Hello Sacramento. My name is Dustin MacFarlane and we’re here on Talk 650 KSTE. I’m happy to be here today. I’m an elder law and an estate planning attorney. What the heck does that mean?
Well, estate planning is, I help people with wills and trusts and powers of attorney, health care directives, that sort of thing. And elder law attorney, that means that I focus a big portion of my time trying to help seniors and their family members and those who take care of them, navigate the senior care world, making sure that they have identified who is going to take care of them and they know how they’re going to pay for their care. I always tell folks my goal is to try to help keep mom and dad warm and safe. I want to make sure that we protect money, we protect their health care, that people can stay at home and live comfortably with the people taking care of them whom they choose. I never want people to lose control over their health care. To the extent possible, you ought to be making all of your own decisions and that’s what I focus to do.
So, anyway, that’s what I do for living. My sole purpose in life is to try to help people age well and make sure that nobody takes advantage of them. You can reach me at 916-674-2066, again, that’s 916-674-2066. And I’ve been doing this about five years. Let me just give you a little bit of background on who I am and what the heck I do. So before I became an attorney, I sold medical supplies to assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. I did that for about 15 years, had a lot of fun doing that.
But I always wanted to be a lawyer. I always wanted – it’s just something that ever since I was little, I never want to be like a fireman or policeman. It was always – I think it stems from me sitting up late at night with my mom watching Perry Mason episode reruns and just thinking, “You know, that is so cool.” That’s what I wanted to do. So, life got in the way. I got married. But I always talked about this. So my wife finally came to me one day and said, “Listen, I love you. But either shut up about this whole law school thing and being a lawyer or go to school.” So, not long after that, I enrolled in law school and worked during the day, went to school at night, graduated in 2008, staffed for the bar that summer. Then in 2009, when I got the results, I was thinking, “man, what do I do with this?”
So I kind of looked around and I went immediately to estate planning. And before long, my heart just really fell back into working with seniors. That’s what I’ve been doing forever. I love doing what I do. I have a great time. I never dread coming into work. I just really enjoy meeting with families and helping them, like I said, help families take care of their loved ones. And every single day, it’s kind of a new adventure. I’ll say it’s really hard to step into somebody else’s shoes and manage everything. You think about it, a lot of folks who come in and they’ll say, “I’m my dad’s power of attorney. I can do anything. I’m my dad’s executive. I can do anything. I’m named.” It doesn’t do it for me. It just doesn’t get you anywhere. What you need is you need to be appointed. You need to have current authority. You need to be on the bank accounts. But you need to do it in such a way that you can not only access money, but that the money is also protected.
What you want is to be able to pay for things and yet not put your parents’ money at risk. You want access, but not any sort of liability. So we’re kind of walking a fine line. I’m telling you banks are harder and harder and harder to deal with. The rules that they’re regulated by, not only state law, but federal laws, sometimes kind of run afoul to what we’re trying to do. You walk in and you’re trying to take care of your mom and dad. I mean it’s a noble cause. I know what you’re trying to do and you know what you’re trying to do. But let me tell you every banker, at least everyone in Sacramento, thinks you’re a criminal, thinks you’re trying to steal their money, thinks you’re trying to run after and go on a vacation or buy something you shouldn’t. So the banks and every other financial institution just assumes that you obviously are a criminal. Or else you wouldn’t be using your parents’ money. Of course I mean how ridiculous is that? Which is completely asinine.
But that’s a world in which we live. So they don’t give you access – you know you go down and here’s a normal scenario, right. Your parent is sick. They go to a hospital, they come home or they don’t come home. The doctor says, “You know, they’re too ill to manage their own affairs. We’re going to let them come home to you. But you can take care of them, but they really need help.” So, all of a sudden now, you’re trying to hire a caregiver because you still work. And so you’re trying to hire a caregiver. But that’s pretty expensive. So you need to get at their money, maybe withdraw money out of IRA, maybe start taking distributions out of an annuity that’s sitting there, maybe start cashing in some CDs or maybe even just writing a check on the checking account. Yet – so you go down to the bank and you can’t do it. You can’t get access to the money. You can’t withdraw money out of the 401(k). You just get roadblock after roadblock after roadblock.
