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How to plan for later-in-life care

Everybody wants to live a good life. Achieving enough success to live comfortably, surrounded by friends and family, is one of the reasons we work hard in daily life. Things change as people get on in years, though. Bones get a little creakier, muscles get a little stiffer. That is when it may be time to consider plans for future care.

There’s no shame in having a medical plan in place. Having formal plans in writing leave nothing to question for your heirs and family. It also gives you peace of mind in knowing that medical care or assisted living costs are covered. These are a few ways you can get each of these bases covered.

Navigate Medicaid

As you may know, Medicaid is a joint federal and state program in Texas that helps folks with limited for fixed incomes cover certain costs. Most notably, it can help cover medical bills, personal care services and nursing home care. It can also be very complicated.

Enlisting the help of an experienced attorney can help you navigate the paperwork and other red tape that comes with Medicaid. A legal professional will sit down and listen to your specific needs, then leverage their knowledge of policy and local laws to try to achieve them while also protecting your assets.

Consider a Lady Bird deed

Texas is one of just a few states to allow so called Lady Bird deeds. These special deeds allow you to retain ownership of your home during life and bequeath it to an heir after death – what makes a Lady Bird deed unique is that it keeps your property out of probate.

This means that any creditors you may have, collecting debt from Medicaid for example, will not be able to seize your home. You will be able to rest easily knowing that you can safely pass your assets to the next generation without creditors becoming involved.

Draft an advance directive

Maybe the most important element of planning for the future is making sure your family knows your final wishes. Too often people are left in unresponsive states and their loved ones do not know how to respond. That is where having an advance health care directive is sorely missed.

These directives go by various names, but they all exist as legal documents which outline your specific medical wishes should you be medically unresponsive or otherwise unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself. They may be as brief or detailed as you wish and are fairly easy to draft.

One of the best ways you can advocate for yourself is to have your estate and healthcare plans in order. These three simple actions will go a long with in keeping your final years peaceful and content.

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