In family matters, it’s best to keep the involvement of the courts to a minimum. When a parent needs care or assistance in managing personal and financial affairs, the family’s response is critical to the peace of mind that the loved one needs.
Here are some suggestions for avoiding family disputes by having everyone on the same page when a family member needs elder care. Elder Care issues are not always easy, but they can be resolved, one after another, without contention, when all interested parties have a clear understanding of how to carry out their respective duties for the benefit of the loved one. Cooperation, unity of purpose and dedication are as important as monetary resources.
- Acquaint yourself with each relevant document and its intended meaning. If it is unclear or subject to different interpretations, get legal advice and agree on how the document can be used to carry out its purpose.
- Consult and work closely with the elder’s attorney, physician, banker, broker, religious advisor and accountant.
- Make sure that the elder always has a voice in decisions.
- Allocate and delegate duties properly with a rigid system of checks and balances. Step aside graciously if you don’t have the time or skill to devote to the task at hand.
- Cooperate and respect the dignity and intelligence of each interested party.
- Keep complete and accurate records in a form that will be accepted by the IRS and the courts.
- Set aside personality differences and resolve to work diligently for the benefit of the loved one.
- Call family meetings for updates and review as well as for decisions on personal care and financial matters.
Agree to use mediation to resolute any dispute, especially one that results in impasse.
Click for Frequently Asked Questions on Elder Care Matters.