>>Devin Peterson (00:00):
Hello. And welcome back to another episode of brighter retirement radio. I’m your host again, Devin Peterson. And in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about smoothing the transfer of wealth. I had the opportunity to interview a good friend and estate planning, attorney and litigation expert. Stephanie O’Brien on this very topic. And what we talked about I think will be extremely valuable for you as our listeners and our practice. We meet with clients and in our educational seminars, we meet with students that share story after story, after story about heartache and frustration and bumps in the roads that have come from improper state plan, design and execution. And so today’s episode is all about effectively putting together a roadmap towards success with your estate plan transfer and executing on that exact same plan. And so in this episode, I really want to make sure you listen to the end and understand what Stephanie is sharing with us in terms of what you can do right now inside of your own conversations with you and your spouse conversations with your children and desires is shared with your state planning attorney to make sure you’re properly clearing the path to a smooth transfer of wealth.
>>Speaker 1 (01:23):
This interview is quite intriguing that we had with Stephanie O’Brien. As you know, I love to talk with people that are smarter than myself and Stephanie is definitely one of those individuals. Um, she shared with us several steps that you can take from where you are now to putting together a quality, a state plan, and several roads bumps in the road to look out for. Um, and one thing that she shared that I absolutely loved, which is when she said estate planning is a situation in which I support dictatorship rather than democracy. I love this comment because it really shines light on the value of you and your spouse together, making a decision on how you want your estate plan transferred and really making that a reality and putting it into your state plan. So thank you so much for joining us in today’s episode. And without further ado here is my interview with Stephanie O’Brien all right, Stephanie, I’m so excited to have this conversation with you and thank you for joining us on our podcast today.
>>Speaker 1 (02:25):
Thank you for having me nice. This is, this is a great conversation to have with someone that has a little bit more technical and legal background. Um, and that’s why I love having experts like you on our show, because from an experience side, we, as an advisory firm, an education firm we experience or talk with clients and students all the time that have concerns about their estate transfer our concerns about their will and their trusts questions about if I should or should not. What does it entail to get a and a trust and why should I do that? They have a lot of questions and then they have a lot of experiences of when it was a bad scenario in their family. If someone didn’t have a will or a trust, or if they’d done it wrong. And so I love the opportunity to bring you in, to have a little bit more of like a technical response or answer to our client’s questions, um, as we go through this conversation. So, so great for that insight. So, right. Um, so our primary topic for today is smoothing the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. Um, and so for, for fear of me not giving a proper and well-deserved intro to your expertise, can you kind of take a few minutes and explain to our audience kind of what your background is, what you’re good at, what you’re not good at and why, what makes you so qualified to have this conversation about smoothing to wealth transfer today?
>>Speaker 2 (03:54):
Sure. So I’ve been practicing law in Utah for just over 10 years. I was in Nevada for a little, for just under a year before that. And from the beginning of my practice, I focused on a state and probate issues and practice areas. And so, um, I probably said it to you before, but well, LA is an area it’s really unique in that when you go to law school, when you come out with the exception of patent, like you are legally licensed, once you pass the bar to practice every single area of law, which is a nightmare, because it’s, I mean, could you imagine a podiatrist being legally able to perform brain surgery? Its areas of law are so different from each other that I pretty much say if they’re, if someone tries to do everything, they don’t do anything well. And so I’ve focused on the estate and probate litigation issues from the, from the beginning of my career, doing estate planning at the beginning, it was probably 50 50 estate planning and litigation in probate issues.
>>Speaker 2 (04:59):
And as my career has gone on, uh, there just aren’t a lot of estate litigators. And so I still do a lot of estate planning, uh, but that’s whittled down to about probably 20% of my practice and I litigate trust and probate issues when things go wrong in documents, I did not draft, um, for people in their, uh, state and probate scenarios. And so I definitely will have a lot of war stories and where, what conflict triggers are. And so that’s really what I, how I draft my documents when I do a States is how to calm the potential disputes, how to leave a very clear roadmap without a lot of guessing or opportunity for beneficiaries and siblings to be bickering or have any kind of say to have it be this constantly, you know, contentious situation. Um, so I litigate a lot in that area. And then while I litigate some in contract and business disputes, that’s not an issue we’re dealing with, so I will table that.
