Sign up to stay connected
Get the top stories of the day around the DMV.
I have been receiving calls regarding the best way for moms who are aging lately and dealing with those with aging mothers. My mother passed away several years ago and I wrote an article in 2014 about the lessons I learned from her estate. That article received the greatest feedback as many people were living and learning the same lessons. Having a mother and being a mother creates a reality for legacy planning from two perspectives.
For those of you with aging parents, we need to think about how to best support them as they age. We should be mindful of what legal support systems need to be in place to aid and support them. Some of our parents may have had legal documents such as powers of attorney in place for years. We should encourage our parents to review those documents to confirm that the agents that have been nominated are still able and willing to serve. We should confirm the status of the relationship. Some people are in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. This is a good time to review that reality. As time passes, the relationships change as well as the health and well-being of the agent. In addition, while proximity may not be essential to be able to serve, it may be a preference. As people continue to move around the world, we should confirm whether proximity to serve is an issue.
In addition, we must look at the existing strategic estate plan from a variety of positions. We should review if the plan that is in place, assuming there is a plan in place, continues to meet the goals as established. In many cases, there is a change in circumstances that provides a need to make a change. If we are facing diminished physical or cognitive capacity, we should begin to plan for resources to manage the change. If there is a change in financial capacity, we should begin to address those concerns. An estate plan is a dynamic document that should be adjusted to meet the needs of the author.
As moms, we need to be mindful of caring for our children. If we have children who are minors, we should have in place the selection of the appropriate person to serve as the guardian, if both parents are unable to care for the children. The nomination of a guardian is always challenging as we want to be here as the children grow into adulthood. Yet, we should pray for the best and plan for the worst-case scenario. A strategic plan to provide support for your children that is guided by your wisdom and values is vital.
The guidance should be coupled with the clarity of expectations and structure of available resources based on your children’s capacity. We have an opportunity to build a support system for our children that will facilitate their achievement capacity while encouraging them to pursue their dreams and goals to be great community contributors.
As a mother and a daughter, the Life & Legacy Firm was created to support mothers (and fathers) to support their loved ones, parents as well as children. We are honored to work with you to build that dynamic plan