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Include future health care in estate planning

Estate planning doesn't just lay out how your assets are passed to loved ones after you pass away. It also lays out important information about end of life wishes, including future health care and whom you wish to be your power of attorney. One important aspect of end-of-life management that every Nevada resident should consider is the cost of long-term nursing care.

The average length of long-term nursing care required by residents is three years. Cost for long-term care averages $7,139 a month, which can devastate personal savings and become a burden to loved ones. Planning ahead through legal and financial means reduces the burden to yourself and loved ones.

One thing to consider when planning for end-of-life is a whole life insurance plan. Such plans offer cash value that builds over time and can be used to pay for health care. Life insurance plans offer similar benefits, but purchasing plans early in life is required for maximum benefits.

Specific insurance for long-term care is an option if you're in later years, though it can be expense. One benefit of such plans is that unused coverage can often be transferred to a spouse if the plan was purchased as a couple. Many people rely on Medicaid to cover care, though this option is limited to those with an income of $2,130 per month or less. To qualify for Medicaid, you also must have no more than $2,000 in savings.

If you'll rely on personals savings to cover the cost of end-of-life care, opt for a personal trust to protect money against creditors and others. Select a person you trust as a power of attorney who can access and manage trust funds should you become unable to do so.

Source: Carson Now, "Column: Paying options for long term nursing care" John R. Bullis, Apr. 02, 2014

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