Episode 12

February 10, 2023


#26 | Otto Shill | Emotional Legal Decisions Part 2

Hosted by

Tony Siebers Bina Colman
#26 | Otto Shill | Emotional Legal Decisions Part 2
Parent Projects - Aging In America
#26 | Otto Shill | Emotional Legal Decisions Part 2

Feb 10 2023 | 00:46:54


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 to Otto Shill

01:45 – Zero to Ten Slide

05:10 – What to Do About Health Documentation

09:45 – All Things Senior Expo Ad

10:34 – 5 Things to Prepare for the Decline

12:09 – 1. Key Documents

17:40 – 2. Ensure the Documents are Current

21:20 – 3. Introducing the Parties

27:57 – 4. Being OK with Death

30:45 – 5. Being Forgiving

34:51 – Parent Projects Connect Ad

36:20 – Summary of the 5 Points

45:34 – Outro


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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 1 00:00:06 You're listening to parent Projects. Speaker 2 00:00:11 Hey, welcome. This week everybody to our special guest auto show, the thirties partner with Jenning, Strauss and Salmon here in the Phoenix Metro area. And he's joining us for part two in this three part series where we're covering emotional legal decisions. Uh, in particular, we're gonna focus today on healthcare side of the house. In our first series, we broke down kind of leading into these, these types of discussions and what that felt, uh, what that really feels like. Mr. Shill, he's practiced for nearly 40 years in law. Uh, he's a certified tax specialist. Uh, he focuses on, on the practice of tax businesses, estate planning, government audits, investigations, employee benefits, government contracting. But I think what's most pertinent against this, uh, particularly, is that he's had a parent project and a complex parent project where he had to handle that from the perspective of also being an attorney. With this background and understanding of, of, uh, estate planning, I think it's gonna be a dynamic and great conversation today. Join me with Auto of Jenning, Straus and Salmon. Speaker 1 00:01:34 You're listening to Parent Projects, a Family Media and Technology Group Production. Now, here's your host, Tony Sievers. Speaker 2 00:01:44 So it's a three part series, uh, and really it's because it, there's a lot to work through. The emotional, legal decisions that are involved when you step into a parent project are likely to be something that trips you and your family up right away. Uh, it oftentimes seems like it's an issue of black and white and what it looks like, but today, Otto's gonna explain why that's not the case and what your actual responsibility is, as well as ethically, uh, and, and where your heart needs to land against this. So, I'm gonna welcome Otto Shell back in, uh, to the show today. Hey, Otto, thanks for joining us again today. Hi, Tony. Thanks for having me. <laugh>. So, in, um, in the, in the first part of this, we walked through, you know, you, you and I, we've known each other for some time. We've had great conversations over the years about our parent projects and even my, my projects with my sister, uh, just recently in the last year. And so, uh, processing those things end of life, watching that slide you describe, at one time, I remember you describing a, uh, kind of a slide. It starts maybe at a 10, from 10 down to zero and where that goes and how that comes through. But that dynamic or can, can you kinda expand against that? What, what is that dynamic? And I think we'll probably use that to describe maybe where we are today a little bit. Speaker 4 00:03:05 Well, I think what we were talking about is that most people are able to deal with a crisis moment. You know, there's a sudden car accident, somebody's incapacitated or some other kind of catastrophic event. Uh, but not as many people are ready for a long decline. That happens with most people as, as they get older. You know, I, I, uh, woke up one morning and my foot started hurting. I can't tell you why <laugh>, but it's certainly a hindrance some days. Right. And we all kind of experience those things as we get a little older. And, and so, you know, my experience, and I think yours is you, you go along at, at a fairly high functional level, and then something happens and now you're at a little lower functional level, and that happens several times. And, and then, uh, one day, uh, time to, to move on. Speaker 2 00:04:00 Yeah. Well, and some people refer to the frog in the pot kind of idea for how that can happen. Easy, easy. When it's that fast hot water, you're gonna jump into it. You can, the frog jumps right back out, but the frog that sits in that cold water that slowly gets heated up. The other, you know, the other way will, will sit there until, till the end. It's hard to recognize that, uh, kind of that, that problem setting on you are maybe the immediacy of what you're doing. Speaker 4 00:04:24 Yeah. Well, and I think what our discussion's centered around the difference in decision making Yeah. In those two circumstances. Cuz it's very different. Speaker 2 00:04:32 Well, that is, okay. So like, that's, well, let's jump in towards that. Let's unpack a bit. I, um, you're an attorney, right? I, I mean, we, we come see attorneys to give us kind of the written rule. This, uh, I think one thing you'll often see, especially if you've got a sibling who's emotionally struggling as well, to catch in where this is, this seems really simple, right? You have, you have a piece of paper in front of you, and it's black and white, and that's where it is. What, what do we need to know? I mean, legally and ethically, what, what are we really doing? If we're somebody who's responsible for somebody else and we've