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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 Oct. 22, 2007 /10 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Parents lack of life plan leaves siblings feuding

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: Our parents, in their mid-80s, are failing both physically and mentally. My brother, who lives a few hours drive away, visits every month or so for a couple of hours. He and I have had huge arguments about what to do for them. Despite our folks' obvious decline, he continually emphasizes that I am trying to take them from their home and "put them in an old folks' home," as he puts it.


In addition to not being truthful, my brother refuses to face the reality of their condition, which my husband and I deal with seven days a week. These conflicts are causing my parents not to trust me, and my brother and I are not getting along. His wife tells me, on the side, that she can't talk to him, either. I set up a meeting with a lawyer for all of us to talk, but he refused to attend. Our parents are not wealthy, and have refused to sign any documents about their finances and health care. I have no clue what is causing this bizarre activity by my brother. Do you have suggestions about how to break this logjam?


A: Unfortunately, most family conflicts arise when the now elderly individuals have refused to engage in creating written plans, leaving their loved ones to guess what they want, how to pay for it, and who should be in charge of implementing their plans should they become incapacitated or unable to act on their own. In other words, the house is already in flames when the owner decides that he needs smoke detectors.


And, without a written plan in place, the adult child who attempts to handle the situation is often vilified by parents and siblings alike, regardless of good intentions. While it is human nature not to want to lose independence that driving and staying at home provide, if those affected fail to create an effective plan for long-term care, a greater burden is placed on family members who try to assist.


Moreover, when one sibling doesn't want to relinquish control to another, or fears that the sibling will loot the modest estate (which will probably be decimated if both parents are chronically ill), it is most difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to identify, assess and address the needs and take steps to try to solve them.


So, you have a planning nightmare on your hands. And without independent assessment of your parents' conditions and needs, we don't believe you will be able to solve it. Some of the issues involve how to preserve assets for both parents in order to fund their long-term care; whether home care is an economic option; and whether your parents will ultimately give up control of their finances and, if so, to whom.


While everyone wants the best care available for their family, as with any commodity, the more you get, the more it costs. Therefore, whether your parents will be able to stay at home and, if not, what are the options, must be determined in conjunction with what care can be afforded that will meet the family's budget based on their unique circumstances, which you don't know.


You, your brother and your parents must first face the question of their needs as opposed to their desires as opposed to their ability to pay for their care. No one we know wants to leave home to be in an assisted living facility or nursing home, but, unfortunately, some people need to be there. In other words, the perception of your parents' health and the ability of the family to care them may be very different from the true facts.


We don't believe that you and your brother will be able to solve these matters without outside assistance. Moreover, we don't think that even the most knowledgeable lawyer can assist you without the conflict first being diffused. You and your brother must remember that the goal is to provide the best care for your parents at the best price.


We suggest that you engage an experienced geriatric care manager (www.caremanager.org) who will independently assess your parents and then try to negotiate a truce between you and your brother. Otherwise, you and he can look forward to a long, difficult and expensive conflict that will not end at your parents' deaths.

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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