So I’m telling you the most important thing to do is not wait until that crisis, not wait until your mother or your father or your spouse is in the hospital, they’re trying to discharge them and you’re scrambling thinking what do I do? What do I do in this situation? I don’t have access to any of this stuff. You think you do. That’s part of the problem is – you might even think that you’re secure because you know mom told you, “Oh, I went to the attorney. I have the power of attorney. I named you. So you’ll be just fine.” And you think that “oh, it’s done.” But you know what, let me tell you. It’s not done. That just is the first step. That’s kind of, I won’t say the easy part, but that’s just the entry level. Right. You have to go now to those banks and make sure that they recognize and acknowledge that those legal documents that you’ve executed. I’ll leave that, we’re coming up on a break. I’m Dustin MacFarlane, we’ll be back in just a couple of minutes. Stick around.
So, I’m Dustin MacFarlane here on Talk 650. We’re back and I am talking about elder law issues. How are you going to take care of your family member, your loved one? How are you going to do it? Do you have what it takes? I’m not talking about toughness and grit and willpower. I’m not talking about perseverance. I’m talking about legal authority because that’s what it takes. Do you have what it takes to take care of your parents? Most people do not. So the first thing I’m going to say all of you who are listening, I don’t care what stage you’re in. If your parents are 65 and you’re 45, it’s time to have that conversation. It’s time to plan ahead because this is really, really difficult. This is not for the faint of heart. This is not for – trying to take care of somebody is a lot of work.
The last thing you need is the stress of not being able to get at resources, not being able to access medical records, not being able to say this is what my mom or dad is going to do. I’m making the decisions because they can’t. So let me tell you, you have got to plan ahead. You have got to put this stuff together. So the first step is to get that estate planning done. Then the next step in the process, well, let me even just say. The first step in getting the estate planning done is making sure that the documents you have include the proper legal authority that allows you to take care of somebody.
It seems like a no-brainer, right. But it’s really – I’m not going to go into all the nuts and bolts of it. But it’s a lot more difficult than you might think. You want your trust and your power of attorney to be very, very specific. You want things to be laid out. You don’t just want some general broad-brush statement that says my son can do – manage all my money. Because it really doesn’t say what your son can do or can’t do. We just assume, it’s okay. But when we run into problems, that doesn’t cover it. So we want your legal documents to really be focused on elder care issues.
What that means is you want your legal documents to address home care, assisting living, skilled nursing, you want your legal documents to be able to allow your agent, your son, your daughter, whomever you name to hire a caregiver, to bring them into the house, to sign those contracts, to make sure that they can do whatever it takes to take care of you. The goal is to stay at home. If you’re 65 and listen to this, you better believe this is not a simple task for your kids to take care of. If you’re an 85-year-old, my gosh, get this done now. So, don’t just think, “Well, we did our trust, it’s done.” It’s not done. So here, I told you, the first step is getting estate planning stuff in order. The next step in this whole ordeal is to then start to implement it.
So I am a huge fan of starting to put people on now and put people on accounts. And so, what I mean by that is, if you’re a 40 – or 50 or is, I don’t know, 60-year-old and you’re still young and healthy and you don’t help, that’s one thing. But as soon as you start to get older and you start to realize, “I’m going to need help someday. I’m going to need my child or my spouse or my whomever to make decisions for me.” So let’s make sure that the estate planning documents, I like to elevate kids to be co-trustees now. Why not? If we trust them enough to make decisions for us when we’re sick, why not make it a little bit easier and say, “You know, we’re well, let’s go to do the bank right now and put them on as a trustee on the account.” You have to amend the estate planning documents a little bit, which is an easy tweak. But the more important part then is after that trust is amended to put your kid on, then you go down to the bank. And you say, “You know, my son is a co-trustee with me. My son has complete access as a fiduciary.” That’s a new word, fiduciary. So what the heck does that mean?
