Page 17 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - January 2018 - 25-01
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Senior Times - January 2018 Page 17
they weren’t the one chosen to close out the estate. You may be surpised to read that you, the adult parent, has a lot of control over how things play out after you’re gone. Using your power before- hand can eliminate a lot of resent- ment later.
What do I mean you may
wonder? Deep down you prob-
ably truly know what things are
going to cause a problem so why
not address those while everyone,
yes everyone, is in the room. Put
these details in writing so that no
one is confused about what was
said that day, or over the years.
To my surprise, a valued
Christmas tradition that my par-
ents began years ago was giving
us a treasured possession each year while they were able to enjoy seeing our faces as we received those gifts. It eliminated any confusion about who they wanted to give that prized gift to and it also allowed each of us to be very clear about what would be most cher- ished by each of us, for whatever reason.
Beyond this wonderful tradition is the fact that much more should really be put in writing. If you want specific items to go to someone you should be sure that they want to receive it. Maybe, just maybe, they know that it might have greater value to another sibling. The more specific you are the fewer the questions. Parents should also be certain that when assigning an end-of-life role to someone that they are willing and or inter- ested in taking on that challenge. Your elder law attorney can help you sort through what docuements will be best to have completed.
New to this equation is the fact that we are amazingly living longer; many in a
very healthy way. A person living to 100 or older might really have different wishes for an estate than someone half that age. They might be looking at college for grandchildren
or even great grandchildren, rather than the needs of their immediate children.
So how do we start these difficult con- versations? Be the adult, be the lead, and get it going. Maybe you need to start small or maybe you are the one that needs to be brought into the conversation but I urge you to not be afraid of it but to embrace it and gain the peace of mind of knowing that you have done what you need to do to help your family with a transition that is hopefully many, many years in the future.
Here’s the good news... Just because you set up a will, trust, or other documents 20 years ago does not mean that you can’t change it either. Situations change and these documents should indeed be revisted from time to time. If you change resposibil- ities for someone be sure that they know so it is not a surprise during a time of need.
For those of you that fear that putting your thoughts on paper signifies your impending fate, my mother went through the same thing. And while she was not comfortable putting all these details in writing she was quick to
be sure that every child, and my dad, knew what she wanted. Having said that, when loss actually occurs, no matter how prepared you are, it is still painful and old feelings are prone to surface and potentially cause challenges.
What makes this easier for the adult siblings? Showing love and support is one of the most powerful ways we can build strong relation- ships with our adult siblings. Being generous with our time and resources can also help us in our sibling rela- tionships. If we let it, generosity can replace animosity.
This is especially important as we may need to make decisions
about an aging parent. Focusing on the needs of the parent will help to get through the pro- cess but may not be enough if there are still feelings of resentment.
We must guard against faultfinding, anger, and disrespect one for another, espe- cially as we prepare to close the estate of a loved one.
Try to imagine what kind of an example you are setting for your children to follow
in your final days. If you find that it is dif- ficult to respect your siblings at a time like this then turn that respect towards the family member that you both care for and consider that respect is synonymous with care and concern. Parents, this alone is a great argu- ment for setting up appropriate documents.
Reflection can bring perception. But reflection and introspection require time. Sometimes the most difficult conversations to have are the most rewarding. So why not start today?
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(269) 948-4856 Mon-Fri 10 am-2pm
Main St. Banquets:
(517) 213-9212 Mon-Fri 10:30am-1pm
Delton Faith United Methodist Church
(269) 579-3918 11:00am-1pm
Woodland Eagles Club:
(269) 367-4041
Mon, Wed & Fri 10:30am-1pm
• Home Delivered Meals. For homebound seniors that are unable to pre- pare meals, can receive delicious meals at home. Special diets available. • Senior Center Activities including line dancing, card making, beading,
cards, bingo, and many others.
• Senior Meal Choice Dining. Restaurant-based senior dining program. • Chore Service provides minor home repair for seniors.
There are many more activities and opportunities to volunteer your time and talents! Just Call Barry County Commission on Aging for more information.
320 West Woodlawn Avenue, Hastings, MI 49058 Phone: (269) 948-4856 | Fax: (269) 948-3336 E-Mail: |

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