Every time my brother or sister calls, I brace myself for news about my mother’s well-being.  What’s up with Mom?  Is she OK? Should we call the neighbor to check on her?   Are you sure we have an accurate account?

We think we have all the bases covered, but do you?  This week we cover a few things that should be on every person’s mind in thinking about their or a loved one’s later years.

Slipping financial skills are a warning sign of cognitive decline.  Studies show that the ability to perform simple math problems, as well as handing financial matters, are typically one of the first set of skills to decline in diseases of the mind.  If you can detect emerging financial impairment early, you can also step in early and protect the person, according to this New York Times article.

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Consider these things in your long-term care and estate plan.  Many Americans have estate plans in place—but unfortunately, many are incomplete and the most important subjects aren’t even addressed.  This 14-point checklist helps to create a sound estate plan.  You’ll find some suggestions outside the boundaries of traditional estate planning that you should consider, according to this MarketWatch article.

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The Single Most Important Estate Planning Tip You will ever get.  Estate planning is less about having the proper paperwork in place and more about managing the people in your life…many of whom may be uncomfortable talking about death.  They may also be far less organized or financially savvy than you.  This Forbes article tells what one person did to document the details of his entire financial life.

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We hope you enjoy reading these articles along with us and that you find them informative.  Please forward this to your friends and family.

J. Mark Nickell & Co.

Disclosure – The articles mentioned in This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. are for information and educational purposes only. They represent a sample of the numerous articles that the firm reads each week to stay current on financial and economic topics. The articles are linked to websites separate from the J. Mark Nickell & Co. website. The opinions expressed in these articles are the opinions of the author and not J. Mark Nickell & Co. This is not an offer to buy or sell any security.  J. Mark Nickell & Co. is under no obligation to update any of the information in these articles. We cannot attest to the accuracy of the data in the articles.