See, the beauty of this, of doing your estate planning geared toward elder care, is that you can have people act in fiduciary positions now. That means they have a legal responsibility to act prudently, to not steal your money, to not take advantage of you. Yet, they don’t own anything. In my family, there’s five children, I’m the oldest of five. I don’t want to own my parents’ money. I mean I don’t want to be on their account as a co-owner. It just looks bad. It looks like because if something happens and they pass away, I inherit everything to the exclusion of my siblings. If they start spending, I don’t want to be held responsible for any of their liabilities or their debts. I don’t want that account to be liable for any of my debts or liabilities. You don’t add your children on as owners. And you don’t even want to add them on as just co-signers where you want – because then, a co-signer, the problem with that is, it very often ends at death.
What you want is your children to be a co-trustee with you on trust accounts. You at least have that conversation. It’s very common. If you talk to bankers, you walk in and sit down with your banker, just ask them, “how often do seniors come in and add their son to the account?” Here’s what they say, “Just in case anything happens”, [inaudible 00:13:02] euphemism part, “Just in case anything happens, that means if I die, I want my son to be able to get to this account.” Well, the problem is that if you add them as a co-signer and you die, your son isn’t going to be able to access that account. If you add them as an owner, then the son inherits the whole amount of money and to the exclusion of your other children.
So you want to make sure that you can do it such a way that your child can manage your money today, both when you’re well, when you’re sick and after you die. We’re kind of trying to have our cake and eat it too. We want it all. We don’t want to just have one good thing and leave the others aside. We want it all. We want to be able to be cared for today. We want to be at home. We want our children to be able to do whatever it takes to keep us at home. This is what I say, I volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association. I speak for them about once a month or so in various locations.
I always open up with this thing. The goal of all elder care estate planning, the goal is to keep mom and dad warm and safe. Right. I want them to be in the least restrictive environment. If they can be at home until they pass away, that is the goal. If they have to go to a boarding care and independent facility, that is the goal. If we have to hire caregivers to keep them in their home, that is the goal. I want them in the most comfortable, home-like setting. And really, it’s at home. Sometimes we have to live with, parents have children move in with them or they move in with their kids, that’s fine. But is it what they want? Are they surrounded by family? Are they most comfortable? That is our goal. That’s the whole purpose of this thing is ageing with dignity in the comfortable home environment. And we want you to be at home.
Nobody says, “I can’t wait till I get to that senior care facility. It’ll be so fantastic. I wish I was old right now.” Nobody says that. Nobody. And yet, we have a whole community, a whole industry full of care facilities full of seniors who, they didn’t necessarily want to be there. But that’s where they are. Sometimes, it’s the most appropriate environment. Sometimes, it’s because of lack of planning. But we want to plan to be at home. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish. So by doing that, by having a plan in place, by making sure that the kids can pay for our care, can deal with our property, can deal with whether it’s real estate we own, whether it’s stocks or CDs, I don’t care what it is.
The kids have to be able to access it to take care of us because let me tell you. When we need care, it’s too late, usually it’s too late for us to just call or go down to the bank and say, “I want to put my son on, and I want him.” It’s too late because many times, you don’t have the capacity to do that, to make those decisions. If we had done this before, if we had planned, then we would not be dealing with this crisis. Our kids would just be able to take care of us. That’s what we want. We just want to just step in and say, “All right, I’m here. We already have the plan in place.” So the first step is that estate plan.
The second step is to get on the accounts. I guess before you can do that, maybe that isn’t the second step. Before you can do that, what I love to do is have family meetings. I know that sounds like the mafia, like The Godfather, “Let’s have a family meeting.” No. I want the kids to get around the table all the people who are involved. So it could be, it’s going to be a spouse, it’s going to be your children, it’s going to be whomever is going to be involved in your care either directly because they’re a caregiver or because you’ve named them as your power of attorney or your successor trustee or because they’re just one of the kids and they’re involved. Get them all in the same room, or get on a conference call with the whole family and let them know what decisions you made in your estate plan.
