Tonight’s post on elder law and giving your parents what they really need, was written by our Wills, Trusts and Estates, Probate and Elder Law attorney, Steve Worrall.
Father’s Day is well behind us in the rearview mirror. Plenty of dads received ties and steaks from Omaha for that special day, and they were quite grateful. But now that the ceremonial gifts are behind us, let’s get to brass tacks about what our aging dads really need. That gift can’t be found in a catalogue or a store.
As a Georgia elder law attorney, I can tell you that there is one gift that most older dads want but they are afraid, and even ashamed, to ask for from their families:
Help from their adult children.
Aging dads are notorious for hiding their struggles with money management, keeping up with the house or managing their medical affairs. Usually it is not until a medical crisis strikes or creditors begin calling before adult children realize that dad has been in desperate need of help.
Many adult children are shocked, and even upset, that their dad did not speak up to let them know he was struggling before things got so out of control. Dads just don’t do that-and that’s why, now that Father’s Day is behind us, we can focus, not on the ceremonial, but on the practical and the beneficial, to give dad the gift of ‘help’ so he doesn’t have to ask.
As a Georgia estate planning attorney who has seen the sad side of no help and no planning, a very practical and meaningful (and unexpected) gift to give dad is a Durable Financial Power of Attorney and an Advance Directive for Health Care so his adult children can legally help manage his affairs when they get to be too much. Reminding dad that the documents will only be used when needed can help avoid feelings of embarrassment or pride.
Other “helpful” gifts to give dad include:
Lawn and Exterior Maintenance Services
House Cleaning Services
Dinner or Meal Delivery
“Coupons” from kids or grandkids to do these services personally
Everyone enjoys a little help, and for dad it might the perfect lifesaver if he’s secretly struggling to maintain control. Father’s Day is over. Dad isn’t. He goes right along and he needs you today, too.”
Steve practices principally in our Marrietta office, but he assists all of our clients from Atlanta to Savannah to Canton to Lawrenceville to Gainesville.