Update: The will was probated since I wrote this post, and there was more than $.25 left, but, all in all, they did quite well. 🙂 My sentiments remain the same. Our my parents generation grew up during the Depression. Worrying about money, not spending it, was second nature. Same is true for many of our home care clients, who I wish were able to take a deep breath and spoil themselves a bit more.
Still best wishes. Bert
I came across an interesting blog from Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, Nurse-Attorney, at AgingParents.com. Carolyn makes some great points, at least from my perspective:
I say let elders stay at home if that’s their choice. Making them poor so Suzy Q can get a chunk of cash when Mom passes seems unfair to me. It’s not Suzy’s money, she’s the child. I hope aging parents will take another look at the future, if they are in declining health.
Make sure your estate plan doesn’t let your kids sell the house, stash the cash legally and put you in a nursing home as long as you are aware of your surroundings. You might not like a nursing home on Medicaid as much as you like your own bed. You’d have at least one roommate, maybe two in a Medicaid nursing home bed.
So, think it over. Kids counting on an inheritance can see their hopes dashed by the need to pay for mom’s care with Mom’s assets. Getting an inheritance is something adult kids are lucky to get, not something to which they are entitled.
The greatest bumper sticker I have seen was on the back of a big motor home: “Spending Our Kids’ Inheritance”. That kept me smiling for days, because it said several things to me.
First, it said that this couple were “working” at having a great time in their retirement. Secondly, it said they had raised kids that were supportive of that goal — you don’t put bumper stickers like that on without laughter from all involved.
A conversation I had with my own father a number of years ago went along similar lines. Basically, I told him that if he and mom left us kids more than about $.25, I would be disappointed. Spend it all, I said. He laughed. He and mom both passed away this year. I have no clue what was in their wills. I’m hoping for $.25. 🙂