One element of creating an estate plan is thinking about your long-term care needs. This involves considering who you may want to be in charge of your Pennsylvania assets and health care if you are incapacitated. However, if you have a history of Alzheimer’s disease in your family, you may want to make some plans specifically addressing that possibility.
Long-term care insurance
If you are hoping long-term care insurance will cover some Alzheimer’s-related costs, you need to purchase it before you become ill. You also need to read the policy carefully to ensure that it will cover care related to Alzheimer’s and what kind of care it will offer.
There are other options for paying for care as well, and you should make yourself familiar with them and with the rules and regulations around obtaining them. In addition to long-term care insurance, there are other types of insurance policies that may help. These include life insurance and regular medical insurance plans. Government help includes Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance, veteran’s benefits and tax credits or deductions. However, it is important to look at all of these disparate options and create a comprehensive plan that addresses all likely possibilities, including the fact that because Alzheimer’s is progressive, it will get worse over time.
The estate plan should be created with these points in mind. For example, you might want to protect your assets by placing them in a trust. You may also want to discuss your wishes for medical care with your physician and family and put these wishes in writing.
An attorney may be able to assist with this kind of estate planning, including making suggestions about what documents may be appropriate in your particular situation. For example, if you are married, a spouse may handle your medical decision-making if you are unable to, but if you are unmarried, you might want to choose among your children or other family members regarding this responsibility.