got one of these pieces of paper and we're responsible for using it? Speaker 4 00:05:10 Well, first of all, I i, there there's a balance to be had. Um, on the one hand, the piece of paper, the healthcare power of attorney and the living will, uh, reflect what the, the person you're caring for thought about and decided. And so it's important, you're, you're an agent. You're not acting on your own. And it's important to respect what that person wanted and, and expressed on, on the paper. On the other hand, sometimes the paper doesn't go far enough in describing the decision making process may give you a lot of latitude to decide, but then you're left with what to do in an emergent situation. How hard do you, you try, how far do you go? Um, and, and so trying to figure out how to respect the person's wishes and at the same time interpret those wishes in the context of what's happening. And for them now, how are they participating in life now? What, what's their experience? Because at the end of the day, as a caregiver, our job was to help, uh, the person we're helping have the most meaningful life experience possible. Not to prolong death, not, or, or prolong life or, or ward off death or terminate life early. That that's really not our purview. It's about how do you help the person have the most meaningful, positive experience they can have in the circumstances. Speaker 2 00:06:47 And I think that is, that is a key takeaway. If you're a caretaker that's gonna step up and work to this, the, that, having that first understanding of that I think will be, will make it much easier for you in the preparation and for particularly to prepare your mind for some of the decisions and the gravity of the decisions you're gonna have to make. Um, that that's a great kind of guiding, guiding light. I think that what it helps you maybe do is I talk to my kids. I've got a son who's learning to drive, and he'll often stare right at the hood of the car, <laugh>, right, right at the front and boom of it. Right? And you're, uh, it's gonna kill me when he sees this, right? <laugh>. But, but that's, it's, uh, you gotta get him to look down the road and understanding where that is getting his eyes fixed to the horizon, uh, and then all of a sudden he's like, oh, well this is easy. This is a lot easier than, than when you're just staring down here. A similar thing. If you can understand that horizon is having that positive and that that meaningful life experience, I think you're well, we find it's a lot easier to stay on the street. Our peripheral vision will help us do a lot of that. Speaker 4 00:07:52 Well, a all of us have heard different adages about the, the, uh, importance of serving other people and putting them their needs before our needs. Yeah. And I think that that really applies here. Um, you know, you can, I, in my law practice, I've seen all sorts of family situations. There's family situations where a parent isn't necessarily terminal, but, you know, uh, a child wants them to move along so money can pass, right? I mean, there, some people are motivated by that, some people don't understand, and the document says don't do thing one. But in the context of the person's life at the time thing, one still makes sense. Sure. And you have to, you have to make that judgment and you're balancing the wishes written on the page with what's really going on, on the, on the ground. Speaker 2 00:08:47 So these are critical reasons out there that you probably, if, if you're not sure how to unpack and get into this, don't worry. Stand by. Because this next series, what we're gonna do is we're gonna talk about, I and I are gonna break down preparation for this. Uh, and in doing that, how to understand those documents, how to understand what's gonna happen to prepare yourself for that, what you can tell your parents so that you're that enabler for them in the front end. And, and hopefully get some of that set up because as we, as we talked about in episode one, uh, earlier, early and often, right? You want to, you wanna get involved in this as early as possible and start tackling some of this stuff. So before we jump right into the weeds of that, we just wanna give a shout out. Uh, you know, we obviously we're in the Phoenix, Arizona market, uh, on March the first, the All Things senior event out with the City of Scottsdale. We are happy to sponsor that and are gonna be out there all day. And we just want to bring a little bit more detail to that day, to you and our audience. Speaker 5 00:09:45 Are you looking for more information about healthcare, senior housing, municipal services, recreation, technology, transport, or entertainment for your adult children? The welcome to the All things Senior Expo, the All Things Senior Expo is held at the Scottsdale Center of Performing Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona. Vendors will come and showcase their products, services, or programs to attendees. This event is sponsored by Parent Projects Co Clear and love and Life After 50, if you are a vendor and will like to talk about your products, parent projects will be there live in conducting interviews. If you wish to schedule an interview with parent projects live at the Alting Senior Expo, please go to parent projects.com/alting senior to find out more and schedule your interview. We look forward to seeing you there, behold, and be held. Speaker 2 00:10:36 And we look forward to breaking down some of these topics here today of how you prepare for having a conversation those highly and those emotional legal decisions with your parents, particularly around healthcare. We've got autos shell from Jennings, Straus and Salmon here