Episode 10

January 27, 2023


#24 | Otto Shill | Emotional Legal Decisions Part 1

Hosted by

Tony Siebers Bina Colman
#24 | Otto Shill | Emotional Legal Decisions Part 1
Parent Projects - Aging In America
#24 | Otto Shill | Emotional Legal Decisions Part 1

Jan 27 2023 | 00:45:17


Show Notes



For more than 30 years, Mr. Shill has helped businesses, business owners, and individuals comply with tax and other government regulations; navigate government investigations; and build wealth through business transactions and long-term business and estate planning. He has significant experience in business transactions; federal and state tax compliance and tax controversies; compensation and employee benefits; employment regulation; and government contracting compliance and disputes.

Jennings Strouss leverages our unparalleled legal knowledge and business experience to provide individuals and businesses with expert counsel on estate planning, estate administration, and probate matters. We pride ourselves on being astute problem solvers and are only satisfied when our clients are happy. Our attorneys handle all aspects of estate planning and probate, including the implementation of sophisticated estate plans for clients, such as the drafting of traditional and complex wills, various types of revocable and irrevocable trust agreements, and family partnership agreements. They also assist in the preparation of trust documents, including living trusts, marital deduction and generation-skipping transfer tax trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, trusts designed for facilitating gifts to minors, and specialty trusts.

Looking for information? Parent Projects takes the stress and intimidation out of the process for families relocating an aged loved one using our educational and self-help downsizing guides found at www.parentprojects.com. Through our “Verified” Business Network, advocates can access the pre-screened professional services they need on their terms with the financial and personal safety peace-of-mind their families deserve.

