Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

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Kompass
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Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:41 am

I'm in an awkward position and have to do some estate planning but do not have the usual circumstances.

I am basically alone in the world, while this doesn't bother me much, it's posing legal challenges. I need to have a medical proxy which I can handle with my one friend (of 40 years) and I will make him POA on my checking and some savings so that he can actually help me if I get injured or killed.

Beyond that however is the abyss. I have a sizable net worth which no one but my accountant knows about. I am trying to do planning for my own care in my old age or if I become disabled. I have no family except my elderly mother who would not be able to help. I have just gone through the process of making arrangements for her if something happens to me and it really brought home the fact that I need to do this for myself.

I put in place a geriatric care giver and an elaborate series of funding steps to provide for her care and make sure she never gets handed off to some guardian or ever ends up in a nursing home. Hopefully this will never be needed as I plan on staying alive, but I have no family, I'm the end of the line. I also moved cross country less than 2 years ago to help my folks, but mom is settled now and I can move on while still visiting her from wherever.

So, no spouse, children, siblings, close friends, or long term fixed location at this time. Too young for a geriatric manager, could use an attorney (if I trusted them) but I plan on moving in the next two years, so that would be temporary at best. All of the reading I've been doing assumes at least a spouse and/or usually some sort of other family member to help out.

If my net worth were to be disclosed to anyone, (not a zillionaire or anything, but a temptation to most) I become a target. So I am asking the anonymous braintrust of the Bogelheads to help steer me to sources of information for this admittedly weird situation.
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by bnes » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:55 pm

You can contact a big anonymous bank, and set up a trust in your own name. Nobody specific has to know your details, and your account will be handled by the next most junior employee in line at the bank. You can write your own rules: and the bank is obligated to follow them, even in the case you are mentally incapacitated. There's little human touch, but it can get the job done.

Note I specifically advise against giving end of life care power to a peer or friend. They'll age age the same rate you do, and may well be unable to be of help, just when you need the help. I've watched that process play out: it can be ugly.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Dulocracy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:00 pm

This may be a situation in which you speak to an attorney to prepare a trust for yourself. You will name yourself as the trustee, but specifically note that in the event of your incapacity, the attorney appointed by the county to act as conservator in guardianship situations would be appointed to serve as your trustee of the trust.

The appointed trustee/conservator is going to be insured and will charge the rate that the Judge believes to be fair (this varies from state to state). The advantage of this is that no matter where you live, the trust allows for someone to take over.

The trust allows you to have control in providing instructions to the trustee (like your priority is your comfort over preserving the estate for heirs). Your attorney can help you with that language.

Please note that there is one difficulty: SOMEONE needs to know that 1) the trust exists and 2) that you have reached the point someone else needs to take over your affairs. If no one brings this issue to court, you have money sitting in an un-managed trust. That part, however, is a practical issue more than it is a legal one.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by sport » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:20 pm

Dulocracy wrote:Please note that there is one difficulty: SOMEONE needs to know that 1) the trust exists and 2) that you have reached the point someone else needs to take over your affairs. If no one brings this issue to court, you have money sitting in an un-managed trust. That part, however, is a practical issue more than it is a legal one.
Perhaps this problem could be handled by a religious organization. You could make a nice donation, and approach the minister and offer an arrangement. The arrangement would be that you would send a monthly donation directly to the minister on the condition that if a donation does not arrive, the minister would have someone check on your status. This would be a win/win for you and the organization. They would get donations, and you would have someone to care about your welfare.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by littlebird » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:30 pm

A possible solution, especially as you have a sizable asset base already, is to set up the trust now, with a regional bank as co-trustee, with enumerated or simply stand-by duties while you're competent physically and mentally. Since you intend to move, there could be a provision for a transfer in trusteeship to another named bank, which you can change later if you're still competent. The bank co-trustee should have at least intermittent contact with you. They should have a friend/neighbor or two to call if contact is lost.

If through this means they find out you're in difficulty, they should have a list of approved (by you in advance) geriatric case managers /social workers to help you adjust your living situation. They can then either remain as co-trustee with expanded duties or petition to become sole trustee, as the situation warrants, with control over the case manager who may need, in time, to become a guardian.

Not fun to think about, but those of us with children wind up doing something not that very different, except with possibly emotionally burdened children, instead of with a dispassionate bank and social worker.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Meg77 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:36 pm

This is probably not an uncommon situation, and your net worth is really beside the point. The primary things to do in my view would be the following:

1. Engage an estate planning attorney who is willing to act as executor of your will and who can help you set up a trust if you end up going that route.

2. Select a select a nursing home or assisted living facility that you would prefer to live in when (not if) you become unable to live alone. Even at a relatively young age you could break a hip or suffer a heart attack and be unable to remain in the hospital for very long but also unable to take care of yourself, even if temporarily. If you've already made arrangements or established some kind of relationship with a nearby facility, it will be relatively simple to inform the hospital of this and be transferred there.

3. Select someone who can relay those and other wishes to the hospital if you are mentally incapacitated or unable to communicate them. This can be your attorney, but that person may not know if you are involved in an accident. Any acquaintance who might miss you - an employer, housekeeper, pastor, etc. could be given the attorney's information to call in case of an accident without knowing anything about your finances.

4. Medical personnel will often check your phone or wallet for anybody listed as ICE or In Case of Emergency if you can't communicate. My husband is listed first in my "favorite" contacts as "ICE - husband's name" for this purpose. Whoever is your POA for healthcare, if you have one, should be listed. If you don't have one (you may wish to just leave the decisions to medical professionals rather than the attorney or an acquaintance for this purpose), then you should list the attorney so he or she can step in with your documented wishes regarding ongoing care.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Gill » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:38 pm

You are the ideal candidate for a competent corporate trustee. I may be a bit biased having spent my life in the trust business but, quite simply, no one does it better than a corporate trustee. They bring to bear on a situation such as yours a perpetual existence (doesn't die), experience, group judgment, daily accessibility (doesn't get sick or go on vacation), impartiality, efficiency (many skills under one roof) and the ability to handle even the most complex situation. There is really no better alternative.
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by clip651 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:52 pm

Gill wrote:You are the ideal candidate for a competent corporate trustee. I may be a bit biased having spent my life in the trust business but, quite simply, no one does it better than a corporate trustee. They bring to bear on a situation such as yours a perpetual existence (doesn't die), experience, group judgment, daily accessibility (doesn't get sick or go on vacation), impartiality, efficiency (many skills under one roof) and the ability to handle even the most complex situation. There is really no better alternative.
Gill
How does a person go about finding a competent corporate trustee? Are these part of banks, or separate entities? I assume as with all other things in life, there are good and bad ones out there.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Dulocracy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:57 pm

Meg77 wrote:This is probably not an uncommon situation, and your net worth is really beside the point. The primary things to do in my view would be the following:

1. Engage an estate planning attorney who is willing to act as executor of your will and who can help you set up a trust if you end up going that route.

The problem is that OP plans on moving to another state. Using language that puts the county appointed attorney for these matters in control is probably a safer bet (and one with more oversight and potentially lower cost).

2. Select a select a nursing home or assisted living facility that you would prefer to live in when (not if) you become unable to live alone. Even at a relatively young age you could break a hip or suffer a heart attack and be unable to remain in the hospital for very long but also unable to take care of yourself, even if temporarily. If you've already made arrangements or established some kind of relationship with a nearby facility, it will be relatively simple to inform the hospital of this and be transferred there.

Normally a great suggestion, but in this case, again, OP plans to move in a few years.

3. Select someone who can relay those and other wishes to the hospital if you are mentally incapacitated or unable to communicate them. This can be your attorney, but that person may not know if you are involved in an accident. Any acquaintance who might miss you - an employer, housekeeper, pastor, etc. could be given the attorney's information to call in case of an accident without knowing anything about your finances.

4. Medical personnel will often check your phone or wallet for anybody listed as ICE or In Case of Emergency if you can't communicate. My husband is listed first in my "favorite" contacts as "ICE - husband's name" for this purpose. Whoever is your POA for healthcare, if you have one, should be listed. If you don't have one (you may wish to just leave the decisions to medical professionals rather than the attorney or an acquaintance for this purpose), then you should list the attorney so he or she can step in with your documented wishes regarding ongoing care.

