Uncomfortable Lessons I Have Learned in Estate Planning

A personal story from a financial planner’s own family illustrates the importance of being prepared … and what happens when your parents aren’t.

A man hides his face inside a turtleneck sweater in denial.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A year ago, I moved my family back to our home state after being away for seven years. I was looking forward to being closer to my father. He was 84 years old and had been ill for a very long time; he had survived kidney cancer, but his remaining kidney was failing, and he had been on dialysis for five years. He was not doing well.

Six months later, my dad’s health took a turn for the worse. He developed early onset dementia and started to refuse dialysis. My sister and I tried to do what we could for him, but he refused help. My dad was hospitalized after, unbeknownst to us, having missed two dialysis treatments. We visited him in the hospital where he refused care again, which resulted in him requiring hospice care. A week later, at 3 a.m. I got the call: My father had passed away.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

The appearances in Kiplinger were obtained through a PR program. The columnist received assistance from a public relations firm in preparing this piece for submission to Kiplinger.com. Kiplinger was not compensated in any way.


This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Jim Moran, Investment Adviser Representative
Financial Planner, Arcadia Financial Group

Jim Moran joined Arcadia in June of 2021. His previous employer was Fidelity Investments, where he had worked for over 20 years, his last role being branch manager, in which he ran an office of financial planners. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of New Hampshire. Jim currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, with his wife and two sons.