Kommer Bave and Ciccone LLP General Practice Law Firm

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Recent Successes And News:   Month: November 2023

Senior Couple Meeting with Advisor

Don’t Wait Too Long to Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance can cover nursing home bills, assisted living fees, and in-home care, providing financial support if you require assistance with daily living when you get older. However, it can also be expensive. Determining the best time to buy long-term care insurance can help you manage your finances effectively as you prepare for the future.

Many people put off purchasing long-term care insurance until they need it, but by then, it may be too late. Not only do premiums increase as you age, you also may not even qualify for insurance due to your health. The older you are, the more likely you are to have a pre-existing health condition that will disqualify you from getting long-term care insurance.

States Are Now Enacting Laws Requiring Long-Term Care Insurance

An aging U.S. population is leading to an increased need for expensive long-term care services. In 2022, Long Term Care legislation was rolled out in Washington State, requiring all Washington State employees to pay into the state-run long-term-care insurance program for workers. Also in 2022, the New York State Senate proposed Bill S9082, or the “New York Long Term Care Trust Act” which aimed to establish a state-run Long Term Care program. With funding from a payroll tax, this Act would have provided long term care benefits at an initial rate of $100 per day with a lifetime maximum of 365 days worth of benefits.

Per the summary, this proposed Bill: “Establishes the New York long term care trust program to provide long term care benefits for eligible residents who have paid the required premium contributions and are in need of assistance with at least three activities of daily living as determined by the department of health.

Bill S9082 did not pass its initial proposal, but it may still be enacted in the future. As the state-mandated policies would be funded by a set-rate payroll tax, high earning individuals may end up paying more into the policy than their benefits are worth. Therefore, individuals should research private long-term care insurance plan options now. Most of the state long-term care proposed legislation has included an opt-out for individuals who already have a private long-term care insurance policy, saving them from having to pay its associated payroll tax.

Most people are deterred from buying long-term care insurance due to the high cost of the premiums — and the hope that they will never need it. But with the potential for these insurance policies to be required at the state-level, it is more important than ever to look into your options now. If you are interested in buying this insurance, it is better to act sooner rather than later.

To find out how long-term care insurance fits into your long-term care plan, consult with the elder law attorneys at Kommer Bave & Ciccone LLP.

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Multigenerational Family

Ways The Sandwich Generation Can Plan For The Future

Anyone experiencing the struggle of simultaneously caring for children and aging parents is part of the sandwich generation. Although “generation” is part of the phrase, it does not refer to people born at a specific time. Typically, these family caregivers will be in the 30- to 40-year-old age range, providing for their families and balancing care duties between the needs of children and parents.

Trends That Led to an Increasing Sandwich Generation

The rise in the numbers in the sandwich generation is a byproduct of two influential trends: Women are giving birth later in life, and the senior population is increasing. A third contributing factor was the COVID-19 pandemic and the fear of placing aging parents into long-term care facilities where viruses spread easily in communities of people with declining health. Many families pivoted to caring for their loved ones at home.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. You are most likely experiencing significant anxiety and stress as you juggle school and activities for your children, expectations at work, changing family dynamics, and daily caregiver duties. Though this is a challenging time in your life, it does not have to be as hard as it seems. There are steps to take to minimize frustration.

Ways for Caregivers of the Sandwich Generation to Plan

  • Make an honest evaluation of your available financial resources before determining a new course of action.
    • Are your parents able to pay for their care on their own, even within your own home?
    • Do they carry long-term care insurance or whole life insurance policies with living benefits?
    • Are other family members willing to contribute financially, or is a public assistance option viable?
  • Talk things through with your parents about their preferences and abilities to pay for health care services.
    • Discuss ideas with siblings and figure out who can help provide care and whose home provides the best solution.
    • If external help is a must, research local possibilities and costs.

Preparing Estate Planning Documents

It is an excellent idea to consult your attorney about legal documents before a sudden financial or medical decision presents itself. You need to have the legal power to make important decisions for your aging parents. Your parents may need more help as their health declines or they experience dementia.

If your sandwich generation status continues for an extended time, re-evaluate your finances periodically. Goals will change, and updating your estate plan (and your parents’ estate plan, too) may help you stay on track to meet your family’s long-term goals.

Money management and estate planning are critical elements to creating a mutually beneficial living experience as part of the sandwich generation. While this may not be the easiest time of your life with the extra demands placed on you, it is possible to manage and even thrive with adequate estate and financial planning.

Speak with the attorneys at Kommer Bave & Ciccone LLP about how to structure your estate plan. We can help you determine the best plan for your family.

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