My Mother passed away a few days ago. I am sad. I have also been blessed by such a great Mom! All she cared about in life was serving others. What a great gift she passed to me.
As someone who helps clients navigate so many issues in retirement, we are also experienced helping our clients navigate illness and death. There are many unique challenges and situations that come with these difficult situations and rarely are two sets of circumstances the same.
If there is one reminder, I received by my Mother’s death is was to reach out to my community regarding Estate Plans. Short message: Get a well written estate plan…and do not procrastinate on this.
Unfortunately, some people do wait and have done nearly zero planning. Then the inevitable happens with no will, no trust, no powers of attorney, etc. Often times this makes it very difficult on the loved ones to do what is in the best interest of their parents or even their spouse when they need their help the most.
Thankfully, my parents had followed some very sound advice over the years.
I spoke to Mom twice on the morning her life changed forever. Everything was fine..until it wasn’t. That day Mom was baking cakes for an event at church that she was not able to attend. Then, suddenly and totally out of the blue, she had a small seizure and life changed for her forever. It changed for all of us forever. She was rushed to the ER and neve returned home.
She was diagnosed with brain cancer on June 16, 2019. That date was Father’s Day.
After her brain surgery and by the 4th of July (her birthday) she was in an advanced care facility to help her rebuild her strength, balance and short-term memory losses along with her vision. Due to her not thinking clearly and her overall condition she could not make decisions herself. Hence the importance of a medical power of attorney. My Brother, Sister, Father and I could make those decisions for her.
In August she started radiation and chemotherapy but unfortunately, with her type of brain cancer, these treatments overtook her strength and since she was weak going into the treatments, she passed a few weeks later.
We had her funeral on Labor Day weekend.
Again, because of my parent’s estate plan and their powers of attorney we could efficiently make all the best decisions for her when she could not. There was no delay when doctors needed quick decisions around next steps, ER visits, feeding decisions, etc.
We all wished for a better outcome for my Mom but her last couple months were easier on her and the rest of her family due to her planning years ago.
I share this story as a wakeup call for anyone who has not taken the important steps of planning for the inevitable.
Not only will items like a medical power of attorney have the potential to lower stress levels and streamline decision making, the overall estate plan could save your estate taxes and many other headaches for your family members.
If you have questions about this process, please lean on me as a resource.
P.S. I love you Mom
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.