Serious illness and loss struck throughout our client base in 2014.  Indeed, we acquired a lifetime of experience in 2014 dealing with serious illnesses among family members. This week we share some of the wisdom acquired.

Mom & Dad, we need to talk.  A family discussion on end of life care cannot wait until the “moment of truth.”  The American health care system is not built for clarity on such questions; families should be prepared to initiate discussions.  Did Mom and Dad make their wishes known? When a parent is critically ill, what happens next?  What level of treatment will be pursued?    Shall we dare ask whether treatment is futile?    Richard Cowart of the Baker Donelson law firm summarizes the need for end-of-life conversations in an excellent article that appeared in The Tennessean.

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Long-term care insurance is not a panacea for older age care.  A loved one may be very sick, need extensive hands-on care, and still not present a claim that qualifies for long-term care insurance.  In spite of paying expensive premiums for many years, some individuals who are “covered” by long-term care insurance policies are surprised to find their claim denied by their insurance policy.  Eligibility is generally determined by one’s inability to perform certain “activities of daily living.”  Everyone needs a long-term care plan, but not everyone should purchase long-term care insurance.

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Parents and children should talk about finances too.  Finances tend to be one of the trickiest topics because people have traditional ideas about what you should and shouldn’t talk about.  Start by asking about the major documents, such as wills, living trusts, powers of attorney or advanced health care directives.  Then move to learn about bank accounts, insurance policies and other resources.

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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 family and friends.


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.