As the month of February begins and thoughts of Valentine’s Day are on your mind, are you wondering what card or gift to give your adult children? With Valentine’s Day in your thoughts, are you thinking about how you will say “I Love You” to your family? Of course, the best way to convey how we feel is usually just to say it and act with love on a daily basis, but sometimes, especially when we are thinking about the future, it can be a little more complicated.

One of the most powerful ways you can show your love to your family is by creating a long-term care plan for yourself and your spouse. When your long-term care plan is completed thoughtfully and thoroughly, it means your family and your friends will not have to guess at what your wishes might be. In addition, they will not have to go through the agonizing time of trying to figure out what you wanted, including how to avoid losing your lifetime of savings to pay for the nursing home you may need. We know it can be stressful to think about a time in your life when you can no longer care for yourself or live alone, but long-term care planning is critical to ensure that the worry your loved ones feel is not increased by a crisis that could have been avoided.

If you really want to really say “I Love You” this Valentine’s Day, consider these five ways to say “I Love You” with long-term care planning:

1. Make sure your future is rock solid. Using your long-term plan now you may limit the reach of nursing homes and health care providers on your estate. Your long-term care plan will maximize your assets and set guidelines to make sure your spouse is provided for in your absence and let your children know who is in charge in a crisis situation.

2. Keep conflicts at a minimum. Select your decision makers now and keep the chances of conflicts and arguments away. Your loved ones will then have time to focus on dealing with what your care needs are instead of wasting time fighting over what your wishes might have been.

3. Do not have any uncertainty. Begin by working with your experienced elder care attorney. Then by planning early and making the tough choices now, your loved ones will not have the burden of wondering what you would have wanted. During difficult emotional times, it can be incredibly hard for your family members to make well-reasoned decisions.

4. Relieve your stress. Creating a long-term care plan definitely benefits you and your family. Stress caused by uncertainty can be alleviated with decision making in this area. By planning early, and while you have capacity, you can ensure that all of your decisions are your own and not someone else’s.

5. Best way to say, “I Love You.” When the planning you have put in place needs to be implemented knowing you have taken care of everything from health care decision making and finances to taxes and wealth transfer strategies, will mean everything to your family. Giving them peace of mind when it matters most is one of the best ways to say “I Love You” to your family.

Remember, at the end of the day, long-term care planning is not just for you. Instead, it is for the ones you love most. If we can answer any questions for you on putting this long-term care planning in place, please do not hesitate to let us know. Our mission is to provide the most comprehensive probate, trust, Medicaid, asset protection and elder care legal help in central Ohio. Our office can assist with the planning necessary to achieve the goals of our clients. While it may feel like an uncomfortable topic to broach, in the long run, helping loved ones plan for the future is critical. Elder care attorneys can help families navigate specialized areas of the law, including matters of long term care, social security, and health care directives, so loved ones get what they need no matter where they are in the continuum of care. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.