“The will to prepare is the key ingredient to success.”

                              –Bud Wilkinson


Estate planning attorneys will help you prepare for those years when your primary concern should be to enjoy life with your loved ones. There are several steps you can take to prepare for retirement with the help of a Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney.

Long-Term Care Expenses

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people ages 65 and older and those with certain disabilities. While Medicare covers for several medical expenses such as inpatient hospital stay, skilled nursing care, home care, and even hospice, Medicare will not cover for long-term care. So, if at some point you will be in need of paying for the expenses of a nursing home or an assisted living community, you need to be aware of the costs involved in those circumstances. The 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Survey shows that, in Minnesota, the average cost of care for a year is:

  • $61,776 annual for an average of 44 hours per week of home care in your home.
  • About $43,020 in an assisted living facility, based on 12 months of care, private, one bedroom.
  • $98,094 a year for care in a nursing home for a semi-private room and $107,854 annual for a private room.
Minnesota Medicaid

Medical Assistance (MA) is Minnesota’s Medicaid program. Medical Assistance provides health care services, including long-term care to people who are eligible. This program helps pay for health care services received while living in a nursing home, assisted living facility, and even home care. Individuals and married couples may qualify for MA coverage of long-term care costs depending on their financial needs (see Overview of Medical Assistance, Minnesota’s Medicaid Program).

You can prepare yourself to become eligible to receive assistance in case your loved ones become unavailable to help you with your long-term care needs. Generally, to become eligible, the maximum amount a person can have in assets (not counting your home and a car) is $3,000. One way to prepare is to transfer assets out of your estate through a Medicaid Protection Trust so you can qualify for MA before your estate is depleted. A Minnesota Elder Law Attorney will help you to prepare by meeting with you and explaining the methods that will help you control your future and have a successful and joyful retirement.

Incapacity Planning

You could also prepare for the possibility of incapacity. There are several instruments that will help you to be prepared for a situation where you are no longer able to manage your own affairs or maintain your own physical well-being. You can name agents to act in your behalf in the event of your incapacitation through the execution of durable powers of attorney and/or healthcare documents. Also, with a living will or advance health care directive, you can state your choices regarding the utilization of life-sustaining medical procedures. Without a living will or advance health care directive, your family members could be placed into a very difficult situation like deciding whether someone should be taken off life-support, or other circumstances where family members disagree on the course of action to follow in relation to your care (see Too Many Americans Without Advance Directives).

Elder Financial Abuse

Many older Americans are exposed to elder financial abuse. What is most shocking is that the abuse is not only perpetrated by scam artists and identity thieves but also by family members and people known to the victim. A Minnesota Elder Law Attorney can help you to take the steps to reduce your exposure to elder financial abuse.