As I sat by my husband’s bedside, watching him sleep and listening to the sound of his labored breathing, I knew that our time together was coming to an end. We had been married for over 50 years, and we had faced many challenges and overcome many obstacles together. But now, as he lay there, frail and weak, I knew that our journey was coming to a close.
I reached out and took his hand in mine, feeling the warmth and strength that had always been a part of him. I thought back to the days when we were young, full of hope and promise, and I felt a wave of sadness wash over me.
But as I looked into his eyes, I saw the same love and determination that had always been there. He gave me a faint smile, and I knew that he was at peace.
We had done everything we could to prepare for this moment, to make sure that our families were taken care of and that our affairs were in order. We had worked with an elder law attorney to put our estate planning in place, and we had made sure that our children and grandchildren were protected.
And now, as we faced the end, we were able to go in peace, knowing that we had done everything we could to take care of those we loved.
I leaned down and kissed my husband’s forehead, feeling the warmth of his skin against mine. And as I sat there, holding his hand and watching him sleep, I knew that our love had been a force that would carry on long after we were gone.
As the days went by, I watched my husband’s health decline, and I knew that our time together was running out. But I remained by his side, holding his hand and offering him comfort and support.
We talked about the good times we had shared, and we reminisced about our children and grandchildren and the lives they had built. We talked about the dreams we had had and the hopes we had held, and we laughed and cried together.
And as the end drew near, I felt a sense of peace and acceptance. I knew that our time together had been rich and full, and that we had left a lasting impact on those we loved.
On the last day of his life, my husband opened his eyes and looked at me with a smile. He took my hand in his and squeezed it gently, and I knew that he was ready to go.
I leaned down and kissed his forehead, feeling the warmth of his skin against mine. And as I held him in my arms, I felt his body grow still and his breath slow.
I sat with him for a long time, holding him close and feeling the love and connection that had always been between us. And as the sun set on our lives together, I knew that our love had been a force that would carry on long after we were gone.
I left the nursing home that day with a heavy heart, but also with a sense of peace and acceptance. I knew that my husband and I had lived a rich and full life together, and that our love had been a source of strength and inspiration to those around us.
And as I looked to the future, I knew that I would always carry his memory with me, and that his love would be a guiding light in my life.
As I made my way home, I felt a sense of sadness and loss, but also of gratitude and joy. I was grateful for the time I had spent with my husband, and for the memories we had shared.
But I also knew that our love would continue to live on, in the hearts and minds of our children and grandchildren, and in the memories of those who had known us.
I made my way home, feeling a sense of purpose and determination. I knew that I had much to do, to take care of myself and to support my family. And I knew that I had the strength and resilience to do it, thanks to the love and support of my husband and the foundation we had built together.
I spent the next few weeks taking care of my affairs and making sure that everything was in order. I worked with my attorney to update my estate planning documents, and I made sure that my children and grandchildren were taken care of and protected.
And as I went about my tasks, I felt a sense of peace and contentment. I knew that I had done everything I could to take care of those I loved, and that I had built a legacy that would carry on long after I was gone.
As the months and years went by, I continued to live my life to the fullest, cherishing the memories of my husband and the love we had shared. And as I looked back on my life, I knew that I had been blessed with a love that was rare and precious, and that had sustained me through all of life’s challenges.
And as I grew older, I knew that I could face the future with confidence and hope, knowing that my husband’s love would always be with me, guiding me and inspiring me to live a life of purpose and meaning.
Schedule your FREE consultation today: mcelderlaw.com/scheduling or Call: 1-888-999-6600.
Greg McIntyre Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney
Your grandmother made a will years ago. She updated it after all her grandchildren were born. She worked hard and earned a good living and received an inheritance from her late husband. All told, she plans to leave over two million dollars to her children and grandchildren. However, an interloping child (your aunt) convinces your grandmother to leave everything to her and just her. Your grandmother dies and everyone finds out about the will. What can you do?
It’s no secret that you can challenge a will in NC. However, challenging a will, also known as a caveat proceeding, just invalidates a will. It doesn’t provide redress for other harms created by the person who may have unduly influenced the maker of the will (Testator). For that, and other actions that interfere with an inheritance, NC has recognized a cause of action called Malicious and Wrongful Interference with the Making of a Will. The cause of action is considered to be a “tort.” Torts aren’t delicious pastries but legal wrongdoings.
Other than being a mouthful, it may also be a very valuable avenue to seek redress for legal harms done by an offending family member. But the existence of this remedy begs a couple of questions:
What are the elements of Malicious and Wrongful Interference with the Making of a Will? In other words, how do you prove your case?
Must a will caveat be filed prior to seeking any tortious remedy or can the claim be brought independently?
The case law regarding this cause of action in North Carolina is rather sparse—although NC is one of the first states to recognize it. The following are cases dealing with this cause of action.
– Dulin v. Bailey, 90 S.E. 689 (N.C. 1916), recognizing that a cause of action exists where a legal heir was deprived of an inheritance by defendant’s destruction of a will and admission of a previous will to probate.
– Bohannon v. Trust Co., 210 N.C. 679, 188 S.E. 390 (1936), recognizing that there was a cause of action where a legal heir was deprived of inheritance due to the fraudulent inducement of the testator by defendants.
– Griffin v. Baucom, 328 S.E.2d 38 (1985), recognizing that there was a cause of action where a legal heir was deprived of inheritance due to defendant’s undue influence upon the testator.
None of these cases, however, specify how to establish a prima facie claim, much less what the constituent elements of the claim are. Looking at the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 774B Intentional Interference with Inheritance or Gift, it seems to mean any intentionally tortious means.
. . . [T]he liability stated in this Section is limited to cases in which the actor has interfered with the inheritance or gift by means that are independently tortious in character. The usual case is that in which the third person has been induced to make or not to make a bequest or a gift by fraud, duress, defamation or tortious abuse of fiduciary duty, or has forged, altered or suppressed a will or a document making a gift
774B Comment C. “Tortious Means”.
The most explicit statement of the tort comes from Griffin: “if one maliciously interferes with the making of a will, or maliciously induces one by means of undue influence to revoke a will, the party injured can maintain an action against the wrong doer.” Id. at 41. Thus, the elements broken down are: (1) malicious interference; or (2) malicious inducement; or (3) undue influence; (4) that interferes with the making of a will; or (5) causes its revocation.
While the court in Griffin did not define “malicious interference/inducement”, they did define “undue influence”.
