How did you choose your New Year’s Resolutions this year? Did you focus on personal goals such as improving your health or exercising more? Did you consider setting fiscal goals? Do you plan to commit to spending more time with family and friends? New Year’s Resolutions are personal to each of us and, often, reflect the changes and improvements we want to see most in our daily lives.

As we take the time to consider what we want for the upcoming year, most of us focus on goals that can improve our life as well as the lives of our loved ones. Yet, despite this goal, we are not taking the ultimate step that can do this. How are you ensuring that you are protected no matter what the future holds?  Can you take steps now to ensure your loved ones and your business will be protected should something serious happen to you this year?

The simple answer is: you can. Most Americans, however, still have not taken this step to plan forward to protect what they care about most. In fact, studies continue to show us less than half of all Americans have an estate plan. This means that they have not taken the step to work with an estate planning attorney to decide who should inherit from them at their death and what legacy they want to leave to their loved ones. Perhaps, even more important is the fact that they have not chosen a decision maker who has legal authority to step in during a crisis and make decisions as they would.

Further, over 70% of all Older Americans, or those over 65 years of age, will need some form of long-term care in the future. Knowing this possibility, have you planned for your potential long-term care needs? While this is a subject that none of us want to discuss, this planning needs to be completed with your elder law attorney. 

What you may not realize is that your estate planning is not the same as creating a plan to be able to secure your future in light of long-term care needs. When you plan for long-term care with your elder law attorney, together you are ensuring you will be prepared for a future health care crisis. With this plan in place, you and your loved ones can both secure the care you need and be able to afford it. Unfortunately, in our practice, we see many seniors who have not planned for this possibility and are at risk of losing a lifetime of savings to pay for the care they need.

There is never a wrong time to plan to protect what you care about most. This means ensuring, first and foremost, that you are as protected as you can be from uncertainty by establishing an estate plan that will both guide your loved ones through a crisis and ensure your wishes are honored. We encourage you not to wait to talk to us about your wishes for both your legacy and your long-term care needs. This includes scheduling a time to discuss older estate plans to ensure that they reflect both the changes in your family dynamic and changes in the law. Whether it is now as you create your New Year’s resolutions, or later this year, know that we are here for you and ready to help you reach your goals for yourself and your family.