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Elder Law Report: Should your real estate agent be senior certified?

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I’m Greg McIntyre of McIntyre Elder Law helping seniors protect their assets and legacies. I’m here with Dave Edwards who is a Keller Williams real estate agent and a senior real estate specialist.

Dave, tell us about your background? You weren’t always a real estate agent. You worked for IBM for a time, right?

 

‘Yes, I came out of the corporate world. I spent many years in technology and I have been a manager to real estate agents. My observation of realtors is the best realtors are those who have life experiences, because they’re the ones who can relate to the issues a client is going through. So as a result, I looked at my background in the corporate world and we were joking earlier about what is proper dress in this world? There is an impression of what IBM is. If you were to go into IBM today that impression would be blown away.

When you get into the world of real estate it’s a more casual endeavor and so using what I’ve learned from the corporate world, in terms of formality and negotiation on behalf of clients, really has lent itself well in terms of when we do a job, we do it to the best of our ability and do it professionally. That is the take away from my background.

When I moved over to real estate sixteen years ago, a lot of those marketing skills I had acquired also served me well. Another thing was a desire to serve. Customer service was everything. As a result, that is paramount when dealing with clients, especially in the senior community.’

 

I would say, the younger a person is, the less customer service they expect. With seniors and their families especially, they expect great customer service. I remember going into Belks in Shelby, NC with my mother, the salespeople in the store knew my mother by name. They knew my dad too, so, he would go in there at Christmas. They knew my mom’s size and her tastes and would help him pick things out for her for Christmas. That’s how customer service used to be. I believe that kind of quality is coming back around. I miss great customer service, but you rarely find it anymore. I think that’s what seniors expect and that’s the kind of customer service you bring, because you know seniors and that market.

 

My job is to be familiar with communities, but my business is about people. I may get my business to know and be familiar with communities so I can help clients make choices, but ultimately it’s about the people and about asking questions and listening, because what’s good for one senior, may not be good for another. There’s no one shoe that fits all.

In today’s market you hear a lot about active adults. It has as much to do with marketing as it does with the reality that as we get older, we’re actually younger than our parents were at the same age. We truly are, we are truly active. Things like that become ingrained in the requirements some people look for in a house. Is there tennis or swimming? Location in relation to outdoor sports and activities all become important. If I don’t ask questions, I don’t get answers.’

 

 

Does it have sidewalks for instance?

 

Many people are looking for family friendly communities and one of the intangibles I ask people to look at is sidewalks. Sidewalks bring people out. That’s how you meet your neighbors. It’s sometimes those subtle things. By asking the right questions we can focus on what people want.’

 

As an elder law attorney I’ve worked with real estate agents, bankers, financial planners, funeral home directors, I make these connections to benefit my clients. I imagine having a senior real estate specialist working with a senior to help sell their home is a huge bonus. You have all these connections. Someone might be selling a larger home and moving to a senior community and you can help with the transition.

 

Think of it this way, we spend a life time moving from one house to the next, through raising a family in that house perhaps and then we’re faced, maybe for the first time with making a transition to a smaller house. We’ve accumulated all these belongings that for many have strong emotional attachments. It’s hard to let go of that. So, a service, such as a transitional service helps people to decide what to do. There is a logical approach that people can take and there are services that cut to the quick about how you do that in pragmatic fashion and cuts through the emotion of doing so.

There are issues like legal issues where you come in to play. If for example it’s a home for the long term, what about family? Do I want it in a trust, do I want them on the deed? Those are issues you can sort out. As a connector, If I’m asking the right questions, these questions and concerns will rise to the top and then they can make those connections.

If you’re moving to this area, you are not going to know Greg McIntyre or the transition team, or a financial planner, or a mortgage lender, or a reverse mortgage lender. You want to know, is that the right option? These are some of the questions that need to be asked and answered. That’s what my job is as a connector.

 

You not only sell the house and help with the transition during that time, you also connect them with these other services associated with that transition. How important is that? Because there are all sorts of things to consider when buying a home, especially with ageing in place in mind, such as heights of counter tops for wheelchair accessibility, or roll in showers if needed.

 

‘I’ve recently looked at some stats of communities that identify themselves in the MLS as 55 plus in the Charlotte region. We have 35 communities. Now, we have an average of 50 people moving each day to the Mecklenburg County. That’s the net migration into that area. That being the case you can imagine families that fall in that senior market. That’s a lot of people and demand for senior housing. That’s why rentals are high and why inventory is as low as it’s been in a long time.

When you look specifically at housing that’s appropriate for those who classify themselves as seniors, you’re looking at a small amount of inventory. Now, if I go in, assuming one of the criteria is a master bedroom downstairs, that will often take us outside the active adult community. That’s okay, a house is not a home until it meets the needs of those clients.

