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Attorney Randy Ratliff

Long-Term Care Insurance

Nashville Attorney Protecting the Interests of Senior Citizens

Statistically speaking, an American who has reached the age of 65 can expect to live well into his or her 80s. Depending upon one’s age and financial situation, this can be very encouraging news, or it can be somewhat worrisome. Will I have enough money to enjoy my retirement years? What will happen if my health deteriorates? People nearing their golden years (and younger persons who prefer to plan ahead) often have questions about not only general estate planning instruments, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, but also health-related issues like long-term care insurance, Social Security benefits, and pension benefits. Nashville elder law attorney Randy Ratliff can advise you on any of these areas. He can make sure that your financial stability is protected so that you are free from anxiety over whether your health care needs will be met as you get older.

With rising medical and nursing home costs in Tennessee and across the country, planning for the possibility of failing health as one ages is very important. Depending upon the particular assets owned by an individual or married couple, there are several options that can help maximize the retention of assets while also providing for the payment of medical costs in the future. Depending upon one’s circumstances, this may begin with a frank and thorough discussion of the Medicaid qualification process, including some possible trusts into which assets may be placed without jeopardizing the payment of certain expenses by Medicaid or TennCare later. It is important that such plans be made early in the process, since there are look-back periods for the transfer of assets that could affect eligibility for certain benefits.

Consider Different Ways to Fund Long-Term Medical Care: Know Your Options

Additionally, a policy of long-term care insurance is a possibility. Nursing home care can be very expensive, amounting to thousands of dollars per month in most cases. Home health care and extending living facilities are also very costly. While Medicaid/TennCare is a possibility for some people (at least with the right advance planning), not everyone will qualify for these types of assistance. Medicare may pay some long-term care costs, but it typically does not pay for everything. This can leave a considerable gap, which will need to come out of an individual or couple’s estate if an alternative plan is not in place.

Insurance is one possibility. Long-term care insurance, while expensive, can provide some assurance that medical care will be available should it be needed and that the bulk of the cost of nursing home or other needed care will be paid by a third party (the insurance company) rather than out of one’s estate. Of course, long-term care insurance is not a one-size-fits-all solution, nor is it necessary or advisable for everyone. If you are considering the purchase of long-term care insurance, it is important to speak to someone whom you trust, such as an attorney in your area, about your financial situation to determine whether it is right for you. While most insurance companies are reputable, seniors are particularly susceptible to elder financial abuse, including being sold products that they cannot afford or do not need. Thus, getting some independent advice on this topic can be extremely helpful.

Schedule an Appointment with an Experienced Elder Law Attorney in the Nashville Area

Preparing for the future is a wise thing, but it can also be a discomfiting process. At the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, in Nashville, we strive to make the estate planning process as comfortable and efficient as possible, working hard to put our clients at ease and earn their confidence as we assist in the preparation of documents such as wills and trusts, durable powers of attorney for healthcare, and others. If you live in Nashville, Brentwood, Cool Springs, Antioch, Hermitage, Madison, Goodlettsville, Joelton, Franklin, or elsewhere in Davidson or Williamson Counties, call us at 615-656-8282 or contact us online and set up a time to talk about your elder law and estate planning concerns.