Someone turning 65 today will have almost a 70% chance of needing some long-term care in the future. While many people receive care in-home, around 40% of people will spend some time in a nursing home. And nursing home care is expensive: though care in the Scranton area is less than in other areas of Pennsylvania, a private room in a nursing home costs over $250 a day, and often much more.
Of course, most people don't have the resources to pay for that kind of care for very long, although they may need care for an extended period: over half of people in long-term care facilities stay for over a year, and nearly a quarter of nursing home residents have a stay of over three years. That stay, even in a lower-cost facility, would cost at least a quarter of a million dollars today. In the future, that price tag will only get higher.
Given the likelihood of needing care, and the certainty of increasing costs, it is important to think, as early as possible, about how you would pay for long-term care if you or your spouse need it. If you are counting on Medicare to cover the cost of a long-term care facility, you might be surprised to learn that Medicare does not pay for long-term care, except in specific, time-limited circumstances.
Medicaid will pay for long-term care, but only after a person has "spent down" almost all of their assets first. If you have worked hard all your life to have a comfortable retirement and leave something to your children, those assets could be gone in a matter of months to pay for care while you wait to qualify for Medicaid.
If you're thinking of just putting your assets in your loved ones' names if it looks like you might need long-term care, think again. Medicaid is wise to this plan, and has a five year "look back" period to see if you might have transferred assets in order to qualify for benefits. If you appear to have done so, your ability to qualify for benefits could be delayed for months or years.
Fortunately, there is a way to both plan for the possibility of needing care and to protect your hard-earned assets for your loved ones: long-term care planning with an experienced Pennsylvania estate planning attorney.
LaMonica Law Firm LLC represents clients in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and the surrounding NEPA communities who want to protect their assets while planning for the possibility of long-term care. Attorney Carlo LaMonica has worked with clients to plan for their long-term care and family needs his entire career. He has an arsenal of planning tools at his disposal to help customize a plan to meet your goals for yourself, your care, and your loved ones. It's never too soon to start planning; don't wait until it's too late.
We have two office locations conveniently located in the Minooka area of Scranton and on Market Street in Kingston. LaMonica Law Firm works with clients throughout NEPA, including Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, Wyoming, and Susquehanna Counties.
Contact us today to get the conversation started. We look forward to working with you.
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