Even if you have an estate plan that works great for you now, and will work equally as well when you or your spouse passes away, this same estate plan may not work well when it comes to the need for long-term care because at the time the plan was established, long-term care probably was not the main concern.
The current economy has only exacerbated the problem of long-term care expenses. Many people have lost a great deal of money while others have even lost their jobs. These financial problems can become devastating if someone in the family becomes ill and needs long term care.
Even under the best of circumstances it is a good idea to review your estate plan on a regular basis with an experienced attorney, but considering the current economic crisis, it is extremely important to review your plan. Not only does your estate plan need to adequately cover taxes and other estate issues, but also it should be fashioned in a way that can help in the event that long-term care is needed.
Some areas of your estate plan that may need attention include Wills and Trusts and ensuring that you have appointed a health care agent appointed through a Health Care Power of Attorney; it may also be necessary for both you and your spouse to have a Durable Power of Attorney. In addition, you may also want to ensure that both you and your spouse have prepared a living will.
If your estate plan does not address the possibility of serious illness and the need for long term care, it is extremely important that revisions be made. Without an adequate estate plan, long-term care can ruin you financially. Contact your attorney and make an appointment to discuss your estate plan; or if you do not already have a plan, contact an attorney to discuss an estate plan that will protect you and your family.