Now I wouldn’t suggest you stop making copies and give them all your legal documents. Do not do that. What I’m saying is you need to sit down and tell them, “You know, Son Number 1, you’re going to be my successor trustee, I’ve nominated you. If you can’t do it, then Son Number 2, it’s going to be you. Daughter, you’re going to be in charge of my health care.” I don’t know why that we always put our daughters in charge of our health care.
I think women are probably just better at care giving. It’s kind of innate. But regardless, that’s what we do. But it can be whomever you choose. But have that family meeting, get the whole family together and explain to them, long before you need it, who’s doing what. So when that time comes and tragedy strikes and you don’t die, but you’re now sick, or you have dementia or you’ve had a stroke or something happens and age takes over and slows you down, the kids know their roles, they know who’s in charge. There’s no animosity. There’s no resentment. They know this was your decision.
If you need help with that meeting, if you want to sit in my office and I’ll quarterback the thing and you can get everyone in the office or on a conference call or whatever, that’s fine. Let’s do that because the goal is to keep you at home warm and safe and not in a care facility you don’t want to be at or not living with a kid you don’t want to live with or not having limited or no choices. That’s the worst, limited or no choices. By planning ahead, you have options. We have lots of options today. But if we are in a crisis mode, we’re limited. We’re pinching pennies, time is of the essence. We just have to make a decision now.
That’s just a terrible position to be in. Nobody likes just being rushed into or forced into a decision. So let’s get together and talk about what we can do to streamline your senior care estate plan. Your estate plan has got to take this stuff into consideration. And not only, it’s got to address some of these things head-on.
Thanks for listening. We’re going to take a quick commercial break and just I’ll be back on the second half right after this commercial. My name is Dustin MacFarlane, elder law and estate planning attorney, generally nice guy here on Talk 650 KSTE. Stick around, we’ll be right back.
We’re back. I’m Dustin MacFarlane here on Talk 650 KSTE. I would love to sit down with your family. If you’d like to get a hold of me, let me give you my toll-free number. It’s 855-588-5887, that’s 855-588-5887. Give me a call. Let’s get together and talk about your family plan. Your family plan that deals with health care issues. We all have to have this in place. I will say that if you have no health problems and you’re 45 or 55, maybe it’s not the urgency that 65 or 75 or 85, but you’ve got to have it nailed down.
Okay. So in my case, last Christmas Eve, my dad, he’s driving along and I don’t know what I was doing, I was at the house messing around with something, probably assembling Christmas present I’m sure. But my dad, I get this call in the middle of the day. He says, “Dustin, I have blurred vision, I’m nauseous, started sweating. I threw up in the car. I pulled over. I’m on the freeway. I called 911, meet me at the hospital.” So, I put down what I’m doing. I tell my wife I’m leaving and I head over to the hospital. I meet him there. I get there before the ambulance. He rolls in, and then I have to go to the registration desk. He can’t talk. So, I go to the registration desk and I say, “My father was just pulled in. I’d like to go back and see him.” They say, “Well, who the heck are you?” I say, “His son.” “They ask, “Well, let me see who you are.” Because again, he’s not making decisions at this point.
So, I have his health care directive on my phone. So I just pull it up, I email it over to her, the girl sitting on the other side of the desk, takes two seconds, she opens it up on her computer, sees his signature, sees who I am, says, “Okay.” And go on back. And because we were prepared for this, it made those few hours in the hospital easier until he kind of came back. He was fine. He just had some weird reaction to something. There was no problems. But we were prepared for that. We weren’t scrambling. Fortunately, we’re blessed that it wasn’t a life-threatening situation. We didn’t know that at the time. But it wasn’t a life-threatening situation and that we could take care of it. I was prepared to manage his health care decisions, whatever those may be.