>>Speaker 1 (05:58):
Perfect. And that’s exactly why I reached out to you to have this conversation about smoothing the wealth transfer, because I know that you’re actually in the trenches, there’s a lot of estate planning attorneys that are really good at putting together a state plans, but they only see the front end, right. They meet with a ma mother and father, grandfather, and grandmother. They sit down, they gather their final wishes. They put them in pretty documents and put them on a shelf, but it’s really your job, your focus, your experience when that gets pulled off the shelf and drug into court and actually interpreted and laid out and executed. That’s your experience, right? Exactly. So if our listeners primary desire and goal is to smooth the wealth transfer and reduce discord or arguments within their family, um, that’s what we want to talk about today. And that’s why I think I,>>
>>Speaker 2 (06:57):
I think I picked the right person to have this conversation.
>>Speaker 1 (07:01):
Perfect. So what I wanted to kind of start off with is seeking to understand from your perspective Mmm, where should folks start? So let’s kind of set the stage. Let’s say we have, um, a mother and father, they have five children. Um, father and mother have both been successful parents, but they’ve also been successful in business and wealth accumulation. And they have a sizable inheritance that are going to, to pass on to their five children. Um, but them like most families are not a perfect family. You know, they know that their children have different opinions, different beliefs about money, different spending habits. Um, and they all come with their own baggage or our problems, right? None of our families are perfect, but where should a mother and father start when they’re wanting the desire to have a smooth transfer their wealth?
>>Speaker 2 (07:58):
So, uh, I think the first step is going to be making sure that got their hand, you know, hands wrapped around what their assets are so that they queue, they have the information needed to take to a professional, to start a discussion about this is what we have. This is what we want to do with it. How, how do we accomplish that? And so typically that’s going to happen by meeting with an estate attorney to talk about what vehicles will be best to facilitate that transfer of wealth. And so I think it’s important for them to discuss with each other in this hypothetical situation, what they’re wanting generally before they sit down with the attorney so that they can get on the same page. It can be difficult sometimes for, as for counsel, when, if you’re dealing with a couple, they’re not necessarily on the same page in terms of how, how they want their assets to be distributed and divided.
>>Speaker 2 (08:49):
And so they should at least try to get on the same page as to who is getting what overall or how are going to be divided. And then sit down with an estate attorney to talk about what the assets are. And quite often, where we’re dealing with a sizable estate in this hypothetical, the estate attorney can then work with other financial professionals that that couple has a relationship, whether it be financial advisors to talk about what types of the assets we’re dealing with, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re using the right vehicles or disposing of assets at the right time, depending on what the tax exposure would be, depending on any steps up in basis, that they would be able to avail themselves of if, if that transfer occurs at a later date rather than earlier. And there are a lot of things to take into account, but meeting with an estate attorney is going to be the first step in that direction.
>>Speaker 1 (09:42):
Okay. And so, so they identify what their assets are, right? And then they first have a pre-conversation amongst themselves on what are our general wishes for our children. We want everything to go to charity and they get nothing, or do we want everything to go to them and just split it and fist, so have some sort of idea of the direction that they want to go. Um, and then as they work with their estate planning attorney to put together their plan, you’ll also kind of coordinate with their financial advisor to coordinate which assets are, which right, which that topic in and of itself could be a whole podcast series. It really could. Um, but what I really wanted to focus upon today is this concept of putting it together in such a way that can reduce any familiar discord. And so you had mentioned that you’re in the trenches. So in this example, this family does do those first several steps. They put all this together and then that day comes when the fan, the mom and the dad pass away. Um, what primary triggers are you seeing when you’re doing your court litigations that are causing the most frustrations? Can you share with us a couple of examples, a couple of stories that would point out some of these main causes of contention?
>>Speaker 2 (11:03):
Absolutely. So one of the biggest issues that I tend to run up against when I’m dealing with a full blown litigate [inaudible] is when basically people will try to do their planning without really necessarily having to deal with it on every asset. And so they’ll use joint titling quite often with family members, whether it be one child is put on title or, um, every child I’ve seen in a scenario is then put on title. Uh, but they’re essentially attempting to avoid probate rather than using a trust by joint titling. So that upon the death of the parent or parents it’s automatically owned by whatever child is put on title. However, the issue that ends up being, um, litigated so often is the other siblings will then say, well, mom and dad always said, and it was always promised everything’s to be divided equally. They meant for Sally to divide it among everyone.
