Out of state, elderly relatives--what to do? (long)
Good morning all: facing a dilemma here and I hope that this is the correct place to post it.
First, some background: DH has a great-aunt and -uncle, both aged 86, who live in Texas. DH and his brother are their only family. Neither DH nor brother live in Texas, we are all two states away.
Aunt and uncle are both frail, facing a variety of health issues. Nothing that will be fatal immediately, although one hard fall or other unexpected event could send one or both into a downward spiral that they could not stop. Knowing aunt like we do, it is likely that her telephone reports of their health are masterworks of "spin". That is her way. But mentally, at least, I believe they are okay, for the moment.
We have begged, pleaded, cajoled for years for them to move closer to their only family. They have flatly refused. We have had to accept this.
Aunt and Uncle have asked DH to serve as both personal representative and executor. Brother is aware of this and it is not an issue.
My question is this: what have you done to get the point across to aging relatives that there is a certain amount of paperwork that must be done prior to their incapacity if they want someone to serve as their legal representative?
Aunt and uncle have a will, naming someone as executor who is unable to serve. They know they need to have that changed but are digging their heels in at the very idea of having to spend money to have it corrected.
Living wills, medical POA, general POA....aunt airily dismisses these as mere technicalities because after all "our doctors know what we want".
I'm not sure what uncle is willing to do as he is virtually deaf and cannot hear on the phone. So I have put several requests in writing. My guess is that uncle is more sophisticated and realizes the need for these but, again, aunt is the telephone filter.
I have asked several times for aunt and uncle to make an appointment with their attorney so that we can fly there and ALL sit down with the attorney, make sure their paper work is in order, make sure DH knows what he has to know to do this job, etc etc. Aunt diverts attention when I make this request by pointing out that their will is airtight (never mind the fact that the executor is incorrect).
The will is the least of our concerns. It's the paperwork that DH will have to have to make decisions for them BEFORE death that has us up nights. The fact is that she doesn't want to spend the money to sit down with an attorney. We know that our window to get this done is narrow and closing fast.
Any advice? Any experiences with this? The out of state factor is a huge difficulty but with full time jobs, a small child, and a MIL with alzheimer's, it's difficult to hop on a plane at a moment's notice.
We are at wits' end. I would appreciate your wisdom. Thanks.