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00:00 – Intro

00:10 – Introduction of Otto Shill

01:32 – Otto Shill’s Experience & Perspective

14:16 – Tour of Arizona’s Skysong

15:27 – When to Get an Attorney Involved

27:28 – Parent Projects Connect

28:08 – Communicating with your Family/Siblings with Privilege



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Parent Projects™ Podcast is a resource of stories, interviews, and tips to help families replace guilt and fear with a little love and laughter.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 2 00:01:42 You're listening to parent projects, Speaker 3 00:01:47 Hey, what is the role in the place for us as adult children and our parents' legal decisions as they're making, as they're aging and they're moving forward in their life, they're making those plan. How do we best approach these topics? How do you approach the attorneys, the financial planners, the fiduciaries, perhaps even? How do you approach your parents on the issues of divorce or estate planning, uh, later in life? Uh, we have got auto show with us this week from Jenning, Strauss and Salmon. He's a great estate planning attorney. Uh, beyond that, they're full spectrum service. They handle the family law. They see all aspects in the businesses when families use business to transfer wealth from one to the next. And they just get it. And this is gonna be a part, one of a three-part series with auto, where we're going to break down those emotional legal decisions that impact us in our parent projects. Stay tuned. Speaker 2 00:02:58 You're listening to parent projects, a family media and technology group production. Now here's your host, Tony Siber. Speaker 3 00:03:07 Hey, sooner than later, there is a, a real ring to that, uh, especially when it's something you want to do. But how about when it's something you really don't want to do? How about just one that said tough conversation. It's difficult. Uh, you'll look at it and you think, ah, I know we should have started this a while ago. Look sooner than later is gonna be a theme throughout this part. One of the emotional legal decisions, uh, I think pretty often you're gonna hear pretty often. And that's because, you know, despite where that may sit, really working hard to set, uh, guilt and fear aside and to dig into your parent project, uh, particularly building those family relationships and then breaking down the components of what you gotta understand is all gonna start sooner than later today. Helping us understand sooner than later and working in this first of family relationships, conversations. I've got auto shill with Jennings Strauss and Salmon here in the Phoenix Metro Market. Uh, Otto High thanks for joining us this week. Hi, Speaker 4 00:04:06 Tony. How are you? Speaker 3 00:04:07 I'm blessed. And how are you Speaker 4 00:04:09 Today? I'm well, thank you. Speaker 3 00:04:10 Okay. It's good cause we're gonna get into some stuff that people have a really hard time talking about, but, and again, you're an attorney, so you're probably used to everybody walking through your door having to talk about stuff. They probably don't want to talk about <laugh>. Speaker 4 00:04:23 Yeah, we we can talk Speaker 3 00:04:25 <laugh> <laugh>. So, hey, look again. Uh, I think what's a great aspect, and particularly, uh, that I've always appreciated in, in our friendship over the years is your, um, your spectrum, your visibility of all the different types of pieces where law touches or those le those legal decisions that happen. You, you, you see them in the little buckets that they all live, whether it's elder law or a state law, or it's family law or business law. But you also see how everything cross populates and how it weaves from one to the next. And that's, I think, something that Jenn, Charles and stamina does really, really well. Obviously, being a, of a record, um, for the shameless plug off of that to supports us and works with us, it is, uh, I think it's, it's key. But in particular for you, how, especially when it comes down to a parent project, what, what life perspectives, what do you, what gives you that perspective to understand how that comes across? What personal experiences do you really draw on for that? Speaker 4 00:05:24 Well, it starts back when I was a kid and my parents were taking care of their parents, right? So I watched my parents, uh, take care of my grandmother and grandfather who lived next door. Uh, we, my family showed up in Mesa in 1877, and my grandparents lived in the original farmhouse. And rather than find a place for them to go, my parents, uh, and my uncle and his wife chose to keep them in their own home and, and help them through. So my experience starts with that. And then more recently, when my dad died unexpectedly in 2015, my wife and I locked the door of our house and moved into my mom's back bedroom because she needed pretty much round the clock medical care. And so we spent four years taking care of her. So Speaker 3 00:06:15 Well, and, and that's that situation, uh, you know, I, I remember as a friend, and I think even, I mean, before this even was a thing, um, I remember watching you go through some of those things and you had y your, your parent, your dad was a doctor, if I remember correctly mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and had, he had really, he had a plan. He, he had a plan and, and he had some resources towards it. But you guys had to fall into a lot of that. You had to figure out what that plan was and how that, how did you pry that off or what'd that experience look like for you with having a, a, a parent, especially that was that much of a profession on what he did? Speaker 4 00:06:51 Well, in, in our case, it was multifaceted, right? We, we moved into the back bedroom and, and I had, for the decade before that, we'd been helping my parents, you know, showing up every day, making sure that, that they had what they needed and, and they were fairly independent, but nevertheless, there were some things they needed help with. And, you know, we'd just be there. Yeah. And, um, and then so when we moved in a lot of the physical care things, I knew at least how my dad had done it. Uh, and, and that went all right for a