>>Speaker 2 (12:05):
And Sally’s saying it’s mine. And where if, if she is the titled owner, the only way to improve impose what’s called a constructive trust is essentially where the court is saying. It was clearly the intent. And so we’re going to impose a trust as if it was written over that home and required provided the only way to achieve that is if there is something basically so unequivocal in writing that you can prove it otherwise in the vast majority of cases, courts are simply not imposing constructive trust, unless there was clear and unequivocal evidence that that was the intent of the parent or parents. And so joint titling is a recipe for disaster when you’re dealing with significant assets or real estate. Um, and that extends all the way down to life insurance. It’s very common for people to say, okay, I’m going to put the eldest person as the beneficiary on the life insurance and they’ll divide it. But if there’s nothing requiring that in writing first, it has to be their intent clear and that the person receiving it knew that that was the intent. You have to prove that that’s been communicated on top of everything else. So even if it’s an, a document written by mom and dad, if they didn’t tell us way, she was receiving the life insurance to divide it, she still gets to keep it.
>>Speaker 1 (13:22):
Wow. I can see this recipe forming already. Yeah. Um, and, and I think that, from what I’ve seen, a lot of times, the communication between parents and children is difficult for the parents to have, um, because familiar discord absolutely happens after mom and dad passes away, but it absolutely happens before they pass away too. Right. I think I have, I’ve had a lot of students and clients share with me their experiences of them being the parents and not wanting, or having a lot of anxiety about sharing financial information or their financial desires with their children, because they don’t want to cause contention while they’re there. And so,
>>Speaker 2 (14:08):
and it’s interesting because my, uh, yeah, and I think we’re lagging a little, sorry about that. But, um, you’re exactly right. And a lot of times clients will express that same concern when they come into my office, it’s this, you know, I’m just, we’ve just been so nervous and we don’t want to upset X person because we didn’t, we don’t name them as a trustee or whatever the case may be. And I pretty much tell clients, then don’t tell them, there is no need to share your financial information with your children. If you are not in a place that you want to do that, and you, they don’t need to get the family’s approval on how they’ve decided to structure things. In fact, clients will often say, well, I’m going to go ask the children what they each want. And I say, don’t do, you’re putting yourself in the hot seat needlessly, it’s a far better situation to simply say, this is what I want. The attorney helps you create the framework in which you’ll achieve your desires and objectives. And the family can deal with that when the family deals with it. Yeah. There’s some, there’s that like the sentiment immediately after passing up? Well, it’s what mom and dad wanted and we can capitalize on that to the greatest degree possible, um, after death. But I don’t ever typically think it’s a good idea to stir the pot prior to passing.
>>Speaker 1 (15:30):
Mm, okay. So as we’re kind of going down the list here, I hear you as we talk about what creates family discord, right? Number one, joint titling a lot of random different assets and not really communicating that with everyone else and have it expressly written down. And then also on the flip side, communicating unnecessarily when it’s going to just cause contention
>>Speaker 2 (15:54):
for mom and dad, the state planning is a situation in which I support dictatorship rather than democracy. Everybody doesn’t get a vote on what’s happening here. They got what you want and that’s, that’s it.
>>Speaker 1 (16:09):
That’s, that’s awesome. Thanks for putting it so strongly and bluntly right there. Um, so what else do you see as, as the family or gathering together the courthouse or in their, their attorney’s office? What other scenarios happen that it’s kind of causing families relationships to come apart when they should be coming together to more than the passing of their parents?
