Family issues can be so tricky. The Chicago Tribune recently ran a story about an elderly father with a much younger girlfriend. He’s handed over a large portion of his assets to his new love, much to the chagrin of his now-grown children.
They say the girlfriend is out for their dad’s money. She says she’s his caregiver and they’re very much in love. The father agrees with her, and it’s his money. But is he of sound mind? So far, a doctor hasn’t said anything to the contrary, but the adult children believe that just such a declaration isn’t too far off in the future.
Meanwhile, an impartial observer looks at the whole situation and simply shrugs. Who’s to say who’s in the right here?
As a Massachusetts estate planning attorney, part of my job is to walk my clients through thorny family issues like the one contemplated in the Tribune. The issue of who’s “right” matters in some cases more than others. Often, there is a practical path to be found, one that leads to a better outcome than emotionally entangled relatives might be able to reach on their own.
Advance planning and honest communication are both key to the whole process. With respect to the latter, part of my job as the estate planning attorney is to make sure that you, the client, have a clear understanding of whose interests I represent (i.e. yours).
Maybe what’s best for you isn’t what’s best for your children or your significant other. The nice thing about a private meeting in our office is that we can consider those kinds of questions coolly, calmly, intelligently, and confidentially. I can answer all your questions and help you reach a decision that is ultimately yours to make — and yours alone.
If that sounds like a conversation you’re ready to have, give me a call. I’d love to help.