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My wife and I are wrestling with how to address managing our affairs when we are no longer capable.

The short description of the situation is:
• We have no debt
• We have adequate financial assets to cover our future needs
• We have no children
• I am 11 years older than my wife
• The final disposition of our estate will be a group of charities

Both of us have seen our parents’ declining years and cared for a friend who lived several years after a debilitating stroke.

We live in a 55+ community and are not opposed to nominating a friend here to manage things. But given people here are generally our age, it is reasonable the nominee would have declining capacity about the time our need becomes acute.

The only approach we have identified is setting up a Trust. We have not had much luck identifying organizations who handle or manage Trusts addressing issues such as:

• Bill payment
• Selecting and managing caregivers or selecting an assisted living facility and moving the person
• Sale of property
• And eventually estate settlement

Thoughts or input appreciated.
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The only approach we have identified is setting up a Trust. We have not had much luck identifying organizations who handle or manage Trusts addressing issues such as: - GWPotter

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I would tend to be mistrustful of an organization who extracts a fee for services rendered when there is no one looking over their shoulder. Is there a trusted friend or even a pastor at your church who could take on such a responsibility?
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"The only approach we have identified is setting up a Trust. We have not had much luck identifying organizations who handle or manage Trusts addressing issues such as: - GWPotter

--------------------

I would tend to be mistrustful of an organization who extracts a fee for services rendered when there is no one looking over their shoulder. Is there a trusted friend or even a pastor at your church who could take on such a responsibility?"

********************************************************************************

Actually, a fee-paid organization may be more reliable - since there is the potential for an
audit trail - while any individual may be tempted to "go their own way". Trust companies are
dependent upon their reputation.

Howie52
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older adult services in my area have people that do this...not fond of a minister doing this...

the problem is they have no family to oversee how the money has been spent...the court won't be

proactive
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No. of Recommendations: 5
GW, my grandparents set up a trust for my uncle who was mentally retarded, he lived into his seventies and I did have power of attorney for him and made sure his needs were taken care of.

The bank was the Trustee and they invested the money and paid the bills while I had a small checking account where I would pay incidentals and then later, hospital and rehab and then nursing home bills.

My grandmother died in the early 70’s and my Dad died in ‘81 and that’s when I was named Power of Attorney.

Anyway, my uncle died in ‘94 so that money lasted a good long while and there even money left over after paying for funeral and other things.

This bank was selected by my grandmother(granddad died much earlier of a stroke or heart attack). I praise this bank for how well they did for the Trust and taking care of my uncle’s needs.

As for myself, I don’t anyone, no family relations, no friend or anything like that but I have to put my trust somewhere when I get addled minded or incapable of making decisions and of course, at death.
The executor of my will is my lawyer and if he’s passed, someone in the same law firm in wills and estates. I’ve seen what money does to people, it tears them apart, people get greedy and selfish and do bad things while justifying their dishonesty. Ack!

Consider your options and go with your gut instinct.

Lucky Dog
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Gordon, we have had long term insurance for many years (paid and continue to pay a large premium yearly) - we are too far along in years to make any changes to them.

We also have living trusts one for each of us. All our assets are on the trusts. The documents were constructed by an attorney whom we respect. We do have children/ grandchildren ( one of whom is a lawyer) so that helps.

However if we didn’t have that option we would probably designate the trust attorney to handle final disposition of the assets as we specified in the trusts. He is not a youngster either however he is part of a law firm which could fulfill those obligations.
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Potter,

