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Hope I die before I get old..
Old 06-26-2007, 08:20 AM   #1
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Hope I die before I get old..

A cautionary tale - but is there any way to protect against something like this happening?
Millionaire, 84, died fleeing Harris probate court | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
I suspect it's not just a Texas problem....
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:59 AM   #2
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Sadly, this reminds me of the joke

Q: How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: How many can you afford?

The moral of this story is that if the poor guy didn't have any money and a family conflict, he would have been happier. My feelings is that the niece should have stayed out of it.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:02 AM   #3
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Reminds me a bit of Charles Dickens "Bleak House" with the Chancery Courts of 1800's England. The case was settled... after all the money ran out.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:35 PM   #4
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i told you getting old sucks.

one of the worst days of my life was taking my mother to court to declare her incompetent and assume the role of co-guardian. even though we did this as lovingly as possible, mom had to sit at the opposite side of the hearing room with her court-appointed attorney. there was no reason that they separated us other than the stupid tradition of the court as she would have been much more comfortable at our table. she did understand that we were doing this for her own safety. everything went as smoothly as could be and it was over with fairly quickly.

a friend of mine is now very concerned with his aged aunt (in her 90s) who now has live-in help. she still has her wits about her but she only has a few $100k left and my friend wants to assure the help doesn't rob her.

this is very difficult, trying to protect your loved one while wanting to respect their privacy and independence. i told him to handle it very gently, to approach it strictly in light of protecting his aunt so that she does not become paranoid of him, or maybe even to just handle it by checking in on the sly with her bank, accountant & lawyer as i think he is on personal terms with all of them.

have i mentioned how much i think getting old sucks?
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
i told you getting old sucks.

this is very difficult, trying to protect your loved one while wanting to respect their privacy and independence.

My father is a very independent guy of 86 and has COPD as well as heart disease (by-pass operation). He was thinking about the future and looked at a few nursing homes in his town but didn't get on the waiting list. I think the expense scared him, although he can certainly afford it. Instead he has the idea that, if needed, he will stay in his home with hired help or go to the VA nursing home.

Last time I was there he showed me an article about Boomer-age children who have to take care of their parents. I already have told him that I won't be moving there to take care of him in his old age. My sister has already suggested that he visit the VA Home to get a reality check. But my dad is a stubborn man and isn't taking any advice that I can tell. He also thinks he can rely on my alcoholic brother who lives with him. What a mess.

What would you do? Just wait around for the inevitable decline? Then take action? I really hate crises and prefer to have plans but nagging doesn't seem to get him to do anything.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:35 PM   #6
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old babe, i'm generally not a confrontational kind of guy and will always first try a work-around rather than a direct hit approach to a sensitive matter, but when push comes to shove, i'm not about to skirt an issue. (did i mix enough metaphors yet?)

if your father has not already prepared instructions, then you need to sit down with family when your father is lucid and your brother is sober and your sister is in town. before confronting dad i would discuss with my siblings dad's options and explore what possibilities exist in his care among the three of you. because brother might think he is capable of more than he might be, you need to keep him in touch with that reality (and that i would approach in a way that makes your brother understand that you simply don't want to burden him in a way that will futher his self destructive tendencies).

i would not gang up on dad during the family meeting. if dad tends towards paranoia, i would not let dad know you had a previous meeting. i would explore with dad just what it is that he expects concerning his future care. then i would find a match or a best compromise between what your dad wants and what you three are able to provide him.

i would make a plan and write it down and have all parties sign to it.

in doing this you should explore issues of aging & dying well. you should get your father to make as many decisions now that he is conscious and lucid so that even if you don't have all the answers later, you will have enough answers to guide you with minimal guilt.

some families fall apart when it comes to end of life issues. if you all keep in mind not what is best for yourself but what is best for each other, you will arrive at a good solution for all.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:21 PM   #7
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USA Today is running a series of articles on Eldercare all this week. You can pick up the articles on line and they are worth reading. They offer lots of advice and resources for those in this situation. I have also gotten a lot out of the letters in the comments section following each article. More resources can be found there.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:39 PM   #8
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I won't have anywhere near as much as he did, but this sure encourages me never to let on how big our pot is. Even to you, dear readers.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:51 PM   #9
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Fighting over a dead man's money before he was dead... too sad. I am always suspicious of someone marrying a very old or dying spouse...


It is fairly clear that it was about the money and control.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
old babe, i'm generally not a confrontational kind of guy and will some families fall apart when it comes to end of life issues. if you all keep in mind not what is best for yourself but what is best for each other, you will arrive at a good solution for all.

Lazy, thanks so much for the intelligent and helpful reply. I don't like confrontational tactics either and that would never be helpful with my dad. But I think my dad would like the "written instructions" idea since he is of the old school that thinks his children should do what he says (even though none of us ever has). Also, when my mother was in end stage cancer and dying at home, my dad engaged the help of Hospice. So I think he is aware of end of life issues.

I appreciate your suggestion regarding talking to my brother. I am very aware that he may not be able to handle the situation well at all.

What makes it all so difficult is that I have never had a good relationship with my dad and he has never been a real communicative person. He does listen to my sister more than me because she has a MBA () so that's why I enlisted her in the dialogue.

Thanks!
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