Undue influence is stated by the court as follows:
Undue influence is defined as “a fraudulent influence over the mind and will of another to the extent that the professed action is not freely done but is in truth the act of the one who procures the result.” In re Estate of Loftin and Loftin v. Loftin, 285 N.C. 717, 722, 208 S.E.2d 670, 674-75 (1974). There are four general elements of undue influence: (1) a person who is subject to influence; (2) an opportunity to exert undue influence; (3) a disposition to exert undue influence; and (4) a result indicating undue influence. See 25 Am.Jur.2d Duress and Undue Influence § 35, p. 397; see also Curl v. Key, 64 N.C.App. 139, 306 S.E.2d 818 (1983), rev’d on other grounds, 311 N.C. 259, 316 S.E.2d 272 (1984).
Malicious Interference/ Inducement
The basis of the original claim for wrongful interference with the making of a will emerged from precedent recognizing a cause of action for malicious interference with a contract.
“The recognition by the courts, both in England and in this country, of the right of action to the party injured by reason of the malicious and wrongful interference by third persons with contract rights is well settled.” Bohannon v. Trust Co., 210 N.C. 679, quoting Lewis v. Bloede, 202 Fed. Rep., 7 (15, 16, 17). Considering that the justification of the emergence of the claim for wrongful interference with the making of a will is based on this state’s courts long recognition of the claim for malicious interference with a contract, we can draw the definition of “malicious inducement” from such cases.
In Childress v. Ables, in examining a claim for tortious interference of contract, the court lays out the definition of tortious interference in general. “Claims for tortious interference are justified by the ‘overwhelming authority’ allowing for recovery against ‘an outsider who knowingly, intentionally, and unjustifiably induces one party to a contract to breach it to the damage of the other party.’” Childress v. Abeles, 240 N.C. 667, 674, 84 S.E.2d 176, 181 (1954) (emphasis added) (citations omitted). We can therefore, assume the same definition applies to tortious interference of the making of a will.
Thus “malicious inducement” for our purposes can be said to be defined as knowing, intentional, and unjustifiable inducement. Likewise, malicious interference can be defined as knowing, intentional, and malicious interference.
Appropriate Filing of Action
Because of a caveat proceeding’s limited scope, a claim for tortious interference can be made independent of a will caveat where the caveat proceeding would not provide an adequate remedy. Fink v. Middleton, No. COA16-630 (N.C. App. Dec. 30, 2016).
In Middleton, the court found that the sister had standing to challenge inter vivos conveyances because the caveat proceeding would not have provided the sister with adequate relief i.e., it would only allow her to set aside the will but not recover the assets she claimed should have been part of the estate but for her brother’s wrongful conduct.
This standard holds true even if a will caveat has already been filed. In Shoaf, the aggrieved heirs sought compensatory and punitive damages for conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and constructive fraud by filing a lawsuit against the grandson who allegedly had improperly influenced the testator. Id. Unlike Middleton, the caveat associated with the decedent’s estate in Shoaf was filed prior to the initiation of the Superior Court action. Nonetheless, the Court of Appeals held the action did not constitute an impermissible collateral attack on the validity of the decedent’s will. Shoaf v. Shoaf, 219 N.C. App. 471, 727 S.E.2d 301 (2012).
Thus, a will caveat proceeding is neither a necessary precondition to filing for tortious interference or a barrier to recovery for the same.
If you are seeking legal remedies for an interference with inheritance you may have a viable claim. Speaking with an experienced attorney will help determine whether you have a case. For a free consult call 704-259-7040.
Greg McIntyre: Hi, I’m Greg McIntyre with the Elder Law Report. We’re going to talk about litigation and
conquering your fears today. They are very similar and the litigation that we do surrounds Probate. Estates,Trusts.
Greg McIntyre: You know, people taking money out of others, bank accounts, things like that insurance
beneficiary, fraud. You know, we do a full gamut of litigation real property issues.
Brenton Begley: Reality.
Greg McIntyre: We do run a gamut sometimes domestic issues related to estate planning, and elder
law. You know, we run the gamut with our litigation in that area in our area,…
Greg McIntyre: which is the state planning and elder law. I handle those cases Brenton Begley handles a
a lot of those cases as well and has a big caseload with litigation.
Greg McIntyre: Brenton, what kind of litigation do you handle? How does that coincide with conquering our fears
or facing our fears really digging in right and pushing through that understanding of it? How does that help your clients?
Brenton Begley: Yeah, I handle a bunch of different issues regarding Litigation Litigation, It’s all about
bringing a matter before the court and having the court decided whether it’s a judge or a jury, the
outcome, a lot of times you settled beforehand, but if you’re not aware of litigation is, that’s
what it is. I think that I’ve found about litigation to really explain it to people as to what we do as
attorneys, is you bring us an incredibly complex problem that may not have a clear solution. and it takes
into the case digging in and finding that solution, you know, on the outside. You know, if
especially maybe your neighbor, your family, you might have some type of legal issue and it seems
to go one or, you know, one of two ways when you explain that to a lay person, either they say, Oh
yeah, you know, your rights have been violated. You need to sue or, you know, you don’t have a case here.
There’s no way that I can see that a lawyer could help you and when in fact it’s much more nuanced and a lot of times people bring us legal problems and they think they have a clear slammed up case, but you
know, you have to show them. Hey, there is a lot more here that you don’t see. And a lot of people
have some sort of issue that lay in front of you, they can’t see any way out of. And it’s our job to make
something happen, by the way, not only with regard to litigation, but also with regard to other things we
do, like, helping people get benefits to pay for long-term care and protect me in your assets. A lot of times
you might not see a way out a way to make that happen. A lot of times people think, Oh, I have too much
money. Can’t qualify for these benefits but you sit down with an experience attorney and what our job is
going to be is to figure something out. So that being said, you know, when it comes to litigation it is a very complex chess game and it teaches you a lot about life, how to live your life because litigation is very serious. It makes you have to really dig in and focus and it’s a good microcosm for life as
well. Because it can be very scary,…
Greg McIntyre: If?
Brenton Begley: so you’re putting your reputation, your intelligence, your, your license on the line,
whenever you’re advocating for a client. Let’s say I put together a good legal brief, a tight, pleading where I, you know, have this argument out there, I’ve done my legal research, I’ve put it there and submit to the court. The other side has the chance to respond and what their total goal is to pick whatever I said apart and prove their legal argument, and it could be a very scary thing. What if you miss something What if you know you didn’t do the research like you should have wished. What if you didn’t read the cases as in depth and they’re able to distinguish those cases from what, you know, the fact that you’re dealing with and so, you know, when you get their reply where you get their legal brief or whatever, A lot of people think that
attorneys just look at that and… it’s ready to rent it apart. But in fact, what you find is, is actually a very scary thing to
see someone else’s reply or their initial pleading, because you have to go through that and face all the
issues that are gonna raise because they their job is to, to strengthen their case as much as possible. So
they’re gonna raise all of these issues and pain a picture to the court, why you’re incredibly totally wrong.
