As part of your estate plan, you’ll probably come up with a long term care plan in case one day you lose your ability to care for all your needs. Of all the estate planning areas, long term care planning can be one of the more daunting as it forces us to accept that we may become more dependent on others. Though this may not be an easy pill for our pride to swallow, long term care is an important part of your estate plan, and you shouldn’t allow yourself to fall prey to certain myths that can harm your planning efforts.
Myth 1: I don’t need a plan because my spouse/child will take care of me. While having your family provide your long term care needs is the ideal solution for many people, it isn’t always possible. This is especially true if you’re relying on your spouse to care for you as you get older. Your spouse will face his or her own limitations and may not be able to provide full-time care, or worse, may cause more problems in the attempt.
Myth 2: Medicare provides all the long term care I need. While Medicare does provide for some long term care, the amount it provides for is extremely limited. For example, Medicare will only pay for 20 days of nursing home care after surgery, and it may pay for an additional 80 days, but only if you provide a daily co-payment. Further, Medicare rules may change and may not be as reliable as once believed.