while, but also with it came taking care of the place that was large in the farm that went with it. And that was, you know, so multifaceted things. I, and, and found out that I was, um, also supposed to be trustee of the trust and, you know, handle the money side. And so it, it was a lot of figuring out what to do. And I learned pretty quickly in that situation because my mom was incapacitated. I, I couldn't surrender my judgment to anybody. I had to take charge and I had to get people who would educate me about technical issues, medical issues, for example, that I knew nothing about. Yeah. Um, and, and they had to tell it to me in words I could understand so that I could make a good decision because I couldn't just let them do it. Speaker 3 00:08:08 Well, you know, so you came to the table and you had, that's interesting. You talk about, you know, that expertise. You even had a, clearly you're a really talented attorney. You understand those types of things. You've got this family situation in your wheelhouse of something you work in and around professionally from that. It's interesting though to me, and I remember watching you, you know, move into the house and work through those becoming, raising the cattle, like bringing out, I think I, I think I've still got a bruise from getting tossed out of a pin <laugh> and, and, uh, but, you know, alfalfa farm and whatever it might be that you gotta work, you had to learn those things. You know what I'm cur what, um, what role did understanding maybe, or living in the same environment in which your dad set up as a caretaker and that part of it, you being down in that world, did that play a role in you understanding what your dad had cobbled together, what he had put together, and maybe why that did? Or, or was that just more kind of overwhelming of, was it just more stuff you had to learn and figure out? Speaker 4 00:09:10 Well, for, for a long time I just did what I'd seen him do. Right. And, you know, we were, to give you some context, we were running a ventilator at home. We were running, uh, we had, we had an ostomy to take care of. We had several more complex things that are fairly common for some young children, but not very common to do at home for older adults. And so, you know, we were, we were having to learn those things and take care of them. And, and there were simple things that were difficult. For example, I was the only person who had the right height and leverage to be able to move my mom out of and into bed. So if I didn't get home on time or if, or some problem happened, yeah. She had to be where she was until I could get there. So, I mean, there were, there were little things like that. But you, you know, I mean, from my perspective and, and it was modeled by my parents early in my life, you kind of put your head down and do what you have to do. Speaker 3 00:10:07 And I think, I think there's a lot of families that are there. We, we don't, I, I remember, and I've talked several times, I think on the show of, of a, of an older client I'd had at once upon a time doing a move as a move manager for them. And he was explaining to me how difficult, uh, it can be for the family that saw the best version of you for the first 18 years of life, moved away for 40, 50 years. And now they're stepping in trying to make decisions as you would make them as best as possible or, or in your best interest. And that's, that's really, it's important I think, to recognize, I recognized with that the impossibility of what that was, which could throw a little bit of grace on myself. And I, what I hope, you know, our members do too is, is take that grace of, and there's just, there, there is a lot you gotta come up to speed with. And sometimes it's wasn't faking it till you make it. You just did what your dad did. You just kind of follow, you might not even know why you're doing those things. Speaker 4 00:11:02 No. There was a lot of faking. Let's, let's be clear, there was a Speaker 3 00:11:05 Lot of faking <laugh>. Yeah, <laugh>. Speaker 4 00:11:07 But, but you know, you, you'll learn. So we, we were running a ventilator at home. Yeah. And for a while, for a while we could go to regular doctor visits and those sorts of things cuz it was a portable unit. But, but for example, our last two trachs I bought on eBay. Yeah. Cause I couldn't, I couldn't get her to a doctor anymore. Right. Which meant I couldn't get a prescription, which meant I couldn't buy a tra or I couldn't order a trach. Yeah. So I bought 'em on eBay. Speaker 3 00:11:36 Yeah. Well those are and great solutions to that look, the, that, that experience clearly informed you well. And it comes across dealing with you professionally. It comes across watching you empathetically deal with other families that are stepping forward. And for those, those pe people that are home, I, I think it's a good role model and a good way to think through sometimes just rolling up the sleeves and digging into what's happening today. Remember a lot of times in, um, what, what I've found a lot of times in dealing with, whether it's a large national emergency or dealing with a parent project at home, you just, you're, you take that first challenge that's in front of you with that first step and, and know too that the way you solve that challenge is probably gonna impact the third, fourth, and fifth challenges that you see down the line. So know that they're there. Don't overthink to them yet. Just start that first pace. And you clearly auto, I think you did a great job of of, of starting to do that. That's, um, it's a good role model. Speaker 4 00:12:34 So. Well thanks. Let, let, let me just say, Tony, to go back to your opening point sooner than later. Yeah. I is really important. Uh, we were in the situation we were in because my dad had made a decision years before, uh, to leave a trach installed when one was needed. And he, he didn't remove it l it be needed again. Um, that, that changed the things we could do, the things we could control, the way we approach things. And, and nobody ever had a discussion about whether that was a good idea or bad idea. Let's, let's acknowledge in, you know, in light of the coming segments, we're gonna, we'll talk in one segment I think about healthcare decisions and one about financial decisions. And we won't get too deeply into either of those today, but things could, may have been different. Easier. