Frequently Asked Questions

You asked. We answered.

I don’t even own an “estate”, in fact we rent our place. Do we still need to do this?

Great question. Everyone needs one – whether you own an "estate home" or not.  According to estateplanning.com “Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, bank accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate”. Even the clothes in your closet are part of your estate, so everyone has an “estate”!

 

Is this the same as a Living Will?

No this is not a Living Will.  A Living Will is a document drafted by a lawyer and signed by witnesses (and notarized by your lawyer), that outlines, at a very high level, the type of medical care that a person would like to receive/not receive if they were unable to communicate on their own. 

Components of medical care and decisions are discussed in the Sunset Plan™, however we take it to the next level by going in greater depth.  We outline your desires and care needs in-depth to help inform your family, substitute decision maker(s) and/or Power of Attorney(s), and your medical care team, so that they can make the best decisions for you and give you the best care possible. We discuss the little things (that can make a huge difference in how you are cared for) as well as the big things.

 

I am healthy, do I need this now?

The best time to do this is when you are healthy. The reason is that you are not under stress in your decision-making, and you can think through situations without the same level of intense emotion that you may experience if you are suddenly ill or have been in an accident.  To be truthful, we all know someone who died under the age of 50, even under the age of 30.  None of us are “too young” to think and plan for these things. 100% of people who complete a comprehensive estate plan feel comfort and peace of mind after going through the process.

Some of the worst situations, in our opinion, can be after a sudden accident or sudden illness. There is enough stress placed on families in sudden situations. 

For example, if a young man is in a motorcycle accident and is on ventilation and is not recovering well. His family are forced to make medical decisions on his behalf. It is common to hear family members say “I don’t know what to do…I don’t know what he would have wanted”… and this is an added stress on their shoulders.  This is a very different situation from a family who knew what his wishes were if anything were to ever happen to him. They can atleast say “as hard as this is on all of us, I know that this is what he wanted”, and then they are able to make what they feel is the right decision for their loved one in that stressful moment. These are certainly hard decisions for anyone to have to make. But they are certainly much MUCH harder if you have never had the conversations with your loved ones.  This includes documenting your wishes.

When under stress family can forget the conversations, or be unsure if they are doing the right thing.  To be able to refer to a booklet, that represents a person’s wishes, can provide comfort knowing they are doing the right thing.  In other situations, family disputes have arisen because one family member challenged another family members decision. Having the booklet is an excellent safeguard for family members, especially decision makers, to be able to demonstrate to opposing family members, that they were carrying out the wishes of the person. 

Of course, this is something that you do not just do and let it sit on a shelf for many years. It is something that you should re-visit over time. For example, if a close friend dies of breast cancer, you might re-think some of your original wishes after witnessing her journey. Or for example, if a friend dies of ALS, you might change your viewpoint on certain issues after witnessing his death and the things his family experienced through the journey. 

 

Do I still need a Living Will?

At Parosol we recommend that you discuss the inclusion of a Living Will (along with your will) with a trained estate planning lawyer.  A will and living will is a great starting point for anyone beginning to embark on the journey of estate planning. Note: verbiage can change. In some areas this is also known as Advance Directives.

 

I don’t even have a legal will. Am I still eligible to do the Sunrise Plan™?

Although alot of our clients have a will when they come to us, do not worry because some do not!  For this reason, and if you so choose, we have partner lawyers that we work with and who can assist you in creating a legal will if you do not have your own lawyer already. 

Just like getting your Sunset Plan™ done, there is no time like the present to get your will done!  We love lawyers and definitely encourage you to do both – you will feel so much better after you do!  Actually, if you sign up for the Sunset Plan™ first, you will notice that you have a lot more insight into creating your will and living will (if applicable) with a lawyer – and you will probably be better set-up to do a great job at outlining your will while not making it all such a scary thing. 

 

Why plan ahead for something that I won't have control over anyway??? 

By planning ahead it is actually putting you in control.  If you don't have a plan, then you have no voice, and you have no say.  One of the biggest errors that people make is in who they appoint to speak for them when they cannot. They chose people based on family status or connection, instead of thinking through "who will follow my wishes? who will carry out things in the manner that I would have if i could?".  Depending on your family and friend choices, it may serve a person well to consider appointing an attorney, or an estate company who can represent a persons wishes, particularly with property or finances. They can take care of things on someone’s behalf and who tend to come from an impartial place because they are removed from the same emotions that a family may endure.  

