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How should I legally prepare for a long term care?

Long term care and nursing home planning, as this blog has previously discussed, is something that many Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania residents may eventually need if they require care. The big question people have on their minds is how to finance the often astronomical bill for a nursing home stay, a bill which may run in to six figures.

People should think about how they will pay a nursing home bill, whether it is through private sources, such as their own savings or long term care insurance or via some careful Medicaid planning that will enable them to qualify for government benefits.

However, figuring out finances is only one aspect of the careful planning for long term care that an aging or retired Pennsylvanian needs to consider. It may be helpful to check out the at various types of care beforehand including in-home caregivers and facilities, such as personal care homes, nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities. Nursing homes are not all created equal and the wrong home could mean an emotional disaster and, at worst, actual physical danger.

Individuals who think they may need long term care in the near future, should get their legal affairs in order. Wills, beneficiary designations, and other estate planning documents, should probably be reviewed and updated if necessary. Plans should be discussed with family members, so that they know what to do in the event of death.

It is also important review and update powers of attorney for financial matters and healthcare decision-making, or create them if one exist. An experienced elder law attorney can be helpful in long term care and nursing home planning.

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