Planning Tip: A Family Affair

Jackie Bedard
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Things go much smoother with a plan. There still might be bumps but if you have a roadmap or plan to guide you, the journey will go easier than without one. You owe it to yourself and your family to give them guidance as to what you desire and whom you want in charge when life throws challenges at you.

No one knows better than you about the strengths and weaknesses in your family. You probably love all your children equally, but there may be one or more children that you would never want to be in charge of your money. You might also have someone in your family that is more likely to stir up trouble than to make things go smoother. You can make life easier for everyone with a well thought out estate plan that takes such matters into consideration.

In addition, conflicts can also arise when family members disagree on the condition of a parent. It is fairly common for children that live far away from a parent not to realize how much the parent’s health has declined, especially when dementia is involved. The child that lives far away may not interact with the parent often enough to see the decline. Moreover, sometimes the child that doesn’t interact with Mom or Dad as much may have feelings of guilt about not being more involved, and this increases the odds that child will be in denial. There is no easy solution to such problems. However, having an estate plan in place beforehand with plans about what the parent wants and who is in charge will go a long way. Further, regular conversation among family members before the situation becomes a crisis can be very beneficial so that there is less chance a child is surprised by the parent’s decline in health.

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