There’s nothing that you said that’s correct. And why they’re exactly right and everything that they are
seeing is correct. So it raised a lot issues that you…then have to respond to you have to respond to every point if you want to win. and so, what that forces you to do, if you’re able to conquer, the fear is dig in Look at every point and Try to pick it apart and what are you? An initial human reaction is going to be is I want to deal with this. This is something that’s very scary to me because it rains, all these issues that I’m gonna have to go.
Brenton Begley: I’m gonna have to research, I’m gonna have to deal with, and I’d rather just put it off. I’d
rather not have to do it. And you might even tell yourself, Hey, I’m in a handle this, but it’s gonna be at a
later date, but to really jump all over that thing really absorb their argument, Understand it take it apart, is
that leads you to actually winning a case, The best attorneys are able to look at the other sides argument.
Really go through the details and figure that out. And here is why that is a microcosm for life because
I’ve said across the table from thousands of people, doing a state planning. And what I
can tell you is that there is a resistance to jumping in digging into the details for a lot of
people because it’s a scary thing. You raise the issue of long-term care that 70% or more individuals who
make it past the age of 65 are gonna need long-term care. That’s an incredibly important detail that a lot
of people don’t want to deal with, it’s an incredibly important detail that hey, long-term care costing where five, 10 15,000 a month for an individual and the average days from between four to seven years, that’s it, very important detail. A lot of people don’t want to deal with. A lot of people don’t want to deal with the fact that we all die that we’re not gonna be around. A lot of people don’t want to deal with the fact that maybe they want to leave something to their children but their children, you know, their child, that’s married to somebody that they don’t trust, maybe some other family issues like that. Maybe they don’t want to deal with the fact that you may need to make a plan at all.
Brenton Begley: You know, a lot of people walk in and I hear this all the time, I think it’s funny. They say,
Oh well we don’t have much and I started asking questions about their assets and they say, Oh well, we
have a house, we have rental house, We have a couple of life, insurance policies, a couple of vehicles and
like you have a lot. But you can hear that defensiveness in their voice and it’s not an offensive saying, Oh I don’t think I need a plan. It’s I don’t want to have to go through the details to do it because it’s a scary
thing to consider what’s gonna happen after I pass away what’s gonna happen. If I mean long term care,
what if I becoming confident need someone to step in and help make decisions under power attorney,
things like that, but just like in the work that we do every day is litigators. If you can walk somebody through that process, my God, if you can dig into the details and really hammer those out, then you are prepared. And you do get what we call peace of mind, which is not something that, you know, you have until you have it, it’s this, it’s this, you know, it’s your subconscious feeling a sense of peace. That you didn’t know you could feel you didn’t, you don’t know that you have as an anxiety going on, the back, your head, you know? But when you lay out that plan, when you go through the case and you’re able to develop a good argument, you walk in the court, very calm. Very tranquil. If you plan for your life your assets and what might happen in the future, you're gonna go through the rest of your life calm and tranquil.
Greg McIntyre: very well put.
Brenton Begley: Thank you.
Greg McIntyre: you’re hired, okay? And you have represented me on things before. I appreciate that. Yeah,
so, you know what? I would say in summary to our listeners, you just got a very good recap of what
goes on. In a litigation case. How much the attorney who’s very knowledgeable.
Greg McIntyre: And experienced in to respond to your arguments and relating to estate state planning,
how that relates to a fear of really getting down in the details of facing your fears pushing through those.
The way you do that is to face your fears dig in, look at the details and then it’s not so scary anymore. So
also we can help with that. And that’s what we do.
Greg McIntyre: So we will help dig in for you. And with you as professionals, whether you have a
litigation case regarding a Will Trust Insurance real estate, you know, one of those issues around estate
planning your own. Or you need to really help, you know, get with the professional, like us to dig, into the
details and help formulate the best, the state plan to get you to a state of peace of mind, we’d be glad to
Greg McIntyre: And as right and as always, you know, we would offer a free consult. So to sit down with
you and your family and discuss those issues, you can schedule that free consult by calling one eight
eight nine. Nine nine sixty six hundred or go go online to our website. Click the Schedule Free Console
button and you can schedule right online at mcelderlaw.com and thank you Attorney Begley for being
Brenton Begley: Oh yeah, one last thing I’d like to say is that you know, that console just give you some
expectation of what that looks like. We’re gonna sit down with you and we’re gonna ask good questions.
So it’s gonna be an easy process to go through the details. We know what details need to be gone
through. We’re gonna ask the right questions. We’re gonna explain it and it’s going to allow you to be
guided through that. What’s is a seemingly hard process in a very easy way and… come out with a solution that you know, is going to work for you and your family.
Greg McIntyre: it’s amazing how much we can pick out and when because we know the cause we know
what we need, all we need for you is to bring yourself and any estate planning documents. You may
currently have for review and through that process. It is unreal how quickly we can get those things together and really,
really see a great plan for you and your family. So thank you Attorney Begley and everyone will be back
next week with the next Elder Law report.
Greg McIntyre Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney
As an estate planning attorney, I’ve seen my fair share of botched wills and incompetent testators. But the case of Mrs. H. takes the cake.
Mrs. H. was a well-to-do woman in her early 80s who had always been rather absent-minded. Despite her wealth and family’s urging, she had never gotten around to writing a will.
Finally, in her declining years, Mrs. H. decided it was time to get her affairs in order. She enlisted the help of a paralegal, who promised to draft a will that would fairly distribute her assets among her children.
But unfortunately, it seems the paralegal was more interested in a quick payout than in doing a thorough job. The will that was produced was riddled with errors and inconsistencies.
For starters, the will failed to adequately provide for Mrs. H.’s disabled son, who was left with only a small fraction of her estate. Additionally, the will contained numerous gifts to charitable organizations that Mrs. H. had never expressed any interest in supporting.
To make matters worse, the will was signed in a rushed and haphazard manner, with no witnesses present. It’s clear that Mrs. H. was not of sound mind when the will was executed.
As a result, Mrs. H.’s children have challenged the will in court, alleging that their mother was incompetent at the time it was written. They are fighting to have the will overturned and to have a more accurate reflection of their mother’s wishes put in place.
It’s a sad and unfortunate situation, and one that could have been easily avoided with proper planning and legal guidance. It’s a reminder to us all to take the time to carefully consider our end-of-life plans, and to seek out reputable and competent legal representation to ensure that our wishes are carried out.
Greg McIntyre Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney
It was a dark and stormy night, the kind of night that made one want to curl up by the fire with a good book. But I, Sherlock Holmes, was not one to let a little inclement weather get in the way of a good case.
My friend, Dr. John Watson, had come to me with a problem. His dear friend, Mr. Charles Turner, had recently passed away and left behind a considerable estate. Mr. Turner had no children or close relatives, and had always spoken of leaving his wealth to Dr. Watson and a few other close friends.
