Make long-term care part of divorce settlements

Couples entering marriages typically make lifetime commitments, yet divorce rates continue to hover close to 50 percent, according to 2012 data from Consequently, the United States has many single-parent homes, parents with joint custody and countless other divorce-related issues. This is why long-term-care planning should play a significant role in your divorce negotiations or as part of pre-divorce LTC planning.

Most divorce and matrimonial attorneys understand the significance that LTC planning may have on families. Through their guidance and counseling you can be given the opportunity to consider and decide how LTC insurance planning may benefit.

Here are some things to consider prior to divorce:

First, LTC insurance provides married couples with benefit options not available to single individuals, such as couples’ discounts of as much as 40 percent.

LTC policies are issued to each person individually along with individual premiums, including any discounts that apply. Of significance here, is that each now divorced spouse already has and can keep his or her own policy. Also, the couples’ discounts that were applicable at the time the policy was issued will remain in effect after the divorce as long as the LTC premiums continue to be paid.

Optimally, it is most advantageous for couples to purchase coverage from the same carrier. To facilitate some of the problems divorcing couples face, the data gathering and meetings can be done with each individual separately. Each individual can select a plan that meets his or her individual goals and budget. The benefits selected by each individual can be entirely different from those selected by the spouse, and the couples discounts will still apply.

Should an applicant’s health history make some insurers unwilling to offer coverage, the LTC insurance specialist can still shop the case with different insurers. Most companies offer marital discounts, so that if only one person of couple applies, the marital discounts still apply. Marital discounts will also continue as long as the policy remains in force, and after a divorce is finalized.

Since couple and marital discounts are available prior to a divorce being finalized, you and your attorney have the opportunity during the divorce process to arrange for LTC planning. This will provide for your emotional, physical and financial needs and of your loved ones should a need for long term care arise. In addition, this will help you benefit from the significant discounts that continue after the divorce is finalized and for as long as the policy remains in force.

In short, LTC is a family affair. Divorces are typically an extremely difficult time in the life of your family. However, with forethought and planning, despite all the misfortunes, putting a long term care plan into effect before finalizing a divorce will help protect your loved ones.

Kathy DiCenso, president of DiCenso & Associates in Reno, is a financial consultant and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst in Reno. Contact her at 775-336-0021 or at her comany’s securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member of FINRA/SIPC.


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