- Long-term Care Insurance: What Are Your Odds of Needing It?
The following statistics are from materials prepared by the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
For folks turning 65 in 2005, 79% of women will need long-term care, while 58% of men will need it. (Women’s longevity has a downside!) Here is what the records show for both sexes:
- Long-term Care Insurance: Some Initial Thoughts
This month’s blog postings are about long-term care insurance. Do you need it? How much will it cost? What are some options for financing it?
First, let’s start with some assertions that may not necessarily be obvious to all:
- Near the End, Roy Tells His Story
I’ll finish this month’s blog series with a story about a client I met with last year whom I’ll call Roy. Roy was 79 and diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. His decline had been rapid, with failing eyesight, increasing immobility, and encroaching early-stage dementia. His move to assisted living was imminent.
- Near the End, It’s Our Values That Define Us
We’ve all heard the cliché that no one on his deathbed wishes he'd spent more time at the office. So what's most important? People at that frontier we all must cross someday say it’s family, friends, forgiveness, reconciliation, and love.
- Near the End, Procrastination Comes Back to Haunt You
We all know what procrastination feels like. I know I’m not the only one who has pulled an all-nighter or filed an income tax return on April 15. What causes the most anguish, however, is chronic and pervasive procrastination that diminishes your life.
- Near the End, It’s Too Late for Regrets
My next few blogs address a crucial aspect of elder law. This won’t involve a discussion of trust law, probate procedures, Medicaid statutes, or IRS regulations. Instead, it involves my role as a counselor.
In my practice, I’m often in a position to comfort those who are near death. I want to share with you some of their thoughts and regrets. Maybe we can borrow some of their wisdom, learn from it, and act on it.
- May I Add One More Misconception?
Here's another misconception people have about estate planning, from my personal experience. I usually hear it when I'm at the grocery store, or leaving church, or otherwise almost out the door. I inwardly cringe, because the questioner and I are now at cross-purposes in one important aspect. The questioner's intent is to get accurate advice on some specific issue of concern. To him, success is the resolution of his legal problem or dilemma. He's hoping this occurs quickly, without a costly attorney-client relationship.
- If I Wind Up in a Wheelchair, My Life Is Over
I am always amazed when a client comes out with the words, "If I have to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, just shoot me." This kind of statement is the only one that causes me to have to bite my tongue, to control my impulse to preach! It's usually uttered by young or middle-aged, able-bodied clients when we are discussing medical durable power of attorney language. I understand that the flippant remark is an attempt at humor to diffuse the discomfort of contemplating their own certain (eventual) decline.
- My Living Will Covers All My Medical Decision Making
A living will, also known as an Advance Directive or a Declaration as to Medical or Surgical Treatment, is a document stating your wishes about end-of-life medical care. Unlike wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate-planning documents, a living will is very limited in scope, as dictated by your state’s laws.
- Dad’s Doctor Can Declare Him Incompetent
I sometimes hear this sentiment from children concerned about the welfare of their parents. Dad just turned 87 and seems to be a bit befuddled these days. Maybe he’s forgetting to take his medications some days, he’s neglected his investment portfolio for the last few months, or he’s bought one too many magazine subscriptions lately. The son hopes he can just get a note from the sympathetic family doctor and go to court for permission to take over Dad’s affairs, for his own personal and financial good.