 

I have had these conversations with my family. They know what my wishes are. Why do I have to write it down in a booklet? 

When under stress family can forget the conversations or be unsure if they are doing the right thing.  To be able to refer to a booklet, that represents a person’s wishes, can provide comfort knowing they are doing the right thing.  In other situations, family disputes have arisen because one family member challenged another family member’s decision. Having the booklet is an excellent safeguard for family members, especially decision makers, to be able to demonstrate to opposing family members, that they were carrying out the wishes of the person. It is even helpful to bring a copy with you to the hospital if your loved one is having a scheduled surgery that may be risky. That way you are prepared if the medical team need to consult with you and a decision needs to be made quickly and on the spot.

 

I am afraid of the meeting making me cry and being a huge dramatic emotional exercise. I know that most people avoid this topic because of fear. I am a little worried that it will be emotional for me and my husband.

Thank you for being so open about your fears, as this is always a good place to start. At Parosol we understand that people may be a bit uneasy coming in to a topic that is mostly avoided by most North Americans, and so we will do everything we can to help put you both at ease. For this reason, we usually always start our 1:1 consultations with some questions to understand your current situation and past experiences. 

Although some parts of the topic can be difficult, by starting the conversation it can help remove a lot of the fear that people have.

It also depends on your current circumstance, life situation, and to be honest, your personality type. For example, when discussing and completing the Sunset Plan™ with a client who was recently diagnosed with cancer, we spent a lot of time talking about her family, especially her children, and what her hopes, fears and wishes were for them. It was an emotional conversation, but one that she said made her feel “a lot more relaxed” after the appointment was over.  In this case, she wanted to talk about some of the more emotional issues surrounding her disease and the family dynamics at play.

In another situation, with a financial planner, he was very factual and matter-of fact individual, and so he saw the conversation as black and white. He was direct in his responses, but also took the time to discuss things as he had to think about things he had never known or thought about. In this situation, the meeting had no emotional rollercoasters or drama, as some might say. 

Ultimately it depends on you and your husband’s personality and how much prior discussions you have had around the topics.  The meeting can be very “unemotional”, direct and to-the-point with no fluff.  While for others, they begin to think differently, and realize that they have some subjects they need to discuss further with their spouse or loved ones. 

Whatever your situation, our Consultants are trained to meet you were you are at, and to ensure compassion and diplomacy where needed. We encounter situations where the couples are the complete opposite (surprise, surprise) – where one prefers fact with little fluff, and the other asks bigger “why” questions and wants to explore topics in greater depth. Our Consultants are highly trained in being able to have difficult conversations and in how to navigate the differences in personalities, ensuring that the appointment goals, topics and discussions can meet both personality types. Plus, couples are no stranger to each other’s style – so there usually is no surprise for them there!  All in all, we will work with you to ensure that your questions are answered and that you are okay with the process and the pace throughout the appointment(s). Our goal is that everyone feels better after going through the process, and that they have greater peace of mind. 

 

If I am still able to speak for myself, will my daughter still have a say in my medical choices?

The premise for the Sunset Plan™, is to discuss, document, and communicate your wishes and intentions in the case you are unable to speak for yourself.  There are federal, provincial and state laws that protect persons to be able to make their own medical decisions, if they are competent to do so. It is only when you are determined to be incompetent, or unable to make your own health care decisions, that your substitute decision maker or Power of Attorney for personal care/health, then would have the power to make decisions on your behalf.  At Parosol we always recommend that you discuss your values, wishes, beliefs, and decisions with your loved ones, including at a time when you are well, so that they continually learn and understand what your values are around medical decisions and care, so that they know you well and what you would want if a time came when you were unable to speak for yourself. We encourage people to communicate often and to keep their loved ones in the loop.

 

Doesn’t it depend on the situation? What if I don’t know what my wishes are around certain medical treatments?

