Just about the time your kids are finding the edge of the nest, pressure comes from the other end. Now, your parents begin to have health or financial issues to add new stress to your life. Welcome to the “Sandwich Generation.”
Everyone talks about Boomers, Millennials, X, Y, Z. However, few people talk about being sandwiched between a couple of those generations. Let alone, the stress, confusion, and concern about this new juggling act.
One one end, you assist with the “learning to fly” stage of life. At the other end, you try to find a smooth landing for your parents.
It’s important to know, on both sides of the sandwich, legal plans need to be addressed. And, it is important to do so while people before the opportunity is missed.
Starting at the older end of the spectrum, most of our parents are not super open to discussing things. Whether it is real health issues, financial things, or clearly asking for help, they lived in, or in the shadow of the Depression. They are the bootstrap generation – they get up, get it done, and don’t talk much about it.
Their circle of friends heard stories, and readily share, about awful things that happed to others. Because of that, suspicions arise, and often, keep them from doing things that protect and help themselves.
“Did you hear about Helen’s sister’s friend from church. She knows someone who’s kids made her sign something. Then, the kid took all of her money and house, and threw her in a nursing home. That’s never going to happen to me.”
Sadly, this happens. However, it is far less often, and much harder to do, than what people realize. Also, what is missed is that if a person plans proactively, he or she controls the process to protect from such bad acts.
Additionally, if a person reaches incapacity without proper documents in place, guardianship is necessary. That is a much more intrusive and troublesome process than executed decision-making documents.