My wife and I sympathize with your concerns. Our experiences are just one of many different examples. We were in a unique situation of expatriation at a time my long term friend of 47 years got cancer. We took him to the hospital when it was originally discovered while on vacation in Thailand with him, my wife is a Thai nurse. Being unemployed we moved in with him at his home in the US during all of his illness and death. We watched his family do nothing but try to get him to change his will and only visited one time during his illness. His pastor wanted donations to help the church to the point of threatening him that God will not look so favorably on him by turning his back to the needy. The pastor did not want us in the room while they talked. It was awful to see the vultures come out. What he needed was attention, care and love during an ungodly painful bout of Renal Cancer. Taking care of a friend that my parents, my brother and sister also considered part of our family slowly be taken from us was painful. To see how everyone was his friend because of his success in life and to abandon him when he was in the most need was hard but I also understood we all of other obligations to the living. I discovered a lot about people. Makes me wonder about your question as well.
After my friends passing we relocated to Fl and my wife got a job at a high end assisted living facility and families abandon vastation after extended time.
After all that and our thoughts on the matter it comes down to trust. We both think it is best to move into a home that makes it most accommodating to be cared for by others when the time comes. All one floor. No stairs in or out of the place of living. Large enough bathrooms that can be fitted for assisted use of toilette needs and bathing. This makes it easier for a care giver to do their job and also for the living spouse to help their partner. Become very active in the older communities as they all are in the same boat. Assisted living facilities are becoming so over priced more people can no longer afford so easily. They elderly groups are or can be great places for guidance, love, and great advice. My parents are 90, live at home and depend on these groups of friends for knowledge on how to make this remainder of time the most manageable. I will not let my parents go into a home my wife and are committed to move in with them at that stage. I retire in 40 days which makes this manageable. No matter the assisted care facility you go to the care is substandard to your liking. Avoid that at all cost. Trust.... people are people and find was to justify taking advantage of others. Live the best healthy life you can today. Refuse the care as long as possible. Pray you live longer than your spouse so you can take care of them in their time of need. Take care of others that are in the same needs you are worried about. See how they have prepared to learn from them of what you like and don't like. Caring for another in such times of need is so up lifting and most rewarding thing I have ever done. The passing also was the hardest experience of my life to try to get over. You will be ok.
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Do you have a trustworthy niece, nephew, cousin, former work colleague/neighbor? If so, cut them a monthly stipend plus a share of your will to compensate for their efforts on your behalf.

If it weren't for my children, I'd use one of 3 dear friends (yeah, all about my age), on of my brothers, my aunt (only 5 years my senior and a bookkeeper by trade). Not close enough to cousins to put this burden on them. Nephew is already traumatized by a wife who's had glioma (bad brain cancer, and likely to become a single parent in a few years :-( Niece would be great but has 2 young kids and a spouse who's a gig worker--would prefer not to burden her. Besides, she's likely to have to take on her parents in their dotage.

ASIDE
My husband has dementia, and while he's their step-father, my kids will oversee his care. They're in their 40s and need to work, plus live in small condos with no spare bedrooms. FOr a while they could hire caregivers to live with DH in our home, but it's far too expensive 24/7 long term. They can't move in with him due to jobs. I suppose they could consider selling our house and buying one near their jobs and moving in w/DH, but he really can't be left alone long--he's apt to pee in a trash can. Luckily he doesn't have the angry & doesn't recognize you kind of dementia.

If our best friends in Kentucky are still alive & kicking when I'm not, I've suggested the kids strongly consider placing the hubster in a facility in their city, which would be way cheaper than NYC and Boston burbs, where my children live. Although they wouldn't be able to see him much.
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It's very difficult. I tried to put 1poormom's stuff on auto-pilot, and was not entirely successful. I still have to make sure her credit card** is paid every month. If there are medical decisions to be made, I make them. If there are issues with banking/investing, I deal with them.

But a lot of stuff handles automatically through a combination of assisted living, and automatic payments and deposits.

What you would need is a trustee. Like a lawyer. Whom you would have to pay every time he addresses any of your affairs. If there is no family, that would have to be it. At least as best I can come up with. You might ask albaby or some other lawyerly person what you could expect if you go that route.