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:13:30 Yep. Speaker 4 00:13:31 Family relationships may have been more manageable if early on, two decades earlier, discussions about those sorts of things had happened. You know, had had other advisors and my folks had advisors, but had, had more specific discussions been had with certain physicians, right? Yeah. About what they would do when, when the time came. Cuz you never know how to take the healthcare side, for example. You never know what's going to happen. Few people have one catastrophic, one catastrophic event. You have, you go along at a baseline and then something happens, and now you're here and you go along for a while more. And now you're here. And the later in life you get the bigger looms. The question, when do you say stop? When do you not address it? And, and just knowing how to evaluate that over time, it's not as simple as in a document, mom said, right. Don't, don't do these three things or do do those three things. Right. It, it's, it's nuanced because the circumstance Speaker 3 00:14:42 Changes. Well, there's some, there's just Yeah, that's right. The nuances that come from those circumstance, which means along the way, while you're, while you're, you know, it's the frog in the pot. While you get into that, you want, you want to be sooner than later. Making sure that you have visibility. You understand maybe why you're seeing what you're doing. If you see the tran left in or it comes up, ask that question about that thing. If it's, if it's some other document that's not being prepared or was prepared understanding, you know, what was the thought process behind those types of things. Again, it's a good place to start in asking some of those why's before you go run in and taking, taking this where they feel you might be trying to take control of that sooner than later. I think it's important to get to know the situation this the way we get to know people or, or anything else. Speaker 3 00:15:28 So I, I do want to come back. I wanna revisit that in, uh, in the next segment. This is a good opportunity. We'll take a moment just to take a break and let people that maybe are joining us for the first time, get to know a little bit about us here at Parent projects and, uh, and what we look like a little behind the curtain. So I'll be back with you here with Auto Shell of Ginning, Strauss and Salmon right after this. I'm Tony Siber. I'm the founder of Parent Projects and I'm gonna take you on a quick tour of the organization. Come on. The organization is full of surprises and if you've seen one parent project, you've seen one parent project. So generally we just try to be mission driven, objective, virtuous, empathetic, and defendable. We call it being moved. Come on and let me show you the insight. Speaker 3 00:16:17 So our organization lives inside the Arizona State University Sky Song Innovation Center and Scottsdale, Arizona. It gives us an opportunity, be around a lot of creative people and creativity. Well, sometimes it turns into trouble, but most of the time it's gonna turn into quality content for you. I just want to take this moment to tell you, we're pleased to have you here. We look forward to helping you. If there's anything at all that you need, please reach out, follow us on the other socials that you like best and the platform that's your favorite. And until you and I get an opportunity to talk one-on-one, behold and be held, Speaker 3 00:17:03 Welcome back everybody. Tony Siber, apparent projects. Thanks, uh, for joining us today. We've got auto shell with Jennings, Strauss and Salmon in the Phoenix market. Uh, attorneys of law that handle really full scope. Everything from a state law, family law, uh, business law, the full spectrum of those types of things. Auto, uh, good friend over the years, uh, is here and we're having a conversation in part one of a three-part series over emotional legal decisions and particularly trying to find our way as adult children with parent projects. Um, how do we approach the situation? What do we approach in this situation? I think what, what auto laid out really clearly is ota, we bring you back in upfront, is, uh, when, and, and the answer to that seems to increasingly be, uh, sooner than later. Again, sooner than later, uh, to begin that background. So thanks, thanks again for joining us today. Speaker 4 00:17:57 You bet. You're welcome. Speaker 3 00:17:59 Hey, so, uh, okay. There are so many different segments, uh, when it comes down to attorneys in different things. And, and if you're unfamiliar with law, could you take a second maybe just to, to break down, um, from a, from a legal component, um, who are the basic groups and generally where do they touch some level of a parent project or a situation that's legal out there? Speaker 4 00:18:25 Well, that can be as bottom buried as the circumstance of any family. Sure. There, there are some families who have very complex businesses and parents and children are owners or employees in, in those businesses that, that requires business attorneys, tax attorneys like me, it requires a state and succession planning both individually and for the business. Um, it can require some mergers and acquisitions expertise if businesses need to be divided, sold, bought, you know, the often the, the businesses are fairly large and have to continue. There are many employees that may depend on a, uh, family business and, and Speaker 3 00:19:11 Go ahead. And, and I'm sorry. And, and so that would be for those families, you would recognize that if you were utilizing a family business to hand assets one, one generation to the next, or if it was that family business that did not plan to shut its doors and shutter when mom and dad died, but instead pass on to the next generation, is that, that's, that would be that group of people. They, they would be looking for those types of attorneys for that Speaker 4 00:19:34 Right. Or pass some on to the employees. Uh, Speaker 3 00:19:37 Yeah, Speaker 4 00:19:38 Yeah. True. For example, an employee stock ownership plan. Yep. Or that there, there