seenon

Blog

Home » Blog

The Season for Thanks And (Efficient) Giving

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

The holiday season brings many of us an annual reminder to share our love, our cooking, and our gifts with those around us.  I have been thinking specifically about what it means to give gifts during this time of year because of the unique position my role as an attorney provides for me to witness the power of giving on a daily basis. 

I see it when parents come in and do the hard work of planning ahead for future medical and financial decisions so that their children aren’t challenged with handling future crisis situations on their own.  I see it when someone comes in to take on the task of seeking guardianship for a parent that needs help with managing their affairs and receiving care later in life.  I see it when an individual takes the time to set up estate planning documents that benefit a charitable cause that they are passionate about.  I simply see continuous examples of how giving our clients can be and how powerful that giving is. 

I am also reflecting on what role we as attorneys have in that giving process.  There is a school of thought that I like to reference called efficient giving.  It typically refers to what is the most efficient way to donate your money to charitable organizations.  Some organizations believe that their charitable goals are best met if the donations they receive are used in broader ways, such as a focus on marketing to get new donors and grow their total number of gifts that they receive.  On the other side of that coin are organizations that focus on maintaining as little overhead costs as possible so that they maximize the extent to which every donation they receive goes directly to the cause that they are supporting. 

I bring this up not to argue for one position over the other, but to argue for the idea of efficient giving itself when it comes to caring for those that mean the most to you and how our firm fits into that ideal.

I see how our firm plays an important role in making sure that your giving is efficient.  We study these areas intensely and always look to better ourselves in this practice so that when you turn to us for help in giving to those that you care about, we know how to get you to your goal in the best possible way.  When documents are done poorly, when cases are handled incorrectly, or when actions are taken without the right advice it can be a recipe for a very inefficient way for you to give to your loved ones. 

Being in a position to minimize the stressful nature of these situations and allow you to efficiently give is something that I am proud of.  And you should be proud too, because the gift that you give by stepping up to difficult conversations and hard tasks for the benefit of someone that you care deeply about leaves a legacy that keeps on giving.  As we move towards a new year, this being my first with the team here at McIntyre Elder Law, I am rejuvenated knowing that our work at this firm carries on the ideals of giving and helping others to give.  If there is something in your life that comes to your mind as you read this, a gift that remains undelivered, we are here to work with you to achieve that.  Our goal is to make your gift to a loved one in the most efficient way possible, so that you get to give yourself less stress and peace of mind.

Schedule Free Consult

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULT

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Jake Edwards

Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

mcelderlaw.com

Hendersonville Office

136 S. King St. Hendersonville, NC 28792

828-233-5991

How do I Qualify My Loved One for Nursing Home Medicaid in NC?

in Articles, Attorney Advisor Series by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Don’t worry… We can help.

   So, you’re one of the few people who understand that 70% of individuals over 65 will need long-term care. You also understand that figure to mean that you have a 70% chance of paying tens of thousands of dollars a month in long-term care. Lastly, you’re someone who’s worked hard their whole lives and you don’t want to see everything you worked hard for go to some facility. Thus, you know that you should plan to use Medicaid to pay for long-term care. The only issue is, how do you qualify?

            Before we talk about qualification, let’s clear the air. First, Medicaid is a system that you’ve contributed to your whole life. It’s not assistance, it’s reimbursement.  Second, those who have Medicaid pay for their long-term care are not forced to some “Medicaid facility.” That’s a myth.

            Now that we’ve cleared the air, lets talk assets. Take stock of your assets and break them down into the following categories: 1. Financial Assets e.g. cash, accounts, investments; 2. Real property; 3. Titled personal property; and 4. Other miscellaneous assets e.g. businesses and business equipment. The following rules apply to those categories:

 Finances or financial assets (not counting income unreceived) is considered to be a countable asset for Medicaid purposes. This means that it is an available resource that Medicaid would “count against” the applicant.

            Real Property: Real property is generally considered to be a countable asset except for the following: a. the personal residence (where the applicant intends to remain or intends to return) ; b. life estate interests; and c. tenants in common interests, also known as a less than 100% interest in property.

            Business interests: Businesses are countable assets; however, the working capital, inventory, and equipment do not count. Thus, the business’s value is what is countable.

            Personal Items: personal items are generally not countable unless they are a titled asset, or they are some sort of currency or currency equivalent like gold or silver. With respect to titled assets, an applicant and spouse is allowed to own ONE vehicle. 

Note that the applicant can only have up to $2,000.00 worth of countable assets in their name. The applicant’s spouse can only have up to roughly $126,800.00 worth of countable assets in their name.