But now, a mysterious woman had come forward, claiming to be Mr. Turner’s long-lost daughter and rightful heir to the estate. Dr. Watson was skeptical of this claim, and had come to me for help in unraveling the mystery.
I accepted the case, and set off with Dr. Watson to the Turner estate, which was located in a remote village on the outskirts of London. As we drove through the pouring rain, I couldn’t help but wonder what we might find.
Upon arriving at the estate, we were greeted by the housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, who showed us to Mr. Turner’s study. It was a large, well-appointed room, filled with books and papers. I immediately began to examine the documents, looking for any clues that might help us solve the mystery.
As I searched through the papers, I noticed a strange discrepancy in Mr. Turner’s will. According to the document, he had left a significant portion of his estate to a charity, but there was no mention of the supposed daughter. This seemed highly suspicious to me.
I decided to speak with the woman who claimed to be Mr. Turner’s daughter, whose name was Miss Elizabeth Grey. She was a young woman of about 25, with dark hair and a sharp, calculating look in her eyes. I could tell right away that she was not to be trusted.
I questioned Miss Grey about her relationship to Mr. Turner, and she told me that she had only recently learned of his existence. She claimed that her mother had had an affair with Mr. Turner before she was born, and that he had always supported her financially.
But as I probed deeper, I began to uncover inconsistencies in her story. She seemed to know very little about Mr. Turner’s life and personality, and I suspected that she was lying about their relationship.
I decided to visit the charity that Mr. Turner had left his money to, in the hopes of finding some additional clues. The charity was a small organization that provided education and support for disadvantaged children.
As I spoke with the staff, I learned that Mr. Turner had been a regular donor and had always expressed a deep commitment to their work. This further reinforced my suspicions about Miss Grey’s motives.
I returned to the estate and confronted Miss Grey with my findings. I accused her of trying to fraudulently claim Mr. Turner’s estate, and she became defensive and angry. In a fit of rage, she admitted to fabricating the entire story about being Mr. Turner’s daughter.
It turned out that Miss Grey was actually a con artist, who had been trying to take advantage of Mr. Turner’s wealth. She had learned of his passing and had decided to try to claim his estate for herself.
Thanks to my investigation, the truth was finally revealed and justice was served. Mr. Turner’s estate was rightfully divided among his intended beneficiaries, and Miss Grey was brought to justice for her deceitful actions.
As Dr. Watson and I returned to London, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction at having resolved such a complex and intriguing case. It was a testament to the importance of thorough estate planning, and the dangers of those who might try to take advantage of the vulnerable.
As we settled into our comfortable chairs by the fire, I reflected on the lessons of the case. I knew that I had once again used my skills of observation and deduction to bring about a just resolution, and I was grateful for the opportunity to use my talents for the greater good.
But as I closed my eyes and listened to the rain outside, I couldn’t help but wonder what other mysteries the future might hold. For as long as there are mysteries to be solved, I will be ready to take them on, with the help of my trusted friend, Dr. Watson, by my side.
As an estate planning attorney, I have seen firsthand the importance of properly planning for the distribution of one’s assets after they pass away. It is essential to have a clear and legally-binding document in place, such as a will or trust, to ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are taken care of.
In the case of Mr. Charles Turner, it is fortunate that he took the time to properly plan his estate, as it allowed for the resolution of the fraudulent claim by Miss Elizabeth Grey. Without a valid will or trust in place, it is possible that Miss Grey could have successfully claimed a portion of the estate, leading to complicated and costly legal battles for the intended beneficiaries.
This case serves as a reminder of the importance of estate planning, and the need to seek the advice of a qualified attorney to ensure that your assets are protected and your loved ones are provided for. Do not leave your family’s future to chance – take the time to plan for the inevitable and give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind.
The 10 Rules of Estate Planning: A Practical Guide to Protecting Your Assets and Providing for Your Loved Ones
Estate planning is a crucial aspect of ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. It involves making decisions about the distribution of your assets, appointing someone to manage your affairs, and planning for end-of-life care. Unfortunately, many people put off estate planning until it is too late, either because they don’t think they have enough assets to worry about or because the subject is unpleasant to think about.
The consequences of not having a plan in place can be severe. Without a will or trust, the distribution of your assets will be determined by state law, which may not align with your wishes. Your loved ones may be left to deal with the legal and financial complexities of probate court, and there may be disputes over who gets what. Additionally, without proper planning, you may not receive the medical care and end-of-life support that you want.
Estate planning may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By following the 10 rules outlined in this book, you can create a plan that protects your assets and provides for your loved ones in the way that you desire. This chapter will provide an overview of the importance of estate planning and the consequences of not having a plan in place. In the chapters that follow, we will delve deeper into each of the 10 rules and provide practical guidance for implementing them.
Rule #1: Start planning as early as possible
One of the most important rules of estate planning is to start as early as possible. There are several reasons for this.
First, starting early allows you to take advantage of compound interest and other investment opportunities. By starting to save and invest at a younger age, you can build
up a larger estate to pass on to your loved ones. It also gives you more time to make changes to your plan if necessary. Second, starting early allows you to make informed decisions about your assets and
how you want them to be distributed. It gives you time to think about your goals and priorities and to consider the potential tax implications of your decisions. Finally, starting early allows you to anticipate and plan for potential challenges or changes that may occur later in life. This could include things like the possibility of needing long-term care or the possibility of a loved one becoming incapacitated.
So, how do you get started with estate planning? Here are a few steps to consider:
1. Make a list of your assets: This includes things like your home, investments, savings accounts, and personal property. 2. Determine who you want to inherit your assets: This could include family members, friends, charities, or a combination of these. 3. Consider the tax implications of your decisions: Estate taxes can significantly reduce the value of your estate, so it’s important to understand how they may affect your plans. 4. Seek the advice of a qualified professional: An attorney or financial planner can help you navigate the legal and financial complexities of estate planning and ensure that your documents are properly executed.
By starting the estate planning process early, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are carried out in the way that you desire.
Rule #2: Make a list of your assets
An essential step in the estate planning process is to make a list of your assets. This
includes both tangible and intangible assets, such as: Real estate (e.g. your home, rental properties, vacation homes) Personal property (e.g. jewelry, art, collectibles) Investments (e.g. stocks, bonds, mutual funds) Retirement accounts (e.g. 401(k), IRA) Savings accounts (e.g. savings accounts, CDs) Business interests (e.g. if you own a business)
It’s important to be as thorough as possible when making this list, as it will be the basis for your estate plan. If you own property or assets in multiple states or countries, you
may need to create separate plans for each jurisdiction. Once you have made a list of your assets, the next step is to determine their value. This can be done through appraisal, market value, or some other method. It’s important to get an accurate valuation of your assets, as this will help you determine how they should be distributed.
