Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday with Elders - Having The Talk

One of the most difficult topics to bring up with Elders is Estate Planning.  There may be a lot of hemming and hawing. Or we already have a will. That's great, but  a will isn't enough. A will only plans for the estate after death. Your parents need to have a  Durable Power of Attorney. Not only does this document grant a person to act on behalf of another in business and private affairs, but it also allows the attorney in fact to have his/her charge admitted to a long term care nursing facility should the need arise.

When my aunt and uncle retired, they had everything they owned put in their only son's name. Their house was deeded over to him. Utilities were put in his name, assets transferred to him, title and car registration were put in his name. Auntie and Uncle paid all the bills with their social security and pension. They traveled to Italy, California and enjoyed their retirement. 

Auntie and Uncle urged my parents to plan for the future and do the same. My parents refused. The Brother tried to convince them this would be a good idea. The answer was no. When I tried having the talk, Ma blew a gasket. She was convinced The Brother and me were only after the money/house and would throw her and Dad out on the street. No amount of talk would convince her otherwise. No one was going to tell her what or how she could spend her money. 

That last statement would be their undoing. We probably should have tried the talk again. What's worse is my dad should have known better as he was an attorney.

Next week: The Mariner Tells Her Tale of Woe
I am not an attorney. What I relate is my experience going over the hurdles of the legal system in Massachusetts and negotiating the maze of the Medicaid system. If you need legal advice, hire an attorney who specializes in Elder care law. If you're not sure who to hire, contact Social Services at your local hospital or rehab facility. They deal with attorneys all the time and will be able to recommend someone. 


  1. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through all of this. One day at a time, you’ll get there!
    (While you're at it, you and Himself should plan your estate so your kids won't have the same problem! It's a lesson I learned, been there, done that!)

  2. Thank you, Robin. And yes, Himself and I are getting our ducks in a row so the girlies won't have to walk this same road.

  3. Oh CJ, I'm so sorry you have to go through all of this. I know I will need to do this at some point, but I'm just not there yet. My husband's brother is an estate planning lawyer, so at least I have some resources. Hang in there!