So, are the doorways wide enough, are there transition strips down, or handle bars in the showers? But a lot of times, what is most important is maintaining independence in our lifestyle.’

 

So, who is your perfect client?

 

Our perfect client is someone where retirement is in the conversation. That retirement could be on the distance horizon or could already be happening. A lot of active adults are semi-retired and have a second career. Also, where someone has a larger home and needs to downsize, or looking to relocate closer to family, that person would be a good client because I can help them with services that might be needed in the situation. Also, the concerned children of seniors might be part of that conversation and want to be involved on behalf of their parents.’ 

 

If you need to talk with Dave, his number is, 704-907-7989, or email him at dave@welcomehomenc.com

704-259-7040 Shelby Office

704-998-5800 Charlotte Office

Greg McIntyre

greg@mcelderlaw.com

Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law

There is a Storm coming… Are you prepared?

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Elder Law Report

There is a Storm coming…

Are you prepared?

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The Veteran’s Administration pension laws (published September 18th 2018) are changing.

How will these changes affect you?

I’m Greg McIntyre of McIntyre Elder Law. The changes I’m talking about involve pensions for veterans, the spouse of a veteran, or the spouse of a deceased veteran. The maximum benefit in these pensions is up to $34,000 US dollars and the changes go in to affect October 18th 2018.

Right now, the rule of thumb on assets you can keep (when applying for veteran’s pension) is $80,000. If you apply after October 18th, then you can keep $123,600 dollars. This is the community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) for veteran’s pension benefits.

While that sounds good, there is another change that affects it, and this is the big deal.

PhotoBesides the increase in the money you can keep, there will be a 3 year look back period. This is for the transfer of assets under the VA rules. That doesn’t mean you can’t plan. The unique opportunity right now is you can still protect assets without a look back period before October 18th. Yet, if you apply after October 18th, you get to take advantage of the higher CSRA of $123,600.

So, if you comply with the rules to protect assets before October 18th, and then apply it after October 18th to take advantage of the CSRA to $123,600, you take advantage of the best of both worlds.

Planning options are still going to be there. Qualification will still be there, but the rules are changing. I’ll be honest with you, these new rules will be a good thing for attorneys because it will be harder for someone who is not an attorney to plan under these rules. The new rules will be tougher and require more legal advice.

Summary of the rule changes.

1 The look back period. This is a huge change. To deal with this, you want to plan. Get your life estate/Ladybird deeds in place to protect your property, and place assets in an irrevocable asset protection trust.

2 The assets you can keep. This is increasing from $80,000 to $123,600.

3 There will be limitations on using annuities in veteran’s planning.

Let us know if you or a loved one is handling or appealing a veteran’s service related disability claim and we will take care of you. There are no fees for those appointments and we don’t recover unless you recover.

We are also processing applications for veteran’s service connected disability now. You can call the numbers below to begin the process or learn more.

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704-259-7040 Shelby Office

704-998-5800 Charlotte Office

Greg McIntyre

greg@mcelderlaw.com

Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150

704–259–7040

The Elephant in the Room

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We all hear statistics like 70% of seniors over 65 today will need long term care during their lifetime. However, the vast majority of families do not discuss their estate plans with one another. The discussion of estate planning can be taboo and stem from long-held cultural beliefs. My parents have always been extremely private about money matters and certainly about their estate plan.

Valid Reasons for Privacy: Parents have many reasons for not discussing their assets or estate plans with their children. They may not trust their children and may not want to reveal the assets they have. They may not want to show their Wills and cause any controversy within the family. While these are all valid reasons, families can still suffer losses of wealth by ignoring the elephant(s) in the room such as:
• Long Term Care spending down assets and ultimately costing the home.
• Passing away without a will and having the State pass property other than what may have been intended.
• Failing to take advantage of benefits such as Veterans Pension of which they are unaware.

How to broach the subject? A parent, child or other family member could simply dive right into the matter by bringing up the subject of estate planning and asset preservation. This could be easier said than done, however, depending on the family culture and taboo nature of this subject. However, sometimes the medicine doesn’t taste great but needs to be taken anyway. This is often the case with estate planning, elder law and asset preservation. Perhaps on a holiday when the family is all together the discussion could more easily be had.

In my practice I found that getting families to open up about estate planning is sometimes hard. To remedy this I wrote a book on different aspects of estate planning and aging in America to assist seniors and their families. “Saving the Farm” could be a great gift and way to start a family member in your life thinking about saving their hard earned money and property. Available on Amazon or at: mcelderlaw.com/savingthefarm.