Finally, you’ll need to decide who you want to inherit your assets. This could be family members, friends, charities, or a combination of these. It’s important to consider the needs and circumstances of your potential beneficiaries when making these decisions. By making a list of your assets and determining their value and who you want to inherit them, you can ensure that your estate plan reflects your wishes and takes into account the needs of your loved ones.
Rule #3: Choose your beneficiaries wisely
Choosing the right beneficiaries for your estate is an important decision that can have long-lasting consequences. It’s important to carefully consider the needs and
circumstances of your potential beneficiaries when making this decision. Here are a few things to consider when selecting your beneficiaries:
Age: If you have young children or grandchildren, you may want to consider appointing a guardian to manage their inheritance until they reach a certain age. Relationship: You may want to consider the nature of your relationship with your potential beneficiaries and whether they are financially responsible and capable of managing their inheritance. Special needs: If you have a loved one with special needs, you may want to consider setting up a special needs trust to provide for their care without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. Potential conflicts: It’s important to anticipate and try to mitigate potential conflicts between beneficiaries.
For example, if you have children from multiple marriages, you may want to consider setting up a trust to manage their inheritance and prevent any potential disputes. By choosing your beneficiaries wisely, you can ensure that your assets are distributed in a way that aligns with your wishes and takes into account the needs of your loved ones.
Rule #4: Choose the right type of estate planning documents
There are several different types of estate planning documents that you can use to outline your wishes and protect your assets. The most common types of documents are wills and trusts. A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. It also allows you to appoint a guardian for any minor children and name an executor to manage the distribution of your assets. A trust is a legal arrangement in which a third party, known as the trustee, holds assets on behalf of the beneficiary. There are several different types of trusts, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Which type of document is right for you will depend on your individual circumstances and goals. An attorney or financial planner can help you determine the best option for your needs. By choosing the right type of estate planning documents, you can ensure that your assets are protected and your wishes are carried out in the way that you desire.
Rule #5: Choose an executor or trustee
An important aspect of estate planning is appointing someone to manage your affairs after you pass away. This person, known as the executor if you have a will or the trustee if you have a trust, is responsible for carrying out your wishes and managing the distribution of your assets. It’s important to choose someone who is responsible, reliable, and capable of handling this important task. Consider the following when selecting an executor or trustee: Age and health: Choose someone who is likely to outlive you and is in good health. Ability to handle financial matters: The executor or trustee will be responsible for managing your assets, so it’s important to choose someone who is comfortable with financial matters. Location: It may be convenient to choose someone who lives nearby, as they may need to handle practical matters such as closing bank accounts or
transferring titles. Relationship: Consider choosing someone who is familiar with your wishes and values, such as a spouse, adult child, or close friend. By choosing the right executor or trustee, you can ensure that your affairs are handled in the way that you desire.
Rule #6: Consider tax implications
Estate taxes can significantly reduce the value of your estate, so it’s important to consider their potential impact on your plans. The federal estate tax currently applies to
estates worth more than $11.7 million for an individual or $23.4 million for a married couple. However, some states also have their own estate or inheritance taxes, which
may have different thresholds and rates. There are several strategies that you can use to minimize the tax liability of your estate,
such as: Gifting: You can give away up to $15,000 per year to each recipient without incurring any gift tax. Use exemptions: There are several exemptions available that can reduce or eliminate the tax liability of your estate, such as the charitable exemption and the marital deduction. Set up a trust: Certain types of trusts, such as charitable trusts and bypass trusts, can be used to minimize estate taxes.
An attorney or financial planner can help you understand the tax implications of your estate plan and suggest strategies to minimize your tax liability. By considering the tax implications of your estate plan, you can ensure that your assets are distributed in the most tax-efficient way possible. Read more
Rule #7: Review and update your plan regularly
Your estate plan should not be a static document, but rather a living and evolving document that reflects your changing circumstances and goals. It’s important to review and update your plan regularly to ensure that it continues to meet your needs and the needs of your loved ones.
Here are a few life events that may require updates to your estate plan: Marriage or divorce Birth or adoption of a child Death of a beneficiary Change in financial circumstances Change in your health or the health of a loved one
It’s also a good idea to review your plan every few years to ensure that it still aligns with your wishes and takes into account any changes in the law. By reviewing and updating your plan regularly, you can ensure that it continues to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones in the way that you desire.
Rule #8: Communicate your wishes to your loved ones
While it’s important to have a formal estate plan in place, it’s also important to communicate your wishes to your loved ones. This can help to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts and ensure that your wishes are carried out in the way that you desire. Having difficult conversations about end-of-life planning can be challenging, but it’s an important aspect of estate planning. Here are a few tips for having these conversations: Start early: Don’t wait until you are facing a crisis to have these conversations. Choose the right time and place: Consider the location and timing of the conversation to ensure that it is private and comfortable for all parties involved. Be clear and specific: Be clear about your wishes and the reasons behind them. Involve a professional: An attorney or financial planner can help facilitate the conversation and ensure that your wishes are clearly understood. By communicating your wishes to your loved ones, you can help to ensure that your wishes are respected and carried out in the way that you desire.
Rule #9: Seek professional advice
Estate planning can be a complex process, and it’s important to seek the advice of qualified professionals to ensure that your documents are properly executed and your assets are protected. An attorney or financial planner can help you understand your options and make informed decisions about your estate plan. When choosing a professional, it’s important to do your research and choose someone
who is experienced and qualified. Consider the following when selecting an estate planning professional: Expertise: Choose a professional who is knowledgeable about estate planning
and has experience handling cases like yours. Reputation: Look for a professional with a good reputation in the community and
among their peers. Fees: Understand the fees involved and ensure that they are reasonable and
By seeking the advice of a qualified professional, you can ensure that your estate plan
is properly executed and that your assets are protected.
Rule #10: Keep your estate planning documents safe and organized
Once you have completed your estate plan, it’s important to keep your documents safe
and organized. This will ensure that your wishes are carried out smoothly and that your
loved ones can easily access the information they need. Here are a few tips for keeping
your documents safe and organized: Keep original copies in a secure location: This could be a safe deposit box, a
fireproof safe, or a trusted relatives home. Read more. Make copies for your executor or trustee: Your executor or trustee will need
access to your documents to carry out your wishes, so make sure they have
copies. Update your documents as needed: As mentioned earlier, it’s important to review and update your documents regularly to ensure that they continue to reflect your
wishes and take into account any changes in your circumstances or the law. By keeping your documents safe and organized, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out smoothly and that your loved ones have access to the information they need.