>>Speaker 2 (16:33):
Uh, I would say an interestingly, I, I think I’ve only ever done one reading of a will. They just really aren’t done much. Usually the estate attorney is just talking to whoever the executor or the trustee is. Um, but when that happens and they’re coming together, one of the next things that I see that will, that has the potential to cause a pretty quick escalation, it is basically carte blanche, um, discretion given to one family member without enough specificity and documents as to what is supposed to happen. Because when one person has all the control and discretion, it’s nearly inevitable that there are going to be siblings that don’t agree with. Well, those decisions are. And so there needs to be a balance within a state documents of yes, affording a trustee discretion in certain areas so that if you tie their hands, they’re simply not going to be able to perform in a way that really the parents intended, but also requiring and including enough specificity, that what the expectations are, are, are pretty clear and enforceable if the trustee deviates, because unfortunately it happens often that trustees breach trust and they engage in self-dealing or create this narrative that justifies a course of action that is self serving.
>>Speaker 2 (18:00):
And they’re essentially stealing from the estate, but they never view it that way. They, I, I’ve never had a situation in which it’s a yes, like may have cool, but instead it’s always, well, I cared for mom for 10 years before she passed. So I am the one who deserves this. And, and so not giving all of the control and discretion to one person, but then I’m going to contradict myself because what, what then people seek to do as co-trustees, which is a nightmare and a bad decision, because they can reach an impasse and then what you end up in court, because the two of them can’t agree. So I always recommend one person as trustee, but with specific guidelines on what the requirements of the trust are and what they have to carry out, including when, with some flexibility. And if more than one is desired, either do two with one person identified that breaks any impacts that they reach so that they can have a majority vote or named three or named three.
>>Speaker 1 (19:03):
Okay. What I, what I hear you saying is very powerful because a lot of times the discord that I’ve seen as we’ve worked with clients after their parents have passed away is that they’re always resent their sibling that made those flexible decisions that they don’t agree upon. Right. Um, so as mom and dad put their will together and their trust together, if I’m hearing you correctly, you’re saying, if you are going to select one, give in the trust, documents, enough clarity that it’s mom and dad’s witches, not that individual’s not the trustees wishes. Right. Kind of make the mom and dad, the bad guy, if someone gets shafted out, it’s outside of the, their inheritance. Right. Right. Okay. Um, so another, another question that I wanted to ask that has led to some discord, not between siblings, but just some heartache with, with surviving spouses has been inside of an estate plan. They there’s been some tiling of assets that have been in the name of the trust and not in the surviving spouse. That’s off often causes some frustrations with the surviving spouse having access to that cash. Is that something that you see?
>>Speaker 2 (20:24):
I haven’t necessarily seen that it can happen, although it’s going to depend on if the surviving spouse is named as the trustee, the remaining trustee, that would still have the ability to access and utilize the assets and money. And so that would be much more case by case driven, but what I do end up seeing quite often, if we’re dealing with the spouse area is litigation. If the surviving spouse is, um, a second merit is for the, they remain from a second marriage and there are adult children from a previous relationship kinship or marriage that those make up probably half of my cases that end up in court.
>>Speaker 1 (21:07):
Oh, really? So these mixed family environments where I’m sure it becomes even more important to get specific on what the breakups are, what the relationships are. And if any of those pass away before that individual does, like how, how that all kind of filters down exactly very specific.
>>Speaker 2 (21:25):
And it’s important for both spouses to have signed off on it. So that as a surviving spouse cannot later in time come back and claim that they weren’t privy to the details that they are entitled to more one I’ve got right now, it’s they were only married for two years, uh, prior to his passing at age 87. And, uh, no, the documents just simply aren’t clear. And the, the inference and intent was she is simply getting very specified ass that’s without any claim to the whole. However, instead, we’ve got a situation in which she’s coming back claiming one third of everything, which is called an elective share under the probate code. And so it is very important in second marriage situations for if we’re not doing a pre or postnup, which I typically recommend, um, that both spouses are involved in updates on estate planning so that everything, uh, can be signed off on the biggest nightmare is if they don’t do anything, if they have a previous trust and they figure I’ve already got everything in a trust, we’re fine. Um, that may or may not be the case, but if you’re dealing with a pour over will and the trust haven’t been funded, then if a spouse is left out of a will, but that marriage came after the will was created. The law considers them what’s called a pretermitted spouse. It defaults to rules of intestacy where that spouse would be entitled to the first 75,000 and then half of everything else. Okay.
