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A trust can help Florida residents prepare for long-term care

Florida is well-known as a popular relocation destination for older Americans. Because of the climate and other factors, many individuals decide to spend at least a portion of their retirement years in the Sunshine State. Because of this, there are an increasing number of members of the baby boom generation living here.

For this generation, the outlook in the later years of life might be different from that of their parents. In the past through the present, people who needed long-term care were often helped by family members, who either provided care themselves or arranged for professional care. However, due to several factors including longer life-spans, a larger pool of individuals within the baby-boom generation and smaller current family sizes, this may not be the case in the future. In fact, the American Association of Retired Persons projects that the ratio of potential caregivers to at-risk population -- defined as being age 80 plus -- will decrease from 7-to-1 in 2010 to 4-to-1 in 2030.

Because of this, Floridians may want to think about planning for their own long-term care rather than relying on others. One way to do this would be to establish a trust to be used specifically to pay for care services. There are many factors to be considered in such a step. These can include choosing a reliable trustee to administer the trust, as well as taking steps to make sure that the trust documents are legally enforceable and that they accomplish the trust's intended goals.

Exploring the legal options available to provide for long-term care is likely to be a prudent step for many Florida residents. When trusts become part of a solid estate plan, they can bring individuals the peace of mind that comes with being thoroughly prepared.

Source: FloridaToday.com, "Financial Q&A: Who will care for aging baby boomers?," Stephen Lacey, Feb. 4, 2014

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