Perhaps the most important reason why it’s vital to consult with an elder law attorney when creating your estate planning documents, is that most do-it-yourself options do NOT consider long term care planning. Statistically speaking, most of us will need long term care at some point in the future. In fact, about 7 out of 10 people over age 65 will need nursing-home-level care. That means each and every one of us will almost certainly be faced with either ourselves or our loved ones needing long-term care. The best option is to plan in advance for this eventuality. The national average cost for a private room in a nursing home is over $80,000 per year. With no advance planning, most families find their savings drained within the first year.
Medicaid is a government program that has the potential to help everyone pay for nursing home costs. But qualifying for Medicaid assistance can be tricky. You much meet strict financial requirements and follow a complex system of guidelines. When you come to us for long term care planning, we help get you in a position to easily qualify for Medicaid when you need it, while keeping your property and savings protected. There’s no getting around the fact that this process can be complicated, and online software programs that offer last will and testaments, trusts and powers of attorney will almost certainly NOT take long term care planning into consideration. If you’re not careful, you could put yourself in a more difficult position rather than in a better one.
If you do it right the first time, you won’t have to do it again. If you attempt to create a will on your own, you may not know to add all the little details that will ensure it works no matter what. While you might be able to pull off an okay document, a lawyer can help you create an excellent one. They will take every last detail into account- including the details that you would never have known about- when creating your estate planning documents. A lawyer’s job on a daily basis is to be prepared for any possible scenario.
The bottom line is, the legal world is complicated and it’s always better to hire a skilled guide. You wouldn’t attempt to medically diagnose yourself using internet tools without consulting a doctor. In the same way, you shouldn’t attempt to create an estate plan, which determines the business of your life, without consulting a lawyer.