Dave Nesbit Keystone Elder Law
New Years Eve is a happy time. Champagne corks pop off as the ball falls in Time Square! The name of the legendary Dick Clark is commemorated by television productions for those of us who watch the festivities at home.
If 2021 has been a good year, now is the time to be thankful. Otherwise, the stroke of midnight is an invitation to bury the troubles and let the optimism flow like a bubble. Either way, New Years is a time to celebrate and party!
Keystone Elder Law is doing it now as we turn the New Year’s page, and attorney Patrick S. Cawley becomes the sole owner. Patrick takes over with a solid foundation and a clean slate. The change is now official.
In 2010, my wife and I gave birth to the organization. How and why Keystone came into being is another story.
Patrick Cawley brought Keystone a different perspective in 2019. In the midst of a successful career in the public sector, he decided to become an instrument of service rather than an enforcer or draftsman. You can read these two stories on https://keystoneelderlaw.com/our-team.
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Keystone Elder Law looks forward to the opportunities that the New Year brings. Patrick decides to continue Keystone Elder Law’s compassionate delivery of a wide range of long-term care planning and crisis management services. Public awareness and education is important to Patrick, and he has expanded the Keystone video library to keystoneelderlaw.com/questions-communes.
As the outgoing owner I have resolved to be available at Patrick’s discretion to ensure a smooth transition. The legal title for this role is to be “lawyer”, which generally means “payroll”. Other than that, Of Counsel means what a law firm and lawyer agree it does.
Once, when a friend asked me when I was planning to retire, I challenged him to show me the word “retired” in the New Testament. I suggested that “retired” might be an offensive label, as other words are considered when categorizing people. Alone in my quest for political correctness to avoid using the R word for those who are “eligible for Medicare and Social Security (MSSE)”, I propose the term MSSE (pronounced “disordered”), to retiree place, to describe a person with my conditions.
For decades, I accepted the challenge of Richard Nelson Bolles, in his book “The three boxes of life”. Bolles observed that the lives of many people are divided into three periods of education, work and retirement (or leisure). Bolles explained why education, work and play / retirement should overlap throughout a person’s life.
So much for Bolles and its Three Boxes. To me, Of Counsel means “retirement”. You can call me MSSE!
An earworm for me this holiday season is the song from “White Christmas,” “What Can You Do With a General?” Apologizing to songwriter Irving Berlin, I hear Bing Crosby sing, “What can you do with a lawyer, when he stops being a lawyer?” Oh, what can you do with a retired lawyer? “
Someone who leaves the management of a law firm is certainly not comparable to a retired general who commanded thousands of soldiers. But Irving Berlin’s song reminds us that everyone is replaceable, and serious responsibilities should eventually give way to something fresh and new, if not free time. I won’t fill my MSSE time by opening a ski chalet, like General Waverly did in the Berlin movie, which came out the year I was born.
Instead, I decide to take on my biggest personal challenge – to lose weight and get back in shape. Going to a gym near my home was the start. Friends are encouraged to hold me accountable for going to the gym now and weight loss progress after the holidays.
Sharing this resolution is a tribute to the late Zig Ziglar, who spoke about sending his editor the final version of a motivational book that included a story about how Zig lost 50 pounds. Ziglar’s problem was that, while his book was about to be published, he had not yet lost weight. He joked about the motivation behind this public admission for him.
While my New Year’s resolution to get back in shape is not your concern, everyone takes this opportunity to remind you that retirement brings a need to reconsider life insurance and estate plans.
Life insurance, which was once important to keeping my family safe when our children were toddlers, or later so that Keystone Elder Law could continue for the benefit of clients and employees in the event of sudden death, should be reassessed when a person gets things in order at the MSSE stage.
Most people in my stadium no longer need term insurance. Unless paid-up whole life insurance is required as part of an estate planning strategy to pay estate taxes, it is wise to reconsider the options. If you want to reconsider life insurance as an optional strategy for a life insurance policy, Patrick can help you find a financial advisor and incorporate that advice into an updated estate plan.
As your children get older and your grandchildren are born, is your current will still a smart plan if it splits your probabilistic estate equally among the children? Being retired provides an opportunity to reconsider whether knowledge of a grandchild’s disability, or other special needs or circumstances of a family member, might warrant a reconsideration of your estate plan.
I also decide to consider the right size of our two story house, which was designed to raise our children, to a one story house that can accommodate a wheelchair and a hospital bed if needed. If you have long term care insurance (LTCI), you might want to consider this option. If you don’t have LTCI, as the MSSE stage progresses, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) may become a good option to simplify and minimize potential future care and financial burdens for your children. .
Have you thought about your New Year’s resolutions? Patrick and his team at Keystone Elder Law are ready to help you create or update your long-term care and estate plan!
Find additional articles and resources at www.KeystoneElderLaw.com or join their “Later in Life and Resource Planning” Facebook group. Keystone Elder Law PC is located in Mechanicsburg. Call 717-697-3223 for a free phone consultation with their care coordinator.