are a whole variety of circumstances that, that your business may be big or it may be small, but if, if you have one, is it gonna close the doors? If you do, how do the debts get paid? What happens to the employees? Sure. You know, there are businesses that, that need to continue and they need ongoing advice and that, you know, that can get into areas of employment, relationships, employee benefits, it can general commercial disputes that happen. You know, there's a whole variety of things that can happen Speaker 3 00:20:15 When, um, so when is a family gonna see an estate attorney or a state law, uh, segment of attorneys generally high level. Speaker 4 00:20:24 Well, I mean, everybody ought to do that sooner than later, you know, when you're, when you're a younger, Speaker 3 00:20:30 I did not set up that shameless plug by the way, that that was not the intent from man without a softball or what Speaker 4 00:20:37 <laugh> Well, and that wasn't an advertisement. But, but if, if you are a couple just newly married, not much to worry about, I suppose. Uh, but if you are, if, if you've got children and something happens to both parents, how the children are taken care of and where the money comes from becomes a bigger issue while, you know, the older the, the children get, uh, you know, presumably there's insurance or assets, whether big or small, and there are certain mechanisms that take care of those kids better than others. Yeah. For example, if you did no planning at all, you could end up in a situation where your kids get whatever they inherit from you when they're 18. Well, that's probably not the best thing for a good outcome for a child's life. Uh, some people wouldn't have problem with it, but many would. Yeah. And, and so in, in a situation where you want to build independence and self-reliance in a child, then planning how that's gonna happen and still meet the needs that you would help meet if you were there. Right. It is important to consider. So that's why I say planning early in life is important. Speaker 3 00:21:52 So, and that one's even got a bunch of big, so when you, when you look at why that gets, I mean, there's a thousand reasons that gets difficult, but in that particular time, you have mom and dad have acquired resources that they planned to plan that they, that they plan to pass on to another generation. And they are now making assumptions about generally what life should look like or what would be best for the life of that person after the age of 18, perhaps. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And in that would come down into their twenties, sometimes into their thirties and forties, um, based off of, you know, what that trust or what may, what might lie out in those rules. So again, now back in that first segment conversation sooner than later, opening the door and making sure that those, they're, they're, they're making assumptions. They're building their decisions on assumptions. And that e even if you're not looking to pull or push or change a decision, at least making sure that they're well-informed and that those assumptions are formed off of, you know, seeing everything that might be in your life while they're putting that together. If you're an adult, you know, if you're one of the adult kiddos, um, that would be a great, would be a great place. Seems like a great place to start some conversation for them to make sure they understand your life enough. Speaker 4 00:23:02 Yeah. I, I think so. And, and it gets, you know, look, most of us do this and we do a document and we put it in a drawer and me included. And, and that's never going to happen. We're never really going to need that for several decades. Yeah. So, okay, fine. I check the box and it's done. And for most people it works out that way. But at some point children become adults. They don't, al children don't, don't always agree with one another. Parents want independence. Parents wouldn't appreciate the wrong kind of insertion. But if, if, if you wait until somebody is 80 to have a conversation about the planning one, you've run outta runway for many planning techniques if taxes is a big issue. And two, you're at a point where it's pretty hard to have a family conversation unless you've fostered that kind of communication all along. Or what about the circumstance where you have mom and dad and each have kids that aren't kids of the other spouse, Speaker 3 00:24:12 A blended family. Right. So half of families have divorce and them that you're you, that adds up pretty quickly to a preponderance of families maybe dealing with that or, or late in life. Okay. So how about divorce, remarriage divorce again? Or, or, or those types of complications, uh, later in life. So that's, that's a state I, I guess family law, family law attorneys, that's a whole different, that's a different segment in specialty of attorneys. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Where would we typically see a family law attorneys getting involved, uh, when it's to these types of conversations? Speaker 4 00:24:44 Well, hopefully not often, but, but there are, you know, that we, you and I started this conversation, uh, yesterday talking about the possibility of Medicaid divorce where people actually get divorced to create a financial result or stave off a financial detriment. Yeah. Um, not as easy to do here in Arizona because we're a community property state, but, uh, again, I, without getting too deep into the weeds on that particular technique, and whether it's a good idea or bad idea, I mean, they're Yeah. A number of reasons to be concerned. But having, having good advisors earlier in life rather than later in life, and then figuring out the right way in one's own family situation to communicate, uh, how you're managing that and what you expect into the future to your family is pretty important. Yeah. Uh, it it, when, when you get 30 years down the road from that, then everybody knows what to expect and it doesn't stave off all the problems, but there's more expectations than if you run right up to, to 80 years old, and then you wanna tell everybody what's gonna happen and they don't necessarily agree, uh, with you or each other. Speaker 4 00:26:06 Right. You know, and, and it's