Holidays Offer Ideal Opportunity to Have “the Money Conversation”

Money talkIf talk about money leaves you uncertain as to how to proceed, here are some tips to start the conversation.

If your mother is a widow and she lives alone, you may have noticed that she's beginning to have difficulty getting around and refuses to have help in the house. As parents live longer, tension can develop between children who want to be sure that mom and dad are safe and parents who want to retain their independence.

For many, the only thing they want help with is remaining independent as long as possible. You can start your conversation there. Maybe there's a relative, neighbor, or friend who’s living alone but can't go home after surgery, because there’s no one to nurse him back to health or someone you know has an injury after a fall. You want to make sure this doesn't happen to you.

Create a plan that addresses who will provide the help and how you will pay for it. First, while your parent's mind is clear, get a durable power of attorney which allows the parent to select who will help him with financial decisions if such assistance is needed either temporarily or permanently. Ask an estate planning attorney to draw up this document and get a healthcare proxy. The power of attorney only applies to finances.  However, the healthcare proxy appoints a person who can talk to your doctors and gain access to your medical information.

Next, see what professionals in your area could be resources for you. Find a geriatrician in your area. That is a physician who focuses his or her practice solely on seniors. You should also look for a geriatric care manager who knows the resources in your area, and can help you make a plan—whether to bring a parent home from the hospital or to place him or her in a residential care setting.

You should also find a qualified elder law attorney. He or she is trained to identify the elder law issues in routine transactions, like real estate transfers or gifting. In many instances, they collaborate with an informal network of geriatricians, retirement planners, and geriatric care providers.

Some parents will welcome this conversation, but many will not, and seniors with dementia can't have this conversation. Collect information before an emergency occurs.

Reference: nj.com (October 11, 2017) “When your older parent refuses help”


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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.
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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.