Talk Wealth to Me

#030: Talking Finances with Aging Parents

January 31, 2020 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback, Cameron Huddleston Season 2 Episode 4
Talk Wealth to Me
#030: Talking Finances with Aging Parents
Show Notes Transcript

Have you had the "talk" with your parents? No, we're not talking about a reverse 'birds and the bees' conversation - we're talking about finances.

Here's why: A survey from Fidelity Investments found:

  • 69 percent of parents expect one of their children will manage their finances in retirement, but more than one-third of children who are expected to fill this role didn't know this.
  • 72 percent of parents expect one of their children to be their caregiver if necessary, but 40 percent of children identified as filling this role didn't know this.
  • 92 percent of parents expect one of their children to be the executor of their estate when they die, but more than a quarter of kids who are expected to fill this role didn't know this.

Joining us on the show is financial journalist Cameron Huddleston, who recently authored a book on this very topic: Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk: How to Have Essential Conversations with Your Parents About Their Finances.

Cameron joins us on the show to not only educate the Talk Wealth To Me crew on why it's important to have conversations with your aging parents ASAP on whether they expect you to play an active role in their financial lives or help care for them. Cameron also shares tips on how to bring up this conversation with your siblings and your parents, as well as why it's better to have this conversation with your parents while you can, instead of waiting until it's too late.

About Cameron Huddleston
Cameron Huddleston is an award-winning journalist with more than 17 years of experience writing about personal finance and the author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk: How to Have Essential Conversations with Your Parents About Their Finances.

To learn more about Cameron, visit her website or connect with her on Twitter.

To access resources Cameron mentions during the show, please visit her website here.

About the Show
Comments, questions or suggestions for the show? Email us at [email protected]

To learn more about DebtWave Credit Counseling, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

To learn more about the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Support the show (https://www.sdflc.org/help-sdflc/donate/)
Intro:

Welcome to Talk Wealth to Me, a safe space podcast where we chat about anything and everything related to personal finance.

Felipe Arevalo:

The information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute as accounting, legal, tax or other professional advice.

Chase Peckham:

Hello and welcome to another edition of Talk Wealth to Me where we talk everything personal finance on a weekly basis. And this week we've got a real treat for you and this is actually something that really hits close to home for me. For somebody who has aging parents or have watched their parents go through a end of life with their grandparents. We have a guest, Cameron Huddleston, she is the author of Mom and Dad: We Need to Talk How to have essential conversations with your parents about their finances. It's a step by step book about how to have that conversation with your parents. What are your plans? What are you going to do? Everything from if somebody gets sick or if they're going to go into a home or if they've planned for care. If someone gets sick too , what happens to everything that they've worked so hard for after they pass something that we all have to go through. This is a can't miss episode.

Ms. Huddleston:

You know, I, a lot of people obviously are going through this, but I feel like even more P I don't feel like it . I know even more people are going to be dealing with this because of the large number of baby boomers who are aging and just aren't prepared for retirement, rising healthcare costs, long- term care. I think it's going to be a nightmare.

Katie Utterback:

So maybe we just start there and um, Cameron, for our listeners who have not had a chance yet to read your book or read some of your other , um , pieces or your column, could you kind of just give a brief synopsis on , um, what kind of inspired you to write this book on having a conversation with your parents about their finances and , um, just why you decided to write a book on this topic?

Ms. Huddleston:

Sure. I wrote the book largely because of my own experiences with my mother, my father in part too , because my dad died without a will and he was in a second marriage. And you know anyone who says, well I don't need to talk to my parents about their finances. I'm sure they had their financial act together. Well, if anyone should have had a will, it should have been my dad because he was an attorney and he knew better. So you can't assume that your parents have their financial act together and there's no reason to have this conversation because there's a good chance that they don't have everything in place. And with my mother, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease when she was 65. I was 35. And I had not had detailed conversations with her about her finances. You know, and I'm embarrassed to admit that because I'm a financial journalist. I have been for 18 years. I was at the time when she was diagnosed, but I didn't realize that it was a conversation that I needed to have. And I know that most people don't realize that these are conversations that they need to have because surveys have found that people aren't having these conversations. A survey by Go Banking Rates found that 73% of adults have not had detailed conversations with their parents about their parents' finances. So knowing this and having experienced firsthand what it was like to have to step in and help a parent out with her finances, not having had those conversations, not knowing the details of her accounts. You know , I realized that people needed a guide for this sort of thing because it's NOT easy. You know, there's a lot of fear about having these conversations. They seem awkward. So I wanted to help people, you know, get past those fears, give them ways to start the conversation, help them know what they need to be asking their parents, and help them figure out how to get the parents who are reluctant to have these conversations. Because let's face it, there are plenty of parents who aren't going to want to share this sort of information with their kids. At least not right off the bat.

Chase Peckham:

There's no doubt about that because there's so many different branches, so to speak, that just the idea of having to make that step to have a conversation with a parent that you respect and love and that's where it's coming from. But yet you don't want to embarrass them if things aren't exactly the way we would think they are.

Ms. Huddleston:

Exactly. I mean, you're right, there are lots of reasons that we might be reluctant to have these conversations. We don't want our parents to think we're being nosy, we're being greedy and we're just trying to figure out what we're, what we're going to get when they die. We don't want to anger them, upset them, hurt our relationship. But, and I addressed this in the book, that these fears that we have are often overblown and I want people to, you know, really take a close look at why they're afraid to have these conversations and ask themselves, you know, is this, is it going to turn out as bad as I think? All right. You know, I'm not a kid anymore. My parents aren't going to, you know , ground me, send me off to my room just for just for asking, you know, Hey mom and dad can we have a conversation, that's probably not going to happen, but you do need to approach the conversation carefully if you want it to go well. Certainly it's not going to go well if you go up to your parents at a blue and say, Hey mom and dad, you know, let's talk about your will because I need to know what I'm getting. That that, that is the probably the worst way to start the conversation and the conversation is not about you and what you might hope to get someday . In fact, you should assume you're getting nothing. Even if your parents are wealthy. That's not what this conversation is about. The conversation is about getting some, at least some basic information about their finances, finding out whether they have essential legal documents such as the will, power of attorney, the living will, so that if they ever need your help you can step in and help them so you know what their wishes are. And so when they do die, there is a plan in place to make things easier for you and your siblings to deal with what's left behind.

Chase Peckham:

And that's , that's it, right? I mean, I think, and , and you, you tell me, but wouldn't you say that most parents might welcome, actually welcome the conversation to kind of take a little bit of the load off to be like, okay , I'm not, we're not alone in this, that we can, we are, you know , like , like anything else when we're telling young people to start putting a household budget together, once they do, they start feeling less stressed because they've got a plan in place. And so like anything else, parents in that stage of life I think would welcome that as well.