in the Phoenix market. He's an attorney and he's an experience parent project, um, survivor, if you will. He's worked his way through one of these projects. He works with other families going through them. I think, uh, you know, the perspective you add, uh, Otto is, is has so much to offer. I, again, I really appreciate you coming in today to, to share this with us. You bet. So, uh, so let's, let's get down to the meat of this. Uh, at the back end, what I expect we're gonna come through and talk are, are gonna be five major things that we can do to prepare, uh, for, for the decline. Speaker 2 00:11:29 As that decline comes down, particularly in, in making to prepare ourselves to make some highly, uh, emotional legal decisions that have to do with healthcare. Uh, we're gonna set aside for the moment, those you in the audience, uh, if you've got those questions that are ringing in your head when it comes down to the, the wills and the trust and the finance side of the house, it's gonna be in part three of the series. Don't worry about it. No, you haven't seen it yet. It's coming down the pipeline. But today, kind of pinging off those top five things, um, Otto, one of, one of the, the first things that really sticks with me that you brought out upfront and early and often is, uh, mom and dad need to have these documents. What are the key documents? What, what are those documents that I need to, when I'm, when I finally realize I gotta step in, I'm looking to grab a hold of and, and make sure I ask them where they are or ensure that we're driving through it. Speaker 4 00:12:21 Well, in, in Arizona, I'll, I'll speak to Arizona because I'm licensed there. Other states may vary, although most are similar. Uh, you would typically want to have a healthcare power of attorney, which empowers your agent to do a whole list of things on your behalf. If you are unable to do them in, in Arizona, it typically, it makes decisions about, uh, about, uh, mental healthcare and what things you will and won't permit without a court order. Uh, it, it'll talks about, uh, some burial issues, some treatment issues. Second, you'd want to have a living will, which is sort of the pull the plug, don't pull the plug document. Here are the things I definitely do or don't want in which circumstances. And finally, in Arizona at least, you might have an orange card, which is some sort of do not resuscitate order if that's what you want. So those are, and Speaker 2 00:13:18 Is that, is that also the advanced directive? Is that where Yes. Same, those things come into play, right. For some of those states that have advanced directives. Right. Speaker 4 00:13:26 For, for, for those of you in Arizona, that looks like the big orange card you put on the refrigerator that you get from the fire department. Speaker 2 00:13:32 Great. Okay. So we should be seeing that that is an awesome thing to be looking for when you come in or to know where that is. Uh, and it's Speaker 4 00:13:40 Certainly what the fire department will be Speaker 2 00:13:41 Looking for. Well, that's what I was gonna say. Right? Your, your fire department's gonna look for it when they're walking in. They are, they're taking a look. And it's not just them. In my experience as a police officer, you're looking for that information and that documentation as well. Again, different states, it looks a little bit different, but I love that it's orange here in Arizona. That's fantastic. <laugh>. Speaker 4 00:13:59 The other documents the hospital's going to be looking for, if you have to go there, they're typically gonna scan them in, put them on their system, because that's, that's frankly from a liability perspective, it takes them off the hook and allows them to talk to you. With privacy being such an important issue these days, uh, it's pretty tough to navigate talking to the right people and getting the right information if you don't have that documentation in place, Speaker 2 00:14:26 Without a doubt. And if you're looking for more information and those particular types of documents here in Arizona, uh, generally what they are from a big picture, getting educated about that, you can check out the show notes down below for this particular episode. Uh, and then, you know, take that li at a minimum, there's gonna be a list down there for you. I take that list down to the attorney that's working with your family and in honor that's gonna be likely this will be a family law and a state law or elder law. What type of attorney is it that's gonna help a family with something like that? Speaker 4 00:14:56 Well, really one of one of two types. Either you're going to talk to someone who's an estate planner, who is used to helping families prepare wills trust. There, there may be tax planning involved. There may not be. Um, or you might be dealing with somebody who practices in, uh, altech planning or Medicaid planning, uh, which is someone who has fewer assets and might be looking to medicate to pay for long-term care, uh, over some time. And how, how to preserve family assets and not dissipate them altogether. Speaker 2 00:15:31 Great. And, and you know, there's other resources, healthcare, advocacy, advocacy organizations, especially certified healthcare advocates. Um, you know, there's got a pool of them available to it. Parent projects that, that offer advice and talk through. Those would be some other great places to start understanding so you can guide your parents to start looking for those docs. One, Speaker 4 00:15:51 Tony, one thing I'd emphasize there is, again, we've talked about early earlier than later. Sooner than later, and I think figuring out who is going to be responsible is