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Director's Message

Estate Planning February 2010

 

 
I recently read an informative article by attorney Jerome Lamet in the Senior Sunshine Times. He states that Americans will inherit more than $100 trillion in the next two decades (Vol. 1, Issue 9, page 2), and that billions of that will be stolen. We all hear the sensational stories about very wealthy people like Brooke Astor, but these problems can occur on any scale. Perhaps your most valued object is a quilt made by your grandmother which you intend to go to your eldest granddaughter, but you never told anyone. Mr. Lamet discusses five of the greatest dangers.
 
Outright theft – Valuables (financial or emotional) may be stolen from the home by burglars during the funeral or when it is empty, but also by family members. It is recommended that you photograph and make a list of valuables and distribute it among several family members. Put your valuables in a safe deposit box or with a trusted relative until they can be distributed according to your wishes. Have conversations with family to find out what items they value and to ensure that everyone understands your wishes.
 
Undocumented loans – Parents often help children with large purchases, often without a written contract. Mr. Lamet recommends that all loans be fully documented, signed and kept with other important papers. Will the remainder on the loan be a gift at the time of your passing?    Update your records periodically and give a copy to a trustee.
 
Denigration of fellow heirs – One heir may try to influence you by belittling the others.   Protection against this includes maintaining direct contact with your heirs and seeking confirmation of any criticisms you hear.
 
Undue influence – A family member or advisor may create a close relationship to coerce/confuse you into leaving them a larger inheritance.   Maintain comfortable relationships with many family members and discuss any concerns you have with a trusted advisor.
 
Forgery – This occurs when fake documents are presented that give the forger a larger inheritance. You can protect against forgery by distributing copies of your will and other estate-planning documents among your heirs and to your attorney.
 
Jerome Lamet adds these advice tips:
  • Discuss your assets and estate plans with your entire family, ideally when they are together. If everyone knows the plan, it is harder for one person to circumvent your plan.
  • Apoint two executors for your estate, one of whom is a professional (attorney, financial planner, trust officer) not a family member.
  • Give assets to family before you die. This helps ensure that gifts go where you choose, and you get to see the impact of the gift.
  • Insist that the executors of your estate share details about the estate assets and expenses with all beneficiaries.
  • Reconsider your estate plan before remarrying. Don’t make assumptions about how a new spouse and your children will treat each other.    Estate planning attorneys can help you create trusts and prenuptial agreements to protect your children.
It is not comfortable to contemplate our own deaths, and often not easy to discuss with family members. Old family conflicts can be stirred up. You may be also surprised to learn what your family treasures. Following these tips can prevent conflict, ensure that your plans are respected and ensure that you leave a memorable legacy.
 
Susan Hoskins, LCSW
 
 
 

Previous Messages

October 2017: HomeFriends Celebrates 30 Years!

September 2017: Annual Report

July/August 2017: Preferred Caregivers: Daughters

June 2017: Cues & Clues

May 2017: Recharging

April 2017: GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

March 2017: Multi-generational Households

February 2017: No One Ages Well Alone

January 2017: Help at Home

December 2016: Gratitude

November 2016: Family Caregiving

October 2016: Annual Report

September 2016: Corporate Healthcare

July/ August 2016: Strategic Planning

June 2016: Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Part 2 : We Need Your Help

May 2016 Part 1: Going Solo

April 2016: Volunteering

March 2016: Partners In Caring

February 2016: PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016: Hope

December 2015: Gratitude

November 2015: Helicopter Children

October 2015: Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015: Annual Report

July & August 2015: Family and Community

June 2015: A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015: Is 60 the New 40

April 2015: Spring

March 2015: On Being Mortal

February 2015: Mentoring

January 2015: Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014: Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America

APRIL 2012 - TEN YEARS

March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009

TRANSPORTATION May 2009

Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003


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