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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 6, 2006 / 6 Adar, 5766

Second time's still not a charm; dividing elderly parents

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: My husband, 78, and I, 72, married three years ago. It was the second marriage for us both, and we each have children from our prior marriages.


Before we married, he sold his home, put the $175,000 he received in his account, and moved into my home. He insisted that I accept $50,000 from him and put his name on the deed to my house — which I did after weeks of badgering. He also insisted that I let him sell my car and use the money toward a new one, which I did, only to find that he put the new one in both my name and his.


We had agreed to combine our incomes to pay the bills, but he got control of the account and I have to ask him for every penny. He will not turn on the heat unless he is taking a shower, and he allows only one light on at a time in the house.


Then, while I was visiting my grandchildren alone because he did not want to go, he called and said he never should have married me because his first wife had waited on him hand and foot, never left him alone, and he expected this kind of treatment. When I returned home, I found a letter from his lawyer about changes to his will so that if he dies before me, I will be able to live in my house until I die and then it will be sold and divided between my children and his. I am so upset over this that I don't know what to do.


A: Judging from the e-mail and letters received from a growing number of readers like you, it appears that a growing percentage of older Americans who remarry late in life — after divorce or the death of a spouse — are not finding the relationship as rosy as they had expected. The primary causes of distress, it seems, are control of financial issues and the inability of one or both to tolerate the other's habits that, unfortunately, are not going to change after years of development.


For these reasons, we urge those who contemplate second or third marriages late in life to plan thoroughly in advance so there are fewer surprises (notice we did not say "no surprises") after the fact. While the legal documents such as premarital agreements, wills, powers of attorney and healthcare directives are important, so are the relationship issues that are often overlooked. That's why, in addition to lawyers who understand the issues affecting seniors, we believe that ministers and counselors with similar expertise are sometimes essential in helping to address issues before they become unsolvable problems.


Unfortunately for you and your husband, your train appears to have run off the track at the beginning of the journey. Folks in their 70s just don't need to have heartburn in a relationship, and you have spotted a problem that needs immediate attention. We believe that if you allow things to continue to progress, both of you will be miserable, and the hard-earned assets you and your deceased husband worked for may well escape the intended beneficiaries — you and your children. In our view, this relationship is headed downhill fast and you should see a lawyer.


Q: Our mother and father are both in their 80s, and I think both are failing physically and mentally. Dad is getting more forgetful and uses a wheelchair most of the time because he has decided, with no medical diagnosis, that he should not walk anymore. He has become very verbally abusive to Mom, who takes care of him and the house, does the shopping and is wearing out. I believe they should go to an assisted-living facility for safety reasons, but they tell me and my siblings to "butt out" because they are happy and want to stay at home until they die. These conflicts are causing breaches in our family relationships. We had one family meeting that went out of control and turned into a disaster. They appointed me as their agent under their powers of attorney, and I feel obligated to protect them.


A: In working with elderly individuals and their families, it is important to remember that there are many unique concerns for both the family members and the planner, some of which are due to intra-family dynamics.


Since your family is not capable of getting resolution, for whatever reason, we believe that a third party could be introduced into the mix to objectively identify, assess and address the issues and conflicts. But remember that if your folks are not incapacitated — and it does not sound like they are — we believe it will be very difficult to convince them to move from their home and turn control of their lives and finances over to you or anyone else.


Like most seniors, your parents are fiercely independent people who happen to be growing older. No matter how you look at their relationship, they were together before you and your siblings were born, and aren't comfortable with giving up control under the current circumstances. While that day may come, now is not the time.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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