Long-term care planning is one of the most important aspects of estate planning. It involves numerous vital elements every aging adult must consider to ensure the best coverage possible. Understanding the costs associated with long-term care and knowing what benefits are available in New York are critical factors in long-term care planning.
With thoughtful planning, residents on the East End of Long Island can secure the future for themselves and their loved ones if long-term care becomes necessary. Read on as Jay Sheryll, Long-Term Care Planning Attorney and Founder of Sheryll Law, P.C. in Riverhead, New York, describes the steps individuals must take when planning for an outcome that requires some type of long-term care. Then contact Sheryll Law, P.C. at (631) 506-8440 to schedule a consultation.
What Is Long-Term Care Planning?
Long-term care planning addresses the necessary financial preparations for a potential transition to an assisted living facility, nursing home, or long-term care facility, or procurement of home health services due to chronic illnesses, disabilities, or incapacitation. It can help people maintain their health, improve their quality of life, and remain independent for as long as possible. Long-term care planning enables elderly adults to:
- Receive public benefits without sacrificing assets
- Avoid burdening loved ones with caregiving for them
- Relax as they grow older, knowing they have prepared for every outcome
- Ensure they have the financial resources they need to pay for long-term care
How Can I Discover If I’m Eligible for Long-Term Care Services in New York?
To qualify for long-term care services in New York, an individual must be:
- A resident of the state
- 18 years of age or older
- Unable to perform at least two activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, or eating
- In need of skilled nursing care or rehabilitation services
What Types of Long-Term Care Services Does New York Offer?
New York offers a variety of long-term care services, including:
- Home Care: Home care services help people with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and cooking, and can also provide light housekeeping/homemaking services like laundry, meal prep, and housekeeping. A home health aide, nurse, or another professional can provide these services.
- Adult Daycare: Adult daycare centers offer a safe place for adults during the day. These centers provide social and recreational activities and health and wellness services.
- Respite Care: Respite care provides temporary relief for caregivers of individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Respite care can occur in various settings, such as an adult daycare center, nursing home, or hospice.
- Nursing Home Care: Nursing homes are residences that provide care for people of all ages who need 24-hour nursing care and supervision outside of a hospital. Although all nursing homes must provide certain essential services, some provide specialized care. For example, some nursing homes provide services for people with neurobehavioral disorders, some for ventilator-dependent patients, and some for people with AIDS.
- Assisted Living: Assisted living is more expensive than adult day care but offers a higher level of care and more amenities. Because they vary significantly in terms of size, offered services, and levels of care, there is no one-size-fits-all definition for assisted living facilities.
Paying for Long-Term Care in New York
Long-term care planning in New York poses significant challenges.
First, it is expensive. The average monthly cost for a private room in a nursing home is over $10,000—and that’s just for nursing home care. The average assisted living facility costs over $4,500 per month. Finally, if an individual needs assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or grooming, the average cost of in-home care is over $4,000 per month.
Second, New York has some of the most stringent Medicaid eligibility requirements. To qualify for Medicaid coverage for long-term care services, an individual must meet income and asset tests.
Third, most people do not have enough savings to cover long-term care costs for an extended period of time. New York state law requires nursing home residents to have an insurance policy or other financial resources to cover their costs for at least 100 days. However, most people need long-term care services for much longer. According to the 2018 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the median length of stay in a nursing home among those who exhaust their savings is just over two years.
New Yorkers have several options for paying long-term care costs, including private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance helps cover long-term care costs; however, not everyone can afford the expensive premiums. Moreover, the policies do not always cover the entire cost of care.
Individuals can also set aside money in a special account specifically earmarked for long-term care expenses.
Finally, people can make arrangements with family members or friends willing to provide unpaid care if needed. This option does not guard against unanticipated events, such as a caregiver changing their mind, moving far away, or passing away before the person in need of the care. Or perhaps their financial situation worsens, forcing them to require payment or accept full-time employment. These arrangements leave too much to chance.
Can I Plan for Long-Term Care in Advance?
Given the high costs and duration of long-term care, planning is a must for aging New Yorkers who want to avoid dealing with overwhelming financial burdens in the future. By taking the time to plan now, New York residents can gain the peace of mind of knowing they and their loved ones have the necessary financial resources to secure long-term care services when they need them.
Long-term care planning can include setting up trusts, annuities, or a special arrangement that allows loved ones to manage affairs for the individual who can no longer do so, in addition to the previously mentioned insurance policies.
However, consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney on the East End of Long Island is crucial. They can listen to a client’s desires, formulate a plan, and navigate the complex laws and regulations surrounding long-term care planning in New York.
Other Elements of Long-Term Care Planning in New York
In New York, Medicaid planning is not just for low-income individuals, pregnant women, people with disabilities, or residents over 65. Upper-middle-class residents can also receive Medicaid assistance to cover the costs of hospital care, prescriptions, doctor visits, medical supplies, and long-term care at home or in a skilled nursing facility.
However, New Yorkers who procrastinate about Medicaid planning could find themselves ineligible for the program when they need it. For this reason, we recommend consulting an experienced Medicaid Planning Attorney at least five years before needing Medicaid to devise a strategy to handle unexpected circumstances and situations. At Sheryll Law, P.C., we also help clients who did not plan for Medicaid coverage in advance by applying our knowledge in creating a plan to protect as many assets as possible while minimizing penalties.
An asset protection lawyer on the East End of Long Island can draft advance directives, living wills, powers of attorney, and health care proxies as part of an individual’s incapacity plan. Depending on each client’s unique circumstances, asset protection lawyers can also manage assets from creditors, protect a limited liability company, work towards preventing a fraudulent transfer, and more.
An incapacity plan is a necessary form of asset protection. It provides clear instructions for the legal, financial, and care-related needs and a framework for handling assets, properties, and companies if the owner becomes incapacitated.
Protect Your Legacy and Secure Your Future with Sheryll Law, P.C. on the East End of Long Island
No matter what route you choose, start planning now. The longer you wait, the fewer options you’ll have, and the more expensive your care will be. Protect your legacy and secure your future by consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney at Sheryll Law, P.C. Call (631) 506-8440 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation about long-term care planning in New York.
About Jay P. Sheryll, Esq.
Jay and his team help their clients leave a legacy and achieve the peace of mind of knowing they can protect their families if something happens to them. Sheryll Law, P.C., understands that their clients have worked hard to build their legacy. It is their pleasure to help them leave their money to their loved ones according to their wishes. Having observed other firms haphazardly draft wills and throw together some powers-of-attorney without any thought to the planning aspect, Jay realized he could fulfill a need for East End Long Island clients.
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