I wanted to share a story with you that a good friend of mine and associate, Dennis Brislawn of Brislawn Lofton LLC, recently shared with me about one of his clients. It was very applicable to what I see all the time.
“I had the incredible opportunity to attend my aunt’s birthday party and take this photo. It was indeed a happy occasion for all – especially when she invited everyone back for her 100th birthday party in 2011.
While enjoying the celebration and festivities, I was reminded of the sobering thought of all the financial and legal plans that her only daughter has been saddled with as her mother aged. As the children of aging parents, we never know if we will be buying a celebration balloon like this for their 99th birthday – and it is usually the least of our challenges as the years creep forward for a centenarian parent.
While attending her birthday party, my mind drifted to the many issues her only child has had to deal with for nearly 25 years. Getting to this 99th birthday has been a lot more work and worry for the daughter than for the birthday mother. The daughter has had to manage finances, coordinate moves, work with doctors, screen assisted living homes, and of course, work with the attorneys.
I was personally relieved, knowing I could attend the celebration, wish my aunt a “Happy Birthday”, and return home. My cousin, on the other hand, would be at the party to the very end. She would be cleaning up the leftover cake, policing the party room at the assisted living facility, etc. And she still has to deal with all the fiduciary responsibilities that continue long after the party has ended.”
People deal with these types of real issues every day – most of which are neither easy nor pleasant. Working with attorneys and other professionals should be the least of their worries. After all, they have to start planning for the next big birthday party for their mom!