A great question. You do NOT need to know your wishes prior to doing your Sunset Plan™. It is always helpful if you have thought about some things, and talked them over with others, but it is not necessary.  Often what happens is the Consultant will bring forward new information that may cause you to re-think your initial thoughts on a subject, or that will help you understand the topic better (for example, helping you understand the medical system), so that any decision you make is an informed decision. The Consultant will never sway your decision in one direction or another, but rather just provide you with information. You have the final say.

In regards to doesn’t it depend on the situation, you are correct. With our experience in hospice care, palliative care, cancer care, and more, we are able to come up with common situations and scenarios, and talk them through with you. However we cannot think through every situation since each is unique. Your Sunset Plan™ will outline your wishes, values and beliefs around your health, aging, medical decisions, and more. It will be up to you speak up during any future scenarios that you live through (or it may be up to your substitute decision maker if you are incapable to do so). When new information comes forward you should take the following steps:

1)    Communicate the change to all the important people in your life – this includes your health care team, family, and Substitute Decision Maker and/or Power of Attorney(s).

2)    Update your Sunset Plan™ by making a notation in the section where the change is OR use a blank refill page to annotate your change.

If you would like to re-visit or have a 1:1 consultation for guidance, then you are always welcome to schedule an additional Consultation at a reduced fee.

 

Shouldn’t my doctor be the one to talk to me about these things?

It would be wonderful if every doctor took the time to discuss these important matters with every patient, but sadly that is not how our health care systems are set-up. To make matters worse, most physicians do not have the training and knowledge in these areas and are not comfortable having these types of conversations. According to a Canadian study (CHPCA, 2012), only 9% of people have spoken to a health care provider about their wishes for care. Sadly, the conversations do not happen, even though industry providers continually say how important these conversations are. It can mean the difference between a good experience and a bad experience for a family.

 

My sister is a nurse…my brother is a doctor…my brother-in-law is a lawyer…I used to be a nurse…I think I don’t need your services.

It is always a great start to have a lawyer, health care provider, or other professional in your close circle.  But statistics tell us, according to a Canadian study (CHPCA, 2012), fewer than half of people have discussed health care treatments with a family member or friend to express what they would want if they were ill and unable to communicate; meanwhile only 46% have designated a substitute decision-maker (someone to speak on their behalf if they cannot communicate).  It may be likely that you are likely to have conversations about health care decisions, future aging, etc. with your knowledgeable family member, which is wonderful. Our experience is that if people have had the conversations, they definitely have not written their wishes down, and have only spoken to one or two people at most. At Parosol we advise having an actual written plan that your loved ones can refer to at any time – including moments of distress and decision making. I have seen people take their booklet with them to the hospital, prior to their loved one having a surgery, to be sure they had it for reference if the outcome of the surgery didn’t go well. You can never be over prepared. 

 

How long does it take to do a Sunset Plan™?

The length of time to complete a Sunset Plan™ is different if you are completing the plan as an individual versus a couple. We typically see plans completed in as little as 2.5 hours to 5 hours.

 

Is the Sunset Plan™ done all at once?

Usually no. It tends to be a lot of information to absorb. We offer one-on-one high-touch service that allows it to be done in as little as two meetings up to five or six sessions, depending on the package. Online course do-it-yourself versions could potentially be done in one sitting, but we would not recommend it. This is something that you should allow yourself time to think and reflect on, as well as have conversations with your loved ones. 

 

I have cancer, can I still do a Sunset Plan™?

Absolutely! The time to do a Sunset Plan™ is now! Whether you are healthy or living with an illness, there is no time like the present. Why put off something any longer that most people will put off for years! If I can say so, you will probably find the whole exercise of going through the Sunset Plan™ to be very therapeutic in many ways. It gives you more clarity about what you want and don’t want in life around medical treatments, care options, future living arrangements, and more.  We also provide a lot of education in each session and it is common for people to say “I had no idea so much was involved” or “I never even thought of that!”.  With our backgrounds in various areas, such as cancer care, palliative care, hospice care, long term care, etc. you will find that your Sunset Consultant is very knowledgeable about the landscape and can help to answer questions in many areas. 

 

Is the Sunset Plan™ for Couples done together or separately?