>>Speaker 1 (22:59):
So the timing of, I mean, I’m just kind of bringing this back to our listeners that are listening to this. Most of our listeners are, um, it was right around the retirement age. So, you know, five to 10 years before, maybe five to 10 years after. So some of them have, have a willing to trust some of them don’t for those that do have a will enough trust. And they’ve put those together, you know, 10, 15 years ago, how often should they be updating those? And are there certain life events that mandatorily require them to be updated?
>>Speaker 2 (23:32):
Absolutely. So the, the kind of industry standard recommendation is that it should be reviewed every five years. Um, there, the difficulty is, and it really just depends on the situation and their asset levels, but the five year Mark is a good one, simply because there can be so many changes in the tax floor when you’re dealing with a taxable estate versus when you’re well under it. And so instead it’s just about structure and smoothing a path. So those trigger points, I would say are going to be any significant change in net worth. If you, uh, have a company that’s just exciting floated, and maybe it’s pushed you over a tax floor, that’s, that is a trigger point. Um, in addition to that, if, if that’s on the horizon, you can go in and do planning to avoid that, um, tax exposure to a state before the gain is realized.
>>Speaker 2 (24:28):
So if you’ve got a soft where that, you know is just going to explode their, their vehicles, you can put it into like a Utah domestic asset protection trust where you transfer it when it’s worth, essentially nothing, get it out if your taxable estate, but still have a trustee and a structure where you can have control. But then once it’s put on the market and the growth is realized it’s in this trust, that’s no longer considered part of a taxable estate. And so all of that growth happens outside essentially of your social security number, number of the eyes of the government. So, yeah, changes in asset values, divorces, or deaths. Those are huge ones. It’s shocking to me how often people don’t go in and update their documents after they get a divorce. And the reason that that’s so important is people rely on the fact that there’s this, there’s this law out there.
>>Speaker 2 (25:19):
And it is, they’re saying after a divorce, an ex spouse is disqualified from being the personal representative or a trustee. And that is the case. However, there is also case law that says if they’ve been left in as a beneficiary on assets or policies after an extended period of time, especially if they have children, the person has what’s called a, um, and an insurable interest or an interest in the life of the ex spouse. And so the conclusions by some courts have Ben, if they left them on, they must have intended for them to receive it. And so we’ve had situation in which, I mean, an ex spouse received a million dollars in life insurance. Um, and luckily we were able to claw back about half of it for the benefit of the children, but it gets sticky and it gets difficult. So divorce is a huge, is a huge trigger point that you want to go in and make sure you update documents and update assets with beneficial designations and kind of do an assessment of all of, all of your assets. Um, I would also say death of not only a spouse, but also a sibling, or sorry, not a sibling, a child, a death of a spouse, a child, or your trustee or executor who you’ve appointed. So if say you’ve named a brother which I’ll see in many cases, if they pass away, you should go in, speak with your attorney and update so we can have a succession of who want serve and in what order.
>>Speaker 1 (26:45):
Okay. What about, um, what about moving across state lines? I know we have a lot of folks that as they move into retirement, they relocate to a warmer place or more convenient place, close to kids and grandkids. How does that affect an estate plan when they move across the state line, it does significantly impact an estate plan.
>>Speaker 2 (27:03):
And you should meet with an attorney in the new, your new domicile. Once you’ve moved to see what updates, if any, need to be made. Part of it is going to be driven by where your assets are located, um, in, in terms of where you want the trust to>> be governed and what the laws of what state you want to govern the trust. So right now, for instance, I’ve got a case where the trustee lives in Nevada, however assets are located in Utah, but it was a Utah trust. And so Utah law will govern the estate, but it’s removed to federal court since not everybody’s located in the same state. And so part of it will be where the, where you’re living, but you also need to consider where assets are located and which laws you prefer, because you can avail yourself of those laws depending upon what those assets are, where they are. And so there are some considerations to take in when you’re balancing, where you want the trust to be done. And what laws do you want to govern it?
>>Speaker 1 (28:08):
Great insight. I’ve actually never had that one pointed out before you can kind of choose preferential treatment of laws.
>>Speaker 2 (28:15):
Yeah. You have to have a tie to it. So we don’t get to just cherry pick a, it’s not necessarily like corporations where you can say I’m a Delaware corporation. I avail myself of those laws, but if you have some tie to that location and that’s where the documents were signed, then, then you can do that.
