Most people underestimate the risk of developing a disability and needing long-term care. A recent study by the US Department of Health & Human Services concluded that more than 50% of Americans 65 and older can expect to need long-term care for an average of two years. People with certain conditions, such as stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or other dementia, and multiple sclerosis, among others, can expect to need long-term care for much longer periods, the cost of which can be staggering. Planning for long-term care and end of life decisions is probably the most incomplete piece of an estate plan and the least understood.
A plan that has equal emphasis on planning for wealth transfer and disability/incapacity will preserve options, preserve wealth, and keep families from being blindsided by the effects of long-term care.
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