pretty important early on, people have different perspectives. So I've spoken to, uh, several national doctors conferences about these issues and about my experience, uh, in, in my circumstance. And you find there are some, uh, advocates who are out there who want to prevent children from, uh, from forcing an outcome a parent didn't want. And you find children who wanna stay within the four corners of the document. And you've got the person who's boots on the ground taking care of things who may, may not be motivated by any self-interest, but rather motivated by what's the best thing for mom. And it could conflict with those other two things. So sure. Convers conversations, if, if there's a way to have 'em about what, what makes sense under certain circumstances and who's going to make the decisions and how should they should be guided. Uh, those are important conversations if, if you can manage to have them as a family. And even more important to reflect a process in the, the documents we've talked about, that that empowers that person to involve the right medical professionals and others to develop a plan of care so that you're not left with what a categorical decision, well, do I do this or don't do this. Yeah. You're informed by the plan of care as you go along. Speaker 2 00:17:37 So, so the, the, the number two part into this is ensuring that those documents are current and are matching the circumstances. Uh, you know, divorces and remarriages and all kinds of other things tend to happen and aging happens. Uh, and your parents should obviously be taking into account, uh, what their current circumstances are or if, if they've got newfound diagnosis, diagnosis or other things coming. Um, you used one specific term and I, and I think it relates back to the last comment you made. Uh, you talked especially on a healthcare power of attorney, uh, being an agent, um, the agent. And can you explain the role of what, what generally is the role of the agent and why is that an important term to understand and know? Speaker 4 00:18:21 So an agent acts for another person on another person's behalf when that person can cannot do it for themselves. Your job is not to decide what you want. Your job is to facilitate what the principal wants or the person who gave you the right to act on their behalf. And those, that's what the documents, uh, typically reflect. Speaker 2 00:18:46 Yeah. And, and those as, as they're updating for circumstances and things. This would be, I think this is an important time, um, to make sure that it's also reflecting that if who, whomever the agent is that that's the right agent for those most current circumstances that come through. You may have a, a power of attorney or something was written at one point in time with a particular, maybe a sibling that was the oldest. So that's where it would've expected. That's where things sat. Uh, but then over time the oldest turned out to not be able to handle maybe one of these types of things. Um, or they, they had other complications in life that were gonna make it difficult for them to serve in that role. These would be great things to start looking for an early conversations, um, along, well Speaker 4 00:19:29 A a a good agent for these kinds of decisions is someone who can act without self-interest. Right. Uh, someone who can analyze the situation. Cuz sometimes it gets pretty complex and someone So can that Go ahead. Speaker 2 00:19:44 Oh, I was gonna say, so, uh, do you see where the agent is not a family member, even though there may be family members there? Speaker 4 00:19:51 It could be, uh, I've seen that happen and, and I've seen that cause some, a fair amount of strife because now somebody else is making a decision and daughters left out and that's a problem. Speaker 2 00:20:03 Yeah. Yeah. I think where we've, where we've heard people, uh, most often common or have questions, or not questions, but, but concerns that we see people working through is when, uh, a remarriage maybe has happened with a family member, uh, and that's new, that's a newer relationship still, or a newer marriage at that point in time. And those decisions are what's driving everything. Whereas the kids are, you know, they're, they're, um, trying to hang on and trying to figure out because the conversations didn't happen. Just a level set. So, well, Speaker 4 00:20:30 I, I can tell you in our circumstance, uh, I, I responded to many emergent events and there was not time to call people or get consensus. There was a decision to be made and I had to make it end of story. Sure, yeah. On, on the other hand, if there was an opportunity, I would always involve my siblings and let them know what was going on and, and let them have, have a chance to comment on it. Um, because helped relationships. Speaker 2 00:21:02 Absolutely. And that is, you're going to need to rely on those, I think, uh, as, as you get into some of these difficult conversations. Okay. So we've got mom and dad, uh, making sure they have those documents, uh, in the first place. We know what we're looking for up there, we know generally what they do. Number two, uh, they've been updated for the situation. We're keeping them current. We understand who's on point, who's the agent, and how that's working. Um, now can, let's, let's talk through, um, what is, um, I'm trying to look off of my head, uh, introducing that's what it was, introducing the parties, uh, meeting mom and dad's doctors. Is that a thing? Like can they, can they set that up ahead of time? How does that, how does, is that, is that something to think through once you've got these docs in place? Speaker 4 00:21:51 It's certainly something I