problem. And, and I'll tell you the problem, it puts professional advisors in, at least with respect to attorneys. If I represent a client, I have attorney-client privilege with that client. And I typically, if I'm going to have a privileged conversation, I don't have other people in the room. Right. That's pretty tough to build family consensus around an issue, uh, you know, unless they get invited in the room. And there are some disadvantages and some advantages to doing it. And at very least as your lawyer, I have to advise you and make a, we have to make a decision about that kind of communication. Speaker 3 00:26:51 And I think that, I think that's a great one. And I, and I would love to talk about that here in this next segment. A bit of that. What would you need to know in, in working with that? You know, one last is a caveat. Two, I know a question that's come up previously for us, uh, was the type of attorneys that your family would involve if you had a, um, if you had a sibling maybe with special needs where mom and dad were still taking care of an adult sibling that was having difficulties, you know, who's, who's gonna get involved on that and the handling of, of those situations later. And how do you, how do you plan for that? Um, as they begin to age, what signs are you seeing to where care, uh, of that particular person might need to transfer? Sometimes even from sibling to sibling if, uh, if, if one of your siblings that's on point gets a little too old to handle, or somebody, you know, passes away or there's a change off of that, is that also a family? Is that a family law kinda? Speaker 4 00:27:45 No, that would, that would typically be an estate Speaker 3 00:27:47 Planner. An estate planning. Speaker 4 00:27:48 Okay. Correct. That, that would be an estate planner. Because typically if you've got a disabled child, that child gets government benefits. And so if you provide assets to that child through a normal estate planning trust, you're going to terminate the government benefits. So there are special needs trusts that can be incorporated into a plan that don't terminate the benefits, but provide help to a child outside what the government will provide. Speaker 3 00:28:16 Uh, I'd love that when it comes down. It's communication, it's conversation. It's sooner than later. Uh, you know, after, after we take this particular break, gonna get an opportunity to share. This is our shamis plug off of that. This is the new Parent Projects Connect. It is literally an app that is designed to help you families clarify what needs to be done, simplify the communication with your other family members of who's handling what caretaker logs, uh, and what needs to be done. And then connect you with the verified vendors that can help you with your project when you, so to, uh, get involved with them. So, uh, we'll take a look at that, take a quick break, highlight against that product when we come back. We'll be back in a moment with autos shell on emotional legal Decisions, part one in our three part series. Speaker 3 00:29:44 And welcome back. This is part one and a three-part series on emotional legal decisions. We've got Otto Shill with Jenning, Strauss and Salmon here in Phoenix. Uh, and, and Otto and I, we've unpacked, um, Ottawa in, in the the first segment here. Uh, you and I kind of unpacked that perspective that, that you kind of bring, um, to the table. We, we got into talking about why to begin those conversations sooner than later in the second segment. We had a great opportunity to think about what are the different types of legal professionals that might push into this. Um, I know our part two and part three of the series specifically for those of you at home looking at the monster of all of this, know that our, our plan in part two and three is to go into a little more detail on the, the medical side, uh, in one particular, um, episode, and then specifically again on the, um, on the, um, money side, the planning of the estates and those types of things. Speaker 3 00:30:41 So we'll get those, those questions that you have, um, tho those would be the great times for that and continue to look for the other parts of the series. Otto, you, you hit on at the end of that last segment, uh, we started talking about communicating, um, you know, communicating with your siblings on maybe why things are happening or why they're making the decisions when your parents are planning stuff out ahead of time. It's based, it's predicated on, um, on assumptions and on some decisions. You made a significant point to caught my ear about, uh, privileged, privileged conversations. High level what is, what, what is privileged conversations, um, maybe agency, these are some terms that we hear from time to time or that come up. Can you hit a real high level for that in this segment? Speaker 4 00:31:30 Well, so the attorney-client privilege is a legal privilege between a person and their attorney that says that the attorney may not and will not disclose any confidential information that they speak about. But if you have a conversation, for example, or share a document where there are other people in the room or other people can see it, then the privilege does not apply. And so the, there are circumstances, for example, where that becomes real important if you're litigating a matter. So if you had a family business and you're having a discussion about management of the family business, and there's a chance for litigation and you don't want something, uh, to be available to the other side in litigation, you need to make sure you're having a conversation with the people who enjoy the privilege. Speaker 3 00:32:26 Okay. The what doc, what's the bearing? If your parents have already completed some documentation, uh, what are you looking for off? Is that flat out a conversation with you, with the, the attorney and the client? Uh, is it especially as if, if your client starts degrading, I guess that's the bottom line, right? If you see that they're having capacity problems in making that, are there particular documents ahead of time that maybe spring into action saying, Hey, should I start to decline, uh, this is who I want to come in, on these conversations? Or is there, is that a, is that a thing? Is