I see an emerging need in Elder Law. It is in a different area from the immediate needs such as guardianship or Medicaid crisis planning. This developing need is what some of my colleagues refer to as Life Care Planning. It is a necessary service that provides comfort to clients and their families by avoiding crisis situations through proper planning.
What is Life Care Planning? Well, how many of you have ever had unanswered questions about the health care system, health insurance, long-term care, the various government benefit programs, and relatively new initiatives like Medicare Advantage Plans? Have any of you ever had thoughts about outliving your money or being able to pay for the needs of a spouse, child, parent, or grandparent? These questions are the “What Ifs of Aging.”
If you have ever considered these “What Ifs of Aging,” you are not alone. There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information floating around accompanied, at times, by misinformation. Consider the many sources through which information may be sought and/or received. I would venture to say that many of us receive information from family, friends, politicians and government employees, health care professionals, sales people of every sort, financial planners, and every kind of media imaginable. While these sources are often very knowledgeable, some information sources may harbor bias and some may have a narrow scope.
Of course, valid concerns abound about whether a doctor could give an opinion on one’s potential to outlive one’s money or if the banker will be able to advise one on the purchase of the proper health insurance policy. As an Elder Law attorney, I would be disingenuous if I thought that I alone could recommend the perfect investments, the exact health insurance, the cure to a disease, etc., for all clients and their families.
However, I am positive that I know who does provide solid consultation regarding investments, health insurance, and medical needs. Since the professionals I associate with reflect directly upon me, I must be cognizant of such and truly trust those whom I incorporate into my practice. Like the hub of a wheel, a Life Care Planning attorney must have the best experts in each required field at his fingertips and be able to work side by side with them. I call this the “Dream Team Concept.”
The beauty of being the hub, and not being the one who receives a commission for selling a particular type of insurance, for example, is that the Life Care Planning attorney is outside these types of motivations. The Life Care Planning attorney’s perspective is truly a holistic approach that has as its goal the comfort of the client and the client’s family. Through a clear lens and a symbiotic relationship with trusted professionals, there can be an assurance that the client’s well-being is truly at heart.
If you are interested in learning more about Life Care Planning, I strongly recommend that you speak with an Elder Law attorney who practices in that specific area.