Our firm is grateful for our relationships with our many clients, friends and referral partners. All of you have added so many blessings to our lives. We want to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday.
Home for the Holidays
The holiday season is usually a time when we will travel to see our loved ones, many of whom we may only see once or twice a year. It can be a great opportunity to check-in on our family, particularly focusing on issues that may have arisen due to their age or illness. A home visit can be a good time to take notice of any “warning signs” that may require additional planning or care. It is also important to check on our loved ones in such a way that preserves their personal dignity and is not confrontational for them. If someone is starting to struggle with life activities, it can be embarrassing and many people seek to hide those facts.
There are some clues that you may notice that can assist you in determining whether your loved one needs additional care. These include:
- A lack of or spoiled food in the refrigerator. It may be that your loved one could benefit from Meals on Wheels or a similar program providing food for Seniors.
- Dings, scratches and dents on the cars. Even small damage to a vehicle can be a sign that an individual is starting to struggle with driving.
- Stacks of unopened mail or past due notices. It can be a sign that someone may need additional assistance in handling their personal finances.
- Cleanliness of the house. Lack of care may demonstrate that your loved one is starting to struggle with some of the activities of daily living and may need assistance.
Your family visit may also be a nice time to discuss “family business” such as estate planning. These matters can be especially important in the event there are any warning signs. For example, if your parent is showing signs of struggle with handling his or her personal financial matters, then a Durable Power of Attorney may be a useful tool, allowing an agent to help them from time to time. Again, it is important to address these matters in a non-confrontational manner. An individual’s personal estate planning can be a sensitive topic. Rather than asking a parent if they have an updated Last Will and Testament, consider an indirect approach, such as telling them about your own estate planning experience and how completing the process gave you a sense of peace.
We wish you safe, enjoyable and fruitful travels this holiday season.