I am going to ask you to imagine that you are 86 years old, your hearing and eyesight have never been worse but you still have a sense of what is going on around you. You need care: someone to cook and clean, bring your medications, help you dress and with personal care items. For a variety reasons you cannot afford to stay in your own home and pay $12,000 to $18,000 per month for live in care givers. You live in a facility with a bunch of other folks in the same predicament, some even worse. Believe me you are NOT alone. There are thousands of elders and disabled people in the same situation. Sounds gloomy, but you’re one[…]

When my children were in elementary and middle school I would be tapped every year to do a presentation for career day. I have to admit it was tough. I wasn’t a fireman, a policeman, a plumber or a cowboy….no, I was a Professional Fiduciary. Just like their parents the kids would look at me and even if they didn’t say it out loud their eyes certainly did…A What!? The first couple of minutes of my presentation was to get the word Fiduciary to roll comfortably off their tongues. Then came the tough part to make it roll comfortably in their brains. My son and daughter are now grown, college graduates, out on their own, leading successful lives so that shows[…]

For all of you that read my posts you know that I am fond of stories that illustrate the point I am trying to make. So here’s another one. As I have stated many times in my posts none of this is to be taken as legal advice, be sure to see your attorney for that. There are lots of variables and circumstances are different from case to case. A few years ago, before she became my client, a kindly lady made some changes to her estate plan. Specifically she added a beneficiary to her estate. That beneficiary happened to be a long time caregiver of my client. Unfortunately for my client and her caregiver neither was ever made aware[…]

I recently had the pleasure and honor to address a large group at the unveiling of a brand new simulation lab at Crafton Hills Community College. Why, you might ask was I addressing the group. Well, a client of mine donated a sum of money to the college so that Paramedics, EMTs and firemen could get even better training than they had in the past. My client’s name was placed on a very nice plaque in the lobby commemorating his gift. And now you might ask “Well that’s dandy but what does that have to do with me?” Let me continue. Recently I was talking to another client about the little speech I was to give and she expressed the[…]

One of the unfortunate realities of my profession is that I don’t have to fabricate or use my vivid imagination to come up with the terrible changes and challenges that can occur in a family when a parent or grandparent passes away. It is not unusual that as our parents or grandparents age we want to help them in any way that we can. Often times Mom or Dad can’t see as well as they once could making paying bills that much more of an effort. Maybe their handwriting isn’t as legible and it looks like a spider ran through an ink spill and then scampered across the check. Maybe it’s the difficulty in understanding the monthly bank statements, doing[…]

This probably seems like an odd question from me but why do you even need an estate plan? I mean you’ll be gone and won’t have any control. But that is a primary reason for an estate plan, so that you do have control. Control over how and where you will live when you can no longer decide for yourself, control over your end of life decisions and control over what will become of your stuff when you’re gone. Control is but one reason. Do you really want to leave a mess for your children or other loved ones to clean up? Of course that might depend on the day and if your kid remembered your birthday, but in general[…]

The Holidays are especially difficult for many of our seniors. Children and grandchildren live far away, many friends have passed on…and the world has changed. No one listens to them anymore and they don’t seem to have any control over their own lives. . This week while visiting with Anton, a very elderly client, I asked, “What was your best Christmas?” He sat silent and thoughtful for a long time. It was obvious that he was going back in time to find an answer. And finally staring off into the far away past he started quietly, thoughtfully, “Papa didn’t let us celebrate Christmas like the other families.” Confused I had to ask, “What do you mean?” “Oh we had a[…]