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New Jersey estate planning: long-term-care insurance

Some people in New Jersey are going to need long-term-care as they age and some are not. For many people, there just isn't any way to predict what will happen. This is partly why estate planning is so important. It's about more than drawing up a will and trust -- it's also about planning for the long term.

There used to be insurance companies that sold long-term-care insurance everywhere. Now, there are only about a dozen left, and their premiums have risen significantly. Someone buying the insurance for the first time can expect to pay about 30 percent more than those who purchased it less than 10 years ago. For those who have kept the insurance, premiums have risen sharply, with some people paying up to 77 percent more.

Insurance companies that sold this product failed to take into account how long people were going to live these days. They also didn't expect people to keep the coverage. These two facts are the main factors contributing to the decline in providers and the surge in premiums. So the question then becomes what to do about it.

Making a contingency plan for what will happen if long-term-care is needed is a good start. When New Jersey residents sit down to discuss estate planning, it may be wise to explore the different options that may be available to save something extra just in case. Of course, there is still the option of purchasing a long-term-care policy, but that policy isn't going to cover what it used to and will cost more. That doesn't mean that it can't be of at least some help in the event it's needed. It simply means that it may not cover 100 percent of the care.

Source: marketwatch.com, "Long-term-care insurance sticker shock for retirees," Matthew Heimer, July 2, 2013