would consider. So you talk about the documents changing over time, and I, I'm not sure the documents themselves always have to change. What I, what I've started to do in the documents I draft that is different than what I did before I had a caregiving experience, uh, is that I'm, I'm drafting in the concept of the agent should consult with the treating physician and develop a plan of care that changes, because the decision making process is different depending on what, what, uh, circum health circumstance you're dealing with. So if sure, if the document empowers a process that allows for change, allows for careful consultation, then you're not left in, in a awkward position when you have to make a, uh, decision on the spot because it's life or death. Yeah. You, you know where you're going. Yeah. You know, whether to resuscitate or not. Speaker 4 00:22:52 I'll give you an example. Um, if, if you have a document that says don't do c P r, well, sometimes that can be a real judgment because you can have an accident and need cpr, and if they do cpr, it'll save your life. And perhaps the quality of your life isn't, isn't that bad. And you probably in the moment would want that. Having said that, if somebody does that to you and they're really good at it, they're gonna break all of your ribs and, and it's a pretty rough scenario. Yeah. So your decision's gonna be influenced by how old someone is, how frail someone is, how, how they're doing. And in that, in that context of making that kind of hard decision, you're gonna be better off if you've developed a standard, a plan of care against which you're measuring your decisions. Right. Speaker 2 00:23:56 A meaningful life experience. Speaker 4 00:23:57 Meaningful life. Yeah. In, in my, in my estimation, it's not in my purview to make a decision based on whether I believe, uh, somebody's quality of life is good or bad. Right. I, I think that's not, I, I, I don't think I have permission to do that. I think from a moral standpoint, it would be wrong to decide on that basis. But if you, you've, if you're evaluating based a plan of care before you get into a circumstance, you know, we've all heard doctors stories of doctors saying, there's nothing more we can do that really is never true. They can always do something more. The question is, should they, the question is, does it help? Does, does the antibiotic cure the infection or does it just keep any infection out of the bloodstream? Okay. Does a new surgical procedure give you a better outcome? Does it, you know, or does it cripple you? Yeah. So there, there are thing always technical things that can be done that simply don't make sense in the circumstances. And so to be guided by a plan of care that you develop when the, when you're not in the situation, helps you make decisions later on. Speaker 2 00:25:20 Well, and just imagine to the point then of the, of point number three and, and making those introductions. The, um, the benefit that having a rapport would, would do <laugh> to that situation. Because look, that slide from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 5, 5, 5, you know, as they're working through there, you end up getting to an incapacitation where you take charge that could last for a prolonged period of time, and there's change in fluctuation within that long period of time. I think actually, I think about, you know, your situation, your process, good amount of time, uh, dementia can be one in particular, that's something you're facing. There can be a good amount of time once you step in and you're acting in your agent capacity, where you, the situation changes that the applicability of the thought of when they created the document in the plan, the care plan at that time just look wildly different than what it does in their frail nature here or after they've, they've forgotten to eat for, you know, the last week and a half or whatever that might be. So, yeah. Well, Speaker 4 00:26:21 And I'm, and I'm not saying you ignore the document. I'm just saying that if the document is flexible and allows you to adapt to the circumstance, you're a lot more comfortable as a decision Speaker 2 00:26:32 Maker. And, and, and again, this is the, the purpose of this show, what we're trying to talk with you guys about is, um, these are things you can get in front of that can make things a little bit easier. The reality is, we were talking about this, this before we came onto the show. I, I don't think I've ever, I had someone in a family, we've talked to all the families I've talked to from this, that said that what they prepared for was the thing that really, that they had to face that was difficult to work through. It's always something different. So, um, you, you can only prepare so much, which I think we, oh, go ahead. Speaker 4 00:27:03 No, no. I was just gonna say the, the other important part of that kind of discussion ahead of time is that you, you can either get a commitment from or, uh, uh, uh, uh, from the physician to participate in that process, or maybe they're not comfortable. And I'd rather know that ahead of time. You know, in our, in our case, we were managing a ventilator at home and, and there was a long standing relationship with a physician who I personally knew Well, um, but that physician wasn't comfortable managing a ventilator. Um, so all of a sudden one day I'm standing on the sidewalk going, well, okay, now what am I gonna do? Because they weren't comfortable. Speaker 2 00:27:47 Right. Right. And, and, uh, that, that, I think that's, that's a great preparation side. There's, uh, one other preparation. I don't know if it's a mental, it's an emotional, it's probably a combination