Ms. Huddleston:

Yes, they do welcome it. It does give your parents peace of mind. It gives you peace of mind. And I'm not just saying that because I think so. I've had people tell me, I have had older adults email me since the book came out and they've said, Hey, I really wanted to have this conversation with my kids, but they've been reluctant to talk to me and I've had financial planners I've interviewed who've worked with older clients and they want to have the conversation with their kids, but they don't know always know how to start it. You know? Sometimes the kids are afraid because they don't want to have to think about their parents' mortality, which is hard. I mean, I understand that very well because your parents have always been there. It's really hard to think about a time when they're not going to be there anymore and these conversations bring up those issues. They bring up not only death, but they bring up the issue of your parents aging and perhaps needing care- giving support, which might have to come from you. They can represent a role reversal. But, if you have the conversations while your parents are still relatively healthy, relatively young, then you can create a plan that's going to give you peace of mind. You know what to do when that emergency rises. If you wait until the emergency happens, you don't have the plan. It's going to be difficult to step in and help your parents out. In fact, you might not even be legally able to. You know, as I had mentioned that power of attorney document, I said there are essential legal documents you need the will, the power of attorney and the living will. The power of attorney and living will also called an advance healthcare directive. Those are even more important than a will and you have to be mentally competent to sign those documents. The power of attorney let's you name someone to make financial decisions for you, if you can't. The living will spells out what sort of end of life, medical care you do or do not want and lets you name someone to make healthcare decisions for you. So in the case with my mother, you know, as she was starting to have memory issues, I, one of the first things I said to her was, let's go in and meet with an attorney and update all those legal documents and thank goodness we did it when we did, because if I had waited any longer, she probably would not have been competent enough to sign those documents. And without those documents I would not have been able to step in and start helping her manage her finances. I do it all now without having to go through court and spending thousands of dollars hiring an attorney for me myself because I would've had to put her on trial and prove that she was no longer competent enough to manage her money on her own so I could become her conservator. I interviewed someone who had to do this. He spent $10,000 and nine months becoming conservator for his dad because his dad had not named him power of attorney before his Alzheimer's had become so bad that he ended up in the hospital emergency room and then a nursing home and it's a nightmare. And you can avoid these nightmares by having these conversations and coming up with the plan that's going to give you that peace of mind that you mentioned.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah . It's very interesting that you mentioned like the avoiding the nightmare and it's, we've all heard the nightmare stories and you would think that would get encourage people to open up that line of communication , uh , to avoid being the next nightmare story that people hear about because at some point or another, you know that it's coming down the line.

Ms. Huddleston:

Right. You know, but it's easier to kick the can down the road when it doesn't seem so pressing. Like, Oh, you know, mom and dad, they're fine. We don't need to have this conversation yet. Why go there? Why, you know, it's just going to be awkward. I don't want to do it, but I mean really it's going to be so much more awkward when your parents need your help and you can't help them because you don't even know where they bank and you can't sign a check for them. That, I mean, talk about awkward.

Chase Peckham:

Well , it's the most amazing thing. I mean I'm literally, as we're sitting here and you're talking, I mean everything you've said I've experienced and I think there are different. Let me ask you, there are different scenarios. We talked a little bit about, okay, the awkwardness and the mortality, but there's so much more to that. This is more important while they're living actually wouldn't you say because of all the different scenarios that can impact all of our lives?

Ms. Huddleston:

Certainly. And I mean it really, it isn't just about having the conversation so that there is a plan for when your parents die. It is about having information to help them while they're still living because there's a very good chance that your parents are going to have to rely on you in some form or fashion. You know? Maybe they're doing fine financially, but if their health declines and they're no longer able to make financial decisions on their own, like my mother, that might fall to you to make financial decisions for them, you might have to figure out, you know, do they need to be in assisted living? Do we hire someone? And knowing what your parents want is so important because if you wait until they're already having those issues, it's just so much harder to have the conversation. Or maybe they're not doing well financially. That can impact you. I mean, if your parents have retired already and they're finding that they don't have enough to support themselves and now they're, you know , calling you and asking you for help paying their medical bills or they're talking about moving in with you, that will affect your finances. If they have to rely on you to be a caregiver, you might have to quit your job. If there is no other option.

Katie Utterback:

Cameron, you mentioned that to you. You talk about being part of the sandwich generation where you're trying to raise your own kids and your finances are kind of built around your own family, but then when something does happen to your parents, if your parents' plan was for you to take care of them financially, emotionally, whatever, this could really put you in a really tough financial pickle.

Ms. Huddleston:

It could put you in a huge pickle because if you have to be a care giver for example, I mean that is truly a full time job. It really is. And talking to your parents while they're still healthy, to find out whether they have any sort of plan for longterm care, whether they have a way to pay for it, if they're still young enough that they're still healthy enough, there are options available to them. There's longterm care insurance they can, you know , call and find out whether they can qualify for a policy, whether it's something they can afford. You know , if they're already 70 years old and their health isn't good, that's no longer an option for them. But if they're in their 50s still and in good health, then yes they can qualify for a longterm care insurance policy. Because I will tell you, Medicare does not pay for longterm care. And most people don't realize that. So your periods might be thinking, Oh , I don't have to worry about that. Medicare will pay for that. No, it doesn't . Medicaid will. But you have to have, you know, extremely limited resources to qualify for Medicaid. Um, you know, and you can explore other options too . Maybe it's not longterm care insurance. You know, maybe you know, your parents say, okay, well we can't really afford to pay for longterm care insurance, so we're going to go ahead and downsize into a smaller house now where we know that we can age in place and uh , that'll save us some money now. So maybe we can set aside a little more money to pay for a part time caregiver if we ever need one . Having these conversations sooner rather than later. It gives you options and you and your parents can get on the same page, your siblings too really, your siblings need to be a part of this conversation and you need to be talking to them before you even talk to your parents so you guys can all get on the same page. Figure out what roles you're willing to play in your parents' lives as they age and basically come up with a strategy for initiating these conversations with your parents. Maybe you're not the right one to be having it. Maybe you have a sibling who has a better relationship with mom and dad. Maybe you live far away and so it's just not physically possible for you to find a good time to sit down with your parents, you know? But if you, if you talk to your siblings beforehand, you guys can come up with a plan, then you start the conversation with mom and dad. Everyone's on the same page. Mom and dad don't have to worry about, you know, the siblings fighting because they already know that you guys have talked and you're on board.

Chase Peckham:

You are so right about facts that like what if we can't take care of them? I mean, what if we're not even not just beyond physically or emotionally able, but what if we just are not qualified. I mean, and I know that in my mom's case when she, when she was, the dementia was terrible. My dad physically could not take care of her anymore. I mean, he could not change diapers. He couldn't do physically pick her up anymore. We couldn't emotionally take care of her. We didn't know how to handle somebody in dementia. So sometimes you have to bring in a professional caregiver .

Ms. Huddleston:

Exactly. I mean, and , and I agree it's, it is an incredibly difficult job to be a caregiver . And I think a lot of people think couples, older couples would say, well, I don't have to worry about this. I have your father or I have your mother. And like you said, your father was not physically capable of taking care of your mother, which is, I mean, that's a scenario that's happening all over the place and lots of families because you know, my mother was unique, you know , somewhat rare that her Alzheimer's started at such a relatively young age. She was 65. There are certainly people who developed dementia at an even younger age, but you know, for the majority of people it , you know, it doesn't start until you're in your seventies. It can be in your eighties and you know, in your eighties you don't have the physical strength and stamina to care for someone the way they might need that care. If you're having to help them get up and down the stairs, change clothes, get into the bathtub, it is not easy. And you're right, it's emotionally draining. And you know, my mother has actually been in assisted living for, gosh, six, seven years now and I'm so thankful she had the resources to pay for it. Um, you know, but it , but that doesn't mean it's been necessarily easy. I mean I've had to be, I have had to be very strategic about how I make use of those resources. You know, it is taken planning to do it in the right way so that I can be sure there's enough money because she does not have longterm care insurance, you know, to cover her care.

