Last week’s Globe and Mail (July 5, 2011) had an interesting article on estate insurance. It discussed the trend that estate holdings have become more complicated as amounts are often larger and investments diverse. This is especially so for those older individuals who lived through the depression and didn’t spend their money. They saved for a rainy day. The article discussed that there is often confusion and lack of knowledge on the part of the executor in dealing with a more complicated estate which can result in their decisions and actions being legally challenged.
As my work is focussed on the living, I would like to take a look backwards – to a time when the person is still alive and capable of expressing their wishes. Part of the challenge is helping seniors to see when that ‘rainy’ day is upon them; helping them and their power of attorneys to recognize and acknowledge that it is now pouring rain and the time has come for them to spend their savings on themselves. This may well impact on what is left for the estate and the heirs. I believe that whenever possible, care decisions should be supported by financial decisions. The challenges are when our finances cannot provide for us in the manner that we need or want to live out our days.
Part of the planning process is to explain to the senior and involved family and powers of attorney, and to help them understand that providing appropriate supports, by way of paying for services, is the proverbial ‘umbrella’ that is needed for the downpour.