Latest Blog Post

Read the latest article written by EPPIA members, published in the Eden Prairie News.

DIY Estate Plan Fix

1. DIY Fix for Your Estate Plan. Every estate plan should have at least three elements: 1) a will or trust; 2) a health care directive; and 3) a financial power of attorney. A fourth and final element is a Letter of Instructions for Survivors. This is your job. It's not that difficult to do for most of us, but it needs to be done and updated periodically.

2. Two Part Letter of Instructions. It doesn't need to be in two parts, but often it should be. The first part contains limited information about how to get into your home, how to find your estate plan and financial documents and perhaps information about your funeral and memorial service wishes. Secondly, you really should prepare a more detailed list of instructions and guides to aid your personal representative, trustee(s) and your agents under your health care directive and

3. The First Letter. This can be sent to interested family members or just the fiduciary appointed by your estate plan. It should give them information as to where you store your financial records and your estate planning documents. You may add information about your funeral and memorial service preferences and if you have prepaid or otherwise provided for these expenses. Depending on your wishes, you may want to include details that are otherwise provided by the Second Letter detailed below. If you have made unusual gifts, or intentionally omitted a child, you should consider letting them know in advance either by in person conversations or in this first letter.

4. The Second Letter. This letter should include detailed information on your financial accounts (where held, account numbers, person to contact) and if you have beneficiary designations on the accounts (also TOD and POD designations). Let them know where to find your tax returns and current tax files as well as contact information for your tax preparer. Provide insurance information (e.g. policies, agent). If you have a safe deposit box, where the box is located, where the key is, and who is authorized to access the box. List charge cards you own, and where they are kept. Also list recurring charges that are authorized to your bank account(s); passwords for devices, accounts and social media. Provide account and password information for storage of files and photos if the cloud. If located at your residence, indicate where you keep your electronic storage.

You might want a list of people to contact after you have passed on. List where you keep house keys, car keys and remotes for the garage doors if any. Special instructions may be needed for taking care of your home(s). There may be items you have of value, that may not appear to be valuable, such as antiques, coin collections or jewelry. Let your family know any estimates of value and where they are located. This may be as long or as short as you feel necessary. I have one client that has a 30 page letter of instructions. That's an outlier. Just remember, the goal is to make things easier for your family after you have passed on.


Richard Jensen is an attorney who does estate planning (952) 944-0406, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

Seniors: Procrastinating on Moving?

“I am thinking of transitioning to a smaller place to live, but where do I begin?” As a Realtor® this is often the very first question I am asked when meeting with a senior who is looking to sell their home and downsize. It can feel overwhelming. But the good news is there is a lot of help available.

Many seniors take 1-2 years to decide to move and some are less prepared emotionally than others. Relocation Stress Syndrome is real and there is support available. With planning, you can avoid feeling pressured or pushed.

There are many reasons why someone 55+ considers a move. Retirement, finances, health, need for support services, one-level living, or maybe just to find a place that is smaller and easier to afford or maintain. So, where to begin?

Define Your Needs. Here’s an easy first step. Take your time, gather information and write a “do-like and don’t-like list”. What do you like about your current home? What is important to you? Do you crave access to some outside space? Do you have a dog to walk? What makes a place special to you? What don’t you like? (Too many stairs, too big of a yard to mow, etc.) This list will become a guidepost when you begin to look at new places to live and make it easy to articulate precisely what you’re looking for.

Conduct research. There are many housing options to consider including fifty-five plus independent adult communities and cooperatives; assisted living providing basic services for medical or personal care, meals and recreation; and one-level properties, not just for seniors, such as condos and townhomes where outside maintenance is included. Connecting with an experienced housing professional who can explain the choices, costs and how they might fit with your goals and needs is a solid next step.

Plan ahead. It is often helpful to meet with a Realtor® who has experience helping people transition or downsize even before you are ready to make a change. Request a Comparative Market Analysis. This will determine the value of your property through comparison to similar property transactions within a certain radius and help establish a sale price.

Interview Realtors®. An agent experienced in senior housing options and services will understand the pros and cons and costs of all the housing under consideration and can explain the details to you. They can also consider your “do and don’t like list” and suggest some options that fit your requirements.

There is no shortage of Realtors® vying for the job, but how do you select one? Find a licensed Realtor® with lots of experience working with clients who are similar to you. Ask for references and check them. Look for a hands-on, full- time Realtor®, someone who is familiar with services available for individuals 55+ with trusted contacts in those fields. Does this person listen carefully? Do you feel comfortable with them? Trust your instincts.

Make your move. Forget cookie-cutter solutions! For example, my clients Mitch and Sandra had been living in an apartment with stairs. Sandra recently suffered a serious health challenge that made stairs impossible, but the couple didn’t want an assisted living arrangement. For them, we found a small, one-level townhome in a neighborhood they loved, and they are very happy with this. For someone else, moving to assisted living might have been a very good solution.

Enjoy a smooth move and don’t go it alone. Remember that excellent outside help is available! Pack and move, home care, legal, mortgage, de-clutter, downsize, emotional support and more services are available to help make your move leading up to the big day and beyond a pleasant, beneficial and satisfying next step

Terry Eggan, Realtor®, Bridge Realty
612-386-9309, email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA meets five times a year to exchange information and problem solve in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org.

Free Senior Resource Fair!

