While working through estate planning, we often consider what will happen to our estates and our assets, who will get the house and your grandmother’s jewelry. However, another significant portion of estate planning concerns your own healthcare.

Healthcare becomes increasingly essential as we age, but it also becomes increasingly expensive. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can have daunting price tags, which can be a burden to both you and your loved ones. Healthcare as you age also becomes more complex and can have a bigger impact on your life, which often makes health decisions more difficult. However, your estate plan is one place that you can begin to lessen some of those financial and emotional strains.

Long-term care planning

Many adults require long-term care as they age, either through a nursing home, assisted living facility or in-home care. While the expenses of these types of care can be hefty, there are ways to lessen the burden. There are government assistance programs that can be helpful, including Medicaid, Social Security and Veterans’ benefits. You can also consider creating a trust dedicated to long-term care.

Healthcare decision planning

If you become incapacitated for whatever reason, you will be unable to make your own decisions concerning your healthcare. This can be scary, but fortunately, there are ways to have a say even if you are not mentally present. A living will or advanced healthcare directive can allow you to detail what medical action you would like to be taken on your behalf. You can also choose a healthcare agent, also known as a proxy, to help medical professionals follow your decisions and make others that you have not addressed.

Incorporating healthcare into your estate plan can help lift a huge financial and emotional burden from your family. It can also grant you peace of mind as you move into the next stage of your life.