Chase Peckham:

It's a long, I mean it's a long, long process from beginning to end and you know, nobody knows when that end's going to be. So let me ask you this question. So at what point, when is a good time to have that discussion? I mean, what age? I mean I'll tell my parents sat my brother and I down at 25 years old or we actually, they told us to meet at a crematorium and at 25 years old they were talking about here's our plot, this is what we want to happen. So if something happens to us, this is already paid for. I was 25, I'm 48 now. So, and my mom did end up getting married or buried in that, in that same spot. So I mean you want to talk about prepared? Sure. But they can't . And we were lucky enough, my brother and I who weren't thinking about this at all. We're in college for gosh sakes, or just getting out. But they came to us. But I don't think that that's, I don't think that's very common.

Ms. Huddleston:

I love it. I think it's great what your parents did and you should be incredibly grateful that they, that they did that and they had that conversation with you and that they were so prepared. It's wonderful. You know, I, I talked to my kids already. And I am , my oldest is in high school, my youngest is in elementary school. And I, you know, I tell my kids, your father and I are taking steps so that hopefully you will never have to take care of us. And I mean we've, we've even told them, you know, when we die, you know, we want to be cremated. That's what we want to do. Don't, you know, don't bury us. Don't put us in the ground. That's not what we want. We've had those conversations with our daughters who are older, not, not my eight year old son so much. You know, just just in more general terms, just so that they know now if something happens to us what we want. Now, I think it's a great idea to talk to your parents while they're in their 50s because they're still probably going to be in good health. They probably have not retired yet. And that means you have time and you're talking about everything and hypothetical terms, which is so important for these conversations because you can talk about the what if scenarios. You're not talking about an emergency that's happening and Oh my gosh, we had to deal with it. Well what are we going to do? And everyone's emotions are running high. You're talking about it at a time when these things seem far off in the future. And so they're not going to be as many emotions at that point. And that's going to help you have a more rational conversation. And you can do it by sharing a story. You know, talking about maybe you know, Hey, I have a friend whose parents when he was 25 years old, took him to the crematorium to show him and his, you know , siblings, what they had planned and you know, mom and dad, I would like to know what sort of planning you've done around this.

Katie Utterback:

You cited a survey, a 2016 survey by care.com that found that more than half of parents would rather have the sex talk with their kids than talk to their parents about money and aging. But for me that just seems so inverse. I feel like I would much rather talk about money and aging than about my sex life with my parents.

Ms. Huddleston:

I know. Isn't that crazy?

Katie Utterback:

That's so crazy.

Ms. Huddleston:

And, and you know, here's what's even crazier. That that Go Banking Rates survey that I mentioned earlier. They found that 73% of adults haven't had conversations with their parents about their finances, found that 9% would rather talk to their parents about their parents' romantic life than their parents finances. I mean, who wants to talk to their parents about their love life?

Chase Peckham:

Not at all.

Katie Utterback:

If you do, please write into the show, cause I do want to talk to you. I have some questions.

Ms. Huddleston:

You know, and it's funny because, because I've talked to a few people whose parents, you know, are, they bring up the topic of a will and their parents shut down immediately. You know, and some people think, Oh, if I write a will that means I'm going to die tomorrow. Um, you know, which really goes to show how scared some people are of dying. And I can, I am living proof that writing a will will not kill you off the next day. Because, because I've gone through the process twice, I am still here. You know , it doesn't, I mean it doesn't, it doesn't mean that you're, you know, putting that final nail in the coffin when you write the will or what it means is that you are making things easier for the people you leave behind. And you know, if your parents say, Oh, why do I need a will? I don't need to worry about a will . You know, your mom will get everything, your dad will get everything or you guys can just divide it up amongst yourself and you say, well, you know, it doesn't always work that way. We probably won't fight about it mom and dad. But maybe there's some cousins, some aunts and uncles who want to get a little piece of the pie and they're going to show up during the probate process and you know, try to get what they think they deserve. And you might not want those people to have anything. And you know, if you die without a will, a judge is going to decide who gets what and that judge doesn't know you. Wouldn't you rather spell out who gets what and ensure that it goes to those people rather than just leaving it up to a judge and you know, hoping that your family doesn't fight it out in court?

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. It's interesting that you mentioned you know, the judge and stuff and then you mentioned that you've written yourself, yours . My wife and I actually started talking a couple of weeks ago about writing ours . Not necessarily so much for the monetary side, but for the children. You don't want the courts to decide who the children end up going to and rather just write that out and have it taken care of so that in the event that that's needed, there's no confusion about it.

Ms. Huddleston:

You know, and you can use yourself as an example. If you want to have this conversation with your parents, all you have to do is say, you know, Hey mom and dad, my wife and I just, you know, we started talking about writing a will so that we can name a guardian for our kids. And or maybe you've already done it and you say, Hey, we want to give you a copy so that you, you know, know what, know what our wishes are. Uh, do you have a will that you would like to share with us? Or you could tell us where it is so that we know what your wishes are. You can use your self.

Felipe Arevalo:

That's a good idea.

Ms. Huddleston:

Your own financial or estate planning experience to get the conversation started. You know, and if you haven't taken that step yet, maybe you've done something else, like maybe you went online and used a retirement savings calculator or maybe you started meal planning and it's saving you money on your groceries and you know that maybe your parents are struggling financially. So you say to them, you know, Hey mom and dad, I , I stumbled across this great website that has all these meal plans that I've been doing meal planning and it's saving me a ton of money on groceries every week here. Do you want me to send you the link to this site? Thought you might like it. Just even dropping hints like that, just to kind of get them open to the idea of having these conversations. Um, you know, but back to those legal documents. Yeah, the Will's important. But like I said, that power of attorney document, so, so important. And I know parents, some parents, some adults are reluctant to, to sign over so much power because you know, you're , you're naming someone to make financial decisions for you. And people might say, well, I don't want to give anyone that much power. I don't want to, you know, name you my power of attorney. Cause then you can go in and start, you know , taking money out of my bank account and you let your parents know at that point, you know what mom and dad, wouldn't you rather decide who makes these decisions? Then having a judge decide you should be the one to decide who's going to manage your finances. If you can't, and even if you name me or my siblings, if we don't have that document, we really don't have any power. We can't just go to the bank and say, Hey, I'm my parent's power of attorney. Let me get in there and start writing checks. The bank's not going to do that. Mom and dad, you hang onto the document, tell us how to access it and when we can access it. And until that point we really have no power.

Chase Peckham:

It's incredible. I mean when we went through that process with my mom and , and you mentioned that you're glad you did when you did. My mom went into, she went away to a home literally weeks after we went into the bank. To make sure that both my dad, well I, I and my brother could get on the accounts in case something happened to my dad, but it was a long, very difficult process and they literally were asking my mom all kinds of questions about whether she really wanted us to be on this account, you know, in case they thought that we were pushing our way into that. Let me ask you this. How much does an attorney have to get involved in this process, if at all?

Ms. Huddleston:

It depends. I, I certainly think encouraging your parents to meet with an attorney to have these documents drawn up is incredibly beneficial. Yes, you can get a will, power of attorney. A living will document online. Sometimes you can get them for free depending on the website, the resource, you can get them for a lower cost than you would pay to meet with an attorney. But there are two big benefits to meeting with an attorney. First of all, those documents will be written specific to your parents' situation. It won't be a a fill in the blank type of document that's going to fit anyone's needs. Second meeting with that third party is so helpful, especially if your parents are, have been reluctant to talk with you. I was with my mother and she was not reluctant to meet with the attorney fortunately, but the attorney told us the next steps we needed to take like going to the bank and putting me on her account as a representative payee. She talked to us about Medicaid planning. Um, and I won't go into the details of that, but you know, just, you know, simply that's , you know, transferring assets so that someone could be eligible for Medicaid down the road. Meeting with the attorney is going to, you know, open your eyes to options that you might not have known even existed and the attorney could suggest to your parents Okay, so you've named a child the power of attorney. Have you thought about doing this? You know, especially if you're, you know, already, you know, at a later stage in life, these are some other steps that you should consider taking. And having that come from a professional, a third party, your parents might be more open to the suggestion than hearing it from you, their child.

