The following is not meant to be a tale imparted for shock value or to entice any person to run immediately to a proven estate planning attorney in an attempt to fool-proof future plans or guarantee upside results regarding every tangent of life going forward.
Rather, it is merely the instructive conveyance of a news story that is surely important to a rather large and consistently growing American demographic, namely, individuals and families that think about incessantly rising health care costs and how to purposefully deal with them in the future.
Many of those people, including forward-thinking residents in the Bay Area and across California, attempt to deal with the very real risks linked with spiked care costs in senior years by timely buying and retaining over a long term (often a decade or more) long-term-care policies.
Indeed, and for individuals with the money to buy such policies, they can be a sound idea and go far toward dampening future risk.
Caveat inserted here: provided that the companies that issue LTC policies are solvent.
Not all are, which is a truly frightening reality that is now rising to the surface. In fact, the New York Times has just reported the sad and alarming details surrounding national LTC insurer Penn Treaty’s insolvency and the recent order of regulators that it liquidate its business.
That move will unquestionably impact policyholders in a materially adverse way.
In fact, notes the Times, it will “orphan” them, with some failing to recoup hundreds of thousands in paid premiums.
From an estate planning context, the bottom line concerning such a tale is that financial risk is always present in life, and even some individuals who address risk and employ strategies to manage it can nonetheless get harmed.
A seasoned estate planner working with a client necessarily takes a tailored and broad-based approach to risk in every matter, working with individuals and families to craft strategies that safeguard wealth and expectations across every important dimension.
Risk is a constant in life. Although it can seldom be fully eliminated, a comprehensive, integrated and proactive approach in dealing with it can go far toward securing a planner’s peace of mind and overall objectives.