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Estate planning is more than just divvying up your stuff

After spending a lifetime caring and providing for family members, many Delaware residents make arrangements to provide for them after death as well. Unfortunately, those residents might forget that estate planning is about more than just dividing assets. It also includes making provisions in the event that they become unable to care for themselves at some point later in life.

The sooner Delaware residents begin to plan for their retirement and potential need for long-term care, the better. Many recommend beginning to do so no later than in one's 50s. This may provide enough time to accumulate enough assets to pay for care. Since people are living longer now than ever before, preparing for the need for assisted living or nursing home care is essential.

According to the AARP, severe disabilities will afflict approximately 52 percent of people turning 65 now, and they will need varying degrees of long-term care. Depending on the care needed, the price tag could reach well over $250,000 over the course of the remainder of their lives. Those costs could go even higher for women since they still tend to live longer than men do.

When conducting estate planning, the need for long-term care should be a priority. Numerous ways to save for this eventuality exist, and an attorney can help an individual determine the best way to develop a safety net for it. As is the case with other aspects of estate planning, more than one way exists. Determining which way will provide an individual with the best options possible depends on several factors, and discerning which method works best often requires assistance.

Source: wtop.com, "Preparing for old age: Long-term care, insurance and estate planning", Dawn Doebler, May 3, 2017

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