‘Tis the Season of New Beginnings
~ By Tamra K. Waltemath ~
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. To all of you who have read my articles, I hope my articles have given you food for thought. To all of you who have become my clients, thank you for your support. I appreciate your business and the opportunity to be of service to you.
I believe the month of January is a month to reflect and plan. Take some time to review your estate plan and if you don’t understand it or if you want to change it, come in and see me. There have been many changes in the law, especially in 2010, that effect estate planning.
Everything is becoming so complicated. Parents used to live with their children and their grandchildren which resulted in children knowing what their parent’s wishes were regarding inheritance. In 1850, 70% of white elderly adults lived with their children; in 1950, 20% of the U.S. population lived in multigenerational homes; in 2014, 16% of the U.S. population live in multigenerational homes. Sequestering our elderly in nursing homes keeps most of us from knowing what it is like to grow old. Physical and emotional distance makes it difficult for children to face their elderly parent’s death. Those that are distanced do not understand their parents suffering and want to come home to “fix things.” The children who live close by are better able to let go and the help they provide to their parents is often unappreciated by the family that lives far away. This causes a lot of discord at the death of a parent.
One of the best ways to ensure you will leave a lasting legacy to your family is to create a will. Tell your children what your wishes are at death. If you want to reward a child for taking care of you in your later years, make that wish known to all of your children so there are no hard feelings after your death. And if you have been married more than once, please see an attorney about a will or trust. Many people are unaware that if they own all their property jointly with their spouse that their children will receive nothing at their death. Naming your children as contingent beneficiaries is meaningless upon your death if you own all of your assets jointly with your spouse. If you leave all your property to your spouse, it is your spouse’s will or beneficiary designations that will determine to whom all joint assets are distributed. It is so hard to talk about these things with your children, but it is so important if you want your family to continue to have a loving relationship after your death.
This article was written by Tamra K Waltemath of Tamra K. Waltemath, P.C. This information is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For specific questions, you should consult a qualified attorney.
Tamra K. Waltemath is an elder law attorney focusing on wills, trusts, estate and trust administration, probate and non-probate transfers, guardianships and conservatorships. She can be contacted at: Tamra K. Waltemath, P.C., 3843 West 73rd Avenue, Westminster, CO 80030; 303-657-0360; or visit her website at: www.WaltemathLawOffice.com.