And why families avoid homecare planning solutions

The idea of planning is to stay one step ahead of split-second decisions and crisis troubles, but there are still 10 top reasons people avoid homecare planning solutions built into an estate plan.  A group of financial planners, retirement planners and fiduciaries sat down to discuss the most common reasons families avoid dealing with homecare planning solutions, estate plans, and how to overcome those avoidance issues. 

Senior couple working on homecare planning solutions with health care worker
Close up of a senior couple working on homecare planning solutions

What are homecare planning solutions

Homecare planning solutions involve asking simple questions about how and where someone wishes to age. Do they want to stay at home for as long as possible? Are they considering assisted living and what amenities are important? Are funds being set aside for future care needs? Who will make decisions if an elderly person does not have capacity?

planning homecare solutions includes working on Trust, Will and Powers of Attorney
A blue ballpoint pen rests on top of trust documents during estate planning

What is an estate plan?

For this purpose, an estate plan is essentially a will and a trust, long term care insurance if needed, a power of attorney, power of health care directive and a Polst or DNR form. A Polst is a bright pink form that emergency responders can quickly identify. It is where people can say whether they want CPR, how they feel about feeding tubes. It must be signed by an MD but elderly people, especially those with health issues, are encouraged to have one.

Picture of a Polst, part of homecare planning solutions.
Top 10 Reasons For Homecare Planning Solutions with an Estate Plan 5

Top 10 reasons people avoid homecare planning solutions and estate plans

#1 – Denial

Denial came up as #1 to avoid homecare planning solutions and creating a formal estate plan.   Few younger people want to face the idea that they could be here one day, gone tomorrow, whether due to accident or illness.  Older individuals tend to be better prepared, but that doesn’t mean they’re willing to talk about their end of life wishes, such as how much medical intervention they desire and when to access in-home care or assisted living options.

#2 – False belief more assets needed

The #2 reason is families think they don’t have enough assets for an estate plan, but everyone needs an advance directive regardless of financial status. 

#3 – Procrastination

The #3 reason to avoid an estate plan is procrastination.  It’s this idea that we know we need an estate plan, and we’re going to get to it as soon as we can.  Problem is, this lack of a firm timeline makes it possible to just continually kick the can down the road.

#4 – Unsure where to start

Reason #4 Many people don’t know how to start an estate plan, so they simply don’t start one.  A good place to start is with a financial planner or trust attorney.  There are also online resources that can help with basic preparations.   Even a simple hand written will is better than none at all.

#5 – Conflict

The #5 reason to avoid a trust is conflict.  Many families end up arguing when financial or end of life issues are brought up.  

#6 – Too Busy

Many people live in “survival” mode, which is reason #6 to not face the little, but important details such as estate planning.  If someone is concerned about job security, pandemics, politics, lack of food or the high cost of college, they might think estate planning is unimportant. 

#7 – Underestimating the need

The #7 reason to avoid an estate plan is that people don’t understand the need.  Many people think that their assets will simply pass to the heirs of their choosing without considering squabbles, tax implications, the cost of probate court and any number of problems they can’t foresee.

#8 – Depression

Especially for those experiencing loss or health issues, depression may be a reason to avoid an estate plan.  That is reason #8.  When someone is experiencing emotional pain, it’s hard to care about what may happen in the future. 

#9 – Cohabitation

Cohabitation is another reason people may feel uncomfortable making big decisions about their estate, which is reason #9 to avoid an estate plan.  Blended families, later in life marriages and multiple stepchildren and biological children can lead to conflict over wills and trusts.

#10 – Cost

Cost is the #10 reason to avoid an estate plan, as many people don’t realize plans can be worked out for a couple hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars, depending on the assets, the complexity and the amount of detail needed. 

Filling out and Advance Health care directive is an important part of homecare planning solutions
A person filling out a form titled Advance Health Care Directive and a pen.

Avoid the top 10 reasons and work on homecare planning solutions

Having an estate plan and working out homecare planning solutions are an essential part of planning for your whole life care, including making sure you have a simple will and advance directive at age 18, then considering adding a trust as your assets grow, if you get married, having children, etc.  Once your plan is created, review it at least every five years to make sure your wishes and circumstances have not changed. 

As you get older, or if you are diagnosed with a health condition that is serious, revisit your homecare planning solutions and see if they still align with your finances, goals, needs and wants. An aging life care manager may provide great assistance with putting together a client-centered plan of care as your care needs change.

Every in home care client is asked for advance directives, if they have a polst, and who is their power of attorney for finances and health care.  It’s important those decisions are made earlier in life, when someone maintains full mental capacity.  Those are not decisions best met in the middle of a health crisis or when the client can no longer speak for him/herself.