>>Speaker 1 (28:32):
Wonderful. That’s awesome. So kind of coming back to our main topic about smoothing transfer of wealth, um, you’ve mentioned this a few times in passing within your own with your own, with your own process and practice where you’re clearing a path, um, and reducing conflict with, with an individual or for a family that has an estate plan. And there we were trying to truly clear a path. Um, would you recommend that, that you, that, that, that clear that path is done specifically just in your estate planning documents or is there, is there elements outside of just the perfect written estate plan that also would enable them to clear a path, the first smooth transfer of wealth?
>>Speaker 2 (29:29):
I think, I mean, if we’re dealing with a family that mom and dad were afraid and really don’t want to be telling kids about anything, then I would look more just the documents and the way that that’s written to clear and control that path with the exception, maybe of, um, conversations with planners, other professionals, if we’re wanting to look at and, um, implementing involvement with professionals during administration to help, if we’re dealing with a really contentious family, I have a client right now, why am I I’m already acting? And I only do this on a very limited basis, but I am a co-trustee of the trust. And I’m on with family members, because it’s a, it’s a family fraught with so much conflict already that the concern was, we just can’t, it will inevitably end up in court unless we have somebody essentially planning and acting and crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s along the way, the majority of the time I deal with it primarily through the documents and through the planning, because I’m helping them look to, okay.
>>Speaker 2 (30:42):
Um, we can deal with gifts through documents. We can deal with loans to children maybe that were never paid back through documents. We can deal with Johnny feeling like way more got spent on Sally’s wedding, in documents. We can, I do a lot of that through the document without having to look outside of it much. But, um, but then in addition to that, it’s also just giving the client direction then moving forward on things to avoid so that they don’t then create issues after the document and kind of the framework has been put in place. Does that make sense?
>>Speaker 1 (31:20):
Yeah, so it sounds like, so my initial question was outside of the, a perfectly written trust, what can a family do to smooth that road between for a smooth transition? And what you’re saying is do some planning and preparation on who’s going to be involved in that transition, right? It’s not just the document, but you know, whether it’s a coat trustee like yourself, that’s going to help bring a sound mind and some experience to that conversation, or if it’s Mmm. Educating your children on how to be responsible with money, with the value of money, how to be more grateful titled.
>>Speaker 2 (31:58):
And I apologize. Yeah, I absolutely. So if that’s kind of where you’re going owing with that, I do think that there are steps. And the hard thing is, is if we’re dealing with a couple who’s in their seventies or eighties, their children may already be entitled difficult people. So I think, I think that’s something, unfortunately, that you’ve kind of got it instilled in me. I feel like I may be failing at that every day with my own children who repeatedly seem to think they deserve a brand new phone. But, um, I think it’s something that that’s more of a personality trait that, that has to be dealt with where it’s the person who looks at a pie and always think they somehow got slided with how it was cut. Um, but I do think that it’s, it’s important to essentially start conveying to family members.
>>Speaker 2 (32:52):
You are not entitled to anything. And I tell people the best plan to States if we’re dealing with, I mean, if we’re dealing with extremely large estates, this isn’t going to be the case, but often with general middle- class people, a perfectly planned to state is one where you’ve spent the money on yourselves over your lifetime. And if there’s anything left for your children at the end, then they should be grateful. But it shouldn’t be that they’re sitting there waiting with open hands when mom and dad died waiting to collect, um, it’s, it’s surprising to me how often I’ll have people come meet with me when they’ve got networks of maybe 750,000, which is very modest, but they’re pinching pennies wanting to consider Medicaid planning where they’d be in Medicaid beds, which that’s a, an entirely different conversation because quality of living in standard of care are things to be considered. But I never, I never liked to see scenarios. And that’s more of my personal opinion rather than legal, where someone’s impoverishing themselves. They’re not enjoying their lives to benefit their children after death. And so I think if, if they start to instill in their children, you look, we’re, we’re planning on living the life we want to live. And if the, you know, if there’s something left for you, wonderful. But if not, that’s okay too.
