Klenk Law

Should I get long term care insurance for my partner?

Posted on Mon Dec 14, 2015, on LGBT Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My partner is much older than I and I am worried about the costs of carrying for him in his old age. Would long term care Insurance be a good idea?

We’ve all heard stories about how the expenses of a final illness can drain a lifetime of savings, leaving the survivor with little or nothing. Long term care Insurance can give you the comfort of knowing that a pool of funds exists to address unexpected costs, should your partner’s health fail. That being said, many people focus on that idea that Long Term Care Insurance is a good idea if it gets used, but ends up as wasted funds if you never need the help.

A better way of looking at this insurance is the same way you consider medical insurance. You might not use it, but if you need it, you really need it. (And if you end up never needing to use it, that just means you enjoyed a nice, long, healthy life!)

In recent years, I’ve had many clients who died without using their long term care insurance benefits. But there have also been clients who would have otherwise been forced to leave their homes. In fact, according to government studies, as many as 8 percent of Americans may require some kind of long term care for serious illness before they reach the age of 50.

People who develop Alzheimer’s often benefit even more from this type of insurance. Typically, their own savings would not have covered the costs of necessary home alterations or of in-home care. In terms of making the best of a bad situation, I have seen some clients leverage their long term care benefits into placements in very nice memory care facilities—far more expensive than they would have been able to afford on their own.

I suggest that your partner and you consult with your financial advisor about the available policies and your ability to self-insure should your partner fall ill. If your own funds are adequate for the potential projected expenses, then the need for the insurance is reduced, but if the projected expenses would drain the available funds, then obtaining the insurance becomes more important.

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