Keeping this information in your wallet is a good idea generally, but OP said he does not have a person to list as ICE. Anyone have any ideas on an approach using technology? (Like failsafe release protocols you see in the movies... he does not put in a password and an email is sent or some such...)
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by margered » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:08 pm

"I am basically alone in the world, while this doesn't bother me much, it's posing legal challenges. I need to have a medical proxy which I can handle with my one friend (of 40 years) and I will make him POA on my checking and some savings so that he can actually help me if I get injured or killed. "

Your POA ends upon death. You would need an executor or a trustee to deal with your estate.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Meg77 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:09 pm

Dulocracy wrote:
Meg77 wrote:This is probably not an uncommon situation, and your net worth is really beside the point. The primary things to do in my view would be the following:

1. Engage an estate planning attorney who is willing to act as executor of your will and who can help you set up a trust if you end up going that route.

The problem is that OP plans on moving to another state. Using language that puts the county appointed attorney for these matters in control is probably a safer bet (and one with more oversight and potentially lower cost).

2. Select a select a nursing home or assisted living facility that you would prefer to live in when (not if) you become unable to live alone. Even at a relatively young age you could break a hip or suffer a heart attack and be unable to remain in the hospital for very long but also unable to take care of yourself, even if temporarily. If you've already made arrangements or established some kind of relationship with a nearby facility, it will be relatively simple to inform the hospital of this and be transferred there.

Normally a great suggestion, but in this case, again, OP plans to move in a few years.

3. Select someone who can relay those and other wishes to the hospital if you are mentally incapacitated or unable to communicate them. This can be your attorney, but that person may not know if you are involved in an accident. Any acquaintance who might miss you - an employer, housekeeper, pastor, etc. could be given the attorney's information to call in case of an accident without knowing anything about your finances.

4. Medical personnel will often check your phone or wallet for anybody listed as ICE or In Case of Emergency if you can't communicate. My husband is listed first in my "favorite" contacts as "ICE - husband's name" for this purpose. Whoever is your POA for healthcare, if you have one, should be listed. If you don't have one (you may wish to just leave the decisions to medical professionals rather than the attorney or an acquaintance for this purpose), then you should list the attorney so he or she can step in with your documented wishes regarding ongoing care.

Keeping this information in your wallet is a good idea generally, but OP said he does not have a person to list as ICE. Anyone have any ideas on an approach using technology? (Like failsafe release protocols you see in the movies... he does not put in a password and an email is sent or some such...)
I think it's still a good idea to have these systems in place, even if you have to update your preferences if you move to another state (one of the many pains of moving). You still need a plan - and a will in place - for today.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Gill » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:09 pm

clip651 wrote:
Gill wrote:You are the ideal candidate for a competent corporate trustee. I may be a bit biased having spent my life in the trust business but, quite simply, no one does it better than a corporate trustee. They bring to bear on a situation such as yours a perpetual existence (doesn't die), experience, group judgment, daily accessibility (doesn't get sick or go on vacation), impartiality, efficiency (many skills under one roof) and the ability to handle even the most complex situation. There is really no better alternative.
Gill
How does a person go about finding a competent corporate trustee? Are these part of banks, or separate entities? I assume as with all other things in life, there are good and bad ones out there.
Corporate fiduciaries are generally formed as separate departments of banks, as trust companies wholly owned by banks or as independent trust companies. Lawyers specializing in trusts and estates are usually good sources of referrals for corporate trustees. I would suggest a trust institution where trust administration is a major part of their business. Most corporate trustees have certain minimum size accounts and that must be considered in selecting a trustee.
Gill

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Bogel0048 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:13 pm

Kompass,

Gee, this is a fascinating situation. I like sport's church idea. A variation might be the the planned giving office of a large, respected, well-run charity. They will be very experienced in dealing with trust situations. If you have significant assets and no relatives, I assume you would not be averse to giving a large sum to at least one charity in your will or trust. You could pick out your favorite charity, anywhere in the country, and explain your circumstance. If they are named for a large amount, and if they have a very experienced planned giving office, I bet they would work with you to make sure you are well-cared for while you are alive. As to how they would know if you are ever in trouble, you could wear a health alert bracelet, pendent or wallet card that says to call their number.

With any luck, you will never need them until you get old yourself. At that point I have another suggestion. There are a number of very high quality not-for-profit continuing care retirement communities in the US that provide excellent independent living accommodations for healthy seniors, ranging from houses or penthouses to very nice apartments to very modest apartments. They also offer a complete continuum of on-campus assisted living, memory unit care, and long-term care as residents' age within the community. They provide a built-in network for social or minimal human interaction, depending on your inclinations. They are NOT nursing homes. Some are composed primarily of retired professionals and some are composed primarily of retired working folks; some are a mix - take your pick. If you are intrigued and don't know where to start, I would look at the Kendal retirement communities. There are twelve of them around the country.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:22 pm

margered wrote:"I am basically alone in the world, while this doesn't bother me much, it's posing legal challenges. I need to have a medical proxy which I can handle with my one friend (of 40 years) and I will make him POA on my checking and some savings so that he can actually help me if I get injured or killed. "

Your POA ends upon death. You would need an executor or a trustee to deal with your estate.
Actually, a regular POA ends with incapacitation.

What is often a better choice is a DPOA (Durable POA). This is in effect "now" and endures past incapacitation, which is typically when it is most needed.

Another choice is a SPOA (SPRINGING POA), which only "springs" into effect upon Incapacitation.

One advantage of a DPOA is that there is no need to prove that the person is indeed now incapacitated, which is necessary for the SPOA.

All three forms of Powers of Attorney end at death, as described above.

RM
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Dulocracy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:36 pm

Meg77 wrote: I think it's still a good idea to have these systems in place, even if you have to update your preferences if you move to another state (one of the many pains of moving). You still need a plan - and a will in place - for today.
I completely agree that OP needs a plan in place now. I am just trying to work a flexible plan that will follow him so he is not creating a new trust or paying a new attorney every few years.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by afan » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:39 pm

Discuss this with a good estate planning attorney and get your trust in place now.

Appoint a NATIONAL bank or trust company, not a regional one. This minimizes the risk that when you move they will be unable to help. Trust companies do merge, get sold and I assume drop out of the business. You want one that you can count on being in the business in your area for the long haul. This means you probably want a large national firm. They charge more than the regional outfits.

Your estate planning attorney should be able to give advice about which of the major companies can do a good job on this sort of beneficiary service.

For identifying an estate planning attorney, two suggestions: generate a list of the major trust companies and bank trust departments in your current area. This can be done with a little googling.
Contact several of them. Tell them your situation and say that you have decided you need a trustee, but first you need a trust. Ask them for recommendations of estates and trusts attorneys. Just as the attorneys will know which trust companies fit your situation, the trust companies deal with lawyers all day long. They know which ones have everything lined up perfectly and which ones produce ongoing disasters. As long as they know that there, might be, business for them at the end they should be happy to steer you toward people who are good.

The other suggestion is to look for ACTEC fellows in your area. These are people recognized by their peers in the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel as experts. Some are judges. Some are law professors. But enough do client work that this can be a great resource. You can find them online.
There is a good chance the two approaches will turn up some of the same names.

You probably want to get a bank involved early so that they can be ready to step in when needed. It is possible they might charge you a small amount to agree to this, after they have seen the trust and the size of the assets they will be managing. If you have a substantial amount of money and you don't want to deal with managing it, the company would be happy to do everything for you starting now. For a price, of course.

For a "small" trust of $1M, they would charge 1-2% including administrative and investment management fees, with the percentage dropping off fairly steeply as the size of the trust increases.

Years ago, our estate planning attorney argued against powers of attorney and springing powers of attorney. He said that both have the problem that institutions want proof that they are valid. For a regular POA, they need to know that you are still competent. Who tells them that? For a springing POA, they need to know that you are not competent. Who tells them that? For both, they need to know that the form being presented is the last and current one. A durable POA gets around these problems, at least on paper. In helping a relative, I did not encounter a single financial institution that would accept a perfectly valid DPOA. NOT ONE. It was a nice stack of paper, but completely useless.

The revocable trust worked just fine.