Katie Utterback:

Well, I imagine too, when you actually meet with an attorney and they're recommending all these next steps to you, like you mentioned, not only is it maybe a more sound document, but I think, I don't know if it's in your book or if you mentioned it somewhere else, but sometimes there are financial institutions that will value their own paperwork or their own like agreements more than anything else that you may have signed. So when you do go and you meet with a bank, for example, it's a good opportunity to learn if they're going to honor the documents that you currently have or if you need something more. Is that,

Ms. Huddleston:

that's very true. So typically the power of attorney is going to work. Uh, and it's really interesting how financial institutions, how their policies vary. I've had some that I can simply fax in a copy of the power of attorney. I've had some that want a notarized copy sent to them, some want the power of attorney document and you also have to sign their documents. Um, and so it's, it's going to vary from financial institution to financial institution. What's also interesting too is that say your parents drew up those power of attorney documents, the living will years ago, I mean decades even. The bank at this point might no longer accept it because it is so old. And so your parents might need to go and get those up, those documents updated and yes, meaning , you know, encourage your parents, you know, maybe they did all that estate planning decades ago and you might suggest to them, you know, Hey mom and dad, maybe you should talk to your financial institutions to find out, you know, where they still accept the power of attorney document or maybe you need to meet with an attorney to get those documents updated. That's the benefit of having these conversations sooner rather than later because time is on your side. With my mom. I was really under this huge time crunch because as she was starting to lose her memory, I had to scramble to get her in to meet with the attorney to get access to her accounts, you know, and then they start figuring out information about the accounts she had as she was losing her memory. I mean, I did not have a full accounting of all of her financial accounts. There was one, I didn't even know it existed and it was almost turned over to the state as unclaimed property because we had moved, she had been living with us for awhile . Communications were still like letters were still going to that house. And so the person who bought the house actually emailed me and said, Hey, we're getting some mail for your mom. And it was, it was a notification that they were going to turn this, this, this account with a lot of money in it over to the state as unclaimed property. So then I had to figure out, okay, I've got to get access to this. And boy they did not make it easy for me. I'm like, okay, I'm her power of attorney. Well that's okay, but you need this. And it was not even their documents, it was this extra layer. It's called the, and I might get it wrong, it was like the signature medallion guarantee you have to go. It's like you have to go to a financial institution where they're signing it and basically vouching for it. And it was, I mean I had to jump through so many hoops. So once I got access and got my name on that account, I'm like, you know what? We're cashing it out. Used it to pay for almost a year's worth of care. But I almost lost, it was $50,000 in that account and I almost lost it cause I didn't even know it existed because I hadn't sat down with my mom while she was still mentally competent enough to find out what all of the accounts she had. I mean, the way I figured it out was going through, you know, tax returns and bank statements and mail. I had to play detective.

Chase Peckham:

So that kind of brings me up to the, what are your different, people hear about wills, they hear about living wills, what are the other options that you can bring into a namely trusts and what are they good for and who should use those?

Ms. Huddleston:

So a trust , uh , often, you know, a living trust is similar to a will in that it lets you spell out who gets what when you die. But it is, it's something you set up while you are living. You have to transfer your assets while you're alive to that trust. So you have to like for example, let's say you have a mortgage and your or you own a house, well that the deed cannot be in your name. You had to put the deed in the name of the trust. You know, the Smith family trust, whatever you call it. Um, so everything that you own, all your property has to be, the title has to be in the trust. So it's more complicated than a will. It costs more than a will to set up. But the benefit of a trust is that when you die, that money , that property goes directly to your heirs. You do not have to go through the core process, the probate process, which can take you know, months to, you know, I mean it can take, you know, up to a year in some places and it can be very expensive in California, you know, attorneys will get a percentage of the estate and so you know, when you're going through probate, you know, attorneys can make a lot of money off your estate during that process. And so people who are in California might benefit more from having a trust than say in Kentucky where I live, where the probate process is very simple, usually very quick, as long as nothing is contested, this is something you want to talk to an attorney about to figure out whether it's right for you. Now, you know, people might say, well, you know, of course the attorney's going to push you into a trust because they typically charge more for a trust. But if you're working with an honest attorney, they're going to tell you, Hey, I don't think your trust is the right thing for you. If it's not, if it is, if they suggest that you get a trust and you say, well why? How am I going to benefit from it? You know, how much is probate going to cost my family? You know, if they had to deal with that, what are the benefits for me having a trust? It , you know, and one of the other benefits is that because it doesn't go through the probate process, everything is private. So if you value your privacy, if your parents value their privacy and they don't want anyone else to know what they're leaving behind, then a trust could be right for them. But it's really, it's simply another way to spell out who gets what when you die.

Chase Peckham:

And everybody knows ahead of time for the most part, right? I mean, when , when they fill out a trust, well, I guess it goes both ways. I guess it depends on how the parents want to handle it, but for the most part, wouldn't you say it is the most important thing for this to all be spelled out to all those involved. So let's just say parents and their offspring. How this is going to be, how this is going to go down and everybody knows this well in advance and trusts can be updated too, can't they?

Ms. Huddleston:

Yes. I think it's very important to let your family know what your plans are, to let them know if you have a will, if you have a trust who's the executor of the will and that's the person who's going to basically deal with everything that's left behind. With a trust, you have a trustee, someone who manages the assets in the trust and it doesn't have to be a child. There are professional trustees out there, you know, so you can, if you have a very large estate, you know you might want to have a trust and then hire a third party trust company to manage that trust. So then you know your kids don't really have to get involved. They can just benefit from whatever you leave behind if you leave them anything behind. Where it gets tricky though. And the reason why parents are often reluctant to talk to their kids about their estate planning is because they don't want to tell their kids who is getting what, how much they're getting. And that is not as important. And I don't think you should push your parents to tell you that information if it's going to cause them to shut down the conversation entirely.

Chase Peckham:

Or they may not know.

Ms. Huddleston:

usually. Well usually you spell out, you know, usually you're going to spell out, you know, you know, and your will, I want to divide things equally among my two children, three children or whatever, you know, and, and, and they might not want to divide things equally. They might not have divided things equally because maybe you're doing better financially and they feel like your younger sibling who is not doing so well, needs more financial support. So they want to support that child more by leaving more money. But they don't want to hurt their kids' feelings. They don't want to cause fighting. So they don't want to tell their kids. And I think that's okay. It's your parents' money. They can do with it what they want. It's not yours and they want to leave some behind for you. That's great. You're very lucky. You're very fortunate. Um, but I would say don't, don't push them to tell you how much you're getting. You just simply want to know, do they have the document, do they have the will, do they have the trust? Who is the executor? Who's the trustee? Where is the will located where, you know, how can I access it when you're no longer here? That's what's important.

Chase Peckham:

That is sound advice.