 

Greg McIntyre

greg@mcelderlaw.com

Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150

704–259–7040

How to plan for a Long-Term Care event and How to Pay For it?

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Is there a chance Medicaid will pay for a long-term care event?

Yes.

But how do you qualify?

People think they must spend down everything to qualify for Medicaid.

Will I lose my house?

First, Medicaid Crisis Planning, (Long Term Care Crisis Planning).

I see this all the time. A spouse says, ‘My wife and I have spent our entire married life saving for retirement and now she’s in a nursing home and it’s taken everything we have.’

Protecting the house is many peoples main concern because it’s their major asset.

One of the ways to protect the house is with a Ladybird Deed.

A Ladybird Deed not only protects your house, it allows you to stay in control of your property for the rest of your life.

Then, when you and your spouse have passed on, that deed can be directed to your children.

The Medicaid look back period.

A Ladybird Deed is a beautiful thing because it protects your house immediately. Then there is no look back period for Medicaid to come in and pay for long term care.

With a Ladybird Deed in place, you could apply for Medicaid directly after putting that protective deed on your property and it will save it. Medicaid knows they cannot go back and take your house, ever.

But don’t you have to spend down below two thousand dollars?   

That’s true if there is nursing home or assisted living care. However, if there is a spouse, you can protect most of the money immediately, if you know how.

There are multiple strategies to protect as close to one hundred percent of your money.

Don’t just throw your money away or spend it down. If you do, it’s gone.

You’ve worked your whole life for that money and paid taxes on it.

If your spouse needs care, you don’t want to lose everything to pay for it.

We can also save other properties you own and you may still qualify for long term care or special assistance Medicaid.

Don’t feel hopeless.

Many people tell me they feel hopeless. They believe they will lose everything, but we can change that.

When you leave a consultation with me, you will feel empowered. You will know how to pay for nursing home or assisted living care, and how to save your house and retirement.

We can talk about protecting your assets ahead of time with a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust or Deed Planning.

This involves writing your Will or insurance policy and setting up trusts to pass things outside the estate.

We’ll talk about:

  • Using a Ladybird Deed versus Life Estate Deed versus a Trust.
  • Avoiding Probate (with Medicaid liens attached) when the Will passes the house.
  • When there is no Will.

An enormous amount of money is lost every day in North Carolina because of a lack of estate planning or knowing who to talk to.

If you’ve worked your whole life to pay for your home, you should be able to use a Ladybird Deed and not have your house sold to satisfy a Medicaid Lien.

There are many ways under the law and rules of Medicaid Planning to protect or pass down money and property for yourself and your family.

We even have a form whereby you can pass automobiles, mobile homes, anything with a DMV title on it outside the Probate estate. It is a North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles form. The form number is MVR 620, and it’s called the Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship Affidavit.

If you have a bank account or car with Joint Tenants Rights of Survivorship, when you pass away, the money in the bank account or the car becomes theirs.

You may be a co-owner with your spouse, but are you a Joint Tenant with Rights of Survivorship owner on a DMV title of a car or RV? To be a Joint Tenant with Rights of Survivorship you must fill out this form.

To determine what you need and your situation, we must talk. Many millions have been saved for the citizens of North Carolina using the protections here.

My goal at McIntyre Elder Law is to empower you and your family and revolutionize your concepts of elder law.

I’m Greg McIntyre. If you have questions about elder law, please call our number below.

704-259-7040

Or go to mcelderlaw.com/MCP and fill out the pre-qualification forms.

 

Greg McIntyre

greg@mcelderlaw.com

Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150

704–259–7040

What is the most important document you can have

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General Durable Power of Attorney

This allows someone else to function as you during your life to make legal and financial decisions.
You are literally handing them the keys to your kingdom. They can transfer your house or protect it with a deed, engage in Deed Planning, or transfer, buy, sell property for you. They also can operate your bank, investment and retirement accounts as if they were you.

But people say all the time, ‘That’s okay, I’m a beneficiary on that.’ Think about this. A beneficiary on a life insurance policy has zero access to the policy itself. The beneficiary cannot call up and change the policy. It is the same for an IRA, (Individual Retirement Account). By definition, it’s an individual account, not a joint account. The beneficiary has no rights to operate that account at all.

Why so important? With a General Durable Power of Attorney, when someone passes away, it ceases to exist. You can’t go to the bank and operate the bank or retirement accounts. So what document picks up?

The Will. The Will names an executor, (hopefully several), but not co-executors. If I wanted my wife to handle it, but she couldn’t for whatever reason, then another trusted individual, perhaps my son would be my secondary executor. I may even have a third.