As part of May’s Seniors Awareness Month, come to EPPIA’s 4th Annual Senior Resource Fair! If you have never attended this event before now is a great opportunity to learn about a variety of resources that are available in our community to help seniors and their families. If you have attended in the past, join us again for vendor visits, learn what’s new in the senior community, meet face-to-face with 40 vendors in the vendor exhibit area, and enjoy refreshments. Last but not least, come to hear our acclaimed key-note speaker, Richard Leider!

We are especially excited to announce that Richard Leider, an internationally known speaker and author, is our key-note speaker! His topic is entitled The Power of Purposeful Aging. We all question our life’s purpose at various stages in our lives, and this is especially relevant to seniors who are no longer raising a family, working, and may have had to curtail some activities and hobbies due to health or other reasons. What is a way forward to a purpose-filled life as we age and our lives change?

Senior Resource Fair Details:

  • Thursday May 23rd
  • Noon – 3:00 p.m.
  • 40 Vendor Exhibits open 12 – 3 p.m.
  • Richard Leider – 1 p.m.
  • Door Prizes
  • Meet-and-greet reception 2 – 3 p.m.
  • Pax Christi Catholic Community, 12100 Pioneer Trail

Transportation: If you need transportation to attend this event, call 952-279-8058 to reserve a ride. This service is available to Eden Prairie residents and a donation of $4 is suggested.

A bit more about the vendor exhibits: This part of the Resource Fair enables attendees to meet vendors from a variety of businesses that serve Eden Prairie seniors. It is also a chance to ask questions and get information for you, friends, and family members. Vendors include representatives from senior housing communities, in-home health services, insurance, investments, realtors, move companies, auction companies, and more. You can learn how to get involved in the Eden Prairie Senior Center, which is a hub of resources, activity, and education and promotes a sense of involvement, fitness, fun and friendship.

This event is made possible through the combined efforts of the City of Eden Prairie and EPPIA. Special thanks go to Pax Christi, who provides the space for this event, and to Nothing Bundt Cakes who donates a portion of their delicious cakes for the reception. Please tell your friends and join us for a fun, informative and inspiring afternoon!

Other special May events

Check the Eden Prairie Senior Center website or call them at 952-279-8058 for information on a number of special events that are scheduled to celebrate Senior Awareness Month. The Colony will also present a free program: on Are Your Ready To Move? with three experts in senior realty, move management, and relocation stress management on May 17th from 1 – 3 p.m. Don’t miss this and other free events especially scheduled to recognize Senior Awareness Month!

Holly Hansen, co-owner, Brilliant Moves
612-605-7303 * BrilliantMovesMN.com

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

Becoming a Dementia Friendly Community

Dementia is an unfortunate growing trend, and it’s time to do something about it!

Over 50 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia: a group of symptoms that describes a decline in mental ability and memory loss. In Minnesota alone, it is estimated that more than 92,000 older adults have Alzheimer’s. That number will increase to 120,000 by 2025, according to projections by the Alzheimer’s Association. As life expectancies continue to rise, the risk of dementia also grows and it is likely to touch everyone’s life in one way or another. ‘Dementia friendly communities’ can help. They are designed to change the way people see dementia, and how they treat those affected by this disease.

What is a ‘dementia friendly community’?
Minnesota is leading the way as one of the first states to adopt the concept of a ‘dementia friendly community’. This concept originated in the UK, where a 50 year old man diagnosed with mild dementia experienced rude treatment while out shopping. With the support and help of his family, he set out to expand awareness and have businesses, restaurants, streets, etc., see through the eyes of a person with dementia. His belief was that when the dementia worsens, a ‘dementia friendly community’ would be able to provide more understanding, support and care for their neighbors who struggle dealing with their loss of independence, loss of memories and more. Ultimately, a ‘dementia friendly community’ helps those with dementia keep much of their independence and helps them remain a part of the community.

Simple ways to become a ‘dementia friendly community’
As the population continues to age, so does the likelihood of dementia occurring among friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers. Many individuals go undiagnosed because they are frightened by the label and stigma of dementia. By taking steps to increase awareness and by paying attention to early warning signs, there are ways to show recognition and handle potentially stressful situations:

  • Use “compassion cards” – business cards that alert restaurant servers, clerks and others to show patience for the person with dementia.
  • Experience a ‘hands on’ dementia simulation – garbing up and experiencing what it’s like to have dementia. Many organizations provide this powerful tool to increase understanding of those afflicted.
  • Create simpler, easier to read signage in public places to minimize possible confusion.
  • Participate in a “Memory Café” setting to have those diagnosed with memory loss and their care partners engage with peers in a relaxed and friendly environment.
  • Provide memory aids and simplified instructions for tasks. Encourage trained team co-worker involvement and support in the workplace.
  • Attend caregiver education classes and support groups; many of these are offered free of charge.

Resources and support
Three outstanding resources are available that will help make communities more ‘dementia friendly’. Many of these resources are free -- and all are practical:

Have some HOPE
Making communities dementia friendly means improving quality of life for people with dementia, their families, caregivers, friends, neighbors and co-workers; and encouraging them to have HOPE:

H – Have patience. Be kind and friendly. Don’t rush things.
O – Offer assistance. Keep what you say simple and specific.
P – Participate. Encourage involvement, engagement and provide support.
E – Educate yourself. Learn more about dementia’s early warning signs.


Lori Gerval, Director of Marketing at All Saints Senior Living, Shakopee, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

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