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Patricia G. Micek
I have over 25 years’ experience in trusts and estates and estate planning. I added Elder Law to my practice when my own mother started having issues with aging. In my own case, my mom had several serious physical issues, but also had the beginning of dementia. I contacted an elder law attorney in her area to be sure that she had the right documents in place. I had taken all of the steps needed to protect her assets, using the planning techniques that we talk about on this website. It gradually became obvious that she should no longer be home alone. My brother, who lived in the same town as my mother and was single with no children, offered to live with her and take care of her. We did not want her to go into a nursing home, as our grandmother had. But my mother’s dementia got worse and worse, and her care became more and more draining. My brother took excellent care of her, and the other children- who did not live nearby- came to help as often as they could. But it is extremely stressful and demanding, both physically and mentally, to care for a loved one with both physical problems and worsening dementia. After a few years of caring for her, my brother had a massive heart attack and died at age 57. It was an incredibly devastating experience for my family.
After my brother died, we got aides to care for my mother and she died 2 years later at age 90. The aides were wonderful to her and became like part of the family, and we were able to keep her from going to a nursing home.
Clients say to me all of the time that they can take care of their aging spouse.
If you have a close emotional attachment to someone, it makes it more difficult to see them decline. Also, it is incredibly stressful and physically demanding to care for a relative, especially a spouse, in this situation. It is so much better to do the proper planning and have professional care-givers take care of your loved one and then you can just have quality time with them. We have seen many times that when one aging spouse tries to care for the other, the caregiver spouse is the first to die. It doesn’t have to be that way.
After seeing what happened with my own family, I went into elder law to help people shelter their assets so that they do not lose their home, and are not reduced to poverty during their own lifetime by paying for their own care. Then they can pass their assets intact to their loved ones after they die without going through the expense and long delays of the probate process.
- Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
- AV Rated – Highest Rating Offered*
- New York State Bar Association
- Westchester County Bar Association
- Trusts & Estates & Elder Law Sections, Member
- Westchester Business Executives, Member, Board of Directors
*AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell peer review ratings fall into two categories — legal ability and general practice standards.