>>Speaker 1 (34:11):
Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I feel like your experience working with these families over those many years, 10 plus years, I’m grateful that you shared that because I think you’ve genuinely seen that those folks that have the right type of perspective when it comes to money, it’s not just about leaving that dollar amount for their children. It’s enjoying it for themselves. I give him permission for them too, enjoy their quality of life. Um, I think a lot of times in this conversation about estate planning, we kind of get sometimes caught up in, I got to leave as much as I can in the most efficient way I can to the next generation. But I love that you went there because an aspect that we can not lose sight of is the ultimate purpose of, of these dollars, right? To help our clients experience to its highest potential, the quality of life.
>>Speaker 1 (35:08):
So it’s not only about just passing on a dollar, but how can I live, leave a living legacy to use those dollars to spend time with my children and my grandchildren leave an experience with them and not just a dollar amount. So as we clear the road to a successful wealth transfer, maybe outside of a perfectly written estate plan, maybe that’s, um, a plan on how to build experiences with their children and grandchildren, um, and on those lessons as opposed to just the dollar. Yeah. I love that. You mentioned that. Awesome. Well, Stephanie, this, as we kind of come to an end of this, this conversation, thank you again for helping us kind of understand how to smooth the trans transfer of wealth. Um, really what’s important. Some things to kind of watch out for. Um, but at the end of this episode, I actually am going to get personal a little bit. If you don’t mind me asking you a personal question. Um, and I asked this of all of, all of my podcast guests, cause I think it’s so important for all of our listeners and us included to realize that what makes us feel come alive and feel valuable and relevant in life is really how we show up for others. So personal question for you for Stephanie, O’Brien what makes you feel alive and relevant in the lives of your family and those around you?
>>Speaker 2 (36:30):
Interesting. All right. So I’m first want to make sure that I’m processing the question accurately, accurately. So you’re saying what makes me meet? I am, I have a hard time with show up and feel alive only because I don’t know what that means, but you’re basically saying what brings me like passionate and pleasure in my own personal life.
>>Speaker 1 (36:50):
That’s right. Yeah. Like what makes you feel alive as you show up as a professional, as you show up as a mother, as a trope, as a friend, like what makes you picture, what makes you feel alive?
>>Speaker 2 (37:00):
I would have to say with my children, what makes me feel alive is bonding with them in the areas that they are excited and passionate about so that they can feel support in their endeavors. My son is ridiculously into music and so we’ve been helping him figure out how to produce and he’s been posting them on like iTunes and Spotify. And it’s so funny, his excitement and, uh, with my daughter, it’s really been about spending quality time, lots of cuddles and reading. She’s younger, she’s seven. And seeing her really come alive and start to grasp the full scope of what reading can bring to you. And that it’s not, it’s, it’s becoming not to be a chore, but she’s really excited about new stories that she can read or experiences she can have because she’s able to read, um, in my professional life lately, what’s probably been bringing me the most fulfillment has been working on.
>>Speaker 2 (38:01):
So part of the probate area is also the guardianship realm. And, um, during this very odd and difficult time with Corona virus restrictions there, I’ve seen a significant spike in applications and needs for guardianship dealing with elder abuse and financial abuse of family members. Unfortunately that takes a dark turn. But, um, often when we’re dealing with that joint titling family members will be on a bank account and then they get in rough times and they start depleting mom’s and dad’s assets. And so, um, the most fulfilling thing for me is when I’m able to step in and put protections in place to make sure that someone is no longer being taken advantage of and that their assets are going to be there and kept so that they have the ability to pay for longterm care so that they have the ability to have their own needs met. So awesome.
>>Speaker 1 (38:58):
Thanks for, thanks for sharing that. It’s, it’s amazing that we all get to in these troubling times and it’s COVID-19 times show up in our own way and bring a little bit of security and light and love to the crazy world that we live in. So yeah, glad to hear you have a way to step in and as a very meaningful protector. Thank you. Nice. Well, Stephanie, thank you so much for this conversation today. If any of our listeners want to find out more about you or your firm, where can they go to find out more about you?
>>Speaker 2 (39:30):
Sure. Uh, so I am a partner with MacArthur heater and Mettler in Provo. Uh, it’s M H M LA offices.com. So you can find me there.
>>Speaker 1 (39:40):
Love it. Okay. Thank you so much for your professional insight and we’ll hope to catch up with you later. Thank you, Stephanie. Thanks for having me.