My sister Stevie and I officially accepted the roles of Co-Executor, Co-Power of Attorney and Co-Personal Directive Agent for our parents on April 26, 2012.
At that time we thought we knew what it meant. Now a little more than four years later, I have to say that I really knew nothing about what I had agreed to take on.
A friend recently asked me if, knowing what I know now, I would have said yes. Some days the answer to that is a resounding no, some days the answer is absolutely yes.
The substantive answer to that question is; it has been an experience that has provided a learning experience that has changed me in many ways and taught me a lot about who I am.
It hasn’t been easy. The journey has been filled with many challenges, carried grief that has at times swamped me, provided opportunities to create moments of joy for others, and the added responsibility and time involved has changed many aspects of my life.
Like Anne, I accepted Mom and Dad’s requests to act as Executor, Power of Attorney and Personal Directive Agent on their behalf – with little or no knowledge of what those roles require. Undertaking those roles has changed my life in many ways.
Having said that, its hard to say how much of the changes that have occurred since mom was declared incompetent and dad died would have occurred even if I had not accepted the roles. What I can say though, is my life experience and capabilities left me ill-prepared to take on the roles of Executor and Power of Attorney, and that the Personal Directive Agent role has come much more naturally.
As a result, I’ve had to learn a lot – while grieving the loss of our dad and the diminishing capacity of our mom. As a learning and development specialist I can confidently say that these circumstances are not ideal for learning. As a daughter, I can say I wish we (Dad, Mom, Anne and I along with the rest of the family) had talked and prepared more when we had the opportunity – prior mom’s admission into dementia care and dad’s demise.
In this blog, we are going to share stories about our experiences in the roles we carry and hopefully provide you with insights that will assist you and your families should you find yourself carrying a similar responsibility.