Rising life expectancy means that the potential need for “long term care” grows with every passing year of your life. Current statistics indicate that six out of every ten people in the United States will need some form of long term care during their lifetime. Most long term care expenses are not covered by Social Security, Medicare, or private health insurance. Medicaid will pay for some nursing home care, but you must meet state poverty guidelines to qualify; therefore, you may have to “spend down” or gift away your assets to qualify.

The cost of home health care can range from $30,000 to $80,000 per year. The nursing home care or care at an alternate or assisted care living facility may be even greater. Because these costs will not be paid from other sources, your personal assets will be left unprotected and the cost of long term care may substantially reduce or even eliminate your estate. Once your assets are gone you will lack the ability to change nursing facilities.