Estate planning is an important aspect of ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. By following the 10 rules outlined in this book, you can create a solid plan that protects your assets and provides for your loved ones in the way that you desire. These rules include starting planning as early as possible, making a list of your assets, choosing your beneficiaries wisely, choosing the right type of estate planning documents, choosing an executor or trustee, considering tax implications, reviewing and updating your plan regularly, communicating your wishes to your loved ones, seeking professional advice, and keeping your documents safe and organized. By following these rules, you can gain peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order and that your loved ones will be taken care of.
Greg McIntyre Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney
As medical care gets better, the population’s longevity increases. However, just because someone lives longer does not mean they are ensured to have any quality of living. Many ailments that were previously a death sentence are no longer as serious of a threat—but they are an ailment, nonetheless. Therefore, the downside of our amazing medical technology is that we are essentially keeping people alive longer and prolonging their medical needs. It’s a brutal way to look at it, but the truth tends to be brutal.
The result of this medical advancement is that more people than ever will need long-term care. That number is currently estimated to be over seventy percent of individuals who make it past 65.
We know this too because more people than ever are reaching age of 65 or over. And if more people need long-term care, then we are going to have an issue paying for it. We also know this because we are experiencing the issue now and have been for some time. Long-term care can range from $5,000 to $15,000 per month.
Currently, individuals have three options to pay for care: 1) They can use long-term care insurance. This is a good option, but you must qualify, and you must maintain the premiums. 2) They can pay out of pocket. This is not a good option because most people cannot afford to pay $5k to $10k per month. 3) Lastly, they can use government benefits i.e., Medicaid. This can be a great option but is very restrictive and can be difficult to obtain without proper planning.
Sadly, many individuals face this need for care without a plan. The result is that everything they’ve worked for their whole lives is slowly eroded, until there is nothing left for their loved ones. With many folks “outliving their money”, it is almost impossible to leave a legacy and provide a leg-up to the next generation. Depriving individuals of the ability to leave an inheritance is not only repugnant to the values of this country, but also a sure way to kill the American dream.
As you may suspect, there are ways to avoid these risks by planning ahead. A properly drafted estate plan can ensure that an individual is protected from exploitation and is prepared for the costs of long-term care. The problem with most Americans, is that they have no plan. An estimated sixty percent of Americans have no estate plan in place. This means that sixty percent of the population are in the rising tide with no dingy. This is a scary prospect, not only for the Baby Boomer generation but also for the generations that follow. What will this country look like if sixty percent of the population is drawn out to sea?
The best way to avoid the biggest risks your assets face as you age is to have a proper estate plan in place. Everyone should start with the basics, i.e., General Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Last Will and Testament, then move on to more advanced asset protection.
A great discussion on how to pay for long term care.
Greg McIntyre: Hi, this is Greg McIntyre with McIntyre Elderlaw here with my law partner, Brenton Begley. You say,…
Brenton Begley: But I was gonna have to say that. My name is Brenton Begley. Hello.
Greg McIntyre: you say?
Greg McIntyre: That’s right. JD LLM. And today’s topic is Why is long-term care so expensive? And this is part of a really more controversial series that we’re doing, where we’re talking about the everyday things that we deal with as a state planning and elder attorneys and that our clients deal with and their families. So long-term care costs can be daunting, you know, it can take everything you work for your entire life and save for retirement and cause you to spend that out. Like, water, you know, those mounting expenses, I’d say between nursing home care between 8 and 12,000 a month right now, depending on…
Brenton Begley: Yeah.
Greg McIntyre: which geographic area you’re in, say between Charlotte and Hendersonville or Asheville. Would you agree Brenton?
Brenton Begley: Yeah, absolutely. It’s easily. You know between, I mean, I’ve seen it up towards the 15th thousand dollar a month mark, which I mean, that’s a lot. And, you know, one of the things I think contribute will, how about this? It’s expensive because it can be okay because they can charge that much because of the sheer amount of individuals that will need long-term care at some point in their lives, right? Like it is, it is a necessity and the way the way basic economics works, is that, you know, if one person has the advantage, right? You have a huge need and they have what you need and then they can charge a lot for it. And there is a huge need for long-term care.
Greg McIntyre: So I think there’s two things there, right? You know, 70% of people over 65 right now according to a US Department of Health and Human Services study done in 2005 are going to need some type of long-term care, long-term care being defined as in-home assisted living or nursing home care and…
Brenton Begley: Right.
Greg McIntyre: that’s huge if I told you there was a 70% chance that building that the roof was going to fall in right now. Would you feel comfortable saying where your city Yeah,…
Brenton Begley: Here, I’ll be out of here.
Greg McIntyre: you’re out of there, right? And and wait, you know, see what happens, try to get some shelter, Okay? Right. Try to get to a safe place and the question is number one. Why is it so expensive and then Where’s the safe place? Okay, what is a safe place? So so, you know, I think it’s so expensive, I think you’re right. They’re supplying demand, simple economics of supply and demand. And also There is the business of running a nursing home. I would love to sit down with a nursing home administrator or owner and…
Brenton Begley: Here.
Greg McIntyre: talk to them about that, on camera. I have done that before.
Greg McIntyre: Privately with people who own nursing homes and companies. But, you know, from their standpoint they say, Look, we’re running a business and we’re providing a needed service and we have to keep our place staffed with experienced people, which is hard and…
Brenton Begley: Yeah.
Greg McIntyre: pay them. Well, I mean, we talk about the same thing, we were running a law office and we have to staff. And, you know, we want to make sure that we get great customer service. You have to pay your people, well, which means you have to charge money for your services, right?
Brenton Begley: Yeah, and you really want to feel their, you know, those people out really well. You know, whenever you are hiring somebody to take care of another person, you want to make sure that there’s no red flags that go off. That they’re not someone who could get burnt out easily and want to quit and have high turnover because it’s really not easy job. I mean, when it comes down to, it’s not easy job to provide the type of care that an individual, especially an individual who can’t do most activities daily living. It’s, it’s a hard job for for people. We’ve hired people who’ve worked in facilities before and they have a lot of stories of how difficult the job was for them. And, you know,
Brenton Begley: Those are great people, very empathetic, very caring, but you still get burnout. You still have a hard time emotionally dealing with, you know, you know, the the end of life diseases and things like that can be can be hard thing to deal with for the employees and for the business itself. Because I mean, my God, I can imagine, you know, you have all the state regulations that you have to abide by, you have inspections you probably get sued a lot that sort of thing. So, all of that is calm, you know, contemplated in the process charged to be able to accomplish for that, they have to have in-house attorneys to figure out how to recover things that, you know, or recover. Balances, that haven’t been paid, right? If you’re charging that much, it’s gonna lead to the fact that some people ain’t gonna pay it, right? Maybe the person passed away before the bill could be paid and rely on getting it from the estate. And from the family, maybe the people, you know, who owe the money. Just can’t pay it. Maybe they refuse to pay it that sort of thing.