Katie Utterback:

I want to ask you too. How much should your spouse be involved in this conversation when you're talking about your parents and their finances? Because I mean, it seems like it's , it becomes kind of like almost everyone retreats back into their family of origin dynamic in a sense. And everybody kind of goes to their siblings and the siblings kind of take their role or something. So how important is it for your spouse to be involved? And then , um, do you have any suggestions when maybe you and your spouse don't agree on how the finances should be handled?

Ms. Huddleston:

I think it's very important. I mean, if you are in a longterm relationship, whether you're married or whether you've had a partner of many years and your finance and you, you know, your, your finances are joined in one way or the other and your partner's finances are going to be impacted. If you have to get involved in your parents' financial lives , you need to be talking to your partner. You know, you, you're, you don't necessarily have to drag him or her into the conversation with your parents, but you need to be sharing what you learn . You know, letting your partner know, Hey look, I just found out that mom and dad have no retirement savings. They're planning on working until they can no longer work and then they think they're just going to live on social security. Um, you know, this could affect us down the road because, you know, I know that mom's got health issues and there's no way she's going to be able to work that much longer. We might have to, let's, let's have conversations about what we're willing to do. And that is so important. Talking to your partner, talking to your spouse about what, what you're willing to do, what sort of financial support you're willing to provide. And you need to decide this for yourself too . You know, whether you're, you know, in a relationship or alone, if you know your parents might need help from you, you need to decide how much support you can and want to give. You know, because at the end of the day, your finances have to take priority. As much as you might want to help your parents out. You cannot jeopardize your own finances, especially if you have kids because then you're going to continue that cycle and you , you don't want to do that. And so, you know, you might have, you and your spouse should be having conversations and say, you know, figuring out what you are willing to do, what you can afford to do. And by having those conversations and having a plan as your parents age and if they come to you and start asking for help, you already know what to what extent you can help them because you've already had that conversation. You can say, you know what, my husband and I, my wife and I, my partner and I, we've had a conversation and you know, we've been talking about this for a while. We've been planning, this is what we can do, this is what we've agreed to do. And so yes, it's very important to be having conversations. But like I said, they don't, your , your partner doesn't necessarily have to be there as you have the conversations with your parents. I mean, my husband has been so helpful with my mother. Incredibly helpful. I mean in the early days of her Alzheimer's, he would help her out around the house. He would mow the lawn for her. He would help make repairs around the house. I mean, he helped me get the house ready to sell it when it was time to move around with us. He , he has played a very big role in this and if something were to happen to me, he knows how to access the account to continue making sure her bills get paid. He's next in charge if something happens to me. Really. So you certainly need to get on the same page with your partner if you're going to have to help out with the parents and if your partner's going to have to be involved in his or her parents' financial lives as they age.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah, that's a good point.

Chase Peckham:

Hundred percent. I mean that's, that's good advice for marriage in general. You have open communication.

Katie Utterback:

But I like what you said though too , to, to break that cycle and not perpetuate, you know, jeopardizing your own financial future, your kids' financial future. As hard as it may be. Like if you want to help your parent, you cannot put yourself in financial jeopardy.

Ms. Huddleston:

No you can't.

Chase Peckham:

Your parents wouldn't want you to, I don't think,

Ms. Huddleston:

no I don't. I don't think they would or at least they say they don't. But you know, there are some parents who, you know, family helps family and I don't want anyone else to take care of me but a family member. Um, you know, and I understand that. I really do understand that sentiment and if you're feeling that pressure, I want people to know that there are resources out there. If your parents don't, if they can't afford to pay for a nursing home because their resources are so limited. As I said, Medicaid will pay for nursing home care for longterm nursing home care. Medicaid also will typically pay for in home care. It won't pay for assisted living like the type that my mom is getting, but it will pay for nursing home care in a qualified facility. Um, you know there are, I mean there are housing programs out there for older adults there, there are a whole host of programs out there for lower income adults to help them. So if your parents are struggling, you can point them in the direction of those programs. You can, you know, send them in to get credit counseling with a not for profit credit counseling agency to help them get them on the right track. You can refer them to legal aid so that they can get, you know, lower no costs , wills and estate planning documents drawn up for them. There are lots of resources out there and I list a lot of them. I have a resource section in the very back of my book that people can use to point their parents to if their parents need help and you cannot afford to provide that help for them.

Chase Peckahm:

And you can also find a lot of [email protected] correct?

Ms. Huddleston:

Yes. Yes.

Chase Peckham:

It's a fabulous website. I have to admit I went through it pretty thoroughly. Very easy to navigate. Did you do that yourself?

Ms. Huddleston:

No, I hired someone. I am not, I am not that technologically savvy, but the , the design and everything, that was all my idea. I just hired someone to implement it for me. Um, but I do, I do. I have a couple of free resources too . I have a down loadable fill in the blank in case of emergency document that you can print out and give your parents that basically would require them to put down all their financial information for you in one place and they can hang onto it. They don't have to give it to you. If they feel uncomfortable with it, just tell them to put it someplace safe with those estate planning documents. I also have a scam red flags sheet that you can download, give to your parents and you can use that as a conversation starter. Hey mom and dad, I found this online. It shows all the red flags for scams. Maybe you should hang it up on the refrigerator by the phone. You know, did you know, have you ever heard about these scams, mom and dad? Or did you know that scammers typically target older adults? Uh, you know, and I just, I just want to make sure that you're protected in case, you know, you get calls like this or you get emails. I just want you to be aware because there are a lot of bad people out there. That's the way to start the conversation with them.

Katie Utterback:

So Cameron, where can people buy your book? I like some of the activities that you included in there too. Like um, we talked about this a little bit at the beginning, but just kind of walking through some of the fears, like your parents are not going to ground you. Like, you know , just talking yourself through it. So where can, where can people buy this book?

Ms. Huddleston:

Well, you can get it on Amazon.com Barnes and noble, and there are links on my website at CameronHuddleston .com to book sellers. And so you can go there too. But you know, the places where you're typically going to buy books, you can often find it or on their websites that they're not carrying it in the store.

Chase Peckham:

Well that's fantastic. Yeah , we could go on for hours. Uh, I could talk about this for days. I mean we didn't even scratch the surface on what I've been through. Um, and , and I can only imagine, you know, the emotional roller coaster that you went through and what you learned through this process. Um, and it just says a lot that you could take what you experienced and learned and put it all on paper to help others. I think that is, I'm extraordinarily impressed.

Ms. Huddleston:

Well, thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it. And I really, I really do want to help people have these conversations because I think they're so important.

Chase Peckham:

Thank you so much for being here. Thank you. Thank you. And now we'll follow up with myself, Phil and Katie. Well , Cameron Huddleston was one of my favorite podcasts so far. And I think it's unique for me especially being - it hit so close to home because I've had to experience it so much, both through both sets of grandparents and watching my parents have to deal with their parents' situations. And my mom's side being on one side of the fence and my dad's being on the other one being not prepared at all and it just being a complete mess. And then my other side, my dad's parents being really organized , um, and still watching my dad have to take care of them for 10 or 15 years and have to, you know, when he's became the person that took care of all of their personal finances. Um, you don't think it's going to be 15 years of your life, you know, my grandparents lived a long time and then going through it so quickly with my mom when she got sick and how rapidly that came about. And thank goodness, you know, my parents have been retired for a while and they've been ready. You know, they've been very, very, very prepared. My dad learned they were prepared. I mentioned it in the interview, you know, that my parents started that whole process when my brother and I were like 25 at least getting my brother and I involved in it. They were probably prepared before that. Um, and it, it's difficult.