The last thing I would do is count on some unknown third parties recognizing your incapacity and having a court appoint a guardian. There is no need to let it get to that when you can control this yourself.

If you move to a different state, just find another estate planning attorney and make sure your trust is OK under the laws of the new state.

Most of the time issues seem to revolve around inheritance laws and ensuring your money goes to your heirs at the lowest tax rates. If you do not have family members or friends who will inherit, then this is not so much a concern. If you leave everything to charity, there will not be estate taxes.
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Gill » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:59 pm

Afan, excellent advice and summary of the issues.
Gill

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by kwan2 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:50 pm

I believe Vanguard might be a "competent corporate trustee"
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=vanguard+trus ... fsb&ia=web
clip651 wrote:
Gill wrote:You are the ideal candidate for a competent corporate trustee. I may be a bit biased having spent my life in the trust business but, quite simply, no one does it better than a corporate trustee. They bring to bear on a situation such as yours a perpetual existence (doesn't die), experience, group judgment, daily accessibility (doesn't get sick or go on vacation), impartiality, efficiency (many skills under one roof) and the ability to handle even the most complex situation. There is really no better alternative.
Gill
How does a person go about finding a competent corporate trustee? Are these part of banks, or separate entities? I assume as with all other things in life, there are good and bad ones out there.
“The history of Paris teaches us that beauty is a by-product of danger, that liberty is at best a consequence of neglect, that wisdom is entwined with decay."

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by kwan2 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:00 am

Kompass wrote:I'm in an awkward position and have to do some estate planning but do not have the usual circumstances.

I am basically alone in the world, while this doesn't bother me much, it's posing legal challenges. I need to have a medical proxy which I can handle with my one friend (of 40 years) and I will make him POA on my checking and some savings so that he can actually help me if I get injured or killed.

Beyond that however is the abyss. I have a sizable net worth which no one but my accountant knows about. I am trying to do planning for my own care in my old age or if I become disabled. I have no family except my elderly mother who would not be able to help. I have just gone through the process of making arrangements for her if something happens to me and it really brought home the fact that I need to do this for myself.

I put in place a geriatric care giver and an elaborate series of funding steps to provide for her care and make sure she never gets handed off to some guardian or ever ends up in a nursing home. Hopefully this will never be needed as I plan on staying alive, but I have no family, I'm the end of the line. I also moved cross country less than 2 years ago to help my folks, but mom is settled now and I can move on while still visiting her from wherever.

So, no spouse, children, siblings, close friends, or long term fixed location at this time. Too young for a geriatric manager, could use an attorney (if I trusted them) but I plan on moving in the next two years, so that would be temporary at best. All of the reading I've been doing assumes at least a spouse and/or usually some sort of other family member to help out.

If my net worth were to be disclosed to anyone, (not a zillionaire or anything, but a temptation to most) I become a target. So I am asking the anonymous braintrust of the Bogelheads to help steer me to sources of information for this admittedly weird situation.
are you aware of Nolo Press and their books?
“The history of Paris teaches us that beauty is a by-product of danger, that liberty is at best a consequence of neglect, that wisdom is entwined with decay."

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by jalbert » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:44 am

If no heirs or bequests are actually in play, the OP might consider annuitizing a sizable fraction of the assets. No trustee fees are needed, the assets are managed, and only durable powers of attorney are needed for medical decisions and financial decisions/administration. Might need to split it up across multiple insurance cos. to avoid crossing state insurance guaranty limits.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by mouses » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:53 am

You don't want to have a court appoint a guardian. At least in my state, the crooked attorneys seem to queue up for this.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:37 pm

Hi Folks,

I'm sorry to have let this languish, but I didn't know there were responses, and wasn't getting the notifications. I resubscribed and should get them now. There are some really great responses in here and I will address some of them individually but thought an update was due too.

Where to even begin; I'm learning both sides of this coin as we speak. Setting this up for myself and seeing how some some of these same options have been working out in real life for my mother this last year and a half. Since I am DPOA for my mother and dealing with several levels of financial institutions it's giving me an view as to how some of this works or doesn't.

When my father passed he had set up layers of trusts for both tax purposes and care of my mother with a solid little regional bank ("Wealth Management") and all was to be fine. She also has annuities and other assets outside of the trusts. Good thing. The small branch of the regional bank has been a nightmare for 18 months in every way imaginable. I am using some annuity and other taxable assets for her care and her lawyer (who recommended the bank) is dismantling the best laid plans with a TEDRA. This is what I am afraid of for myself, that whatever I set up goes sideways and there is no benevolent offspring to pick up the pieces and fix it.

I'm in process of moving an irrevocable trust for me over to Vanguard (National, corporate) and they will be sole trustee. It is very liberally worded and I plan on treating as if it were a virtually bulletproof annuity in that it will be mostly asset protected, managed by a trustee who will keep an eye out for unusual behaviour or misappropriation, invested the way I want. 20-30 years down the line or even right away it is a deep enough pocket to make me feel secure for quite a while.* I still need to figure out who to have as a SPOA or DPOA I'm leaning heavily towards a SPOA. The fact that I plan on moving in the next two years makes the frugal part of me reluctant to do too much here only to do it over in another place, although an accident can happen anytime.

My friend will be in this mostly as my medical proxy, he'll make the right choices. He will also die before me so I know it is for 10-15 years at best but at least I will have this for now. I am also putting him on as DPOA for one bank account so that he will have access to enough to take care of my immediate needs and his needs for taking the time to help me, and then hand it off to the next layer of :confused

I hired the highly recommended big gun in town as my Estate Attorney back in June deciding to start off easy with the first two docs (proxy, DPOA) as a trial. So far, not so great. I know what I want, pretty much what I just had done for my mother, but communication seems off and I'm not getting the results I want. To add intrigue, my mother's lawyer is now consulting with mine to pull off the TEDRA which involves putting some funds into my name so they can be moved to Vanguard for better management. Not the best time to switch horses.

The good news is that the place I found for my mother to live is fantastic as is the additional staff I have brought on for her minor needs and extra comforts. So, mom is good with a very good back-up plan for if I die or become incapacitated, a geriatric care giver will take over for me, well funded, and if something happens to me she will continue on with no real bumps in the road. It is written in that she will never have to have an appointed guardian or see the inside of a nursing home other than a day or two for transition if needed. Now all I have to do is set myself up similarly, so far since June... not even document one. :(

*For anyone curious, there are recent changes at Vanguard Trust Co. Cost of 0.55 tiering downwards comes with a financial advisor (quality of this goes up with account balance) and an administrator. It also includes 1041 tax prep and filing for the trust with Ernst & Young.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

LarryAllen
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by LarryAllen » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:44 pm

I would use a private professional fiduciary. I think they are better suited to personal choices than banks. At least here in California they are licensed by the state and they are bondable if you want that insurance. Info for California at pfac-pro.org

wolf359
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by wolf359 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:08 pm

afan wrote:Discuss this with a good estate planning attorney and get your trust in place now.

Appoint a NATIONAL bank or trust company, not a regional one. This minimizes the risk that when you move they will be unable to help. Trust companies do merge, get sold and I assume drop out of the business. You want one that you can count on being in the business in your area for the long haul. This means you probably want a large national firm. They charge more than the regional outfits.
I'm following this topic with interest. What sorts of legal protections are there that a national bank acting as a trustee is actually performing in their fiduciary responsibilities? For example, what if you had selected a big national bank that runs into criminal and ethical abuses like alleged at Wells Fargo? If the trustee misbehaves despite their fiduciary responsibilities, what types of legal or oversight safeguards are in place to protect you if you're mentally or physically incapacitated and are relying on them not to abuse that trust?

How do you set up safeguards to trust an impersonal corporate trustee when you're on your own like the OP?

Gill
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Gill » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:21 pm

wolf359 wrote:I'm following this topic with interest. What sorts of legal protections are there that a national bank acting as a trustee is actually performing in their fiduciary responsibilities? For example, what if you had selected a big national bank that runs into criminal and ethical abuses like alleged at Wells Fargo? If the trustee misbehaves despite their fiduciary responsibilities, what types of legal or oversight safeguards are in place to protect you if you're mentally or physically incapacitated and are relying on them not to abuse that trust?

