A last will and testament and revocable trust agreement may be typical documents that comprise part of an estate plan. These documents can be used separately or together to plan for death, create your legacy and to transfer wealth to your heirs once you pass away. It’s a common misconception, however, that a will or a trust, or a combination of the two, are enough to be fully prepared for your future.


Unfortunately, the future is full of uncertainty. This is especially true as we age. For seniors and their loved ones, simple estate planning is only the start of the necessary planning. To keep us fully protected as we age, we also need to be thinking about our long-term care needs as we age. Let us share in this article two of the reasons why estate planning may not be enough and you should consider creating an all-encompassing elder law plan as soon as possible.


1. Wills do not help plan for long-term care.


Last wills and testaments are mainly concerned with preparing your assets to be transferred through the probate process once you pass away. Yet, leading up to that point, many seniors will require long-term care which can be quite expensive. A typical estate plan does not help you plan or pay for long-term care – so how do you plan forward?


The key is to meet with your elder law attorney as soon as possible. Even in a crisis, where there is no time to plan ahead, your elder law attorney may have solutions. For example, Wisconsin Medicaid may be able to be utilized to pay for long-term care. Your reason for meeting with your elder law attorney is not just financial, however, you need an advocate who will be able to help your family navigate the complex waters of long-term care support and to find the right facility for you based on your needs.


2. Estate plans do not help you find long-term care benefits.  


Estate plans, and the wills and trusts within them, are tools that everyone can use, regardless of their age or health care needs. We all need good estate planning to make sure we are protected in the event of death or disability. Estate planning, however, is just the first step.


You need to work with your elder law attorney to know what long-term care benefits are available to you in your community. You need to understand how you will pay for care for yourself or a loved one, should it become necessary.  We work with families each day to find ways to make sure they are provided for and protected in every possible scenario, many of whom previously thought they would be unable to qualify for help.


It is crucial that you do not let your last will and testament or revocable trust agreement trick you into a false sense of security. It is key for you to meet and discuss your elder law concerns with a trusted attorney as soon as possible. Does this article raise even more questions for you? We are here to answer them for you. Contact us through our website or call us at +1 (715) 843-5001 to schedule an appointment with Attorney Alan Hougum.