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  • The 12 Biggest Misconceptions of Estate Planning Clients

    We’ve all heard the line attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” How true. And that is the concern of estate planning—death and taxes. Throw in planning for disability, and you’ve got the waterfront covered.

    I’ve also noticed that people are certain about one more thing—they know what they know. They’ve heard horror stories about probate, or the government taking everything, and they don’t want to be a victim of that, so they call me.

  • Old Age Unrecognizable to Many Elders

    It must be hard to be old and pretend that you’re not—or maybe it’s not hard at all. “I never thought about getting old,” said my 92-year-old uncle at the funeral for his 94-year-old wife.

    “How could that be?” I said, more as an exclamation than a question.

  • I Want Mom's Hair to Look Good

    For about two months, I have been complaining to Jennifer (the administrator at my mother’s assisted living facility) about Mom's hair. It’s long and straggly and looks like a comb’s passed through it about once a day. It’s clean, mind you, but it’s ugly. I know, I know—I should be satisfied that my mom is getting the best possible care. Correction: the world’s best care.

  • A Reintroduction of a Good Enough Daughter

    After posting blog entries here since June 2008, I thought, for new readers, it might be a good idea to reintroduce myself, my mother, and our story. (Jane Gross, author of the New York Times' blog the New Old Age, posted a version of this entry on January 22, 2009.)

  • Where Has All the Money Gone?

    I thought raising kids was expensive and sending them to college even more so. But those expenses pale compared to the cost of caring for someone who is old and frail. As the “attorney in fact” for my mother, I write checks for thousands of dollars at a time on a regular basis. My mother, a retired social worker, would have a stroke if she saw the amount of money being spent on her care.

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