Ades: Let’s get back to our conversation with Ellie Page. I licensed fiduciary in the state of California and vice president of the southern region of PFAC, the professional Fiduciary Association of California.
Why would I need a fiduciary necessarily because you talk about planning in my 60’s and a lot of that paperwork and planning would be involved with an attorney. Why would I choose a fiduciary over a family attorney to handle some of this.
Page: No you don’t. you actually will go to an attorney. An estate attorney. And he will put together your living trust. Just to give a very simple example. Once your living trust is drawn you are the trustee of your trust and you can act on your behalf right now. But what happens when one day you are no longer capable of making sound decisions then you need a successor trustee and that’s when we come into play. We are being named on your paperwork as your successor trustee. Why wouldn’t somebody name their son or their niece as a successor trustee. Very often they do that and later on they regret it because believe me it’s always about the money. There’s always that family feud erupting all of a sudden and people are fighting amongst themselves about how to handle the money, how to handle dads healthcare. If the decision was to be made right there and then and be the right decision it is so much better to have an impartial professional to make those decisions for them. It’s just so much easier and also there’s another situation when people don’t really have close ones to put on their paperwork.
Ades: What are the biggest things you experience with an elder letting go of their, it sounds like you’re dealing with a lot of change, change for families, acceptance with an elder who may be moving into the final stages or an elder who may have resistance from leaving their home or making physical changes in their home if they’re in a two story home to a single story home. Tell me a little bit about how you can guide seniors to make living changes and acceptance and come of the emotional challenges they’re faced with as we get older.
Page: We do that all the time. That’s exactly what we do. We help people transition from this stage to that stage of their lives. If there is family around we always try to partner with them. As I say I’m not here to run a dictator ship, I’m here to run a partnership. A partnership with my client, with the attorneys, with the family. And that’s the right way to do it. We try to go hand in hand and make those decisions together for the benefit of the client, always having the best interests of the client in mind. This is number one. Now if there an instance when there’s no family around like I just told you about then the decision is all mine and if the client is capable of helping me a little bit or if there is something in writing that can kind of guide me though, great. But I’ve had situations where the client wouldn’t respond at all to the circumstances, there’s nothing in writing, and o have to do a little bit of guesswork, a little bit of investigators work like call neighbors and friends and ask them what do you think it is that Mrs. so and so wanted to do if this and this happened to her. It’s very challenging, it’s very interesting, but it takes a lot out of you.