American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys

The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys was established in 1992. Mr. Holmgren has been an active member since 1995. Click here to visit his Academy website.

Long Life in Okinawa

Take a moment to watch this video from CNN on the amazing health and long life of Okinawans.

Seinfeld Has An Answer for Everything

In this classic Seinfeld episode, Jerry and Kramer discuss living wills. Although humorous, it makes a great point about the importance of this key document.


Utah's New Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT)

Effective May 2013, the DAPT statute (or DAPT law) provides a powerful way to protect assets from various creditors and especially from lawsuits.

CLICK HERE for full, printable article.

Beyond Words: Communicating with a Loved One with Dementia
Posted on Dec. 8, 2013

One of the biggest emotional challenges of witnessing progressive decline in a loved one with a form of dementia is the communicative gap that arises when language is lost. At this point, caregivers can feel as though they’ve lost all ability to connect with their loved ones. Occupational therapist and acclaimed author Elaine C. Pereira explains that while many family members will desperately hold on to verbal language as the only way to communicate with their loved ones, there are a number of other ways to do so.

Specifically, she advocates using the five senses.

  • Sound: While deficits in the ability to comprehend language can prevent successful verbal communication, people with dementia are still able to hear and process sound. Familiar sounds, such as a favorite song or wind chimes in the backyard, can be quite comforting and an effective means of connecting with the person, as evidenced by this powerful video.
  • Touch: Touch is one of the most powerful senses. Whether it’s a hug, shoulder squeeze or brush of the hand, physical touch stimulates the release of endorphins, which reduce stress and blood pressure, and enhance calm. A person with dementia can still “communicate” to you with a reciprocated hand squeeze or other manifestation of the sense of touch.
  • Smell: While losing the sense of smell can be an early indication of dementia, there may be certain familiar scents, such as pumpkin or ginger baked goods that characteristic of holiday baking, they can still perceive. Often these fragrances trigger positive feelings. Some caregivers have reported success using mindfulness exercises in combination with scents, such as the popular tea mindfulness exercise.
  • Sight: A smile is a powerful form of nonverbal communication and a way to continue to strengthen the bond between you and your loved one. Looking through family albums or creating scrapbooks can also be a great way to connect. A scrapbook can serve as a wonderful keepsake for family members.
  • Taste: While preferences may vary, many caregivers report that their loved ones become calmer when savoring a favorite treat, particularly sweets. Of course, caregivers should keep dietary restrictions and daily allowances of sugar in mind, but sharing a sweet treat can be a great way to share a moment of meaningful connection.

Work with your loved one to learn which senses may provide the most meaningful modes of connection, —touch him or her in comforting ways; enjoy favorite foods together; surround him or her with fragrances that hold meaning; play familiar music; bring in familiar objects like photo albums.

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About Randy


I help clients prepare for their unexpected death or disability. Using legal documents such as Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney, LLCs and more, we can ensure that your hard-earned assets go to the right people, at the right time, and in the right way–and are managed by someone who is competent, skilled and trustworthy.

I also help clients identify their non-monetary legacy (values, wisdom, principles, beliefs, life experiences, family name and a commitment to certain charitable causes) and how to effectively pass that legacy on to family and others.

Take time to consider the value of your life to others. Don't miss opportunities to leave a greater legacy than just money.

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