A lot of times, people will say, “Well, for health care, just pull the plug.” I want my daughter or my son or whomever, they know what to do. Well, first of all, likely they don’t. Second, it has to be written down. Third, it’s – they’re a long way from pulling the plug. See most of us don’t just die. That’s too easy. Most of us are kind of dead for three or four or five years or more until it’s time, and then we pass away. Usually nature handles when to pull the plug. It’s not something that we’re on life support. Even though we all plan for that, it’s not necessarily the case. Most of the time, we’re going to pass on our own time, on God’s clock, right. But for us, it’s managing that health care. That’s when it gets really difficult.
Talk to anyone who is just walking in trying to – going into a bank and saying, “I’d like, my parent is so and so, John Smith. And I need to pay for his care. So we got to access some money. I need to make withdrawal.” Well, that doesn’t go very far. It’s way more difficult than that. You’ve got to nail this stuff down now. I beat that drum. If you want to stay at home or if you want your parents to stay at home, then you have to plan for it. It does not happen on its own. It’s actually really difficult to do this without having everything in place, to go down and get money, to make sure everything is fair, to make sure that you can keep your parents warm and safe, it’s difficult.
Just today, I met with someone earlier in the morning. Just today, they were saying, “We have this trust and we went down to the bank. And the banker said, “The trust is not effective. We need x, y, z documents signed by your mother.” I looked at it and I said, “Well, show me the account statement.” So then they were frustrated because they’re trying to pay for the care facility where their mother is living. They give a more basic thing. Their mother has dementia, can’t access, can’t live at home, they’re trying to take care of their mom in the care facility. So, they’re trying to get the money to pay the care facility.
So they go to the bank and bank says, “No.” So, now, they come and talk to me and say, “How do we get this out of the bank.” So, I look at it, it turns out that that account was never put in the trust. I said, “Of course, you can’t get at it because the account is not a trust account. It’s in her name.” Yet, we talked about before, we had this conversation before. “You got to make sure all the accounts are in the trust.” “Well, we think they are.” Apparently, the big account with all the money wasn’t. So how does that help? It makes life really difficult when your folks say, “Oh, everything is done. We did the trust.” Let me tell you something. If you don’t put your accounts in your trust, it’s as if the trust doesn’t exist. It’s that simple.
The trust has to be funded. In this case, it wasn’t. To add insult to injury, the kids are paying out of their own pocket because they can’t get at mom’s money. The bank says, “We don’t care. Show us something, we don’t care about that.” Then their next statement is, “Go get a court order.” That’s what the bank tells them. “We need letters. We need letters signed by the judge stating you can get at your mom’s money.” And that’s called the conservatorship, and that’s what the bank was telling them to do.
The sad thing is that because their mother does not have capacity to sign a power of attorney, they can’t transfer the money. They’re stuck. They can’t transfer it, they can’t do a new power of attorney. They can’t do a new health care directive. They cannot do anything unless they want to go to court. I guess that’s an option. It’s sad that that’s the only option, but that’s what they’re left with because even because they didn’t have a family meeting, because they thought they were organized, but they didn’t make sure. They didn’t go through all the details.
So at your family meeting, one of the things you have to discuss is money. And I know it pains that [inaudible 00:30:37] World War II, those Korea guys, they hate telling their kids about their money, hate it. But let me tell you have to do it. I’m sorry to break it to you. You have got to tell your kids where all the money is, how much is there, what type of account it is. They need to know the account numbers, the broker’s name, your banker’s name, your insurance guy’s name, your CPA’s name, they got to know where all your tax records are, everything. You’re an open book. And you’re going to do that for two reasons. The first reason and the most important reason is so that when you need care, your children, your spouse or your children know where all the treasures are buried, they know how to get at the money to pay for your care, number one. That keeps you at home, that keeps you where you want to be. If you don’t do that, it makes it difficult. So that’s number one.
Number two is, so that kids don’t fight over it so one kid doesn’t discover something and take it for himself or herself. Oh, look at that, the clock is eating up my life. I’ve got to go, another commercial break. We’re here at Talk 650 KXTE. I’m Dustin MacFarlane. Stick around.
