Thursday, April 22, 2010

Looking for Answers

I started down a new road back in September and find it continues to be full of bends and curves. Sometimes I appreciate the fact that I can not see around the corner and other times a warning would be helpful. Though my paternal grandfather lived to be ninety-five years old, and my father eventually became Power of Attorney over his estate, I was far enough removed and paid little attention to what my father was dealing with. Besides, it was none of my business.

Now I find myself in a position of being "somewhat" responsible for the state of my mother's affairs. I have enough knowledge to keep me awake at night, but little actual ability to control her finances. I am not sure I yet possess the ability to completely take over if she were to need me in that capacity, nor do I know how to help her realize the areas where she needs help now. I find there is much I know little about. If only it were easy to sit down and discuss all the issues...

There are many others in the world who have found themselves in this same spot. In some ways it is like being in another country where all is foreign and the language little understood. I want to be prepared and I am looking for advice, but I am not quite sure who to ask or where to turn. There are health concerns, insurance issues, and financial accounts. Each comes with its own set of terms, which need to be learned and understood, and that only once they are known to exist. Yes, the road is almost completely unknown and my steps are guarded. One day I will be able to look back and recall much of the journey, but today I walk in fear and trepidation knowing only there is no turning back.


  1. thinking about you...and pray you'll make wise choices. :)

  2. poke, poke, hello??
    estate planning. yup, that's the key phrase for today.
    get to the senior center, do the research and ask a million questions, and learn to speak fast, carry a tape recorder as taking notes is time consuming.
    yup, estate planning is the key phrase for today.

  3. You know Martha, Don and I have been discussing having one of our children become be on our accounts, as we are getting older and do have health issues. But with four kids, who. The son, who bears out last name, a daughter who is the oldest. Since it's not an easy choice...we still haven't done it.
    Reading your post, makes me think we need to stop procrastinating.
    Martha, you are wiser than you think.

  4. Judi, I am not asleep, in fact I often find it illusive. We are talking to people and looking for answers, but there is one whose cooperation we desperately need and she appears oblivious to that fact.

    Wanda, I so wish my brothers were able to do this job for me. I'm pretty sure Mom would have been more likely to take their suggestions. At the very least make sure your children are somewhat familiar with what you have and what your wishes are. Insurance policies, health care information, bank accounts... Never start giving to political organizations because your kids won't be able to stop the constant flow of pleas for contributions. And, you might not even know or recall how much of your estate is being pilfered. I feel helpless.

  5. You are NOT helpless. Let's go over there together to discuss it with her and make her aware of the amount she has donated in 1 month's time. Yesterday I also found out that she paid her last Dr bill twice. She feels so scatterbrained sometimes that maybe she would even feel relieved to have you pay her bills for her.

  6. I know, Rach, but I do feel helpless sometimes. I am ready to take the list and go talk with her, but I don't want to go alone. I have already tried several times and feel like I've gotten nowhere. I just don't know quite what to do.

  7. Oh, sorry you are in such a quandary, I know how it is with parents, may the force of Rachel be with you, you are in my prayers.

    Just a note;
    when I visited mom for the last time, about a month before she passed,and as you know she lived 1200 miles away in Death Valley, her husband had to go to the hospital for some tests and had to stay over night. I knew nothing about their goings on, he pointed out a metal brief case and informed me if anything happened to him, I was to open it and deal with the financial stuff. ARG.
    I didn't sleep at all, between mom's dementia and the thought of having to do anything more responsible than making coffee and changing diapers kept me on my knees and toes until he got back.