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People often hope that their children will work together to care for them. I have seen families that truly share the responsibility of an aging parent, while other families dump the responsibility on the one child who assumes it. Often it is a daughter. I will never forget someone I met who was one of ten children – five girls and five boys, all of whom were married. She shared with me that she and her sisters share the responsibility of caring for their parents, while the boys barely do anything. Her father is so frustrated that he jokingly told his wife, “You can take the boys – I want the girls…”

However, there are all kinds of situations. Sometimes when there are only boys, one of their wives assumes a large part of the care. Sometimes a son can handle things better than a daughter can. It really depends on the children. That is why it is best for parents to prepare for all possibilities.

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My dear readers, please think about your future and take the necessary steps to protect your finances and your children in all eventual situations! Hatzlocha to you and thank you so much for taking the time to write this important letter.

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at www.jewishpress.com and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at www.dryaelrespler.com.