there, is there something around that? Speaker 4 00:33:06 Well, sure. With, with virtually every estate plan, we always prepare powers of attorney. So there are, there's a power of attorney that lets you deal with properties of another person. If you are the authorized agent, there are powers of attorney that'll let you deal with the healthcare decisions for that person. If you're the authorized agent, both of those times types of document are not effective after someone dies. So you have to make sure that you've got a mechanism to take care of the person, to take care of their property while they're alive if they can't do it, and then to take care of property after death. Okay. Having said all of that, documents are fine, but the most important thing particularly well I, I guess in both areas is to understand in the context of the person's life, how they would do it, what they want to do. Too often the discussions even between attorney and and client doing the planning focuses on some technique or some document and not enough on, on how does the person see this in the context of how they're going to live and how, how should they communicate and what should they communicate to their family members Speaker 3 00:34:25 That, so what do, as as adult children, what do we need to know about those legal documents? Do we just need to know that they exist? Do we know, need to know what, is there a time we might be called the have to come up with something like that? What, what generally what to what degree should, should we have a copy of them? Should they just be stored? What's the best? Is there a best practice around line nine? Speaker 4 00:34:47 Well, I think that depends on the family situation. And I, I think it also really is the, the parent's decision. Hopefully they're doing it early enough on that, that they can, uh, they can communicate the way they, they feel appropriate. But in general, I typically encourage clients to sit down with their families to the extent that kind of conversation works for them and, and let people know what they expect. You brought up a great point of what if there's a disabled child and who's gonna take care of 'em next? And it becomes a bigger issue the older everybody gets. Right. If you've got a family of 65 year olds, you know, who's go, who's gonna last the longest is starts to become the issue. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:35:35 And, Speaker 4 00:35:36 You know, and these days, even disa, you know, even someone with a severe disability may live quite a long time. So, Speaker 3 00:35:42 Or, or even just knowing your bench strength, like, like what's the talking about the, okay, what's the order in which we're gonna do this? Or, or we would cover, maybe not even just based off of age, but in capacity happens things, things happen. We're seeing more and more now you're watching people at younger ages is that, that are, you know, having catastrophic life-changing health issues themself. Uh, and if that were to happen to, to a particular sibling who steps in off of that role, I that comes down, you know, Amy had, had, we just saw the Facebook, you know, comment there saying, you know, again, reminding us that important to have this conversation sooner than later. Uh, that I think could be a valuable part of the conversation. People knowing between your siblings and not just even your parents, is you are starting to prep those family relationships and you are remembering that they're, for me, for a lack of better way, I think I said it earlier, it's like an emotional bank account. Speaker 3 00:36:37 There are debits and there are credits, there are times you're gonna have to pull on that, that as you are warming into this, uh, if you haven't started yet, you're not sure and you're getting your bearings off of it, now's the time to just make some relationship, uh, credits. It's time to put some deposits in there. And just ensuring that people know less about what you're trying to get to you. They just know where you're at and they know why it is that you're asking the questions. What concerns you and what keeps you up. And I think if you've got a sibling who's having some of those concerns, one thing that I've seen be really successful for families is giving every sibling enough grace and room that to process everything differently. There are, whether it be about a particular painting that one family member, it means a lot to, and everybody else has no idea why it was, it's a piece of junk not understanding, you know, the importance of that picture is that it fell off the wall and fell and broke that kid's toe when they were five. Speaker 3 00:37:35 And so it got some affinity to this thing. People approach their, the, you know, aging and watching their parents age. Your siblings will approach this diff differently. They've had different life experiences. They've been generally while you're raised in the same home someplace else. So leaving room for that conversation internally and, and making those conversations happen to know what's important to each of your siblings might be a really great start to preparing to then have one of these kinds of sit downs and start engaging on those more formal conversations with, with Otto or with with other attorneys. Right. Speaker 4 00:38:10 Well, and, and Tony, I, you know, I've seen situations where a si one sibling lives close, another sibling lives far and they differ on, on what should happen. There's a different level of effort you put into taking care of mom and dad, and then after the fact, a after mom and dad are gone, then that can be the source of the dispute. So talking about that issue early, and I'm not suggesting we, we have to pay everybody for everything, but finding common ground. The other, the other thing I would mention is sometimes it's appropriate to have the right, uh, professionals involved. So if, if there's money to be managed, you might be better off with a private fiduciary or a trust company than a family member, as a trustee, for example, because it's easier to get to equity, it's easier to just administer the document than if people who have competing interests are doing it on the healthcare side. And we'll talk about both of these more in the other