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Benefits of estate planning at an early age

New York residents might not need long-term care when they are in their 50s. However, it's best to plan for such things ahead of time. Those who do need care for an extended period may choose to pay for it themselves, use government benefits or let an insurance policy pay for it. Creating a plan now could make it easier to use any of those strategies in the future.

For most people, paying for long-term care costs on their own isn't the best option. In many cases, an individual may need money just to make ends meet several years into their retirement. Ideally, an individual will use Medicaid to help pay for long-term care needs, assuming that this person has less than $200,000 in retirement assets.

Those who go the insurance route might want to buy a pure long-term care policy. However, it may also be possible to buy hybrid life insurance/long-term care coverage to better meet a person's needs. For younger people, insurance may be more affordable and available on a wider basis even if premiums go up over time. Those who buy coverage at a younger age might get more from their policy as opposed to those who buy one when they are older.

Beginning long-term care planning early in life may make it easier to pay for everything in the future. It could also make it easier to think about whether care needs will be better met in a hospital, nursing home or in a private residence. An attorney can help an individual go over options and help make choices that are in that client's best interests.

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