Creating an Advance Directive - Good for You and Peace for Your Family

Are you or a loved one ignoring putting together an advance directive? Be sure you and your family understand your wishes. Push loved ones who have avoided doing so

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Creating an Advance Directive - Good for You and Peace for Your Family
3 Min Read February 26th, 2017 Updated:May 11th, 2021

Nobody wants to think of what happens near the end of life. The COVID-19 virus crisis placed many unfortunate families caught off guard. Knowing your final wishes and those of your loved ones is not a new issue. Planning makes it easier for everyone.

Are you or a loved one ignoring putting together an advance directive? Be sure you and your family understand your wishes. Push your loved ones who have avoided doing so to complete these forms. If it is you that is ignoring the problem, why? 

An advance directive is a written statement of a person's wishes regarding medical treatment, often including a living will, which ensures those wishes get carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor. 

Legal Documents Help When You're Unable to Communicate Your Wishes

These are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about medical decisions when you can't communicate them, including end-of-life care. You do this ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and help avoid confusion and disagreements between family members later on.

But what if someone you love won't create one? Now what? Harvard University publishing says to start by asking your loved one two simple questions.

Advance directives cover many areas. While many end-of-life health crises happen during old age, health events and accidents happen at all ages. You should not delay placing your wishes in writing.

Free Advance Directive Forms from AARP

The AARP has free advance directive forms based on the state where you live. Find your state.

Another area not to avoid is the consequence of changing health and aging will have on your family and finances. Many people assume long-term health care is paid for by their health insurance or Medicare. Not true. Medicaid will only pay for long-term health care when you have little or no income and assets. Long-term care is your responsibility.

Unless you want your family to become your caregiver (you don't - caregiving is physically and emotionally demanding) or you want to lose all your assets and end up on Medicaid (not a good goal as the quality of care is questionable and you lose all your assets) - then you need a plan.

LTC Insurance is Key Part of Planning

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance is the solution many American families make as part of their retirement plan. A policy gives you access to your choice of quality care, including home care. You not only safeguard assets, but you reduce the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on your family. 

The best time to get coverage is when you are in your 40s or 50s. Seek the assistance of a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Be sure they work with the major companies as premiums can vary over 100% between companies. Find your specialist.

Few people like the idea of think about the end, but there is a tremendous sense of peace you will have when you get your ducks in a row. 

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Preparing your family and finances for the future costs and burdens of aging is an essential part of retirement planning. But Long-Term Care Insurance is more than just about money. 

Yes, long-term health care is a significant cash flow issue. LTC Insurance addresses this problem. But, long-term care is also a family issue. Without any plan in place, the family will go into crisis mode. The result can be a disaster for you and your family, and your wishes may take a back seat.

You Must Health Qualify to Obtain Coverage

You can't wait until you need you experience significant health problems. Often, it is too late to do any planning.

The underwriting criteria are different with each company. You will have to answer some health questions even to obtain accurate quotes. You ideally want to get coverage when you enjoy reasonably good health. If you are already receiving care in your home or if you live in a care facility, you would be ineligible for coverage. 

Seek Help of a Qualified LTC Specialist

A Long-Term Care specialist can help you determine your eligibility based on your health history and other factors. Most financial planners and general insurance agents are not knowledgeable about underwriting, features, benefits, federal/state partnership programs, policy design, and claims.

Find a qualified specialist.

LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator

Your research should include finding the current and future cost of long-term care services in the area you live – or plan on living in the future. Use the LTC NEWS cost of care calculator.

Other research tools are available, including the Ultimate Long-Term Care Insurance Guide.

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Reach an educated audience. Readers of LTC NEWS are researching retirement issues, including aging, health, caregiving, and long-term care. Other readers seek information for a parent or other loved one who is experiencing declining health or aging issues and require extended care.   

Many marketing opportunities are available, including sponsored content articles. Sponsored content offers you a long-form way to sell yourself, your company, and your ideas.

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business.

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You can be a contributor and write a unique article related to many topics around getting older, health, retirement, caregiving, and long-term care.

You can use LTC NEWS to inform the world of your ideas and benefit your website, blog, business, and image. Drive more traffic to your website and improve your SEO.

LTC NEWS offers many resources to help families address the consequences of long-term care, aging, health, caregiving, and other retirement issues. You can be part of the effort to help educate consumers throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Write a story for publication on LTC NEWS and let America hear what you have to say. Be sure your article fits the LTC NEWS target audience of adults 40-70.

Topics can include stories on:

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