How do you set up safeguards to trust an impersonal corporate trustee when you're on your own like the OP?
There are many safeguards with a corporate trustee that don't exist with an individual trustee. Every corporate trustee has internal auditors, outside independent auditors and oversight by either the Comptroller of the Currency for a national trust institution or the state banking authorities for a bank or trust company chartered by the state. Also, of course, a trustee is required to account to the beneficiaries who in turn have access to the courts. I spent my carer in the trust business and I can assure you the administration of a corporate trustee functions in the full light of day.
Gill

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by bsteiner » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:30 pm

Gill wrote:You are the ideal candidate for a competent corporate trustee. I may be a bit biased having spent my life in the trust business but, quite simply, no one does it better than a corporate trustee. They bring to bear on a situation such as yours a perpetual existence (doesn't die), experience, group judgment, daily accessibility (doesn't get sick or go on vacation), impartiality, efficiency (many skills under one roof) and the ability to handle even the most complex situation. There is really no better alternative.
While there may not be a perfect solution absent friends and family, Gill is correct. A bank or trust company is likely to be the best solution.

Since banks and trust companies prefer not to act as agent under a power of attorney, a revocable trust will likely make sense.

You'll have to work out who decides when the bank or trust company takes over, and the degree of involvement (and the bank's or trust company's compensation) until that point.
clip651 wrote:How does a person go about finding a competent corporate trustee? Are these part of banks, or separate entities? I assume as with all other things in life, there are good and bad ones out there.
Your lawyer should be able to recommend several that would be appropriate in light of the amount involved. Since the original poster has "a sizable net worth" though he/she's "not a zilliionaire," he/she would have more choices available than someone with a smaller estate.
jalbert wrote:If no heirs or bequests are actually in play, the OP might consider annuitizing a sizable fraction of the assets. ....
If you live to life expectancy, you'll get back what you paid for the annuity (plus the earnings thereon, less the economic cost of the annuity), so you'll be back in the same position you started. The purpose of an annuity is to protect against the risk of living too long. But since the original poster has "a sizable net worth," he/she may not need an annuity.
mouses wrote:You don't want to have a court appoint a guardian. At least in my state, the crooked attorneys seem to queue up for this.
I wouldn't describe guardianship in those terms, but guardianships are cumbersome, and are best avoided.
Kompass wrote:... When my father passed he had set up layers of trusts for both tax purposes and care of my mother with a solid little regional bank ("Wealth Management") and all was to be fine. She also has annuities and other assets outside of the trusts. Good thing. The small branch of the regional bank has been a nightmare for 18 months in every way imaginable. I am using some annuity and other taxable assets for her care and her lawyer (who recommended the bank) is dismantling the best laid plans with a TEDRA. This is what I am afraid of for myself, that whatever I set up goes sideways and there is no benevolent offspring to pick up the pieces and fix it. ...

For anyone curious, there are recent changes at Vanguard Trust Co. Cost of 0.55 tiering downwards ...
What is a TEDRA?

Vanguard's website shows that they start at 0.7% plus $2,500 (plus the cost of their underlying funds), with a minimum of $7,000 a year: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/eptsb.pdf (see the 8th page). Where did you find that they reduced their fees for acting as a trustee?

Vanguard isn't that much of a bargain for small trusts, but they are for larger trusts since they're at 0.2% (plus the cost of their underlying funds) on amounts over $2 million.

ResearchMed
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:43 pm

TEDRA seems to be a Washington state specific acronym:

"TEDRA. In Washington, most probate disputes involving Wills and Trusts are decided under and governed by Washington's Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act..."

RM
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Kompass
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:46 pm

Dulocracy wrote:This may be a situation in which you speak to an attorney to prepare a trust for yourself. You will name yourself as the trustee, but specifically note that in the event of your incapacity, the attorney appointed by the county to act as conservator in guardianship situations would be appointed to serve as your trustee of the trust.

The appointed trustee/conservator is going to be insured and will charge the rate that the Judge believes to be fair (this varies from state to state). The advantage of this is that no matter where you live, the trust allows for someone to take over.

The trust allows you to have control in providing instructions to the trustee (like your priority is your comfort over preserving the estate for heirs). Your attorney can help you with that language.

Please note that there is one difficulty: SOMEONE needs to know that 1) the trust exists and 2) that you have reached the point someone else needs to take over your affairs. If no one brings this issue to court, you have money sitting in an un-managed trust. That part, however, is a practical issue more than it is a legal one.
This is where I want to find someone similar to the Geriatric Care manager that I found for my mother. I'm not geriatric yet though. I found someone for her that this is what this person does, is familiar with the legal ins and outs of being power of attorney with various institutions, knows the good service providers, best of group homes, best private medical care, that sort of thing. This is also someone who also serves as a guardian at times for some folks but prefers dealing with folks who have plans in place and then she can focus on quality care. She is actually the one who warned me the most stridently against leaving any loose ends that could end up in guardianship because she knows how it works.

I do have the irrevocable trust where I am not the trustee and if I am incapacitated will need a SPOA to be an interface, I think that will be a good combination. The wording does specify my priorities for comfort over legacy and I or my agent choose things like steady income or lumps or anywhere in between. I also believe that a revokable trust has its place and ultimately I will do that; it's just that right now I've got a bad taste in my mouth over how my mother was handled. It's supposed to give you more control, not less.

Once I relocate I can better search for someone, it's just this next couple of years that are a head scratcher, and you are right that someone needs to know, my friend is my ICE contact and he knows to call my lawyer if I'm bad off or dead. For the moment I'm driving carefully. :happy
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by mouses » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:09 pm

Kompass wrote:
This is where I want to find someone similar to the Geriatric Care manager that I found for my mother. I'm not geriatric yet though.
Why not make arrangements of some sort with this person for yourself? You may not need it for some years and they may not be available then, but at least it's something in place for the time being.

afan
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by afan » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:24 pm

That is great news if Vanguard has dropped its fees, but they are still listing the old fee schedule on the website
$2,500 fee per trust registration, plus
0.7% of the first $1M
0.35% of the second $1M
0.2% of the next amount up to a total of $10M.
"Even lower" schedule, not specified, perhaps negotiable?? on trusts of over $10M.

There is certainly a level that would produce a effective fee of 0.55%, but if they have really cut their fees on the smaller trusts, they have yet to update the web.

I wonder whether the lawyers can comment on Vanguard for beneficiary service.

I have given them a long look for simply serving as a trustee when asset protection requires a trustee, but for someone whose primary concern is having them look after a beneficiary who has no family- any ideas how they do? Yes, it is Vanguard, probably will do nothing bad, but
1. They are pretty new to the trustee business. I assume they hired some people with experience, but how deep is the bench?
2. Unlike a large trust company for which that is their business, or a bank for which the trust division is a large part of the business, trustee work is a tiny sliver of Vanguard's asset base. They probably get more new money in mutual fund/ETF investments in a week than they have in trusts in total. Are they in it for the long haul? Any opinions?

I agree that annuities don't seem to serve any purpose the OP set out. The insurance company will send monthly payments, but they will not pay the bills. The trustee can buy an annuity if it makes sense, but the OP really needs an entity that will step in to manage affairs at some point, buying an annuity does not get that.

RE:nursing home. There are good nursing homes, you know. Although it sounds nice to stay at home until the end, some people have long term need for they kind of skilled care that is very difficult to reproduce at home. You need to schedule at least one nurse and probably at least one aid to be around 24/7. You need a wide array of equipment for daily management of someone who may need help with mobility. you need emergency medical equipment- and people who know how to use it. You need backups for all the people and equipment- what happens if someone calls in sick? Who tests and maintains the medical equipment to make sure it is in good order when it is needed? I am sure all of these services can be put together for the right price, but they are included in the cost of a nursing home. You can probably overstaff and oversupply everything if you have enough money, but you still have people who spend all of their time with you, and their skills for anything else may atrophy if not used. And then you need it when they are no longer really qualified. It can be like trying to build and run a single-patient hospital at home. For enough money it probably could be done, but I would worry about the quality of people who would work there...

