Kansas City residents may find that death, finances and the possibility of incapacity are just plain uncomfortable to talk about with their loved ones. However, while these conversations may be difficult, with an estate plan in place, it could reduce the amount of stress your survivors feel during a difficult time. Some topics that may need to be discussed include the creation of a living trust, long-term care plans and housing options.
While it is important to have a will as a part of your estate plan, it may also be beneficial to include a living trust. A living trust names beneficiaries who will be granted the assets of the trust after the creator of the trust passes away. Unlike a will, a living trust is not subject to probate. In addition, in a living trust the creator of the trust can choose the individual they want to have control of their assets if they are no longer physically or mentally able to do so.
Long-term care planning is also important. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is almost a 70 percent chance that an individual who is 65-years-old may need long-term care in their future. In addition, the duration of long-term care is also important to keep in mind — some may need it for five years or more. It is important to discuss the availability and costs of long-term care with your loved ones while you still have the capacity to do so.
Finally, it is important to discuss your housing options during your old age. Some individuals wish to remain in their home as long as possible, perhaps with the help of in-home nursing care. Others need the 24-hour care of a nursing home. Assisted living facilities are another option for some. Still others may want to move in with their adult children. It is important to examine the costs of these housing options before they are needed, so that you can plan for them in advance.
These conversations may be hard to have, but it is better to have them while you are still mentally and physically able to do so. Being prepared can provide your whole family with the security of an end of life plan that meets your wishes.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor, “Long-term care and wealth planning for aging parents,” Aug. 11, 2016