Caring for our grandparents
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Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.
Welsh Proverb

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Deuteronomy 4:9

Caring for Grandparents

National Grandparents day is celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day.  This year it was on September 7, 2014.  When you receive this newsletter, that day have already passed, just like many of our own grandparents.  My father was the 8th of nine children born in the pre-Depression era, so my paternal grandparents passed before I was born.  I only knew them through my Father’s fond recollections.  The earliest remembrance that I have of my maternal grandmother was seeing her on her deathbed.  I do remember my maternal grandfather who lived longer.  He was nice to me and my siblings, but a little cantankerous to my folks who preferred to visit him rather than have him over to our home.  So I didn’t have much of a relationship with my grandparents.  But of course many of you had similar experiences. 

I did, by God’s grace, provide my own parents and in-laws with 3 grandchildren, whom they treasured.  My Dad would say that he thought true happiness is being a grandparent.  There is something about the bond between grandparent and grandchild that is quite unlike that between parent and child.  For example, the grandparent usually doesn’t take part in discipline, but is often seen as very accepting and giving to the grandchild.  We’ve all experienced a little of that for sure. 
Things to do for them:
  1. Love them and do something with them that you know they enjoy.  Dinner out, a night on the town, a walk in the park.  Make a memory for them and yourself.  For those of us whose grandparents and parents have already passed on, we know that this may not have been done often enough. My parents always made themselves available for child care and often suggested dinners at their home and always checked up on birthday gatherings far in advance.  You see, grandparents cherish more than anything, spending time with their grandchildren.  Any gift to them that doesn’t include spending time is often forgotten, but time spent with them at birthdays, anniversaries, graduations are the stuff of lifelong memories.  Most of us mark our remembrances of times past upon family events.  If we’re fortunate enough to have had a close family. 
  2. If we’re not a close-knit extended family, we have to make an extra effort to spend time with our grandparents, often by sacrificing other things we want to do - like they often did when we were younger, like caring for us while our parents were sick or taking us to the Doctor or school.  Sometimes it may feel like a forced feeling to reach out, and honestly, it often is, but after spending a little time with them, we remember how good they made us feel just being around them. 
  3. Interviewing a grandparent about their growing up years or historical events that they lived through can be rewarding for you and them.  My brother, Tom,  took the time to record my Dad, a WW2 Vet’s, recollections of his Wartime experiences, several years before my Dad had a debilitating stroke, which would have made such an event impossible.  My brother grew much closer to my father during this event and took an interest in the history of my father’s old Infantry unit and became a board member and went on to launch a newsletter and restore historical records.   Tom found it very rewarding and in the process was able to obtain several War medals that my Dad was awarded, but never physically received, until Tom’s efforts.   You can imagine the grateful tears shed by my father in front of his grandchildren when Dad opened the packages of medals in front of them on Christmas Day. 
One of the best things we can do for our Grandparents is to assist them in getting their affairs in order or suggesting that they bring their will in for a check-up.  Many don’t have a will or want one, thinking that their kids will get everything anyway.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always turn out that way after they pass on.  In Oregon, if you die intestate (without a will), the State writes your will for you and the State may even become one of the takers of your estate, through a process called Escheat, which means dying without heirs, and sometime, just not accounting for an heir, who should or could have been included in your estate.  If that heir can’t be found, the State contests the will and sometimes takes the share of the missing heir. A well prepared will and keeping track of the whereabouts of heirs could prevent this possibility.  A good estate plan can include both. 

I heard from someone the other day,”Grandmom  always wanted my brother to have her home, so she signed a deed during her last days, because she had no will, because of not trusting lawyers.  A few days after Mom passed on, the County returned the will to my brother, unrecorded, with a note that it wasn’t properly filled out.”  So title didn’t pass.  But now, brother, 1 of 4 children, must try to convince his other siblings that “Mom wanted me to have the house.”  Unfortunately the intestacy laws will divide them home equally between the 4 and brother will only receive  ¼  the  value of the home.  Not exactly what Grandmom wanted.

Another often neglected issue is, “Where will Grandma and/or Grandpa  live when they are unable to care for themselves?”  Or how will they pay for it? A well planned estate should also have well planned care provisions for the Elderly.  Does your Grandparent have one, or will they be moving in with you?  Will you be able to take off work to care for them? 

If any of these questions are yours, and you want answers, please call today [(503) 363-7334] for an appointment.  There is no charge for the initial consultation.
George Price - Elder Law
George Price - Estate Planning
George Price - Trusts
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Salem, OR 97301

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George Price



317 Court Street NE
Suite 203
Salem, OR 97301

Phone (503) 363-7334
Fax (503) 581-2260


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