Katie Utterback:

Was it easier though because you had had that conversation with both of your parents, like it's so many years ago. Like did you have more insight as to maybe what they wanted?

Chase Peckham:

Yes. Oh, we knew that [inaudible] from that part. Yeah. It takes so much pressure off. You're not making a decision based on what you think they want or what, you know, your decision might be. You want to do for them what they want. And you know, in this case, when my mom passed, I mean she was 65 years old. I mean she was 67 years old. She was young and it wasn't something we were expecting. And so the pain , the pure pain and anxiety that you go through just because you're losing a parent and you're watching them be sick. And then to think about what you have to do for them. Um , and what might, you know, what my dad was going through. That's difficult. I didn't have to experience the you know, what to do financially because my dad had that taken care of where, but I'm fully prepared, my brother and I both , uh, fully prepared for what to do when it's my dad's time. And that really helps because the anxiety that you feel just from losing a parent and a loved one is not something you can think you're going to be prepared for. Something like that. [inaudible] even though you're prepared, it's still becomes so real. And then if you have the added pressure of now we've got to figure out all of their assets, we have to disperse those to everybody. You've got to , um, fulfill their wishes. And if you don't know what those wishes are, all the more difficult. And if you have to deal with the pain of letting a government entity make those decisions for your family. And then that could start the arguing and cat fighting between siblings and family members and ex-wives and on and on and on. I mean that goes well beyond the grief that you're feeling of just losing that person.

Katie Utterback:

Oh yeah. And Cameron actually mentions that in her book, her father passed away when her father was like 61 and I think she mentioned this in the interview. He did not have a will and because he had remarried, she and her sister did not know if they were going to get anything from their dad. So, and it turns out in her book she says that her stepbrother made sure that they got some of the items that they wanted. But unless you have a good relationship and you maintain that good relationship after the parent passes, like that's a real risk.

Felipe Arevalo:

And that could put a real stressor on the remaining family remaining family and you know, that stressor or that situation can linger on and just kind of break apart a family that maybe otherwise was, you know, very close knit and just having to try and figure it out. So if if it's something where the decision was made not by the people remaining, but by the person who has passed, do you take away that extra pressure?

Katie Utterback:

Right. And I want to just pull some stats from Cameron's book. So she put in , um, in there, 69% of parents expect one of their children will help manage their finances in retirement. However,

Chase Peckham:

69%?

Katie Utterback:

69 percent, that's their expectation.

Chase Peckham:

Oh my goodness.

Katie Utterback:

But more than one third of the children who are expected to fill that role did not know that that was expected of them. So that's just helping managing finances in retirement. 72% of parents expect one of their children to be their caregiver if necessary. 72%, 40% of the children identified as being the caregiver did not know that that was going to be expected of them. And then 92% of parents expect one of their children will be the executor of their estate, but more than a quarter did not know that they were going to be put in that role either. So obviously there's a huge need for this conversation. Um , currently 40 million Americans are acting as an unpaid family caregiver. And do you guys know the actor Rob Lowe?

Chase Peckham:

Sure.

Katie Utterback:

So last year, last January , um, January, 2019, he wrote an opinion column in USA today talking about what it was like for him to be a caregiver for his mom. And he put in there on average , um, the family caregiver will spend $7,000 a year of their own money just trying to make ends meet for the person they're caregiving for. Right. And he was, yeah, he was talking about for him, like he had that financial ability to do that and he had kind of a financial situation. He could take a step back a little bit, but that's not the case for a lot of people, which is why he felt the need to write about this.

Chase Peckham:

I mean, that's great that he did because he's in a situation, obviously as much as he works in a successful as he is in his career, he's able to handle that. But for a lot of people, an extra 8,000, $10,000 a year is incredibly difficult.

Katie Utterback:

I wouldn't be able to do it. Like if you all of a sudden said that I had to spend $7,000 extra, I don't know where I would get it. Right . All right . Yeah, I know.

Chase Peckham:

And it's so interesting, you know, we talk about this, but a culturally , um, a lot of, you know, a lot of cultures, it's just automatically known in the family dynamic that you're going to eventually take care of your parents and parents are going to live with you for a large, could be a large part of your life in a lot of cultures. I mean, family is is family. Uh, and that's an interesting dynamic that a lot of cultures just prepare for that , um, where the grandparents help live with the family and take care of the kids while their kids go to work. Um, and we see that in our neighborhoods a lot where we've got many multigenerational families that live within our neighborhoods and I've learned a lot about that and talked with my neighbors about it, that that's just their culture, that's what they do, that that's expected of them. It's, it's the natural way things go and we as Americans, and I don't want to use that I to use that term loosely because Americans can mean so many different things to so many different people. But for the most part, for a lot of us, that's not the way we're brought up. We're brought up that we, for me and for a lot of my friends, we are brought up that we move on, we take care of ourselves, we have our own families and now we're kind of separated and the parents take care of themselves. We take care of ourselves and we don't, like you just mentioned that we'd obviously 79% is a huge number, a huge number.

Katie Utterback:

I mean 40 million Americans are caregivers right now.

Chase Peckham:

I know that my brother and I, we never in a million years thought that that would happen. And I mentioned, I think I talked about this earlier, but my dad has said that I hope that you know, and I think he kind of said it somewhat tongue in cheek, but I think he, even though it makes me very uncomfortable, I think he kind of meant it that I hope it goes quick and that I don't have this long prolonged demise, you know, of, of slowly passing away to where I'm a complete burden on you guys. Right. Even though my brother and I would be glad to take that burden on. It could be incredibly difficult. And we're not even talking about my brother and I haven't to take on the financial part of it, just the taking care of it could be very difficult.

Katie Utterback:

Oh incredibly. Cause you're right, it's switching and viewing your parent in a role where almost you become the parent is very emotionally draining and it's hard to get to that place where you feel like you have to become your parents parent.

Chase Peckham:

You ever heard that? There's a friend of mine that always says that youth is wasted on the young. I have heard and it's , it's incredibly interesting to watch how as we age and get to, you know, those kind of those Twilight years that we literally do turn back into babies again. It's almost, it goes full cycle. You know , where instead of the parents, Oh, taking care of us as infants and babies and children, we're now taking care of our parents in a lot of the similar ways. Sometimes they can't take care of themselves, bathe themselves, feed themselves, change their clothes. Even though that might be the extreme, that's a, that's a reality for a lot of people a lot. And if people, if they're not prepared, and I'm not saying you have to have a lot of money but you're not, if you're not prepared on what, how you're going to handle these things, it's going to be a shock to the, to the family dynamic and it can cause it will be a ripple effect through the entire family and who's going to be the one that has to take care of them. I've been doing this for mom and dad and you have done nothing and all you do is write a check but you don't, you're not there emotionally. You don't know what it's like to work on it. I mean you see all these different dynamics and it's, you know, for me when it came to my mom and really helping out and everything, my mom and my dad were down here. My brother's two and a half hours away. I just know that it's easier for me to be there more often and handle a lot of things and I have no ill will. I'm glad to do it. My brother was very involved in all of that. I just know that a lot of the day to day operations, it was just simpler for me because I'm here and I can and I'm , and I was glad to be there, you know, I know my brother as much would say I wish I was there more. I was able to help more with mom during that time. And, and uh,

Felipe Arevalo:

so you're right, geography can play a huge, huge and huge and your brothers drive away. But in some cases it could be across the country and it could be hour flights away where, where you just can't go on the weekend or you can't just say, okay, I'll be there in a couple of hours . I'll be there three hours, four hours depending on traffic where it's like you have to buy plane tickets and , and do all that. And that can complicate it even further for the individual who's geographically closer.

