Virtual Interview with Carolyn Brent…How To Deal With A Parent’s Death

Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 15 of the Virtual Blog Tour of author Carolyn A. Brent whose book Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent’s Death launches on Amazon on Tuesday November 15, 2011.

Carolyn is a member of my Pinnacle Mastermind Program and I am beyond impressed with her passion and her mission.

Author Carolyn A. Brent, M.B.A. is a former clinical educational manager in the pharmaceutical industry. She is an avid activist and advocate working with the U.S. Congress for the purpose of creating change to protect seniors and veterans from financial and medical abuse. She has appeared on many local and national TV and radio shows, and is a sought-after keynote speaker.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Carolyn Brent, an amazing woman and powerful member of my Pinnacle Mastermind Program. I was honored to ask her some questions on her story, work and importance of crucial conversation. I hope you enjoy it.

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Allison Maslan: What is your personal story that led you to write this book?

Carolyn A. Brent: Through struggling with the legal, medical, financial, and familial issues that come up when adult children handle such matters poorly (whether due to denial or to strife), I discovered there were no books on what needs to be covered and planned for, written from the perspective of siblings. Siblings have special needs at such times and, ideally, can be of great comfort to one another. I found no books that discussed the ideal scenario of sibling conversations versus the worst-case scenario of no conversations, as well as cases when sibling rivalry and resentment are allowed to interfere with planning and care. My siblings and I are living proof that this can go very, very wrong, leading to no one’s benefit: neither the children’s, nor the parent’s.

The more research I did, the more committed I became to spreading the important message that planning is critical, and families must begin talking to one another as early as possible. For the past few years I’ve traveled across the country giving lectures at churches and to members of organizations with an interest in these issues, and I’ve spoken with numerous family caregivers. I set up CaregiverStory.com to disseminate resources to help family caregivers. I’ve gone on radio and television. I’ve worked to pass new laws in Congress. Now I’ve written Why Wait?

Allison Maslan: What is your work with members of congress to help change legislation?

Carolyn A. Brent: Currently, I am working with both to the United States Congress and State, toward making the Federal Government and State officials responsible for upholding the decisions and elder person have made about the appointment of a financial fiduciary and medical representative, in the event of their disability and protecting those whom they select. My goal in life is to empower caregivers and their family members with knowledge of possible challenges they might face together while caring for an aging parent.

Allison Maslan: Why is it important to have crucial emotional conversations with parents, siblings and other family members?

Carolyn A. Brent: Why Wait? is designed to guide you through a series of crucial conversations with your aging parent (or parents), and with your siblings, so that you and your family will be well prepared for your parent’s end-of-life physical, mental, and emotional challenges and ultimate death.

It is important to have a one-on-one with your parent, as well as in conjunction with your siblings. Siblings also need to be able to communicate well with one another. It is best to begin talking, to resolve relationship conflicts from the past or present, and to make decisions when your parent is healthy and has a sharp mind, so that should an illness, an accident, or another type of emergency occur, you can focus on those acute sudden needs and your relationship. However, a conversation may be even more necessary if you’ve waited and your parent is ailing. When death comes, proper planning and calm, rational, purposeful, honest, well-intentioned conversations can lessen or prevent family conflict.

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I hope you enjoyed this interview with Carolyn A. Brent and that you’ll check out her book Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent’s Death here.

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Allison Maslan

Allison Maslan

Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19.

Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success, and create a more meaningful life. Pinnacle Global Network, a world leader in scaling companies and empowering business leaders has guided thousands of CEO's and Founders to success over the past decade. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company, and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox across the US. She is also the host and producer of The Scale or Fail Show podcast, and the Women Who Own it Podcast in partnership with WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in North America.

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