Brenton Begley: You know, in in you got to maintain a staff of attorneys to represent you if you get sued that sort of thing. So there’s a lot of cost built into just having the business there before you even provide services.
Greg McIntyre: Agreed. So it is a business, they do have to they do have certain costs and I’m sure they have a margin of profit that they would like to make all that equals, you know?
Greg McIntyre: Cost as high as that. You have said, you’ve seen recently a fifteen thousand dollars a month, right? But but, you know, for the regular consumer and that’s right now. What if I might need long-term care, 20, 30 years from now, what will be? Then how I’ll be able to make sure that I can protect my assets, stay in control of them and still pay for something that that there’s a 70% chance likely hood, that might happen to me later in life. And right, so I’ve come up with three things that I’d like you discuss today and back and forth. One is long-term care insurance. So that’s kind of a really pre-planning on the financial side,…
Brenton Begley: Right.
Greg McIntyre: too is a state planning, which we do. And, you know, that’s what we do. All we do is a state planning and elder law and we do that every day and help people plan to protect assets. So I want to cover that, and then there is what we call benefits planning or crisis planning. Where, you know, if you get stuck in a situation, that’s unexpected, you know, you have it set things up with the state planning ahead of time correctly. Then what can you do? Okay. So the first one is that agreeable to you Brenton. Do you think that’s a good list? Is there anything you’d like to add? Okay, I like things in threes,…
Brenton Begley: I think it’s perfect.
Greg McIntyre: they’re easy. So
Greg McIntyre: You know, unless it’s three strikes in your out, right. And that’s what we want to help people avoid. So, so first long-term care insurance, I’ll take that one and,…
Brenton Begley: If?
Greg McIntyre: and then maybe, you know, we can go back and forth and then you can do the the next, okay? So long-term care insurance, you know? I find that my clients who have long-term care insurance. It helps them in a number of ways. Whether they have a traditional long-term care policy, they’re paying monthly for or they have a hybrid policy, like life insurance for the long-term care writer where there’s invested some of retirement funds into that product that they can pull back out. Also have beneficiaries on there, maybe can be shared between husband and wife. And we’ll pay for well, multiply the amount that was put there about three to five times to pay for long term care. I see that, that’s a financial tool, but it also adds income that’s much needed in the time when you need care. Plus, it gives you options not to have to go to assisted living or…
Brenton Begley: Here.
Greg McIntyre: nursing home care if you you are able to stay. Home and the contract is is built into that insurance product.
Greg McIntyre: Such as or so that it will also pay for in-home caregivers. So you can stay in the comfort of your own home. I think that’s a great addition. Another ancillary benefit of that is that a lot of times,…
Brenton Begley: You right?
Greg McIntyre: those policies are designed to last three to five years, okay? Before they’re exhausted. Rarely do we see any more? And I see them every once in a while, the old school contracts where there’s no limit on how much it pays out that it pays out for the rest of your life. Once you start it, usually their cat to say it three to five years, time span. But what that does is it allows you to come back to us and get into that second topic that I want to discuss, which is a statement on the front end. So, you know, if I sit down with someone and we say, We’re gonna activate this long-term care insurance, because there’s the need right now, and my husband needs care. We’re gonna bring caregivers at home and then we’re gonna move our assets into say, a specialized irrevocable, trust caught, a Medicaid asset protection, trust to start a five year, three year or five year. Look back clock, ticking depending on whether they need assisted living or nursing.
Greg McIntyre: There to protect the assets.
Brenton Begley: It.
Greg McIntyre: You know, our oldest daughter. We super trust her and she’s an accountant and she’s gonna be the trustee, so that house is going to be preserved retirement. It’s gonna be preserved there and they’re still going to be the lifetime income beneficiary of assets that make money in that trust. So, I see that. Long-term care insurance is a really good precursor. Not only to activate a financial stream of income to pay for caregivers or to pay for assisted living or nursing home care. But also to allow you to have time have a cushion of time in there to plan to protect assets before you might want to evac activate a benefit like Medicaid to pay for long term care. Those are my thoughts on long-term care insurance and why I love it. When clients have it. What do you think Brenton?
Brenton Begley: Yeah, I would agree with, you know, the benefit of long-term care insurance so also that strategy coupling it with the estate plan. Now even if you don’t have long-term care, insurance doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize the estate plan to number one. Protect assets. Number two potentially qualify for benefits to pay for long-term care in the future. Now, we do that quite a bit for clients. As a pre-planning tool, we, you know, put the things in place to everybody needs like powers of attorney will, right? That if you don’t have, you should but we also make sure that you know, if they do need long-term care in the future which again you have that 70% chance or greater
Brenton Begley: Then you want to make sure that you can get that paid for even if you don’t have the funds available to pay for it yourself. So what that would be is activating some type of benefit like VA or Medicaid to pay for a long-term care. Now, if you’ve done the planning on the front end, maybe you’ve triggered a look back here. Way, way in the past, right to where you can qualify for that benefit way after that. Three to five year. Look back period, has already ran out. But the thing that a lot of people do and why they look back period has these bad connotations with it? And people when they hear, Oh we need to avoid that. Is that when people you know, they they trigger this look back period, they don’t do it. Strategically, you know, if I have a hundred thousand dollars in my name, I have a couple of annuities. I’ve been life insurance policies, I have a couple pieces of the property and I give one home away to a kid, right? I figured that look back period.
Brenton Begley: Then five years down the road, I might be outside to look back period but I don’t qualify for Medicaid because of the rest of stuff. I have my name, I don’t qualify for VA because the rest stuff I have in my name. So this strategic way to go about doing that is to exempt those assets through something like a Medicaid asset protection. Trust that you’d mentioned, where you have a family member as trustee that you trust, that can make sure the income comes out to you and still benefit from the assets in the trust, but have those exempted from you not counting against you. So you can essentially have your cake. You needed to from a legal standpoint and keep your assets, protect them. Preserve them for the next generation because you work very hard for me. You should and still qualify for a benefit to pay for the long-term care. Even if you can’t afford out of pocket, which you can. And even if you don’t have long-term care insurance and what if you do, have long-term care insurance in it, runs out it hits that maximum, it caps out at that that per day value, right? You still want to be able to qualify for benefit to come in and cover. What you have
Brenton Begley: To pay after that, long-term care insurance policy kicks off. So that’s the importance of the estate planning side when it comes to the high cost of long-term care. So you got number three.