of a lot of those things. But at one point in time, you and I had had a conversation and, and you had, you'd, you'd made a really great clear statement of you have to be okay with the outcome being death and a decision that you make, that you are going to make a decision. You've gotta, in the front end of this, the earlier you can prepare yourselves and take that pressure that, yeah, I'm gonna make these decisions the best we can. I'm gonna make them to provide a meaningful life experience. And if something happens and they pass away, you're gonna be able to do that. I think that, that sounds like that's a pretty important marker, uh, for somebody who's, who thinks that they need to serve or would serve as an agent. Would you, would you agree? Speaker 4 00:28:41 Oh, absolutely. I, you know, for the two months after my mother died, uh, I went around thinking, well, I could have done this better, could have done that better. Wish I'd have thought of that. I should have done this. Yeah. I mean, it was, it was difficult and, and I had arrived early on at two conclusions. One, I, I was in a position where I had to make decisions that I wasn't necessarily technically qualified to make from a, from a medical standpoint. So I had to learn how to get information from people who were, and not surrender my judgment to them. Sure. Because I had to be able to, Speaker 2 00:29:22 To make decision to act on behalf of the bigger picture on behalf of your Yeah. Of your mom. Speaker 4 00:29:26 Yeah. And, and secondly, I, uh, you know, I had to be all right with the fact that one day, if it didn't come out right, it was becau be because I couldn't do it. Um, you know, I had, I had a limited set of things I could do to address an emergent circumstance. And if those things didn't work, you know, we got to a point where going to the hospital was counterproductive. The, the negative physical and emotional impact of my mom being in the hospital even for a few days was far worse than the experience she would have if we managed it at home and let whatever happened happen. Speaker 2 00:30:15 Yeah. Speaker 4 00:30:15 It was, it was just too diminishing to go to the hospital, even though technically they could do far more than I could do. Speaker 2 00:30:22 Yeah. Yeah. And those are, I think those are just part of those conversations to think through when you're establishing who that agent's gonna be circling back into that. Right. Uh, have that honesty with yourself. If somebody in the family's got that experience, they can, you know, reach out to them. Somebody that, that knows you and friends, have people provide that perspective. Take in that perspective. Don't be afraid to talk through it. The fifth thing that, that I think that leads to is not only being, having that understanding for yourself, but being, being forgiving for a sibling, being, um, you know, empathetic, understanding that, um, we all come from different places on this, and there's different reasons in how we tackle that. Um, you know, is there anything you can think of, of some great guidance against, uh, you know, families trying to deal with maybe that complicated sibling that is, well, it's gonna be black and white and this is all it's gonna be, and, and has a difficult time changing gears with you, or move in as a, you know, as an agent when you're trying to work through that system? Speaker 4 00:31:23 Well, I, I, I mean, every family's different. Relationships are different, and you've gotta figure out a way to communicate. I, I, I found in my situation, the best thing I could do was to explain my experience and explain my decision making process so that people understood that I wasn't trying to achieve any goal of mine. I wasn't trying to keep somebody alive indefinitely. Yeah. And I wasn't mechanically committed to a piece of paper either. Speaker 2 00:31:56 Yeah. Speaker 4 00:31:58 Although, you know, in our situation had, had somebody wanted to do cpr r I probably would've rejected that because the trauma associated with it would not have been worth whatever benefit we might have achieved. And, and I think I've got a, a good friend who's a physician and who's, who speaks a lot on end of life topics. And I think she would tell you the same thing that, that, um, again, physicians can do lots of things and at some point they shouldn't do most of those things. If any Speaker 2 00:32:34 You, you knowing, uh, you know, as we, as we kind of wrap up those, those, those five, you know, preparation points in there, uh, the order at which things are done, understanding how those things are coming at you, connecting yourself to those people, um, you know, those are, it's a, it's a complicated walkthrough. It is, it is going to be difficult. I think that empathy with yourself, you know, that empathy with, uh, the other family members as they're trying to walk their way through it, communication, you probably can't hear it enough that it's gonna be an important part of, of getting through. So, Speaker 4 00:33:10 Well, the other thing I would, I would highlight is as caregivers, we, we are not empowered to extend life or prolong life. That's not our job. It's not, I, I mean, some people would have a hard time with that, and if you struggle with that, maybe, maybe you don't wanna Speaker 2 00:33:28 Do that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, to the same degree, when we talk with people about being fiduciaries or stepping in from that role, if you've got three bankruptcies, uh, you're probably not the best person to step up to serve as a fiduciary for someone. It doesn't make you a bad person. It just wouldn't make you the, the best, best person for