Chase Peckham:

Felipe, how many of our boosts for our heroes, applicants and winners are in major financial distress being in the service because of that very thing. And their moms or dads,

Felipe Arevalo:

yeah, they have to make an emergency trip back home. And being in the service and now we've got to figure out what to do with your stationed wherever you're stationed, you're usually not stationed at home. Right. Um, that's why when I talk to people and do budgets with them and I usually, if I know they're in the service, I like to ask them, where's home? You know, where, you know , do you travel back home cause you're , or are you a San Diego native? Every once in a while you get a San Diego native or someone from LA. So that doesn't really count. But it's oftentimes home is South Carolina, Indiana, Florida, somewhere other than here. Um, and it's just, you know, being this, being a military town , uh, a lot of service families, there's a lot of people who live in San Diego now, maybe just for a few years while their station changes or maybe they decided they're gonna stay cause they love the weather where this isn't home. And if their parents at some point followed them out here, you know, they may be far from their support group, from their other siblings who might help and everything else that goes along with it.

Chase Peckham:

You know, it's interesting when, without getting too personal with my wife's situation, when her father died, suddenly at a, at a young age, had a massive heart attack and passed away and he had been remarried by then and both kids were left. His insurance his life insurance. And then his wife then wife had , um, got a majority of all the trinkets, all the stuff, all the things. And it wasn't spelled out on who got what and thank goodness, you know, their step-mom was awesome and they all got together and they figured that out. But that could have been very ugly. Oh yeah. You know, and I don't think that at 57 years old, he's thinking, I need to discuss things down to a T because he had a will for certain money and stuff, but not things. And so if she hadn't have had a decent relationship with her stepchildren, it could have been a very ugly situation. And we're lucky it wasn't, but there was still that man, you know, there's so much of my father that I want and I wasn't ready for this. And, and you think about things later , um, that you have to ask for. If you don't have that good relationship, that could be incredibly tough and you're not going to get those, you know, beyond finances. I mean, I've, I lived that watching my grandparents and my dad's brothers, one of them who was asking for inheritances before his parents died because he was financially struggling and thought it was owed to him. It was his birthright to get a third of whatever his parents had. Wow. My dad and my brother, his brother didn't speak. My dad was the executor. He was pissed. Why are you the executor Cappy, you know, why are you, I'm going to edit that. I'm reminding myself right now edit that, the Cappy part, but I personally watched a relationship deteriorate because one thought that he was owed and my dad made a very good living for with for himself and his oldest brother John, they were incredibly successful, but he decided he was going to do a certain thing and he never financially made it where he wanted to be and he felt like, I deserve what grandma, what my mom and dad had. You guys don't need it as much because you've made a great living for yourselves .

Katie Utterback:

Again, it's not your money.

Chase Peckham:

It's not. It's not your born, right.To have get anything to this day, my brother and I know, you know, we, my parents laid it out and they want to have their legacy passed down through their generations, but it's not my brothers and I born right. We're not owed anything. My brother and I grew up knowing it doesn't matter. You know, I hope, I hope my dad eats through every last dime. because that means he's with me longer. Yeah. But there are a lot of people who are like, man, what am I going to get when my parents pass ? And that's just crazy to me. Yeah. But it's reality.

Katie Utterback:

It is a reality. You're right. Because there are those people too that try to go in when somebody's sick and like go into their house and try to pick the things they want to . But I mean this is why it's important to do this and you don't know what's going to happen to you. Um, since doing this podcast, I actually went out and I'm starting to plan my own end of life kind of thing.

Chase Peckham:

And you're leaving everything to the dog?

Katie Utterback:

I'm leaving everything to my dog. It's all for Jagger. Um , but I mean that's a good point. Like if something were to happen to both AJ and I, I would want somebody to know the name of Jagger's vet, any sort of past medical issues that he may have had or just information like, Hey, his favorite toy is this Frisbee over here, or he makes sure he sleeps with his puppy. Like, that's kind of the information that I feel like right now. I would want somebody to know. And I imagine it's just intensified when you have children.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. I think, and I mentioned it during the interview that it actually, before we were even doing this, Sarah and I had decided we were going to set this up and not necessarily for the financials but or yeah, for the financials, but also for the , the kids, you know, if you don't have a plan set up a legal where you want your kids to end up or who you want to watch your kids , um, then you leave it up to the system and where your family was , your family to, to whatever. And, and you know, I think she mentioned just setting up a will at a young age doesn't mean you're going to go at a young age. Um, you know, setting up the will or setting up the finance setting at all the whole process in play when you're young, it has no effect on when that process is going to take place. So I think in , it should evolve over time, but you know, just where do you, where are your kids going? Um,

Katie Utterback:

Well and to that point. It's more than just what you have. Like I don't have a ton of assets that people are going to come looking for, but there are certain things like health directives, like I want to make sure that AJ or whoever is going to be there knows , like, I don't want to become Terri Schavo. I don't want to have a national discussion on whether, you know, I should be on a feeding tube. If I'm a vegetable or something, I'd want it to go the way that I want it to go. Yeah, that's true. Peace of mind. [inaudible] absolutely.

Felipe Arevalo:

Remove that burden on whoever's making that decision because they're not making the decision anymore. You've already made it. Yeah .

Chase Peckham:

And that's the thing. If you're seniors and you're the parents in this situation and you really don't want to talk about that, you're being incredibly selfish because it's not just about you and what it, it's there's going to be a burden on somebody in those families to make all these decisions and do all these things at an incredible cost, you know? And that's just not fair. That's not right.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. And it might be an uncomfortable question to lob at someone or saying, Hey, let's have this conversation, but , um, it's, it's an important one. And then if you think about the longterm positive effects of having the conversation now, I think it can outweigh the awkwardness of having to, like, in my case, text my brother and say, Hey, you know, if Sarah and I go away, can you watch the kids? And that's not really a conversation you want to have, but it's an important conversation to have at some point down the road.

Chase Peckham:

I'll give an example of, of making those decisions. Might when my grandfather passed away, He was the first grandfather of mine, first grandparent to pass away. And I was 27 years old or something and they had nothing planned. And when they were going through that, just the process of the burial and you go into those crematoriums or you go into the the , um, why did I just forget what that's called ? Cemetery. Mortuary. Thank you. Um, you know, the siblings are all around there. There's four of them and they're all sad. Five of them. They're all sad there. And they're arguing over what casket they're going to put them in. Like they knew what plot it was going to be, but he one is like, Oh no, we've got to have the $3,000 Oak You know, because dad should be laying to rest in this thing . And then you've got the other one is going to , it's going to be in the ground. He should be in a cardboard box. Who cares? And they're the infighting on, you know, we don't have the money to do this and who's gonna make the decision? And then you have that anxiety on who, well , who's going to make the final call? And you know, his wife who is mourning her husband, we don't want to put this on her, but they're arguing in front of her all about what's going to happen. And from that end, you're going, that's , we're talking, who's going to pay for this? For one, this isn't, it's not like there's just all of a sudden that grandpa dies or dad dies and there's this die , you know, passed away fund. That money becomes endless then you think, because when you're grieving, you don't even think financially. You're just going, it doesn't matter what it costs , we're going to do this. But yet then you come back three months later and you're going , um, Hey , Hey guys, you know, you go to your siblings , um , can , can, can we split this, you know, $500 each, right ? Maybe some them don't have the money, so who's going to get stuck? You know, that those are the things that, that's why it's so incredibly important to have these discussions with everybody involved. And that's, you know, it can get that catty and you don't mean it to , and some people may, but emotions are running high.