Plus, for someone who needs this much care but is intellectually capable of interacting with people, even if they may have dementia, who is around all day to be with? The nurse and the aid? But what about someone of similar age to whom they can relate? Not just an employee who is so many decades younger that a friendship could be difficult. Isolation is a real problem and having a community of people around can be the best thing in the world.

I am not saying there are no horror stories at nursing homes. But they are not all evil places. I have seen quite a few elderly people who are much better off there than they would be at home.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

Kompass
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:28 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Gill wrote:You are the ideal candidate for a competent corporate trustee. I may be a bit biased having spent my life in the trust business but, quite simply, no one does it better than a corporate trustee. They bring to bear on a situation such as yours a perpetual existence (doesn't die), experience, group judgment, daily accessibility (doesn't get sick or go on vacation), impartiality, efficiency (many skills under one roof) and the ability to handle even the most complex situation. There is really no better alternative.
While there may not be a perfect solution absent friends and family, Gill is correct. A bank or trust company is likely to be the best solution.

Since banks and trust companies prefer not to act as agent under a power of attorney, a revocable trust will likely make sense.

You'll have to work out who decides when the bank or trust company takes over, and the degree of involvement (and the bank's or trust company's compensation) until that point.
clip651 wrote:How does a person go about finding a competent corporate trustee? Are these part of banks, or separate entities? I assume as with all other things in life, there are good and bad ones out there.
Your lawyer should be able to recommend several that would be appropriate in light of the amount involved. Since the original poster has "a sizable net worth" though he/she's "not a zilliionaire," he/she would have more choices available than someone with a smaller estate.
jalbert wrote:If no heirs or bequests are actually in play, the OP might consider annuitizing a sizable fraction of the assets. ....
If you live to life expectancy, you'll get back what you paid for the annuity (plus the earnings thereon, less the economic cost of the annuity), so you'll be back in the same position you started. The purpose of an annuity is to protect against the risk of living too long. But since the original poster has "a sizable net worth," he/she may not need an annuity.
mouses wrote:You don't want to have a court appoint a guardian. At least in my state, the crooked attorneys seem to queue up for this.
I wouldn't describe guardianship in those terms, but guardianships are cumbersome, and are best avoided.
Kompass wrote:... When my father passed he had set up layers of trusts for both tax purposes and care of my mother with a solid little regional bank ("Wealth Management") and all was to be fine. She also has annuities and other assets outside of the trusts. Good thing. The small branch of the regional bank has been a nightmare for 18 months in every way imaginable. I am using some annuity and other taxable assets for her care and her lawyer (who recommended the bank) is dismantling the best laid plans with a TEDRA. This is what I am afraid of for myself, that whatever I set up goes sideways and there is no benevolent offspring to pick up the pieces and fix it. ...

For anyone curious, there are recent changes at Vanguard Trust Co. Cost of 0.55 tiering downwards ...
What is a TEDRA?

Vanguard's website shows that they start at 0.7% plus $2,500 (plus the cost of their underlying funds), with a minimum of $7,000 a year: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/eptsb.pdf (see the 8th page). Where did you find that they reduced their fees for acting as a trustee?

Vanguard isn't that much of a bargain for small trusts, but they are for larger trusts since they're at 0.2% (plus the cost of their underlying funds) on amounts over $2 million.
Someone's got to tell me how to multi-quote on this site, lol :happy

bsteiner; As far as the Vanguard changes; the brochure is from 2011, these changes are just going into effect now, the last thirty days and it isn't published on the site yet. the 0.7 has been reduced to 0.55 for the first $1m and steps down from there and the $2500 maintenance fee (which used to pay for the tax returns) is gone, although the tax service is still included. My source is the senior trust advisor I spoke with yesterday as the second to last step in getting this approved, they spend a good bit of time going over the trust language in my trust to make sure we're all on the same page. This is for irrevocable, the revocable are 0.30 just like their PAS service.

I'm sorry I didn't know TEDRA was a local thing or I would have explained. Mother lives in WA, it allows her to make changes to any of her trust designated holdings but it's a fair amount of work. Even though everyone is on the same page (except the regional bank) it's a conflict resolution document that can be made a court order.

The regional bank where it was charged 1.25 and didn't include any tax work or decisions either as it turned out, they would just hire outside attorneys and accountants to do anything at all and charge those fees to the trust as additional. The language in the trust allowed them to consult.
So far this year with their 'regular' fees and all this outside consulting to cover their rears, we are up to $100K. Makes Vanguard look good to me for this account.

mouses; I agree with all that whether my mother or myself; no guardians! (For many reasons)

jalbert; I would agree to having annuities for some, but I already have a good bit in deferred assets and will inherit two annuities from my mother when she passes. Proportionally I have to balance deferred and taxable or it'll go pear shaped on me. I'm sort of thinking of a good part of the irrevocable as though it is a backstop for aging since it is asset protected. I have options.

gill; I will investigate the corporate trustee angle, it might be a good fit, especially if I can find one that is national, I don't want to feel trapped if I decide to move more than once.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

Kompass
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:48 pm

mouses wrote:
Kompass wrote:
This is where I want to find someone similar to the Geriatric Care manager that I found for my mother. I'm not geriatric yet though.
Why not make arrangements of some sort with this person for yourself? You may not need it for some years and they may not be available then, but at least it's something in place for the time being.
Exactly. Unfortunately she is in a different state or I would, my mother doesn't need her unless I can't take care of her, I have her on retainer. After I make my next move I will look into both corporate and something like this, they may be complimentary.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

afan
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by afan » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:54 pm

Well, Vanguard is a corporate trustee. If you switch to them for your mom and like their service that may solve one problem.

Great news about Vanguard's fees dropping. I had been hoping they would drive down trustee prices just as they have for asset management.

Thanks for letting us know!
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

Kompass
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:25 pm

afan wrote:That is great news if Vanguard has dropped its fees, but they are still listing the old fee schedule on the website
$2,500 fee per trust registration, plus
0.7% of the first $1M
0.35% of the second $1M
0.2% of the next amount up to a total of $10M.
"Even lower" schedule, not specified, perhaps negotiable?? on trusts of over $10M.

There is certainly a level that would produce a effective fee of 0.55%, but if they have really cut their fees on the smaller trusts, they have yet to update the web.

I wonder whether the lawyers can comment on Vanguard for beneficiary service.

I have given them a long look for simply serving as a trustee when asset protection requires a trustee, but for someone whose primary concern is having them look after a beneficiary who has no family- any ideas how they do? Yes, it is Vanguard, probably will do nothing bad, but
1. They are pretty new to the trustee business. I assume they hired some people with experience, but how deep is the bench?
2. Unlike a large trust company for which that is their business, or a bank for which the trust division is a large part of the business, trustee work is a tiny sliver of Vanguard's asset base. They probably get more new money in mutual fund/ETF investments in a week than they have in trusts in total. Are they in it for the long haul? Any opinions?

I agree that annuities don't seem to serve any purpose the OP set out. The insurance company will send monthly payments, but they will not pay the bills. The trustee can buy an annuity if it makes sense, but the OP really needs an entity that will step in to manage affairs at some point, buying an annuity does not get that.

RE:nursing home. There are good nursing homes, you know. Although it sounds nice to stay at home until the end, some people have long term need for they kind of skilled care that is very difficult to reproduce at home. You need to schedule at least one nurse and probably at least one aid to be around 24/7. You need a wide array of equipment for daily management of someone who may need help with mobility. you need emergency medical equipment- and people who know how to use it. You need backups for all the people and equipment- what happens if someone calls in sick? Who tests and maintains the medical equipment to make sure it is in good order when it is needed? I am sure all of these services can be put together for the right price, but they are included in the cost of a nursing home. You can probably overstaff and oversupply everything if you have enough money, but you still have people who spend all of their time with you, and their skills for anything else may atrophy if not used. And then you need it when they are no longer really qualified. It can be like trying to build and run a single-patient hospital at home. For enough money it probably could be done, but I would worry about the quality of people who would work there...

Plus, for someone who needs this much care but is intellectually capable of interacting with people, even if they may have dementia, who is around all day to be with? The nurse and the aid? But what about someone of similar age to whom they can relate? Not just an employee who is so many decades younger that a friendship could be difficult. Isolation is a real problem and having a community of people around can be the best thing in the world.

