If You Live With Your Parents, Their Estate Plan Is Your Problem
Being part of the “sandwich generation” is one of the most difficult phases of life. An article published on Slate several years ago reported that the seniors that the authors interviewed chose their late 40s as the most stressful time of their lives. Although the survey respondents listed a variety of reasons for their stress, a pattern emerged, namely that it is uniquely challenging to provide care and support for your parents and your children at the same time. Elder care can be even more emotionally taxing than childcare, because when you spend your nights soothing a sleepless baby, you can take comfort in the expectation that the best is yet to come. When you are caring for your elderly parents, you are trying to fulfill an obligation or repair a broken relationship; the best you can hope for is to break even. Perhaps the hardest part is for seniors and adult children to respect each other’s autonomy while knowing that they need each other; if you think conflict over finances within marriage is painful, it has nothing to do with money-related disagreements between elderly parents and their adult sons and daughters. If you live with your parents or are involved in their day-to-day care, then waiting for a probate lawyer to surprise you with the details of your parents’ estate plan is not an option. If you know that you need to talk to your parents about their estate plan, but you dread doing it, contact a Washington DC estate planning lawyer.
The Difficult Balancing Act of Family Togetherness and Financial Privacy
They say that good fences make good neighbors, but boundaries are even more important with family members living together under the same roof. You and your parents will drive each other crazy if you nag each other about every financial decision or keep score of every penny that any member of the family spends for the benefit of any other member. If you and your parents live together, it is not your business who will inherit what from their estate, but you do have a right to know how much financial support you can expect them to need from you. Do they have long-term care insurance? Can they afford to pay for home health aide services in the event that they need these services? Remember that free elder care by family members isn’t free; it usually means that one or more adults must reduce their work hours because of caregiving responsibilities.
Medicaid Nursing Care Eligibility and Multigenerational Households
Multigenerational households can also complicate the issue of Medicaid eligibility for nursing home care. When a married couple lives together and one spouse moves to a nursing home, the fact that the other spouse remains in the couple’s home does stop the spouse requiring nursing home care from being eligible for Medicaid. When multiple generations live together, though, things could be more complicated. An estate planning lawyer can help you figure out the best way to keep your Medicaid nursing home eligibility if you live in a multigenerational household.
Let Us Help You Today
An estate planning attorney can help you think clearly about your estate plan when your house is so densely populated that there is never a moment of quiet. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for help.