For more than a decade, the Ask Amy column by Amy Dickinson has dispensed advice to newspaper readers across the country. No doubt many Cocoa residents enjoy the column in the Orlando Sentinel.
A recent letter to the column was about how a family member’s reluctance to speak with an attorney about estate planning is causing her elderly brother real concern.
The sister who declines to do needed estate planning is 85 years old and her brother is 78. Most observers would probably agree that it’s time to consider discussions of matters such as health care power of attorney, a will or trust, power of attorney and other important issues.
As the concerned brother notes in his letter to Ask Amy, his sister “has no last will or trust, and will leave a reasonably large estate.” The brother states that the estate will probably go to him, but that he would prefer that his sister leave her estate to his adult children.
He said that he anticipates that probate will be time-consuming and expensive, but he’s had no success in trying to raise the estate-planning issue for discussion with her.
He wonders why his sister is hostile to the mere mention of the subject and asks for advice on what to do.
Amy asks him to reconsider a few facts, such as his sister’s health and apparent poor health. “You are pushing too hard,” the columnist writes to the brother, adding that he can’t force his sister to make a will or create a trust.
She urges him to accept his sister’s decision and to sit down with his adult children to discuss how they might prepare for what is ahead.
Estate planning does not need to be difficult or painful. You can discuss your concerns with a skilled attorney by contacting Cantwell & Goldman, P.A.