When the caregiving ends, new problems to tackle as Executor

In our legal practice, we advise  many family caregivers who are managing and supporting the lives of their frail loved ones, and  we also advise executors in the administration of estates. Very often, the person who was our client in their role of caregiver is now the client in the role of executor. It’s a very tender time when that transition occurs.

They  may have spent years involved with their parent who  had dementia or chronic illness, and the client’s life has been intertwined with the parent’s on a day to day basis. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for several years. The sense of self, role and identity have been strongly defined by the responsibilities of the caregiving. In these situations, the loss of the parent often leaves a gaping void that makes them feel as if they are drowning. They have trouble managing their day to day life because the focus of their activity is gone. There is a deep grieving process. They may have become isolated. And now, other family members are expecting them to jump and handle all  the dry and technical tasks of wrapping up the estate and distributing the money.

The challenge is that the executor has duties under the law to marshall the assets, resolve or pay the creditors, and distribute the estate in a reasonable period of time. There may be ambiguities in the Will that require court action to resolve. It may be that a beneficiary is disabled and a trust has to be established for them. It’s a big job and there can be serious repercussions when the job isn’t done.

There is help available. The National Family Caregivers Association has a Bereavement Program that could be of great use to someone caught in this situation. Ask for their article “Who am I Now that I am not a Caregiver?” Check out this website at AARP, Certain local family counselling services may be specially designed to help you with this unique issue, and enable you to start moving ahead, one step at a time..

Call us for advice and assistance with estate administration, probate and executor work … 732-382-6070

Free Symposium: Managing the Aging Process, at JCC

On Tuesday December 2, 2014 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, there will be a free symposium on aging and caregiving at the JCC at 1391 Martine Avenue, Scotch Plains NJ 07076 called “Managing the Aging Process – Practical Advice for Adults with Aging Relatives.” Here’s the flyer: Center for Hope (3)

Supper is included free! The event is co-sponsored by the JCC and the Center for Hope. CALL 908-288-0501 or email nrager@cfhh.org to register (preregistration is kindly requested).

The panel includes specialists in social services/geriatrics, end of life care, elder law, and dementia assessment. I will be one of the 5 panelists, and we will field questions such as  preventing conflicts among your children, when is it time to call for hospice care, what programs are out there to help you age in place, what are the impacts, losses and needs for family caregivers, how are powers of attorney used and abused, and more. There should be lots of opportunity for the participants to ask questions. Tell your friends! Bring your parents! I hope to see you all there.

Below are more useful links to community services.





For legal advice on a wide range of aging and caregiving issues, call 732-382-6070