that particular thing. So, Speaker 4 00:33:48 Well, the reality is death is a natural part of life, and it's okay that somebody passes. Yeah. Um, the, the, the key is to help that person have a meaningful life experience while life endures. And, and, you know, none of us knows quite how to approach it. Even, even in the rooms of hundreds of doctors I've spoken to, relatively few of them had ever experienced being in the room when somebody died, they didn't know what that was like. So there are not that many people who can talk to you about what it looks like and what you do when it's time. Speaker 2 00:34:27 Well, that is one thing, obviously we look to rectify here with parent projects and, and what we do. So when we come back from this last little break here, we're gonna sum up those points, uh, on those, those five preparation points and just kind of run home, uh, with those key things and those takeaways you should have with auto shell, Jenning, Strauss, and Salmon, where we're talking about emotional legal decisions, Speaker 2 00:36:21 And we are bringing it home today. We've got autos, shell II from Jenning, Strauss and Salmon in the Phoenix market. He is, uh, a tax specialist. He is an attorney. Tax is kind of his gig. He gets the estate law. He is, um, really, I think one of the, the best touchpoints we've gotten off of this is a professional who sees so many families come through this from that professional standpoint, but then has that personal parent project aspect as a family caregiver to know where the rubber meets the road. And, uh, Otto, they, I mean, you've done a fantastic job today, <laugh> of helping us man circle around some insanely difficult things in those, when those legal decisions start touching down on the healthcare side, which, um, you know, I I, your leadoff, I guess we, you know, we talked about what we're gonna tell you, we tell you, you know, we go through that now, we're gonna tell you what, what we told you, uh, that leadoff of focusing the, you are here to provide a meaningful life experience, uh, to, to get your eyes down road instead of thinking that you're, you're here to determine maybe the time and the hour in which it happens, or, or, you know, whatever other things might pop into your mind that you think you have to manage. Speaker 2 00:37:31 The reality is within this moment, having that focus seems to play a huge role, uh, in understanding how to prep, but to know whether or not you're the right person. Do we agree? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>? We do. Okay. Awesome. Uh, the, um, the top five, I'm gonna recap, I'm gonna recap off of those. Uh, the, the first one we came back through, we talked to that, um, in preparation for this to happen, it is one, know what these documents are, understand the shuffle of these documents, knowing what mom and dad need to do, and ensure that mom and dad have these documents. Uh, you can, you re reach out. Parent projects.com can help you get familiar with, with those documents. That checklist, uh, will be down below in the show notes here. We also have some resources. I know we've got a top documents you need before you die. Uh, you know, uh, hand out in a checklist that goes out to people, but everything from that living will, that healthcare, uh, power of attorney, uh, the orange card. So sometimes referred to as advanced directive that might go up on that refrigerator. These are key things, uh, that you're gonna look for, uh, when they, when they come in. Is there anything that we missed on that, uh, oto we should taken? Nope, Speaker 4 00:38:35 I think that's it Speaker 2 00:38:36 Rocking. Um, that, that, that critical piece, transitioning off of that is an agent's gotta be selected in those. Uh, you want to ensure that that agent, uh, is having probably this next conversation, and that's making sure that those documents are aligned to what the current situation is, uh, ensuring that if there's been a change, there's been a new marriage, there's been, uh, a new healthcare condition that's popped up, maybe now you're starting to deal with a cancer or something to that degree, those changes mean something. So taking the time, uh, to break those down with at least the agent. But ideally, you're gonna break those down. Otto, you said also break those down with the other family members and with your, the doctors and the medical providers. Yes. Speaker 4 00:39:19 Well, Tony, as we've talked about, it's it's mom and dad's decision first and foremost. And, and taking away autonomy is probably not gonna be well received. So every family has to negotiate it, but the more, the more, uh, positive communication about the issues, the less contention later on. So in general, yeah. I find, Speaker 2 00:39:43 Well, and again, circling back through that, reminding your parents, uh, you know, to speak to them about what your concerns are gonna be, what you, what your, what your concern, the situation you might be in. You could throw out a question, well, you know, if this happened, I'm concerned about this happening. How would you want me to handle that? I'm, I'm concerned that you, it says not to use, not to resuscitate your, to utilize a, you know, a C P R or something like that. Well, what happens if you fall in the shower and you get positionally asphyxiated, right. You just, cause you're leaning down on the side off of that side and you just need a couple of puffs to bring you back. And we're, we're there like, mom, talk me through something like that. These are real things and having that conversation can help you get through Speaker 4 00:40:24 'em. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:40:25 Yeah. The, um, the, the, the third thing that we drove through was intro, introducing some of those parties. Um, and what you really queued off of that would, would be a why or something you could do, um, making that recommendation to your parents. Uh, not just of, remember, doctors are probably gonna need you about six minutes, six and a half minutes, I think is the average in around when they're coming through. Typically. Um, you know, we've, we've got some articles we posted earlier this week about how you can help with your parents, especially if they're having a hard time remembering those or building that rapport. This might give you a good opportunity to touch base, to see, well, how those things are coming along and where you might be able to assist and where you might be able to help them mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, with, with working through those situations. But one, one key part of that takeaway that you talked about, uh, that I really liked Otto, was, um, establishing that rapport so that you can have some nimbleness in the plan and determine whether or not that doctor's going to be able to work with you in the given situations you think you're gonna be Speaker 4 00:41:26 Facing. Right, right, right. I mean, at the end of the day, as we said, you are acting on your parents' behalf. You're not acting for yourself. It's not about what you want. It's about what they want and about what helps them have a positive life experience. And, and all of those things kind of help approach from that perspective. Speaker 2 00:41:48 Brilliant, brilliant. And, and knowing sooner than later if that's gonna be a doctor that's gonna be able to go to the distance with you or maybe even where that ne next step they might send you. I think those would be really beneficial things. Uh, the fourth thing we talked about was, um, being okay with death understanding. Uh, I think, uh, I'm gonna let you say cuz you said it before about not getting outta here. What, what is the, the, what is that crux we need to understand with making decisions and when death is potentially there and doing our best? Speaker 4 00:42:21 Well, I I, I think what we talked about was that none of us is empowered to stop death. Death is a natural part of life. And a, as caregivers, we have to be okay with that. We have to be okay with the fact that one day something we do or don't do isn't going to be good enough. And I, I will say that, that taking care of someone else, giving, giving up your time and, and your energy. I think, um, a a R p estimates something like 165 billion a year in uncompensated family caregiving goes on in this country. Speaker 2 00:42:59 Yeah. Speaker 4 00:43:00 You know, in that context that that's a real work of love. It's, uh, a joyful thing. And I look back on my time doing it with a lot of joy and, and could I have done things better? Yes. Um, did I do bad job? No. Um, yeah, but I, but I look back on the experience with fondness and, and in the end it was okay that the end came. That's, that's part of the natural order Speaker 2 00:43:29 And that is what you're looking to get out of that. So, and, and being okay with that, that you've just seen a great example of that. I know that's, that's what I strive for and will continue to strive for as I deal with, um, even when I've gotta deal with my next parent project off of that as well. That fifth piece that we talked about, uh, was being that forgiving and that that empathetic, uh, nature, not just to yourself, but to your siblings who might be coming from a different place, different life experiences, they're burning their way into it a little differently and, and leaving some room for some grace, uh, when there is some disagreements. Uh, and, and when they, they take things in and, and we talked about some ways that we could reduce that tension, uh, by explaining where we are, uh, what we're going after. And, and then I think you did really well to continue tying that back out. You're here to provide that positive and meaningful life experience when you can recenter everybody back. That being the responsibility, uh, it, it seems to be something that, uh, it's gonna benefit a lot of people. I think it, you just hit a home run by throwing that out there. Speaker 4 00:44:32 Yeah. I agree. Speaker 2 00:44:34 Yeah. Well, Otto, uh, anything, any follow up? Any, as we say in the, in the, on the military side of the house, any alibis or <laugh>? Any, uh, any last second thoughts that you can throw through to think through before Speaker 4 00:44:46 We No, I, I, I think we've, we've gone over it. Preparation as in most things, yields, benefits years down the road. Uh, most people do not die from catastrophic one-time events. Most people have a longer life experience than that. At some point. Some need help, some don't. If someone you love needs help, it's a joyful thing to give it. Uh, it's easier if the preparation's better. Speaker 2 00:45:14 Yeah. Yeah. Well, I appreciate the time and the effort that you took today to help us understand how to do that better and, uh, and start, start moving forward so that we have a, a more smooth parent project in the front end. Again, just as always, I really appreciate you sharing your time, talents, and treasures with us. Speaker 4 00:45:30 Well, thanks for letting me be here Speaker 2 00:45:32 And we'll see you next. Speaker 4 00:45:33 Bye-Bye. Speaker 6 00:45:38 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 1 00:46:10 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 llc. Written permissions must be granted before syndication or rebroadcast.

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