In this issue

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 Oct. 27, 2005 / 24 Tishrei, 5766

Dementia complicates Dad's future care; a new will should be written in the case of a divorce

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: My father, age 84, has been living with my wife and me since my mother died in 2003. My wife has been a jewel about this, but it is beginning to stress our relationship, especially since Dad has begun to slip mentally and requires more care. Because we both work, we have had to bring in caregivers during the weekdays for some months. In order to conserve Dad's resources, we have been providing his room and board, and he has been writing the checks for the caregivers because we can't afford them. Lately, he argues that he is not a child and does not need anyone to look after him. He has become increasingly paranoid, thinking we are stealing his money. He tells my brother and sister these tales, and although they report these conversations, we get no help from them even though they live in the area. Anytime we suggest that he consider powers of attorney for health and finances before he is unable to make decisions for himself, he goes on a tirade. I would like to know how to get it through his head that we are not taking his money and are only looking out for his interests.

A: When it comes to discussing health care and financial issues, some folks have fears and concerns that: 1) their last years will be spent alone in an institution; 2) the wrong people will make medical and financial decisions for them; 3) by signing living wills and health care powers of attorney, they will be denied quality health care; and 4) they will lose control of their finances and their lives.

On the other hand, if a catastrophe strikes without appropriate documents in place, families often wind up in court and generate otherwise unnecessary financial and emotional burdens. For these reasons, your father should be made to understand that the written documents suggested will help save unnecessary expenses, assure his care and can be changed if he changes his mind — so long as he has the capacity to do so.

Now, as to how to approach this delicate subject with your father: In all probability, due to the paranoia that sometimes accompanies dementia, he will not want to be told what he should do by you or your siblings, but may well listen to an outsider whom he trusts.

For example, because older Americans tend to look up to and trust their physicians — and because physicians and other health care providers also benefit if patients sign advance directives — your father's doctor may help you bring Dad to the realization that without making written statements of his wishes now, his desires for future medical treatment and financial management may not be carried out as he would like. Another potential source of influence in this area could be his minister or a geriatric care manager.

Through the efforts of people outside the family circle whom your father trusts, we believe he will come around, and we suggest that you engage an experienced attorney to prepare the documents and coordinate the entire process. One last tip: It may be a good idea to have the documents signed in the presence of Dad's physician or minister so your father will feel sufficiently comfortable.

Q: My husband of 45 years and I have signed a final separation agreement that has been approved by a judge, but the divorce will not take place for another nine months. I want everything I own to go to my two children, not him, so I went to my lawyer to get a new will. My lawyer told me that I did not need a new will because even if I died before the divorce is completed, my soon-to-be-ex-husband will get nothing from my estate. When I looked at our separation agreement, I found nothing that looks like it protects me. My lawyer says, "Don't worry about it." Should I?

A: Your husband's right to participate in your estate depends on the law of your state of residence; however, estate rights, including the elective share, can be waived — either in whole or in part — either before or after marriage. Generally speaking, to waive these rights, there must be a written document signed by the person waiving the rights after he or she has been provided with a fair disclosure. Again generally, a waiver of all rights in a property settlement agreement signed in anticipation of separation or divorce constitutes a waiver of estate rights, including elective share. In fact, the law of most states says that if a husband and wife sign a final property agreement, each is barred from participating in the other's estate. To be on the safe side, however, we believe that this very important waiver should be specifically stated in any separation agreement. If you don't see it, ask your lawyer to show you the language. In any case, because divorce voids your will with respect to your spouse, we believe you should sign a new will in anticipation of divorce.

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.


© 2005, Jan Warner