We all hear statistics like 70% of seniors over 65 today will need long term care during their lifetime. However, the vast majority of families do not discuss their estate plans with one another. The discussion of estate planning can be taboo and stem from long-held cultural beliefs. My parents have always been extremely private about money matters and certainly about their estate plan.
Valid Reasons for Privacy: Parents have many reasons for not discussing their assets or estate plans with their children. They may not trust their children and may not want to reveal the assets they have. They may not want to show their Wills and cause any controversy within the family. While these are all valid reasons, families can still suffer losses of wealth by ignoring the elephant(s) in the room such as:
• Long Term Care spending down assets and ultimately costing the home.
• Passing away without a will and having the State pass property other than what may have been intended.
• Failing to take advantage of benefits such as Veterans Pension of which they are unaware.
How to broach the subject? A parent, child or other family member could simply dive right into the matter by bringing up the subject of estate planning and asset preservation. This could be easier said than done, however, depending on the family culture and taboo nature of this subject. However, sometimes the medicine doesn’t taste great but needs to be taken anyway. This is often the case with estate planning, elder law and asset preservation. Perhaps on a holiday when the family is all together the discussion could more easily be had.
In my practice I found that getting families to open up about estate planning is sometimes hard. To remedy this I wrote a book on different aspects of estate planning and aging in America to assist seniors and their families. “Saving the Farm” could be a great gift and way to start a family member in your life thinking about saving their hard earned money and property. Available on Amazon or at: mcelderlaw.com/savingthefarm.
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street
Shelby, NC 28150