I am not saying there are no horror stories at nursing homes. But they are not all evil places. I have seen quite a few elderly people who are much better off there than they would be at home.

The fees are just now changing, I was planning on the 0.70 etc you outlined and when I wanted to double check on the 1041 being included they told me the new schedule because it isn't online yet. It takes time to get vetted, passing through several committees; administration, legal, advisors conference, then final acceptance. I will have a final decision tomorrow after eight weeks, they expect me to be accepted.

I would also be very interested in hearing others weigh in with experience or knowledge on beneficiary service.

On the nursing home, you bring up some good points. I just went through the nightmare portion with my father last year, but there wasn't much else other than taking him home with a huge amount of equipment and his physicians directive didn't have the teeth to get him out of there. It was also time, he was there 2 months and that's not really long enough to set up something different without notice (stroke). There is a middle ground I'm learning if you are lucky enough to have good quality group homes available. I understand they are hit and miss, but the right ones have a much higher staff to patient ratio, a few others (2-6) depending on conditions to interact with, and a more homelike environment. Generally a large regular house that has been retrofitted for this purpose. The geriatric manager and the private nurse I have see her have told me there are three really good ones in town and on my next trip over I will check them out.

Where my mother is now has graduated care. She is now in independent living, but they also offer levels of assistance. What I'm finding is that living on a campus of her peers and just adding a little private care is ideal for her now. We are both very conscience of quality of life over quantity and will have to see what happens. She has cancer and has decided not to treat it further than we have with surgery and oral meds. She is not sick now and may be fine for a few more years or not. She is 85 so there are surprises around every corner, especially with early stages of dementia added. I have her set to scale up but if she needs a huge amount of care over time, a good group home is our hope.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

Kompass
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:48 pm

Bogel0048 wrote:Kompass,

Gee, this is a fascinating situation. I like sport's church idea. A variation might be the the planned giving office of a large, respected, well-run charity. They will be very experienced in dealing with trust situations. If you have significant assets and no relatives, I assume you would not be averse to giving a large sum to at least one charity in your will or trust. You could pick out your favorite charity, anywhere in the country, and explain your circumstance. If they are named for a large amount, and if they have a very experienced planned giving office, I bet they would work with you to make sure you are well-cared for while you are alive. As to how they would know if you are ever in trouble, you could wear a health alert bracelet, pendent or wallet card that says to call their number.

With any luck, you will never need them until you get old yourself. At that point I have another suggestion. There are a number of very high quality not-for-profit continuing care retirement communities in the US that provide excellent independent living accommodations for healthy seniors, ranging from houses or penthouses to very nice apartments to very modest apartments. They also offer a complete continuum of on-campus assisted living, memory unit care, and long-term care as residents' age within the community. They provide a built-in network for social or minimal human interaction, depending on your inclinations. They are NOT nursing homes. Some are composed primarily of retired professionals and some are composed primarily of retired working folks; some are a mix - take your pick. If you are intrigued and don't know where to start, I would look at the Kendal retirement communities. There are twelve of them around the country.
This.

This second section is what I found for my mother. She has a very nice apartment on a campus setting with a variety of levels of care available. They come with housekeeping, private car and driver service, very nice dining room dinners included which also serves as a social function, walking paths, libraries, restaurant, etc..

I looked at the corporate options in the area and they were all clearly profit oriented. This place is a christian non-profit who accepts any faith (or none in my mothers case) and there is no pressure at all. Just chapel and classes if wanted listed on the activity calendar. It is head and shoulders above the others, better staffing levels, very nice grounds, and a peer group that is perfect for her. They also take differing income levels which was a big draw, my mother and I have assets but aren't at all 'fancy' and I wanted her to be around regular folks, it is much more comfortable for her. Because of this set up it also gives me the opportunity to make extra contributions to the community fund that helps out other residents if they hit a financial rough spot. While nothing is said, I think her contributions are appreciated by the management. :wink:

There is an onsite nursing home so that if she needed something for a few days or a couple of weeks, it's there and her friends can visit too. I wouldn't do this long term as I spoke of above, but for something unexpected it's nice to know it's there as well.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

afan
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by afan » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:47 pm

There are places similar to what you describe that can serve anywhere from a retirement community for people who are fully independent but don't want to deal with upkeep of a home to a full nursing home. They can then transition to assisted living and to a full skilled nursing facility as they may need. Their social group does not change. The can keep eating in the same independent dining room if they are up to it and it is easy for their friends to visit if they cannot. I have seen people very happy and well cared for, even after they leave the independent part.

Not medical advice, but with cancer patients many eventually need pain control and are much better off if they get that from people who know what they are doing and who know how to deal with the side effects that may accompany that. At a nursing home, those people are around all the time. At home, they are around when you call them.

The nice thing about your situation is that you have time to shop for a home for mom.

A converted house might be fine, at least for a while, but things like stairs, width of doorways, railings along the walls, industrial level level electricity, plumbing, regular inspections... are difficult to retrofit or get in a facility that is not fully set up for it. All difficult to reproduce outside of the nursing home world. You just have to shop while you and hopefully mom, are up to it.

Regarding Vanguard, Are they keeping the same lower rates for trusts above $1M? 0.35% on the next 1$M and 0.2% above that? Or some other schedule?
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Kompass
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:34 pm

afan wrote:There are places similar to what you describe that can serve anywhere from a retirement community for people who are fully independent but don't want to deal with upkeep of a home to a full nursing home. They can then transition to assisted living and to a full skilled nursing facility as they may need. Their social group does not change. The can keep eating in the same independent dining room if they are up to it and it is easy for their friends to visit if they cannot. I have seen people very happy and well cared for, even after they leave the independent part.

Not medical advice, but with cancer patients many eventually need pain control and are much better off if they get that from people who know what they are doing and who know how to deal with the side effects that may accompany that. At a nursing home, those people are around all the time. At home, they are around when you call them.

The nice thing about your situation is that you have time to shop for a home for mom.

A converted house might be fine, at least for a while, but things like stairs, width of doorways, railings along the walls, industrial level level electricity, plumbing, regular inspections... are difficult to retrofit or get in a facility that is not fully set up for it. All difficult to reproduce outside of the nursing home world. You just have to shop while you and hopefully mom, are up to it.

Regarding Vanguard, Are they keeping the same lower rates for trusts above $1M? 0.35% on the next 1$M and 0.2% above that? Or some other schedule?
Yes, I will have to make a decision. I am planning on scaling up in place with the private accessory help I have, but if it goes longer term I have to consider options. Basically it depends on a lot of unpredictable things. :?

Vanguard; I asked the same question this morning in email and here is what they said:

1) The irrevocable trust fee is tiered, but the first $5 million has an
asset management fee of 0.3%. The next $5 million is feed at 0.2%.

2) The advisor fee on the non-trust portfolio is the same. Your managed
assets are aggregated for management fee purposes
, so that any managed
amount over $5 million is feed at 0.2% regardless of the account type..


Which didn't fully answer my question, but the part I bolded caught my eye.
They made an assumption about how much will stay there, or under management, I corrected it but forgot to restate my question for lower amounts.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

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celia
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by celia » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:17 pm

OP, I see only one post about having a church member check on you if checks stop arriving. Part of the problem is how the bank, trust company, Vanguard, or estate lawyer will even be notified when you die.

I would suggest starting at the desired end result and work backwards. If a person(s) is to receive part of your inheritance, they would assumedly also be interested in being trustee (so they get the assets in a timely manner). If a charity is to benefit, do you know volunteers who work for that charity? If you volunteer some time with them and see how they are run, you will feel more confident of leaving them some money (or not). If you want to benefit a distant or international charity, some of your estate could also be left to a local church or person (enough to make it worthwhile to be a trustee).

You should have multiple ways that people would know to check in with you. A church/ weekly donation is one way. See if your local post office delivery person knows if the PO program is active in your area. (You fill out a form and if your mail stops being picked up/ piles up in your box, the person you designated on the form is notified.). Make arrangements with the neighbor across the street that if your blinds aren't open one day, could they call you to see if you are ok and if there is no answer call your contact person to check on you.

This is how neighbors can be good neighbors--by doing simple things for each other. Talk to them once in a while so you both know of changes in your households, so you can both recognize what is "normal" for your neighborhood.