Some Power of Attorney documents do not allow the Attorney in Fact to gift or move money to themselves. That could handcuff your spouse from activating a benefit or planning properly if you were incapacitated and needing long term care. That would force a spend down.

 

Will

With a Will, you also want substitutes for the executor, a person you trust to execute the Will under the Clerk of the court.

The courts make sure the executor carries out your wishes and the money and property are distributed according to your wishes.

The danger:
– Wills only have power when someone passes away. To access accounts, you must probate the Will, and apply the letters of probate to be named in the executor.

– People rely on Wills to pass property. If they need long term care, that could necessitate Medicaid paying for it. In that case, Medicaid liens attach during probate and force the sale of the home.
That is how people lose their money and property.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A Healthcare Power of Attorney needs a HIPPA designation allowing your appointee to handle your healthcare.
They should be able to:
– Pull your medical records
– Transfer them from place to place
– Do whatever you can do with regards your healthcare, including life or death, long term care and pain management decisions for you.

Again, have substitutes to replace the primary if they cannot fulfill the position.
Why should you have a Healthcare Power of Attorney?
The Attorney in Fact must be capable of making the right decisions at the right time for the benefit of you. This way, there aren’t multiple voices giving opinions. It’s easier for healthcare providers to do their job consistently and with continuity of care if there’s only one voice to listen to. Otherwise they may have to choose between differing opinions of a brother and sister.

Living Will

A Living Will, (The Declaration for a Desire for a Natural Death) should clearly communicate with the Healthcare Power of Attorney.
The Healthcare Power of Attorney should state, if there is conflict between your Living Will and what the designated Attorney in Fact says, the human element should win. The document should say that to avoid conflict.

Concerns:
– There are some fill in the blanks Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Wills, but I don’t recommend them. When you’re appointing someone to manage your life and death decisions, take time to carefully draft that document. Don’t leave blanks open to be filled in by anyone.
– Many religions have specific guidelines about end of life events. You don’t want conflict here either.

Example: A Catholic Living Will should be written differently than a generic Living Will. You want the eucharist and last rites performed. You also want it clear when to with-hold live saving procedures and why, so to avoid complications with suicide.
By drafting these documents individually, you consider who the person is and their beliefs.
I believe a General Durable Power of Attorney is the must have while you’re alive, but I suggest having all four foundational documents in place.

 

Greg McIntyre

greg@mcelderlaw.com

Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150

704–259–7040

Elder Law Report Unplugged – VFW Post 4066

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Elder Law Report Unplugged -Today we did a tour at the VFW Post 4066 in Shelby, NC with Commander Gene Ramsey. Their mission is to promote community involvement, communication and financial support to qualified military service members and others in the community. WHAT A GREAT ORGANIZATION TO BE APART OF!

If you’d like to donate to some of these great causes please write a check a out to VFW Post 4066 and send it to 855 W Sumter St
Shelby, North Carolina.

#theelderlawguy #lawyergreg #savingthefarm #hometownheroes #estateplanning #vetbens #medicaidcrisisplanning #assetprotection

Elder Law Report Unplugged: The Elephant in the room.

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LEARN MORE: www.mcelderlaw.com/estateplanning/

Elder Law Report Unplugged: The Elephant in the room. Vast majority of families do not discuss their estate plans with one another. Here’s how to broach the subject. LEARN MORE: www.mcelderlaw.com/estateplanning/

#theelderlawguy #lawyergreg #savingthefarm #assetprotection #estateplanning #hometownheroes #vetbens #medicaidcrisisplanning

Elephant In The Room

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LEARN MORE:https://mcelderlaw.com/savingthefarm/

Working on a newspaper article called “The Elephant in the Room”… How do you discuss estate planning, asset protection with Parent’s? Could just dive right in? Could give them a copy of my book, “Saving the Farm”, to get the conversation started. LEARN MORE:https://mcelderlaw.com/savingthefarm/

#theelderlawguy #lawyergreg #savingthefarm #hometownheroes#estateplanning #vetbens #medicaidcrisisplanning #assetprotection

Podcast

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Stoked! We have 40+k listeners on our podcast. Thank you to everyone out there listening.

Elder Law Report Unplugged – Special Guest Kenny Rogers

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Elder Law Report Unplugged – We had special guest, Kenny Rogers a.k.a Tim Sells, this morning on the Elder Law Report Unplugged. Tim talks about how he became Kenny Rogers and all of adventures and travel that becoming Nearly Kenny has provided for Mr. Sells. What an awesome show!

#theelderlawguy #lawyergreg #savingthefarm #hometownheroes #estateplanning #vetbens #medicaidcrisisplanning #assetprotection

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