The Season for Gratitude

Already Thanksgiving is upon us! Yes, it is a truly American holiday. But, one of the things I love about Thanksgiving is that it doesn’t matter what your belief system is or where in the world you came from, you can enter in. It is all about gratitude and a little gratitude is good for us all.

In our work with elders, whether planning estates or helping with Medicaid asset protection, I’ve learned to detect gratitude in the lives of my clients.

Joe came to us to plan so his children would benefit when he passed away. He is a disabled veteran who recently lost his wife and continues to battle cancer himself. Even in his grief, Joe is grateful for all he has received in life and so, helps others who experience the same disease but without financial ability to obtain sufficient care. While in our meeting Joe mentioned concern about the charity he works with. Together we discussed Joe’s concerns. Afterwards Joe talked to his children and then decided to include his favorite charity as one of his beneficiaries.

Dorothy is an elder client who came to us because she knew she was going to need to move to a long-term care facility soon. She wanted to express her gratitude to her daughter in a tangible way and heard about the “Five Year Lookback.” Sue has been driving Dorothy to medical appointments, visiting, making meals, doing housekeeping and so much more. Even though Dorothy has four children, she began to mist up when she talked about Sue. The others were out of state and rarely visited. Dorothy explained that she knew Sue’s help afforded her the freedom to stay at home much longer. While she was finally ready to make the big move, she wanted to protect funds for Sue and her other children. At our meeting Dorothy learned of legal and proper ways she could show her gratitude to her family.

Bob and Marion are the parents of three. Their youngest son, Tommy, is developmentally disabled and though he is now 50 years old, he has never lived independently. When Bob and Marion visited with us, they explained how devastated they were when Tommy was born but how they were later grateful that he came into their lives. Tommy brought them a lifetime of joy and fulfillment. As with many parents of dependent adult children, they expressed concern about dying before Tommy. Someone told them to leave Tommy out of their estate plan to avoid Medicaid issues. Marion told us that the other children loved Tommy and would do anything for him, but they had busy lives of their own. At our office Bob and Marion learned that they could make a plan that included Tommy without creating Medicaid problems, and that would protect him as well as the other children.

And for us all at Hill Law Group … we are thankful for you. You are the ones who allow us to serve you and your loved ones. You show your confidence in us by sending your friends, loved ones and clients to us. You are the elders who model lives of gratitude long into your later years and we have the privilege of watching and learning from you.