US Trust Creates "Eldercare Services" Unit

Harriet Davies
Editor, Americas

31 May 2012

News Analysis

US Trust is setting up specialist “eldercare services” within its wealth management and estate planning unit, providing advice on long-term care and health issues for clients and elderly family members.

The US firm will offer “organisational services and tools” to aid anyone designated to act on a client’s behalf. This is a “comprehensive inventory manager” which helps clients and their family members keep track of vital information and documents including paper files, electronic files and digital passwords.

US Trust has also formed an alliance with a “nationwide referral network of external health care providers and professionals,” the firm said, to provide a healthcare management and coordination service.

To educate clients on these issues, it is creating a library of “simple and objective” materials on topics such as life insurance and trusts, Health Savings Accounts, and power-of-attorney documents.

Meanwhile, broader eldercare issues such as philanthropic and legacy planning, estate settlement and trust creation are integrated into its core estate planning services.

The launch of these services follows research and consultations with clients, through which US Trust learned that among clients’ biggest fears were: outliving their financial assets, becoming a burden to their loved ones, losing independence and control, and a lack of understanding or ability to access and assess care options.

While HNW individuals are more likely to be able to cover healthcare costs, the variability of such costs makes planning for investment and lifestyle goals harder. In a recent study sponsored by Putnam Investments, nearly 70 per cent of respondents (out of nearly 4,000 working adults) indicated they had “little or no confidence” in their ability to estimate retirement healthcare expenses.

“For all the talk and worry about health care, we have seen very little by way of solutions or even baseline guidance beyond macro-estimates of lifetime costs, which leave many people just frozen with fear,” said Robert Reynolds, president and CEO of Putnam. He called for “numbers in a monthly context” that factored in healthcare expenses to be brought to retirement planning in an event last week called Health, Wealth, and the Future of Retirement.

 

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 EN

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