So, what can you do if you’re over the threshold? The answer is: it depends. It’s different depending on whether you’re in a crisis i.e. need care immediately or if you’re pre-planning. If you’re pre-planning you have many options. Some of those options may be trusts or certain deed work that can exempt your property from being considered a countable asset.

If you’re in a crisis situation, then the plan is a little different. There are many options that you can use spend-down the countable assets while preserving the value. If you have questions about Medicaid Qualification, call the experienced attorneys at McIntyre Elder Law (704) 259-7040.

Schedule Free Consult

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULT

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Brenton S. Begley
Elder Law Attorney

Regards,

Brenton S. Begley

Elder Law Attorney

McIntyre Elder Law

“We help seniors maintain their lifestyle and preserve their legacies.”

www.mcelderlaw.com

Phone: 704-259-7040

Back To Your Roots

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Sometimes you have to go back to your roots to move forward. We stand on the shoulders of our parents, our grandparents. Soon, we will be the roots. Let us help you build a firm foundation and plan at McIntyre Elder Law. Visit us today: mcelderlaw.com.

Schedule Free Consult

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULT

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

How can I be HURT by simply NOT KNOWING?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Knowledge is power in a legal maze of changing rules and laws. From taxes to changes in the law regarding long term care benefits. Stay INFORMED! Learn what you NEED TO KNOW to protect your children and grandchildren. Leave a legacy of life long learning. Signup for the FREE Elder Law Report eNewsletter TODAY! SIGN UP NOW!: http://mcelderlaw.com/signup-newsletter/

SIGN UP TODAY!!!

Adult Guardianship: What is it and when is it needed?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Guardianship over a loved one can be tough but needed.

Overview

Guardianship is a legal process that involves the adjudication of an allegedly incompetent person and the appointment of a Guardian over that person. In other words, a court makes a determination, based on the evidence presented, as to whether a person is incapable of making important decisions concerning their own personal welfare and/or financial resources. Once a person is adjudicated incompetent, a suitable candidate is often presented to the court to determine their eligibility to act as guardian and whether they can faithfully execute and manage the many responsibilities that come along with being a guardian.

Once deemed incompetent, the individual is commonly referred to as the “ward.” A close family member that is both eligible and willing, may be appointed guardian over the ward’s person, estate, or both. Note that guardianship is not to be used as an attempt to control an individual’s behavior. It is most appropriate where there are no other simpler alternatives available, such as pre-existing General Durable or Healthcare Power of Attorney documents. The overall purpose of guardianship is to appoint a guardian to help an individual exercise their rights.

Incompetence

How do you know if someone is incompetent?  Ultimately, the answer to that question lies with the court.  However, there are numerous considerations that can be taken into account.

Pertinent questions include:

  • Whether the individual can understand and participate in regular conversations?
  • Whether they make decisions related to household chores, following a daily schedule, using a bank, or shopping at a store?
  • Do they understand and can they communicate their healthcare choices and follow medication instructions?
  • Can they pay their own bills and manage their own finances?
  • Are they subject to financial exploitation by others?
  • Can they recognize danger and seek shelter as needed?
  • Is the person able to eat and drink independently?
  • Is the person able to maintain their own personal hygiene?

Note that this list is not comprehensive, but it serves a logical purpose. Every guardianship involves a review of an allegedly incompetent person’s mental and physical condition. The primary focus is on their ability to be responsible for their own personal and financial welfare.

Appointment

Once a person is adjudicated incompetent by a court, the next step is to determine who will be appointed as guardian.  As previously mentioned, there are several ways that can happen. The court will seek to appoint a suitable candidate in every guardianship proceeding. A suitable candidate may be appointed as a “Guardian of the Person,” or GOP for short. A GOP is appointed for the sole purpose of performing duties related to the care, custody, and control of the ward. A “Guardian of the Estate,” or GOE, is appointed to manage the property, estate, and business affairs of a ward. A “General Guardian” is defined under the relevant statute as a guardian of both the estate and the person. In some situations, a limited guardian is appointed allowing the ward to retain certain legal rights and privileges, dependent upon the nature and extent of the ward’s capacity to make and communicate decisions related to their personal and financial welfare.

A guardian candidate’s suitability really hinges on their ability to make knowledgeable, informed decisions about the ward’s personal welfare and/or their income and property. Additionally, the court will consider the proximity of the proposed guardian candidate to the ward. It is preferred that a guardian be local to the ward’s area and available to the ward when needed. Be mindful that the court does not always appoint a family member as guardian. For example, the court, in considering the best interest of the ward, may appoint a third-party attorney to handle a ward’s financial matters where there is no other suitable candidate. Ultimately, the decision rests with the court.

