Best Places to Die?
Category: Elder Law, Estate Planning
It is quite a tongue-in-cheek question, but is there a best place to die? Being that I practice in New Jersey and New York, which both have a state estate tax and state income tax, significant numbers of clients move to other jurisdictions (e.g. Florida) as they get older to avoid those taxes. However, I don't know of any that have really thought about quality of end-of-life issues as another point of consideration in where they settle down to spend their golden years.
Forbes.com has prepared a list of "Best Places to Die", looking at health care and long term care quality. Looked at by reverse rankings, it is also a list of "Worst Places to Die" list.
Of the "Best Places to Die", Utah ranks number 1. New Jersey ranks 46 (ouch!) and New York ranks 30. Note that Florida only ranks 21, scoring high marks for legal protections granted to the elderly, and low marks for quality of health care.
The States are further sub-ranked by Quality of Health Care (New Hampshire scores number 1 here, New Jersey 43 and New York 24); Legal Protection (Delaware tops the list, with New Jersey getting a grade of "B" and New York a grade of "B+"); and Most Likely to Die in a Nursing Home (here Rhode Island gets the dubious honor of top grade with 45% of its residents with cancer likely to die in an institutional setting. New Jersey and New York both come in at 20%)
The premise of Best Places To Die - Forbes.com is: "In America, the way we die is largely determined by where we live. Geography dictates what kind of care is provided to the dying and whether death following a long illness occurs at home, in a hospital or in a nursing home. But don't move just yet. Patients can gain control over how they die by talking about end-of-life care with their families and physicians. If patients speak up, sheer numbers will force the health care system to take better care of the dying. Over the next 30 years, the number of people older than 85 will more than double to 9 million."