We have had other threads on this topic. Maybe someone can find 2 of them and post links here. (I am unable to search right now.)

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by JGoneRiding » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:17 am

I have to say I don't understand your resistance to nursing homes. Most self pay NH are very nice. They are also the correct place for heavily incapacitated individuals. In part bec in home care generally involves one person where an NH involves lots of workers so if someone is sick others will care for the individual, if two people are briefly needed there are two people available. Plus most NH come with a social worker that can help with a lot of this stuff.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:23 am

JGoneRiding wrote:I have to say I don't understand your resistance to nursing homes. Most self pay NH are very nice. They are also the correct place for heavily incapacitated individuals. In part bec in home care generally involves one person where an NH involves lots of workers so if someone is sick others will care for the individual, if two people are briefly needed there are two people available. Plus most NH come with a social worker that can help with a lot of this stuff.
I think it's the town where she lives. There are 4 NH all about the same, like an understaffed, poorly run, overcrowded hospital. It's all there is there.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:36 am

celia wrote:OP, I see only one post about having a church member check on you if checks stop arriving. Part of the problem is how the bank, trust company, Vanguard, or estate lawyer will even be notified when you die.

I would suggest starting at the desired end result and work backwards. If a person(s) is to receive part of your inheritance, they would assumedly also be interested in being trustee (so they get the assets in a timely manner). If a charity is to benefit, do you know volunteers who work for that charity? If you volunteer some time with them and see how they are run, you will feel more confident of leaving them some money (or not). If you want to benefit a distant or international charity, some of your estate could also be left to a local church or person (enough to make it worthwhile to be a trustee).

You should have multiple ways that people would know to check in with you. A church/ weekly donation is one way. See if your local post office delivery person knows if the PO program is active in your area. (You fill out a form and if your mail stops being picked up/ piles up in your box, the person you designated on the form is notified.). Make arrangements with the neighbor across the street that if your blinds aren't open one day, could they call you to see if you are ok and if there is no answer call your contact person to check on you.

This is how neighbors can be good neighbors--by doing simple things for each other. Talk to them once in a while so you both know of changes in your households, so you can both recognize what is "normal" for your neighborhood.

We have had other threads on this topic. Maybe someone can find 2 of them and post links here. (I am unable to search right now.)
I would like to find other threads also. I thought about this a while ago, because nobody would know if I disappeared. Nowadays I talk to my mother most days so I told her that if I don't call for 3-4 days have someone call my states local police to do a drive-by. When I read your post, it dawned on me that I had made this arrangement with someone who had no short term memory. :oops:

I like the idea of having the mail be a trigger, I'll check with the local post office, thanks for the tip.

I haven't lived here long and don't plan on staying. I'm kind of a square peg in a round hole right now. I'm sort of in a holding pattern for a year or so until I can make some changes. All good ideas for most though.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:53 am

Kompass wrote:
JGoneRiding wrote:I have to say I don't understand your resistance to nursing homes. Most self pay NH are very nice. They are also the correct place for heavily incapacitated individuals. In part bec in home care generally involves one person where an NH involves lots of workers so if someone is sick others will care for the individual, if two people are briefly needed there are two people available. Plus most NH come with a social worker that can help with a lot of this stuff.
I think it's the town where she lives. There are 4 NH all about the same, like an understaffed, poorly run, overcrowded hospital. It's all there is there.
That's unfortunate for your mother, obviously, if you/she don't want to move her to a place with better facilities.

But for you in the future... you are likely moving, so you can keep this in mind when looking at new areas/sub-areas.

You might want to consider a Continuing Care Community.
Some of these are very nice, but pricey... but it sounds like you can afford something comfortable.
These start with "independent living", which in some cases are apartments or condos (rented or owned, depending on facility) or even individual, separate cottages or full homes.
There are "services available" if desired/needed.
Then there are "assisted living" apartments, and some can be quite large/luxurious for those desiring that.
This typically gets one all meals in a dining room that can be like a restaurant, but without prices on the menu.
Additional services are available as needed.
And then there are facilities more like a nursing home.

In a place like this, you might find a few people with mutual interests, but even if you prefer to be by yourself, there will automatically be "staff nearby" who could be alerted to notice if you aren't seen/heard from/etc.

Some of these are affiliated with colleges/universities, and have educational facilities available for those so interested.
Others can be right in cities, or out in the country. Many choices, and these are increasing as the boomers age...

We are moving elderly MIL to the assisted living part of a newer one near us.
And we were so impressed with the entire "campus" (complete with medical facility, but not a full service hospital), and the cottages/apartments, and then the seamless move for more assistance as needed... that we are now considering that for ourselves in the future.

We learned that several of DH's former colleagues live there, and one of his current collaborators is moving there, because she just placed her ill husband in the nursing care facility there. She'll be able to see him easily, she'll still have "her own" home, and she'll "already be there" in terms of her future care/needs.
There are many actively working people there, in the independent living area. There is a very long waiting list.
It's that nice. (And expensive. But there are similar facilities along the cost continuum for those who are more cost conscious. But you seem able to have your choice of housing/living arrangements, in terms of cost, so there are many choices if you consider any of these.)

We are in a sort of similar situation (no family heirs who will "be there"), but we have a young friend who we have sort of informally adopted, now with her husband and young children who refer to us as grandparents (which we love).
She was a research assistant of mine a long time ago, and she was THE most impressive of a long list of good research and teaching assistants. Better yet, she became a nurse, and is currently a director of nursing at a nearby surgical practice. She's already spent the night at my hospital/post-surgical bedside a few times, so DH could go home for a proper, undisturbed night's sleep.
We feel incredibly fortunate, but this was a relationship that we spent more than a decade discussing and trying bit by bit.

Perhaps you'll be able to find something/someone similar, even if not quite so close, just to keep an eye out for you where ever you move next, in addition to some formal arrangement.
(We'll still have formal trust arrangements through some institution, with attorneys assisting, etc.)

It IS tricky when there aren't younger generations in the family, and a bit scarey, too.

Good luck.

RM
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by nordsteve » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:02 pm

On the subject of someone checking in on you -- doesn't need to be local. Here's how one person checked on Grandma after Hurricane Matthew, when the police were too overwhelmed to help.

http://www.wftv.com/news/local/driver-h ... /456128755

ResearchMed
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:05 pm

nordsteve wrote:On the subject of someone checking in on you -- doesn't need to be local. Here's how one person checked on Grandma after Hurricane Matthew, when the police were too overwhelmed to help.

http://www.wftv.com/news/local/driver-h ... /456128755
PRECIOUS! :happy

RM
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Kompass
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:24 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Kompass wrote:
JGoneRiding wrote:I have to say I don't understand your resistance to nursing homes. Most self pay NH are very nice. They are also the correct place for heavily incapacitated individuals. In part bec in home care generally involves one person where an NH involves lots of workers so if someone is sick others will care for the individual, if two people are briefly needed there are two people available. Plus most NH come with a social worker that can help with a lot of this stuff.
I think it's the town where she lives. There are 4 NH all about the same, like an understaffed, poorly run, overcrowded hospital. It's all there is there.
That's unfortunate for your mother, obviously, if you/she don't want to move her to a place with better facilities.

But for you in the future... you are likely moving, so you can keep this in mind when looking at new areas/sub-areas.

You might want to consider a Continuing Care Community.
Some of these are very nice, but pricey... but it sounds like you can afford something comfortable.
These start with "independent living", which in some cases are apartments or condos (rented or owned, depending on facility) or even individual, separate cottages or full homes.
There are "services available" if desired/needed.
Then there are "assisted living" apartments, and some can be quite large/luxurious for those desiring that.
This typically gets one all meals in a dining room that can be like a restaurant, but without prices on the menu.
Additional services are available as needed.
And then there are facilities more like a nursing home.

In a place like this, you might find a few people with mutual interests, but even if you prefer to be by yourself, there will automatically be "staff nearby" who could be alerted to notice if you aren't seen/heard from/etc.

Some of these are affiliated with colleges/universities, and have educational facilities available for those so interested.
Others can be right in cities, or out in the country. Many choices, and these are increasing as the boomers age...

