Often my presentations and writings have this same theme that when seniors have avoided making choices by doing nothing for their estate planning and distribution, they are actually making a decision with dire consequences. When working with seniors, I always recommend that they distribute their treasures personally now or in writing for distribution at death. When the gift is personally made, they have the satisfaction of seeing the joy on the face of the recipient and minimize fighting after they pass away.
Problems generate when the children or close relatives are burdened with dealing with the grief from the death of the senior, the pressure of dealing with the estate and the overwhelming task of disposing of the personal property. Children will often say, “Mom promised me that” or “No, Dad said I could have it.” All of this could be avoided if distributed prior to one’s passing. Seniors who recognize their own responsibility in this matter and make the decisions themselves are practicing the best defense against family quarrels or exploitation in any guise.
Thank you for joining me this week on DrGreene.com. I hope this series of Blog posts has been helpful to you. You can find more information in my book, The Boomer Burden – Dealing With Your Parent’s Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff. It is available on Amazon and all major booksellers. In it I offer more practical, effective steps for dissolving the estate and distributing parents’ assets in a way that both honors them and promotes family harmony for generations to come. How to divide the estate peacefully, minimize fighting, clearing out the home, identifying items of value, having “that” conversation with your parents and dealing with your own stuff too. It is a guide filled with trustworthy counsel and perfect to read with siblings as well as parents. Coming soon to Sam’s Club in early September with a workbook!