Estate planning is one facet of the broader specialty of elder law, and it is important to understand that preparing your assets for distribution to your loved ones after you pass away is intertwined with your overall long-term plan. Unless you are extremely wealthy the expenses that you incur during the latter stages of your life are indeed going to impact your legacy. Elder law attorneys are well aware of all of the eventualities of aging and they are uniquely equipped to assist their clients in formulating comprehensive plans that address all of the possible contingencies pragmatically while keeping legacy goals in sight.
With this having been stated, a lot of people are not fully aware of just how expensive long-term care is in the United States today. The MetLife Mature Market Institute survey tells us that in New Jersey the average annual cost for a year in a private room in a nursing home in 2010 exceeded $112,000. The average length of stay is about 2 1/2 years, so you could be looking at an expense somewhere in the vicinity of a quarter of a million dollars using today’s figures, and they are expected to rise continually as the years pass.
If you were ultimately faced with an expense of this magnitude late in your life it could well have a significant impact on what you are capable of doing for your loved ones via your estate. However, with careful planning it is possible to implement strategies that preserve your wealth, and one of these would be to prepare yourself for Medicaid eligibility.
Whether or not this is the right course of action for you is going to depend on the details of your specific situation. But without question, going it alone when it comes to preparing for the future is rarely if ever going to be a good idea. The best way to proceed would be to arrange for a consultation with an estate planning attorney to create a long-term plan that leaves nothing to chance.