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The Protection of Elders | The Heartbreak of Moving from the Family Home

Protecting Elders Trust Estate Litigation.jpg"You really need to move. This house is dangerous. It's too big. You don't need all this room - all this expense. What happens if Dad dies or is disabled? We only say this because we love you - we want what's best for you. We want you to move closer to us."

And so the conversation goes on between adult children and their elderly parents. We baby boomers had similar conversations with our own moms and dads decades ago. "Mom, it will help if you go to someplace where your meals are prepared for you. You don't have to worry about cooking or cleaning. There are other ladies there that are your age and you can enjoy." How many years since my sisters and I had that conversation with our mom? Maybe 25. The conversation worked - our mom moved, I paid her rent for years to make her life easier and she probably lived more years than she would have had she been left on her own.

Twenty-five years ago, it was hard to get into my mom's thinking. Sure, she didn't want to move but we were offering a stylish and fine assisted living facility. She wanted to bring her dog - that was fine. She didn't know where she would put everything that she owned. We would help. She didn't want to be around a bunch of old people. Well there were people her own age who lived there. We helped her move and as far as we could tell it all worked. But I don't think that we understood what we were asking.

So now we baby boomers are encountering what we once asked or maybe even imposed on our parents. And what are our feelings. In some ways moving from our family home feels like death. We love our homes and their memories. This is where we had our children and maybe even our grandchildren. This is where we have the possessions that we've gathered through our many decades of life. We know our neighbors. We know our history. We really don't want to change - yet our children say that we should change.

Doing estate and trust litigation can sometimes be sad. It is often a battle engaged in by the broken hearted. I think that through the years I've worked to try to walk a mile in the other guy's shoes. Now, in my late 60s I'm better understanding the walk that my parents made. It's a walk that I little appreciated 25 years ago. Like America's other baby boomers, I'm discovering that our generation, once known for its youth, is confronting a cold reality, aging.

Whether you are an elder dealing with unwanted changes or an adult child working to protect your elders, it's probably good to reflect that love often involves putting yourself into the other guy's shoes - and letting kindness and compassion have a place at the family table.

The Protection of Elders | The Heartbreak of Moving from the Family Home from Hackard Law on Vimeo.

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