Figuring Out What To Do When Your Family Fails To Live Up To Their Promises

Hegwood Law Group discusses what you should do if your family fails on their promise to take care of you.

They say blood is thicker than water, but sometimes promises made between family members don’t hold water. Some of the most heart-rending cases our firm has ever been involved with are situations where broken promises between family members make years of love seem like a lousy investment. Situations where formal estate planning would have provided some certainty and protection from pain, but everyone thought their promises to one another would be enough. 

I Will Care For Them… If You Will Care For Me

Many families in the Houston area have several generations living near enough to one another that they see each other every day. It is a blessing, but it can also cause problems. All too often grandparents who gladly spend their retirement babysitting their grandchildren with an understanding that they would eventually be taken care of by their children call us asking for help. The day has come when they are the ones asking for help instead of giving it, and the sandwich generation — the one with both their children and their parents calling out for help — is spread too thin.  

Broken Promises

What can you do when you have given years of your life to your family, and they can’t give you back the love and care they promised? There is no easy answer to this question. 

The best thing to do is look forward, not back. The love you gave was not wasted, but sometimes love is not enough. Love can’t give your loved ones the strength or the money they need to care for you as you grow older and need assistance. So, as a neutral third party, we come in and assess the situation. 

Making A New Plan

We figure out what sort of care you will realistically need in the coming years, how much it will cost, and what assets you currently have that can or will be called on to pay for everything. It is the same sort of analysis we do when anyone comes into our office for estate planning advice, but we appreciate that the reality is we may be working with you on a shorter timeline.

There is always a gap between what resources you have and what you might need in a worst-case scenario, so we work with you to structure your assets so you can tap into government benefits without giving up everything you have scrimped and saved for your entire life. There is no shame in doing this. The majority of all people end up relying on these benefits, whether they admit it or not. 

Figuring Out The Future

If you are angry with your family for failing to provide you the care they previously promised, you might not care what sort of legacy you leave them. That’s fine. We understand. We won’t pressure you to change your mind. 

But our firm can show you how to put assets into a trust that your loved ones can tap into after you are gone if certain conditions are met. If those conditions aren’t met, the assets can instead go to a charity or cause you care deeply about. 

Moving Forward 

If you are in a situation where your loved ones are not living up to the promises they made regarding your long-term care, the Hegwood Law Group can help. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with our experienced team of estate planning attorneys. 

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