Together. If enrolled in the one-on-one program, both would meet with their Consultant during mutually agreed upon appointment times that meet the scheduling calendars of all parties.

 

Do you offer financial planning also?

No we don’t. During your Sunrise Action Plan™ we complete the Parosol Estate Planning Health Checklist™ which includes identify areas in your Estate (plan) that need addressing. You then have a checkpoint to take back and discuss with your own financial planner, or if you like, we can refer you to one of our affiliate providers. So to answer your question, no we don’t do financial planning. We leave that for our expert financial planner friends.

 

Do you have to be a couple to get the “couples” price?

Technically no. However, you do need to live in the same house together and be the designated caregiver for each other. For example, we have seen this situation where a mother lived with her adult daughter who was single. In that case, both could complete the Sunset Plan™ together, assuming that they would designate the other as one of their caregivers or decision makers.

 

Does the Sunset Consultant come to my home for the consultation?

Usually no. For the Sunrise Action Plan™ and Sunset Plan™, they are always completed over the telephone (or 3-way call/teleconference line), or by using online video conferencing.  Occasionally an arrangement may be made for a home visit or an in-person visit held at one of our partner’s offices. For example, if your appointment was arranged through your Wealth Manager, then the initial appointment may be held at his/her’s workplace, using a boardroom or client consult office. A widow who lives in a retirement home, may require a home visit for the initial visit.  Generally though consultations are done remotely. 

 

How quickly will I receive my hard copy of the Sunset Plan™?

We use express post courier service, so usually it will arrive within a week at the latest, depending on the postal service and your location.

 

Once I create my plan is it final?

The document does not need to be ever final. For example, let’s say that you outlined that you would prefer to live in a certain place when you could no longer properly care for yourself.  If, over time, your decision has changed, then you can update your own booklet by making an annotation on the same page, or using the blank note pages or digital files provided with your Sunset Plan™.  If you find that you have a lot of changes, or require assistance and would like to meet again with a Sunset Consultant. Then we can easily book an Update Consultation, at a discounted rate. 

It is always important to note that if you communicated your original Sunset Plan™ with your loved ones and substitute decision makers, then you should go back to these individuals and update them about your changes so that they are in the loop.

 

I am done my Sunset Plan™. What do I do now?

Now you have your plan, you want to refer to your list that you had created of all the important people in your life. Note: This list goes beyond decision makers. But starting with your decision makers, you want to inform each family member/friend about your wishes and intentions. You can provide each of them with a copy of the booklet (digital or hard copy) if you wish, or at the very least, notify them where they can find a copy quickly if needed.  The important thing is to have conversations and help people to understand your wishes and values around important situations. 

After you have done that, keep the plan in a safe place and be sure to up-date it if your life circumstance changes, or if your values or beliefs change.  Feel free to book an additional Consultation appointment at any time if you wish additional guidance.

 

Why the name Parosol?

The name Parosol is the combination of two latin words.  The first being “Paro” which means Setting, and “sol” which means Sun.  The combination of the two words means “setting sun”, or sunset and we feel the imagery of a setting sun goes nicely with how we are planning for the future time when our own sun will set – the sun representing our life.  The idea we see is that when we are young and vibrant and robust, the sun is at the highest – like an early afternoon bright sun.  As we age the sun begins to go down, until finally the sun sets.

Book Your Complimentary 20-Minute Family Protection Planning Session

We are the RIGHT service for you if…

 

·      You have been procrastinating on this estate stuff, always putting it off for another day, and are finally ready to “get it done”.

·      You value your own life situation and family, and realize that this stuff can’t be avoided, so it is better to address it, rather than do the more comfortable sweep it under the carpet act that you have been doing for years…

·      You are ready and open to talking with a professional who can facilitate the process and simplify it for you - making sure that you don’t forget or leave out any of the important stuff.

·      Your time is too valuable to spend trying to figure out all this stuff by doing online research, and you prefer an expert to easily guide you through it all in 1/16th of the time.

·      You have the financial means to pay upfront for our services.

·      You are over age 16.

 

YES!  I AM DONE PROCRASTINATING ON THIS STUFF! 

BOOK MY CALL!

Still have Questions?

Book a Complimentary 20-Minute Family Protection Planning Session
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.