“Old age is always fifteen years older than I am.”

-Bernard Baruch

For many clients, estate planning alone is simply not enough. All of the best laid estate plans lose their value if the person who made them is going to run through all of their resources in the waning years of their life due to illness or disability.

Making a plan for disability can be just as important as making a plan for death. Nearly 40% of Americans over 65 suffer from at least one disability, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau. The financial burdens of this care can be staggering.

This is why Chaves and Perlowitz LLP specializes in both elder law and estate planning. We have the expertise to make a plan for clients’ assets at death and just as importantly, to protect those assets during our clients’ lives.

No one wants to go broke because they get sick. Yet, most of us have heard horror stories about people losing their homes and savings to the cost of long-term care. The average cost of a nursing home in the greater NYC region is $400/day, with many exceeding $15,000.00 each month. If someone is paying out of pocket, it means they are draining their resources at a rate of more than $150,000 annually. Meanwhile, the cost of at-home care from skilled aides can cost in excess of $20/hour, placing a similar financial strain on those in need.

There are three key strategies to combat long-term care costs.

  1. Private Pay
    For very affluent clients, or those with very large retirement income streams, this may be the best option because of its flexibility. Planning for the private pay option means discussing with your attorney and financial advisor and setting aside funds to cover the cost of care on your own terms. It may include such options renovating your home to prepare it for use during disability or buying in and moving to a retirement community that covers every stage of disability.
  2. Long-Term Care Insurance
    Long-Term Care Insurance is a strong option for those who start planning early (usually by their (50’s or 60’s). It provides excellent flexible coverage that can be used for nursing homes, assisted livings, in-home care, and most other long-term care situations. It is an excellent solution for clients who are healthy enough to qualify and can afford the costs.
  3. Medicaid Asset Protection Trust
    One of the most important aspects of an Elder Law Practice, the MAPT is a specialized trust that protects assets from long-term care and nursing home costs. More info here.