People are living longer, which is not always a free gift. Health care costs for seniors can cut into family estates meaning a smaller inheritance. The fastest-growing age group among seniors is 85 to 94, jumping 30% to 5.1 million the last decade, according to the Census Bureau. Adult children mistakenly believe that Medicare and other retiree benefits will pay for their parents’ care, but only long-term care insurance will cover custodial care. Newcomers to the family can also mean more heirs to an estate, not necessarily more love to go around. More than 40% of American adults have at least one step-relative, according to a Pew Research Center study. Advocates for seniors advise families to start planning when older relatives first show signs of health problems rather than wait until they have to be put in a care facility.
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