Our last segment here with you. I’m Dustin MacFarlane here on Talk 650 KXTE. My phone number is 855-588-5887. That’s a toll-free number, 855-588-5887. Give me a call. Let’s sit down and talk about this with your family. You just don’t realize how important this stuff is until it hits you. See that’s the problem. We don’t – there’s no kind of, I’ll say, push or crisis. There’s this time when we had a couple of instances when my children were small, I have three small children, the largest child is about 100 pounds. But I have three small children. I have three wonderful children. They’re 7, 12, and 14 years old. They’re fantastic. Sometimes, they come on the radio with me. We have a lot of fun with this.
But listen, so, one of them was small and we took them to the doctor. And the doctor said, “You need to have this surgery tomorrow.” Okay. “You need to have this surgery tomorrow.” And my wife and I looked at each other and said, “Okay, we’ll be there.” There was no question, there was no, “Well, okay, I’ll get around to it. Well, let me go and think about it. Well, you know, I’m playing golf tomorrow. So, what have you got next week?” There was none of that. Everything was off the table because you know why? Our most important top priority was the health and well being of our child. That’s it. Nothing else mattered. Our schedule cleared. Everything took a backseat. Tomorrow, we had the surgery. Yet, the emails I get from folks, here’s an email that I got just the other day.
My mother is 84, has dementia. I’d like to make an appointment with you in the next four or five weeks to see what we can do about her will and trust. Four or five weeks, do you know – I mean there’s no sense of urgency. That person is not serious about helping his mother. They’re not serious at all. We’re just going to let nature happen. And whatever happens, we just hope for the best. That’s the attitude I read when, “You know, in the next four or five weeks, maybe if we have time and if nothing else is going on, my favorite TV show gets canceled, maybe I’ll come in.” If you want to take care of your parents, if you want to make sure that your folks can stay in their home, if you want to make sure that you can protect them, there are a lot of predators out there who prey on seniors.
There are a lot of siblings out there who take advantage of mom and dad, who are kind of greedy, who maybe aren’t the most, I don’t know, industrious, they don’t work all that hard. They constantly get loans from their parents. There are a lot of people out there who are waiting for mom and dad to keel over so they can get some sort of inheritance. That’s common. It happens every single day, I sit down with somebody, there’s always – almost always a family issue.
So if you’re serious about protecting your parents from predators or from family members or from grandkids or whomever, if you’re serious about making sure that your mom and dad can stay at their home and be cared for, if you’re serious about making sure that if they can’t stay at their home, you can decide the best, most comfortable place for them to stay, then you have got to do this now.
If it’s just a casual, “Well, we ought to think about it and maybe weigh our options and we’ll just see what happens”, then I can’t help you, and quite frankly, I don’t know that anyone could, because this is really a serious concern. Then look at how many people are suffering from dementia, nearly one in eight who are over 65 have dementia, almost one in two of those 80 and above. And I see an earlier and earlier diagnosis, down to 55 and 50 years old. I was talking to a colleague just the other day who was a single mother, who was 55 or 52 years old, 51 years old, and she had one 11-year-old daughter. And the 11-year-old daughter was her primary caregiver because her mother had dementia. I mean that’s just the world in which we live now.
So we have got to plan to make sure that we can take care of our parents. Period. No bones about we can – if we don’t plan today, it is really difficult to do. I’ll tell you about another instance, with some clients of mine, just recently and we just kind of wrapped this one up. Husband dies, wife is completely a quadriplegic, can barely talk a faint whisper. Mentally she is completely there, sharp as a tack, funny, but physically cannot move a muscle, cannot move her arms or legs, cannot move. So, dad dies. Dad says to the kids, “Oh, everything is in the trust. Well, you’ll be fine. Everything is in the trust.” Well, as it turns out, two things happen. One, obviously as it normally goes, not everything is in the trust. Secondly, dad named his son to be the trustee who didn’t really want to take care of his stepmom. So now, we have a problem. We have a lot of problems. Number one, not everything is in the trust. So that means we can’t get to money that’s not in the trust. Number two, the person who does have access to a little bit of trust money is not very cooperative.