Felipe Arevalo:

You add in the fact that everyone's emotionally, you know, having an issue at the moment, and it may have people not on their normal behavior.

Chase Peckham:

There's a movie out called knives out right now , uh, with Daniel Craig in a , uh, a all star cast, I would say, of different actors. Chris Evans , um, a lot of big name actors in it, and it's a murder mystery, Agatha Christie style. But it's the whole, the whole family sitting around and waiting for the read of the will. The reason will , and they're all sitting here going, this is going to be a payday, payday, payday. And that's all that they care about. Right? And of course, it's a murder mystery, blah, blah, blah. Somebody did it because they want it, but it's amazing to me how, you know, we all laugh at that, but the murder part might not be the be the norm, but people come out of the woodwork when somebody , Pat old, rich uncle Joe, what are we going to get ? Terrible. In my opinion, it's kind of scary.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah, it's kinda gross .

Chase Peckham:

But for most of us, we don't have to, I mean, I don't, I don't know if that's really what it comes down to. And , and I don't think that that's when she wrote this book. That's what she's talking about. But those are just some of the implications. Yeah, that happened.

Katie Utterback:

Well, and can we go back to , um , she briefly talked about it, but Doug, who's mentioned in her book, Doug , uh, his father had dementia and it had progressed too far. So Doug's father had to have an emergency surgery to repair a bleeding ulcer and Doug was unable to pay for this surgery or access his father's account because he didn't have that power of attorney. So he spent nine months and $10,000 to become a conservator for his dad. So this involved hiring an attorney and then he had to have his dad evaluated by a neuropsychiatrist to prove that his dad was incompetent. Doug also had to pass credit and background checks and be interviewed by a court appointed investigator. This is not even the worst part to me. He had to do this every year. You have to renew it. I can't even imagine you're doing that. No. That's why I wanted to bring it up again because this is not a one and done conversation, but this is also, if you're not prepared yourself or if you're a parent, if you're not preparing your own end of life for your kids. Going back to what you said, Chase, it's very selfish because not only the financial cost, but the emotional cost is huge.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. And this was a case where the individual was genuinely just trying to help. Yeah , but it's just because there is not like he was, you know, because the process wasn't put in place even though he wanted to help. And the , the elder , his, his father, his father, his father, you know , may have wanted him to help, but because the proper paperwork wasn't put in play beforehand, now it's just become so much harder for both of them who are just trying to accomplish probably the same thing.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. Yeah. So he had to go back to court. Doug had to check in with the court, produce a net worth statement for his dad and file a report showing all the expenses and how his dad's money had been spent.

Chase Peckham:

You're joking.

Katie Utterback:

I'm not joking. Cameron has this all in her book. Yeah. So not only, yeah, so not only is she, you know, giving you all the steps on like here's how to have this conversation here, exercises so that you can get through asking some of these questions, but this is why you want to, as uncomfortable as it may be, get uncomfortable for a few minutes and have this conversation so you're not, you don't become Doug. Cameron doesn't have to write a part two on all the Doug's ,

Chase Peckham:

you know, that's crazy. Like I commend her a hundred times over for doing something like this because it is, people don't , don't think about it. It's not something that's at the top of the mind is not something we want to think about, but it is something that is real.

Katie Utterback:

well and I feel now responsible. I feel like I'm going to be the one that has to bring this up to my husband and his siblings to like what's going on. Cause I have no clue.

Chase Peckham:

And you don't want to be, and that's kind of a funny thing we mentioned from the spouse, you mentioned that about the spouse and I'm glad you brought that up because it was something I wanted to cover because there's a , it's , it's, it's an interesting point when you asked the question there and I, and I think I mentioned, well I have uh , an opinion on that. I thought you were coming from the standpoint of the spouse should have a say in what your husband, wife, whatever it might be that the sibling or the one they're married to , uh, has what they get, like what they are entitled to, what, how this should work, how much that should, and I don't believe you and I going through this with my wife that, you know, they don't have a lot of say when it comes to their side of the family. Like, I would not have a lot of say when it comes to her side of the family, when it comes to her mom and dad. I , I just sit in the background and I be supportive and that's the way my wife has completely been. However, when it comes to the taking care of things and that , cause I was thinking on the financial side when you said that, and I was thinking that, you know, the , the spouse should not think it's going to be a payday or something like that and that they are entitled to anything because they're not, they're not their spouse. My parents did not marry my wife. I did. Right . Right. So in that case, you know, that, that I believe that the spouse should just be supportive in the whole process and that they should not think they're entitled to anything. Um, but on the other side of the things, when it comes down to caretaking, right , they're still alive and being open about that and discussing that and being supportive and they then, in that case, the spouse has to be fully involved here .

Katie Utterback:

Right. Because I don't think that I should be a part of the conversation with AJ's parents as to what their plans are or any part of that. I just want to be supportive of my husband. However, I feel a certain responsibility of saying how I would feel if the plan was for one of his parents to move in with us or something. I feel like I am now a 50, 50 partner in this.

Chase Peckham:

a thousand percent you are. You absolutely are. And 100% couldn't agree with that more. You're sometimes maybe even more than 50% into it because it's going to affect your life, right? It's going to affect the way you go about your days, the way you , you live your day to day life. Um, she mentioned it that it can be very uncomfortable because not, maybe not. If there's three kids, they may not all get a third of the estate. It might be different and it could be uncomfortable and in that case, the spouse is going to be like, wow , that's baloney . Well then you're just adding more stress to your spouse.

Felipe Arevalo:

Right? So at a moment when they need the opposite. Right, right, exactly.

Katie Utterback:

And that could be a situation because you brought it up culturally. My husband culturally is the first born son. So while he has an older sister, I don't know what's going to happen. I'm definitely not going to ask.

Chase Peckham:

It's, you know, it's a lot. I mean that's why this, this episode was so personal for me and if anybody learns anything from this, it's just, I mean we say this all time, but it's to communicate with your spouse, with your parents, with your siblings, and just create that plan because it will be so much easier on everybody. You'll think if it's laid out. Yeah , yeah, absolutely. I mean, my brother and I know exactly what to do and my dad goes, I mean, I mean to the dotting the I's and crossing the T, I mean it's, everything is in writing and then all we can do and the best thing for us is that we just get to mourn and having to do anything beyond the mourning is really, really tough.

Katie Utterback:

You're right. It's kind of like a beautiful last gift that your parent can give.

Chase Peckham:

yeah. Oh my God. That's a beautiful way of thinking about it. Yeah. Very good way of putting it. What's coming up?

Katie Utterback:

I actually don't know cause I don't know the order, but.

Felipe Arevalo:

it will be exciting.

Katie Utterback:

but it will be exciting. We have a couple of cool things coming up. We are going to talk to some young kids who wrote , uh , their own books and they use the proceeds from all those book sales to do really things for other people, like taking a group of foster girls and their foster moms to Disney to feel like a princess for a day. Um , feeding the homeless, yeah.

Felipe Arevalo:

They'll be our youngest guests,

Katie Utterback:

our youngest guests. Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

It's going to be an inspirational episode. Stay tuned for that whenever it comes out. [inaudible] .