Here at McIntyre Elder Law, we regularly help families decide whether guardianship is the best answer. Once confirmed, the need for guardianship becomes a legal process handled by our professional team. If you believe that guardianship may be in order or if you have concerns about a loved one’s competency and ability to handle and manage their own affairs, please call (704) 259-7040 to schedule your free consultation today.

Schedule Free Consult

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULT

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Therron Causey

Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

704-749-9244

therron@mcelderlaw.com

mcelderlaw.com

How Can I Afford Estate Planning?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

How Can I Afford Estate Planning?

Anyone can afford estate planning. We have clients from all walks of like and we have trained checkout personnel that will work with you to help you achieve your goals and plan.

Schedule Free Consult

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULT

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

What did you forget to do???

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

What did you forget to do???

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULT

Schedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

When Mail Order Brides Go Bad:

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

I understand that the title of this article implies that some experiences with mail order brides go “go right.” That may be a leap, given the inherit pitfalls of post-office-initiated love. However, I am sure some folks have success on the retail side of courtship. And just like any bad relationship, the ones that go bad, go really bad. To demonstrate just how bad, let’s look at the legal implications.

            By the way, mail order relationships aren’t the kind of relationship we elder law attorneys really care about, but they are the quintessential example of a perfect storm that can destroy a relationship and an estate plan. I say perfect storm because the mail-ordered variety of matrimony is typically rushed into by both parties. Such a relationship predicated on desperation (for citizenship or companionship) lacks something very important: a plan. This is my argument for the consideration of a prenuptial agreement.

Should I have a Plan Before Marriage?

            Love is blind. That’s something you’ve probably heard before. But it’s just not true. Let’s go ahead and relegate that sort of shortsighted thinking to the Lifetime movie it belongs to. Love can see and folks can lovingly plan for the future when love may not be a factor in the relationship any longer.

            It’s crazy that people will spend time, money, and sleepless nights putting together an estate plan (it’s much easier if McIntyre Elder Law is doing it) but they just don’t plan for the possibility of divorce—which, by the way, should be a consideration in your estate plan. What makes it even crazier, is that the likelihood that any one couple will divorce is super high. Planning for the possibility of future separation is not a statement of lack of trust or an attack on the character of either party. Rather, it’s a prudent understanding of the fact that stuff happens, and people can change.

What If I Fail to Plan and Get Divorced?

            Other than mail order bride situations, the arrangement that scares me the most (as an elder law attorney) is second, third, or fourth marriages. Many subsequent marriages take place between two people who already have their own children, their own assets, and their own estate plan. Because marriage—assuming there is no prenuptial agreement—gives either spouse inherit rights, a separation of the couple or death of one of the spouses can lead to straight up disaster.

            Let’s look at an example: Bob and Shirley. Bob has 6 kids and Shirley has 2. Bob’s previous wife died and left Bob everything she owned. Shirley’s ex-husband gave her more than 50% of the marital assets in their divorce. Bob and Shirley, despite being in their twilight years, find each other and the connection is instant. They decide to marry without ever consulting an attorney. After a brief honeymoon, Bob and Shirley realize that they never really got to know each other and, now that they have, it’s awful. Bob snores and Shirley chews with her mouth open. Due to those irreconcilable character flaws, they decide to split up. However, for his trouble, Bob wants to get a piece of Shirley’s big ‘ol retirement account and after a messy divorce, Bob gets his wish. Both Shirley and her two kids are angry and lose faith in love forever.

            Alternatively, let’s say Bob and Shirley get married and Bob dies on the honeymoon (don’t worry he’s not real). They’ve known each other all of 10 days so Susan is devastated but moves on quickly. She probates his estate and recovers her marital share. This time, it’s Bob’s kids that are mad because this lady they haven’t ever met just robbed them of their inheritance.

            I could pretty much drop the mic at this point. However, let me just say once again that if you’re planning on getting married, especially a subsequent marriage, talk to an attorney first. I promise, it will be easier than getting a bride through the mail.

            If you have questions about prenuptial agreements or generally want to be talked out of ordering a mail order bride, call McIntyre Elder Law at (704) 259-7040.

Schedule Free Consult

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULT

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Brenton S. Begley
Elder Law Attorney

Regards,

Brenton S. Begley

Elder Law Attorney

McIntyre Elder Law

“We help seniors maintain their lifestyle and preserve their legacies.”

www.mcelderlaw.com

Phone: 704-259-7040

How to Kill a Trust

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment








How to Kill a Trust

So, your loved one did the right thing. They planned ahead and utilized a trust to pass their assets safely and efficiently. You know enough about trusts to know that you don’t need to go through probate. However, what do you need to do?

