Family Dynamics Can Derail Key Family Conversations in Virginia

The talkIn the past, many families huddled only after a medical crisis. But even families who have their caregiving strategy mapped out are gathering to work through complicated financial issues and legal planning for frail, elderly relatives.

Bad communication leads to bad relationships. No truer words have been spoken, especially when it comes to families caring for elderly parents.  For many families, communication has never been easy. For other families, it has never been an issue. What about your family?

Is it time for a family meeting, or a family huddle, or one serious conversation – whatever you choose to call it – about your elderly parents, their finances and their estate planning? If yes, how do you go about having “the talk” successfully?

How to first assemble and then discuss productively is an age-old problem for families with elder parents. In the end, there is no real one-size-fits-all solution, as people are different and families are complex. Fortunately, there are some basic principles worth noting as reviewed in an article in The Wall Street Journal titled “When It's Time to Huddle.

If you do not have time to read the original article, here are the bullet points to ponder:

  • Be Inclusive,
  • Don’t Delay,
  • Hire a Professional Referee,
  • Set an Agenda in Advance, and
  • Tap Long-Distance Relatives.

Think your family does, in fact, communicate well? That may be so, but there are still all the reasons in the world to get this conversation right.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: elder law planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (May 10, 2013) “When It's Time to Huddle



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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.