1poorguy


**It automatically charges her newspaper, her pharmacy, and a couple of other things.
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An interesting story that is somewhat on this same topic. My sister-in-law lived in a retirement community. Everyone knew each other and there was an older couple where the wife had alzheimers, and the husband was OK, but of course, getting older. They became friends with a somewhat younger couple there. They proposed to them, that they would buy a large house with a pool, big enough for all of them to live there, and they drew up legal documents that the younger couple would take care of the older couple until "the end." At that point, the younger couple would inherit the house, and I am pretty sure, a large chunk of the older couple's assets. The older couple were friends with the younger couple way before all of this took place, so there was trust between them.

It is an interesting scenario to think about. You would definitely need to have huge trust with the younger couple (and a good attorney). I mean, you see these stories on Dateline, where they poison them, to get the money much earlier. ha

-Footsox
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I strongly suggest locating an eldercare attorney in your area, who would be able to help you reach and implement the best solution.

https://www.naela.org/findlawyer?

=sheila
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My wife's friend lived with her boyfriend for over 20 years.He never devorced his wife, not wanting her to get a portion of the house.

He developed stage 4 brain cancer & slowly became a vegetable.

This girlfriend cared for him like he was an adult baby for almost a year.

He dies & at the funeral one of his two sons waxed eloquent on praising her for going above & beyond.

In one week, the son reversed course & said he wants the house.

She has to be out on one month.

Nothing in writing.
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jjb: "My wife's friend lived with her boyfriend for over 20 years.He never devorced his wife, not wanting her to get a portion of the house."

Sad, but without a written will..... the 'estate' of the dead man will go by state statues and the wife will wind up with at least her 'half' of the house and the court will decide how to divide assets between 'wife' and 'sons'. If he had any assets to be divided up - like car, household furnishings, collectibles, etc.

Unless he had a written will giving his property (his half share of the house ) to his girlfriend, she will likely wind up with nothing.

Other than unpaid medical bills/utilities/etc on the house.....for the man before he died - the girlfriend has little claim to anything.

t.
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Apparently many others have the same question:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/11/29/where-fin...

Unfortunately, the authors post the question without really answering it. I found the comments more informative, although there are still gaps.
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If I'm not mistaken ( just went thru this in 20219) almost every bank has an "Estates & trust" department that does this. Well, they will do the bill paying and "final out-processing, so to speak.

In my case I didn't even need a trust set up. I just named them as Executor of my Will. That covers any possible contingency after I'm gone. The only catch was a minimum estate value of $250,000. BUT my lawyer said if you go to a smaller bank they will likely have a lower limit Probably doesn't apply to us here as we're all lighting our cigars will $100 bills ha ha.

Until I'm gone, all my bills are on auto-pay so that shouldn't be a problem if I'm in a hospital. If I become incapacitated, and this is just my own person situation, it shouldn't be for long as I had a serious heart attack in 2020, so there's little chance of prolonged time in assisted living or nursing home. I won't withstand any serious physiological impositions. If I do need to be moved to some kind of facility for a spell, eventually they will find out I have money unless I die in the shorter term, in which case what the hell do I care?

My biggest fear is being sick / injured permanently and in The Big House. Ok, so I can buy my way in. But now there is a house/apartment, a car and all my stuff/personal effects that will need to be ..... I don't know? Thrown out? Do I keep paying the rent/electric/gas bills while also paying for the nursing home until I'm dead. It's that gray area /crossover zone that seems to have no person/agency to cover it. But as I said that is a pretty low probability scenario in my case.

All my doctors and every hospital in town have my State approved officially notarized Living Will on file.

The Medical Power of Attorney is likely the stickiest problem for most people. The Living Will settles some but not all of that. When was In the hospital for the heart attack they were asking me questions about "well, what if this... what if that...? that apparently weren't clear enough in the Living Will. Unless that was their in-house fire-walling as I was conscious and sentient.

Another fear is lingering but not in a hospital/under care. I'll need a Butler or Personal assistant just to keep up with things as I get more and more feeble. Again, probably not something I will need to worry too much about.

Summary:

1) Living Will
2) Bank Estate/Trust department along with your Last Will
Should cover most of it. Pending treatment decisions not addressed in Living Will are trickier.
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