Distribution of Assets

            The trustee needs to distribute the assets of the trust based on the terms set forth in the trust. How that’s done depends on the type of asset being distributed. Cash is pretty easy: the trustee writes a check. Same with non-titled personal items, the trustee just hands them over and the beneficiary signs a receipt. However, if it’s real property, a deed of distribution must be drafted allowing the trustee to distribute hat asset out of the. trust and to the rightful beneficiaries.

            IRAs and other retirement accounts can be kind of funky as well. IRAs, if left to the trust, may be inherited directly with immediate tax consequences or they can be paid out to the beneficiaries pursuant to a mandated schedule, which would spread out the tax burden over at least 10 years.

 The point is, how assets will be distributed directly depends on the type of assets in the trust.

Property to Stay in Trust

How property in a trust will be distributed also depends on the terms of the trust document. Some trusts are set up to keep assets in trust for the benefit of generations to come. These trusts may outlive generations of successor trustees and last for many years. If the trust to which you’ve been appointed trustee is one of these “legacy trusts”, then your job is straightforward. Follow the terms as set forth in the trust document.

Notwithstanding the straightforward-ness of the job, the “how” may still be illusory. For example, the trust may direct—as many. Trusts do—the trustee to pay out money for the health, maintenance, and support of the beneficiaries. What does that mean? If you’re not a lawyer or otherwise familiar with trusts, you could have hundreds of questions like this.

Thus, upon the death of the trust maker, you should seek advice as to the left and right parameters of your discretion as a trustee.

Everything is Out: What Now?

            Once everything has been distributed out of the trust, it time to dissolve it. This is a step that many folks miss. The trust will have a tax identification number. It may also have accountings, bank accounts etc. The tax ID number should be canceled, the bank accounts should be closed down, and the accountings should be finalized.             

Conclusion

Having a trust avoids the. headache and perils of probate. However, it still must be administered and dissolved correctly. If. You have questions about trusts, give the experienced attorneys at McIntyre Elder Law a call at (704)-259-7040.

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULTSchedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Brenton S. Begley
Elder Law Attorney

Regards,

Brenton S. Begley

Elder Law Attorney

McIntyre Elder Law

“We help seniors maintain their lifestyle and preserve their legacies.”

www.mcelderlaw.com

Phone: 704-259-7040








ADMISSION INTO A NURSING HOME: What am I signing?

in Articles, Attorney Advisor Series by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment








Under Federal law and the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, virtually all nursing facilities nationwide must meet specific requirements and adhere to certain standards. Most importantly, federal law prohibits these facilities from requiring financial guarantees from third party individuals.  In other words, a facility cannot require a resident’s family member to sign or co-sign an agreement to take on financial liability incurred by the resident. Nonetheless, there is a long history of facilities using admission agreements that do just that.

As a condition of admission, family members and friends of prospective residents are often given admission agreements, and then instructed to sign those admission agreements. Sadly, a resident’s family members and friends often have no realistic opportunity to understand or to even read the admission agreements before signing them. Facilities have been known to then use those guarantees to pressure a family member or friend into paying bills for which the family member or friend should not be responsible. 

Many facilities use forms that are confusing and deceptive, even to some attorneys. For example, many facilities will use express language disclaiming any notion that the agreement operates as a third-party guaranty, only to turn around and enforce the agreement as such.  One of the most common strategies employed by nursing facilities today include the use of admission agreements that obligate a “responsible party” or “financial legal representative” to use the resident’s money to pay medical expenses. Then, if the resident incurs a large bill prior to death or if the resident’s bills remain unpaid, the facility will bring suit against the third-party representative in an attempt to hold them personally liable. Lawsuits such as these are not only questionable from a professional and ethical perspective, but also conflict with the general rule that duly appointed agents are not liable for the debts of a principal.

In sum, be aware of ambiguous language and terms within a nursing home contract. Does the contract serve to admit the resident into the facility and detail the care and services provided?  Or, does it attempt to impose a legal duty on a family member unlawfully? Does it appear to do both? If it’s not obvious what the contract does, you should be hesitant to sign. A credible facility will be considerate of the family’s need to understand the operative language. Pertinent federal law includes but is not limited to: 42 C.F.R § 483.15(a)(3), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1395i-3 (c)(5)(A)(ii) and 1396 r(c)(5)(A)(2).

Here at McIntyre Elder Law, we regularly assist individuals and their family members with navigating placement of their loved ones in a long-term care situation. If you or your family have been the target of a lawsuit under similar circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact our professional team. Our mission is to help seniors maintain their assets and preserve their legacies.

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULTSchedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Therron Causey

Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

704-749-9244

therron@mcelderlaw.com

mcelderlaw.com








Page 1 of 73
1 2 3 73
Page 1 of 7312345...102030...Last »

Schedule Your Free Consult!

Start
WordPress Image Lightbox