care may be short term or it may involve a more in-depth situation like being in a nursing home. The only way to plan ahead is to think about whether the goals you have line up with your plans as they are now. It might be hard to look that far into the future and yet that’s a worthy goal in order to protect you and your loved ones.

What is Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid planning involves a careful consideration of an individual’s assets to determine whether or not he or she legally qualifies to receive nursing home benefits for Medicaid. Many individuals who do not carefully consider this process or who do not have other significant resources to support them in their older years such as long-term care insurance, may have to use all of their personal assets and resources to support an individual who has suffered a healthcare event.shutterstock_322363940

It can also be very problematic for individuals who have no other resources because family members can feel the pressure of having to provide for a loved one who needs nursing home care. This is why it is a good idea to consult with a New Jersey Medicaid planning attorney. One of the most common questions considered in the Medicaid process is whether or not you should get rid of property.

Bearing in mind that Medicaid has a look back period to explore whether or not you have attempted to give away assets so that you may qualify for Medicaid, it’s a good idea to consider your Medicaid planning well in advance. This allows you to take advantage of legal strategies that can help prepare you to qualify for Medicaid appropriately.

Even if you are not yet concerned about your healthcare and your need for potential nursing home care, you should consult with a New Jersey Medicaid planning attorney now to learn about all of your options. Putting a plan in place well in advance is the best approach.



Top Myths About Long-Term Care Coverage Through Medicaid

Usually, it’s Medicare that gets the bulk of news coverage, but Medicaid is still quite confusing for many people. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about Medicaid. shutterstock_129373694

You Must Be Poor to Get It

Medicaid helps people qualify for long-term care, and it’s true that you cannot have more than a specific amount of assets to qualify, but there are some exempted assets. Consult with your elder law specialist to learn more.

Medicaid Is Unnecessary Since Medicare Will Cover My LTC
Medicare only covers up to 100 days of skilled nursing care, so it’s not permanent. Medicaid is more likely to help a patient over the lung run.

Transferring Your Money to Your Kids Will Help With Medicaid Qualification

While it’s true that you don’t want to have too many assets in the Medicaid qualification process, you don’t want to assume that all your assets should be transferred to children. The reason is because there is a penalty period if Medicaid believes that you transferred assets in the years prior just to qualify for coverage.

Make sure you’re clear about how Medicaid- as well as Medicare- works when it comes to your long-term care. Contact an elder law specialist to get more details about this process. Contact us at

Preventing End of Life Costs from Destroying Your Estate

It’s very rare that anybody has covered all possible risks in terms of their wealth management when it comes to income and cash flow, guaranteed income, cash, investments, and the connection between long term care and your estate. If you skip planning for long term care expenses, you may find that your other wealth management tools and strategies don’t hold up to the rising cost of healthcare.

Preventing End of Life Costs from Destroying Your Estate
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The average cost per month for a long-term care facility is over $7,000. That’s why long term care planning is so essential. When a long-term care insurance policy is too expensive or not an option because you do not qualify.

There are alternatives, however. Structuring your estate in a particular manner can help you guard against the cost of long term care. Two common strategies are eliminating assets through trusts and transfers. This means that down the road, if you need to reduce your assets for Medicaid eligibility, you’ve already done most of the work. If you are confronted with a long-term care event before you have done this, you could find yourself having to “spend down” your assets anyways before government assistance kicks in, depleting your savings and forcing you to do it rapidly, which is rarely in your best interest. However, if you do it incorrectly, it has the potential to have a severely negative impact on eligibility and penalty periods. To learn more about trust planning, gifting, and other strategies to mitigate risk in estate planning, email or contact us via phone at 732-521-9455.