segments. Yeah. On the healthcare side, it may, it might be very helpful if the primary phy physician has helped develop standards for a plan of care and helped change those along the way. So when you are the person named in the power of attorney to make a healthcare decision, you're not just, not just dropped into a, shall we do this operation or not. Speaker 3 00:39:41 Yeah. Speaker 4 00:39:42 But you have a context and somebody who's fought that context out with mom and dad and memorialized it in a document so that you have a better sense of what mom or dad thought in the moment as opposed to something they wrote 35 years ago that really isn't relevant anymore. Speaker 3 00:40:00 Uh, that's a great, that, that's a great comment. And I do look, I think to the fiduciary side on the, uh, estates on the financial end. You know, there are now great development in a profession of, of healthcare advocacy and healthcare advocates that, you know, when a doctor's got six minutes to make a particular stop, uh, and get to know and understand and put these things together right within their day with mom and dad, that can be difficult. They can get some perspective. A healthcare advocate can bridge the gap between a family member and between those doctors, they're usually either a physician or they're a, a nurse practitioner, or they've got that subject matter expertise there. They understand the insurance industry, they understand Medicare, they understand Medicaid and the estate system. All techs for us here in Arizona, uh, they know how those layer in, they know the processes that are gonna flow when the paperwork touches from one to the next. Speaker 3 00:40:50 And they, they can just kind of help a family stay on tap. We'll, we'll probably have more about that. We could talk about that on the healthcare perspective. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but that's, um, that, that's great. Involving those people as well sooner than later if we're not picking up the common theme. Uh, super important. So, uh, you know, parting shots here, uh, Otto as we're talking about, really this is a, so this is family relationships, it's sooner than later, um, and really helping with those emotional, legal decisions. Anything else key that you can think of in those early relationships or early ways to build maybe trust with family members? Speaker 4 00:41:26 No, I, I think we've covered it well, and I, I think, Tony, we've got to acknowledge that not every family works like that. Right. And, and not every family addresses things early and, and you may be the out-of-state sibling, uh, and another sibling's here, or maybe everybody's out of state and a neighbor's here. And what do you do when you suspect something bad's going on? I had a conversation with somebody just the other day in the driveway who had come into town because a family member was sending thousands of dollars overseas to somebody in Ukraine. Uh, and it was fairly apparent to this family member. It was a scam, but not to the person who's sending the money. Yeah. And, and the difficult thing is how do you, how do you approach that person's independence and try to help them? Because if they run outta money, somebody's gonna have to pick up the slack and help 'em get through. Right? Right. That might fall on, on the concerned family member, but you can't take away someone's independence. Speaker 3 00:42:30 I, I think that is a good, and it's a great thing to close off of, to acknowledge and thinking through this. So one of the keys in defeating guilt and fear, I think particularly for this, is acknowledge, um, acknowledge where your concerns are gonna be in it. A primary concern and a reason that we tend to first start acting on this is because we have a fear that we're going to be forced to act on it. Uh, and it's gonna impact us without us having a say. How it does. Finance is a huge piece of that. And in a, in a time and an environment where a single, the majority of us, the majority of us, so while over 50% of us a single medical event could wipe out the savings that you've set up mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, and that's gonna send you into a whole different world of planning. Speaker 3 00:43:13 Just acknowledge it, be okay with that. It's okay to have that concern. And where that is, if you've got a sibling that's got it and you're not there yet, give a little grace and understand where that's coming from. Start those conversations and start for this week. You know, start involving some of those experts, uh, that can, that can help you guide those conversations and help you figure out what you don't know. I thought that, that, yeah. Great, great recommendation from you, o Shell, jenning, Strauss, and Salmon. Uh, Otto, I really appreciate you kicking off the series with us here in part one for emotional legal decisions. And as always, man, I appreciate you sharing your time, your talents and your treasures with us and our membership. Speaker 4 00:43:51 Great to be with you. Thanks for having me, Tony. Speaker 5 00:43:59 Well, that's it for the team this week, and thanks for joining us. If you've enjoyed the content, remember to subscribe and to share this episode on the app that you're using right now. Your reviews and your comments, they really help us expand our reach as well as our perspectives. So if you have time, also drop us a note. Let us know how we're doing for tips and tools to clarify your parent project, simplify communication with your stakeholders, and verify the professionals that you choose. You can find us on YouTube, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks again for trusting us. Until our next episode, behold and be held. Speaker 2 00:44:31 Thank you for listening to this Parent Projects podcast production. To access our show notes, resources, or forums, join us on your favorite social media platform or go to parent projects.com. This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any decisions, consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by Family Media and Technology Group, incorporated and parent projects l l c. Written permissions must be granted before syndication or rebroadcast.

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