We are moving elderly MIL to the assisted living part of a newer one near us.
And we were so impressed with the entire "campus" (complete with medical facility, but not a full service hospital), and the cottages/apartments, and then the seamless move for more assistance as needed... that we are now considering that for ourselves in the future.

We learned that several of DH's former colleagues live there, and one of his current collaborators is moving there, because she just placed her ill husband in the nursing care facility there. She'll be able to see him easily, she'll still have "her own" home, and she'll "already be there" in terms of her future care/needs.
There are many actively working people there, in the independent living area. There is a very long waiting list.
It's that nice. (And expensive. But there are similar facilities along the cost continuum for those who are more cost conscious. But you seem able to have your choice of housing/living arrangements, in terms of cost, so there are many choices if you consider any of these.)

We are in a sort of similar situation (no family heirs who will "be there"), but we have a young friend who we have sort of informally adopted, now with her husband and young children who refer to us as grandparents (which we love).
She was a research assistant of mine a long time ago, and she was THE most impressive of a long list of good research and teaching assistants. Better yet, she became a nurse, and is currently a director of nursing at a nearby surgical practice. She's already spent the night at my hospital/post-surgical bedside a few times, so DH could go home for a proper, undisturbed night's sleep.
We feel incredibly fortunate, but this was a relationship that we spent more than a decade discussing and trying bit by bit.

Perhaps you'll be able to find something/someone similar, even if not quite so close, just to keep an eye out for you where ever you move next, in addition to some formal arrangement.
(We'll still have formal trust arrangements through some institution, with attorneys assisting, etc.)

It IS tricky when there aren't younger generations in the family, and a bit scarey, too.

Good luck.

RM
I posted quite a bit about this a couple of post back. My mother is in a Continuing Care Community like you describe and loves it. My issue would only be if she needed heavy 24hr medical care, I'd rather go private care unless it's going to be for an extended time.

You are lucky to have cultivated a close friendship with someone much younger. I had friends and a life until I moved 2 years ago several hundred miles north to help my folks "for a year" three months later my father died and I've been commuting between states to get my mom set up and settled in ever since. I want to go back to my home turf as soon as feasible (12-18 mos) and can make more permanent arrangements when I'm there.

There will still be a conundrum around finding the right person to help in my later years or if disabled. I think a lot of things will get easier then including the fact that the financial work I'm doing now will be done and in place. :happy
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

Kompass
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by Kompass » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:25 pm

nordsteve wrote:On the subject of someone checking in on you -- doesn't need to be local. Here's how one person checked on Grandma after Hurricane Matthew, when the police were too overwhelmed to help.

http://www.wftv.com/news/local/driver-h ... /456128755
+1 :D
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

afan
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by afan » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:50 pm

To add to ResearchMed's comments.

Have known several older folks who planned their living while they were still fully functional. They decided they wanted to choose where they were going to be when they could no longer live on their own. The found retirement communities just as RM described. They started out in "independent living". Some were still working, others newly retired. They came and went, traveled, had lots of friends at the community and elsewhere. They no longer had to worry about home maintenance- if there is a problem just tell the staff and they fixed it. No longer worried about cutting grass or managing snow.

The apartments or houses had kitchens and they could cook for themselves or entertain as they pleased. But if they did not feel like cooking they could have as many meals as they wanted in one of several dining halls. Accompanying them to dinner every now and then and you got an idea of the environment. They knew everyone else, residents and staff. The staff really knew them all, greeted everyone by name and could chat with them about their lives. Very friendly environment. At dinner many people made the rounds of tables before or after eating. If you were in a hurry, this was not the place to grab a quick bite. Most people were retired and viewed dinner as a social activity.

The places were beautiful. Spotlessly clean, nice artwork, wide level floors, elevators, hand rails. Since everyone knew everyone, if someone who usually came to dinner did not show up the staff would check on them. As some became older and more frail they could arrange to have someone be more proactive about looking for them where they were supposed to be.

For several of them the notice that they were no longer independent and needed to move to the assisted living part of campus came from the staff. "Mrs. Jones is not really doing so well on her own. Tends to be forgetful, also not sure she remembers to take her meds..." They had people who would come by and give the residents their medications, no longer have to worry whether grandpa remembers what to take or where he left the pills.

If you were up to going out and travelling, great. As people declined, maybe they no longer wanted to drive at night. No problem, they can arrange transportation for you. Need to go to the grocery store or shopping center? There is a daily shuttle that will take you. Again, a social occasion as much as a way to pick up supplies.

Want to entertain, have friends over for a club meeting or just a party but don't feel like putting together the refreshments? No problem, we can assemble what you want, chips and dip or a full dinner and bring it to your apartment and clean up afterwards. Or you can use a function room and just take off to your place when the party is over.

As the level of care increased, usually the amount of space someone would want went down. You still had privacy, but they wanted people out in public areas, in part to avoid isolation and also so that a number of staff would see them every day and notice if there were problems. Those could be medical, mental health or just seeming lonely.

When we wanted to look in on someone who was declining and needed a lot of help, we would show up unannounced to make sure we were seeing how they were treated routinely, not just when the staff knew friends and family were coming. They were always clean, well dressed, happy.

These places were not cheap, the people we know had sold their houses when they no longer needed them and used that money to buy into the facility. Because they did not own their apartments, the cost of real estate was much lower than it would have been. The money went into things they actually needed. Like people around. A lot of people around. These people had done well financially over long professional careers but they were not rich. These were retired doctors and dentists, for example, not hedge fund managers.


It is important to do homework and shop around while still able. The nice places had long lead times before you could get in. Some were expanding, which helped, but for many space only became available when someone died. Sounds morbid, but that is the way it is when you are talking about a place where most people end up in the skilled nursing facility. Only if you are very lucky will you run out this week and find a good place with an opening and no waiting list. But plan now for when you may want to move in a few years down the road.

With the population of elderly rapidly increasing, look on this as a growth area in the economy.

If we make it to the point that we need to think about where to live out our last years, this is what we will look for. They can fill many of the gaps that a corporate trustee will not. I am not claiming that they are substitutes for having family, nothing can replace that, but they do a very good job.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

ResearchMed
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Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Kompass wrote:
<snip>

I posted quite a bit about this a couple of post back. My mother is in a Continuing Care Community like you describe and loves it. My issue would only be if she needed heavy 24hr medical care, I'd rather go private care unless it's going to be for an extended time.

You are lucky to have cultivated a close friendship with someone much younger. I had friends and a life until I moved 2 years ago several hundred miles north to help my folks "for a year" three months later my father died and I've been commuting between states to get my mom set up and settled in ever since. I want to go back to my home turf as soon as feasible (12-18 mos) and can make more permanent arrangements when I'm there.

There will still be a conundrum around finding the right person to help in my later years or if disabled. I think a lot of things will get easier then including the fact that the financial work I'm doing now will be done and in place. :happy
Sorry that I missed that she was already in a CCRC.
But the ones here (at all price points) have a full "nursing home" section for that final stage, including hospice care, etc.
Your mother's place doesn't have this level of care, or you don't like what they are offering?

Yes, we feel very fortunate to have been able to create our new little extended family. :happy
We now go on vacations together as well.

I first saw a CCRC in Florida about 25 years ago, where a friend's very elderly aunt was.
She spent a few years bouncing back and forth to a large apartment, to assisted living, and back again, until she simply needed more care than either of those areas could provide.
Then I heard of one in our locale. Now there are quite a few, plus the regular facilities that provide just one or two of the levels of care.

After MIL was in rehab (another thread), when she returned to her ALF, I arranged a 12-hour day shift Aide to be at her side for a few weeks.
We would have done that at her new/nicer facility she's transferring to, just to be safe.
And we might do that, or some other supplemental, more personalized care, if/when she goes to the nursing care area, depending upon her needs and wants.
That was one of the advantages of her new place. The previous one wasn't a true CCRC, and didn't have that final level of care, although some residents did stay there and receive hospice care along with some additional paid private help.
But as mentioned above, we'd prefer a facility that has the full array of nursing/medical care, and MIL's new place does. She won't need to move again.

It's all very difficult, even without the "thinking ahead to our future" part, and that's almost impossible to ignore...
I hope you can get things settled a bit soon.

RM
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