Missing my grandmother today. She just passed away this past Monday. It made me think about how we can avoid crisis situations.
My grandmother lived into her mid-80s and passed away peacefully, with her sister holding her hand. She had not been sick very long, and luckily did not suffer.
I was very close to her. I remember spending pretty much the whole summer over there, always around her and my grandfather, before he passed.
She was a sharp lady, who worked her whole life and saved money. They owned their own house, which was paid for. Always had a smile on their face and a kind word to say about everyone. They just had a very productive life.
Not only did my grandmother plan ahead with saving, she planned ahead to protect what she saved. She had deed work done maybe ten years ago to protect her home. To make sure that no matter what happened it wasn’t going to have to be sold to satisfy some medical debt or to pay for nursing home, in-home, or assisted living care.
My mother, along with her brother and sister, had a medical and general durable power of attorney in place, so that they could handle and manage her affairs toward the end of her life or in-between healthcare incidents. She had a few others as well, like open heart surgery about 8 years ago and other times where she just has not been able to manage everything.
Having those power of attorneys in place meant the kids could step in and manage those things for her. Trusted individuals could handle her affairs and make sure the band played on, if you will, while she recovered. It made sure nobody dropped the ball paying bills and the doctors didn’t have to wonder who to look to for healthcare matters.
In addition, most of her liquid assets were set up in either joint accounts, with rights to survivorship, or transferable upon death assets that had beneficiaries. So at the end of her life, probating an estate really isn’t much of an issue at all.
So to avoid a crisis situation, where the healthcare incident hits and you say, “Wow, what now? We’re going to lose the house or all the liquid assets”, it’s important to organize things ahead of time. It’s important to get those affiars in-shape.
See an estate planning or elder law attorney who focuses in that field or area. Make sure you pre-plan and have everything the way you need it.