Affluent families need long-term care planning for loved ones

Even affluent families residing in Texas must pay attention to their estate planning and long-term care planning needs. Sometimes, sibling rivalry can cause conflict in these families regarding how much will be left for the heirs to inherit. Rising costs, accidents, sudden total disabilities and other traumas may dent the family financial statement and create a danger spot with respect to the family's plans for taking care of an elderly member. Thus, long-term care planning is an important preparatory feature for the relatively wealthy as well as for the lower, middle and upper middle class members of society.

With an extended illness and/or disability, including possible mental incompetence, what resources will our loved one have access to in his elder years? Rising costs and potential disputes among heirs may create a need to use a dedicated health care trust to rise to the occasion. Any such remedy, however, must be finally run by the estate and elder law planning attorney who represents the individual.

It will always be prudent to have one or more professionals with special experience advising the family. The problem these days is the growing fear of what will happen now that people can expect to live significantly longer lives, but not without the threat of dementia hovering over those extended years. In that respect, long-term care insurance may be another option to consider and compare.

Wealthier families residing in Texas may find the insurance option to be an affordable expense and may be relieved to resolve the issue in that manner. In other instances, the specifics may make a trust more feasible as in a situation where the family's assets may be risk averse and a trust would be needed with a restriction that the funds could only be used for health care expenses. In other instances, a health care savings account may be preferable. The analysis of the comparative merits of these options, or whether to combine two or more together, is best done with the assistance of a financial planning specialist and an attorney experienced in long-term care planning.

Source:, "Trusts Can Ease Clients' Healthcare Concerns", Christopher Robbins, April 15, 2016

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