So, we go through this process of removing that person as trustee. Then now we’re dealing with the banks. We’re trying to get access to the money. You know what the banks say? Here’s what the banker, you can’t even believe this stuff is real, here’s what the banker told us. They said, “Your signature doesn’t match. Your signature card you signed 20 years ago. We need your signature to match in order to give you access to this account.” And we said, “Well, 20 years ago, she wasn’t a quadriplegic, and now she is. So pretty much, her signature isn’t going to match because she can’t move her arms. What do you want us to do?” The banker said, “Well, I’m sorry then. Go get a court order. We’re not giving you access to that money.” I said, “Wait a minute. You got to be kidding me. She’s a quadriplegic. She told you she wants to get her money out of your bank. You won’t acknowledge that.” She goes, “We have no way of knowing that that’s what she wants.”
So here we’re going round and round with this banker who has the IQ of charcoal. We move on. So they send me to the legal counsel of the bank. So I’m talking to the head attorney of the bank, who then proceeds to tell me, and I shouldn’t be laughing, it’s so insane that my only response is to laugh about it. It wasn’t funny, but I think now looking back, you just think I can’t believe the idiocy of the system. So I’m talking to the counsel at the bank who tells me, well, first he says, “I want letters from the court.” I said, “I’m not conserving her. She’s not incapacitated. She physically can’t move, but mentally, she’s sharp.” So I said, “I’m not doing that. Give me something else.” And he says, “All right, we’re going to have our bank compliance officer and some other branch manager to go, we want her to come into the branch and talk with these two people.” First, how ridiculous, but okay. I said, “Are these two people doctors?” “No.” “Are they qualified medically to determine her capacity?” “Well, no.” I said, “How legally are they going to determine her capacity?” And he says, “Well, that doesn’t matter, but that’s what we want.”
Finally, he was nice enough. I made a deal, said, “She is a quadriplegic. It’s an act of Congress to move her anywhere. Why don’t you send your people to her house?” So you know what they do? They do two things. He says, “Okay.” And then he calls Adult Protective Services because he thinks, “Oh well”, and reports that there’s family members who might have nefarious intentions. It’s like you cannot believe the system and what we have to deal with to try to take care of somebody. Had they done this two years ago when dad was still alive, when we could have elevated kids to be co-trustees with them, when we had options, it would have been better. Had we gone through and made sure every single account was in the trust, it would have made life much easier. But instead, nothing was done. They thought they had done everything, but they hadn’t finished the process.
So it’s really difficult to care for somebody when you’re kind of playing catch-up. When you have all your capacity, when you can go in and tell bankers what you want done, when you can show them documents about your kids and you can go in with them, they can sign stuff and everyone’s happy and on the same page, life is easy. Let me tell you, let’s get together and talk about your plan. Let’s make sure that your plan fits you and that it’s implemented, it’s in motion. It’s not about, “Oh, he’s my trustee.” It’s about that family plan. If you want to stay home, this is what you have to do. If you don’t have a sense of urgency about it, I can’t help you, no one can. You’ll be on your own. Let me tell you, whatever it costs, just think double it. It is expensive to figure out the plan after the fact. It is really difficult.
If you’re serious, if you think that taking care of your parents and making sure that they are always warm and safe is important, then I want to talk to you because you and I can make sure that your parents are going to be warm and safe. We can work together and come up with a good solution for them. Again, my number is 855-588-5887, that’s 855-588-5887. My name is Dustin MacFarlane. I’m going to be here every week at noon here on Talk 650 KSTE. Tune in again next week. I have a great show. I love being here. The folks at KSTE are wonderful. Stick around and I’ll have guests come in. We’re going to talk about seniors and their money, their health care. We’re going to talk about home health and hospice. Every single week, we’re going to talk about legal issues pertaining to seniors. If you have questions or comments, you want to leave me a message at 855-588-5887, give me a call. My name is Dustin MacFarlane here on Talk 650 KSTE. See you next week. Bye, bye.