Greg McIntyre: So yeah, so Brenton just really covered number two, which is a state planning. You know, the you know, using irrevocable trust or convertible trust really thinking through your assets as well, as adding foundational pieces, which are super important in case, somebody becomes incompetent incapacitated the general durable power of attorney health care, power of attorney living will will if we do the trust we’re going to ride a, will that goes along with the trust and works with the trust Caught a companion or poor over will? So you know a state planning is important that we look at all the assets, Look at what your goals are and make sure that you are protected, maybe a ladybird date on your home, which instantly protects your residence and keeps it in your name and then passes it to your descendants.
Brenton Begley: If?
Greg McIntyre: For example, your children, if you were to pass. So those are all the things we want to sit down and cover. When we sit down and have an estate plan, we offer free consults to do that. So we offer our time freely to you to do that, and you can take advantage of that by calling the number at the bottom of the screen or going to Mc Elderdoll.com/scheduling. Okay? And the third one would be benefits planning, okay? Or We also call it Medicaid crisis planning. That’s where we’re going to look at a VA benefit or a Medicaid benefit that can come in and cover the cost of long-term care. And also, we have maybe we haven’t protected things in time to be to look back period, or, you know, the family hasn’t done that the person hasn’t done that. So we want to look at saving assets between husband and…
Brenton Begley: If?
Greg McIntyre: wife or between a parent and children.
Brenton Begley: Yeah, a lot of people do is they look at that, you know, window of time in between when someone needs care and actually getting qualified and this crisis period and say, Oh, I have to do the spin down and I hate that term because anytime we, you know, are helping a client through this crisis period. Why we have reframed, what this, you know, the terminology for this is because I’m not spending your money down, I’m not getting ready your money as the attorney telling you what to do. I’m telling you how to preserve an exempt that money. So the money that you have is accountable asset. What you what your goal should be, is to make sure that the assets that you have or exempt for Medicaid purposes, That’s the goal. Not to get rid of the money. So, when you hear that spin down, that’s what the government wants you to do, they want you to pay the facility until you run out of money and then Medicaid can kick on, That’s not the way that we tell our clients to qualify because that is obviously not a good option for them because they’re losing what they worked hard for.
Brenton Begley: So in that Medicaid crisis period, you really want to look at saying, Okay, well, how can I under the rules for Medicaid, which are complicated and you really need an attorney to guys you through those, How can I utilize these to best exempt, the assets that I have and both qualify for long term care which is you know the timing on that is really important because of the Medicaid back pay and all of that too. So again it really requires an attorney to help you navigate through that sort of thing. And you really can’t do that without having those foundational documents powers of attorney in place beforehand. Or if you do them during the time, the person has to be confident. And so all of these things really mesh together. So what is the best way? I guess the biggest question, What is the best way to make sure they if you’re in a crisis situation, you know, you can actually navigate that
Greg McIntyre: You come and sit down with me or you. So that we plan under the rules. For the benefit dedicator via. To avoid the look back period, even if we’re planning to save assets immediately. And then quickly qualify for the benefit.
Brenton Begley: Here.
Greg McIntyre: That’s what you do. And that’s what we do for clients Brenton. I appreciate you talking about those three things about Why is Medicaid. Why is Long-term care. So expensive. I think there’s reasons for that that we discussed, there’s probably more reasons that you know, but but those are some key reasons and How can you plan to stay in control of assets? Pay for long-term care benefits. And pass those assets down to your kids.
Brenton Begley: If it’s not too late, even if you’re in a crisis situation, there’s still thing can be done.
Greg McIntyre: No a ton of things and we’re very good at that and you know again I’m Greg McIntyre I’m an estate planning an elder law attorney the elder law guy, this is Brenton Begley. Okay Brenton s Begley…
Brenton Begley: The luck.
Greg McIntyre: who is I’m fortunate enough to for him to be my law partner and and practice for with him now for a number of years and I appreciate you listening to the Elder Law Report, guys, we enjoy doing it. We’ll continue to bring you great information and it’s been a good year Brenton. I’m busy trying to wrap up the year.
Brenton Begley: Yes, it has.
Greg McIntyre: I’m just, I’m like grinding right now trying to make sure everything’s done and I’m running out of things to do. So I think we’re doing a good job.
Brenton Begley: Just right here. but,
Greg McIntyre: So All right. See you next week on the Elder Law report.
Greg McIntyre Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney
Most people I have talked to have never heard of the accelerated death benefit option that life insurance offers. The accelerated death benefit is most commonly referred to as a “rider” but it is simply a provision in most life insurance policies that allow a person to receive a set portion of their life insurance funds early. In other words, they may access it while they are still living. It is most commonly used when a person has a terminal illness that has resulted in a life expectancy of six months to two years. There are also some individuals with disabilities that can also qualify for this benefit, like long term care.This depends on the life insurance contract and what the provision includes. Generally, the benefit is between 50 to 80% of the policy value. Essentially, if the Doc gives you six months to two years to live, you can use a part of your death benefit for whatever is a priority in your life.
Who can request this benefit to be added to their policy?
Anyone can, if the insurance carrier offers the benefit and the underwriters approve it, can get it added on. Adding this benefit could raise your policy rates. Although there are many carriers out there that add this on for free.
When should you apply to receive this benefit?
Anyone who has a terminal illness or condition could investigate the Accelerated Death Benefit option. People with other conditions, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), those requiring artificial life support, or people with organ failure who are not transplant candidates may also qualify depending on their individual policies and state laws. This is also true in regard to long-term care, funds can be used to help individuals if policy and state laws allow.
What are the restrictions for the use of received funds?
There are usually no spending restrictions set upon the individual that has received the benefit. Therefore, individuals can use these funds for whatever they wish. For example, if individual wants to make sure that they have a good time before they pass, they could go on vacation with loved ones and create long-lasting, priceless memories. Or one might use the funds to pay bills and remove the financial burden of those bills off their loved ones. Either way, it’s up to that individual person and their needs.
This great and useful benefit is something to keep in mind if you are looking for a life insurance policy. Understanding this benefit could help protect your legacy, create priceless memories, or help pay for care. It is important to plan for the future, but you already know that because you’re looking into life insurance. Now you can get the most out of your life insurance by knowing all that it can do while you’re still alive.
I was walking to a coffee shop today and saw this car driving down the road. The car was a 1965 Jaguar Type E Coupe. It passed me cruising slowly and then gently took a right turn and disappeared. It was a bit rainy today and the car was in pristine condition. The chrome shined and paint was magnificent. The rainy foggy day and that car fit perfectly as if it were at home on a London street. The owner of that car loves it. They put passion and care into its restoration and maintenance. It reminded me of some of my clients and the work I’ve done for them.
One recent client, whom I also consider a friend, has quite a few classic cars. They are some of his most prized possessions. They are more than cars to him, and they are more than investments. The value of the vehicles he owns has skyrocketed since he first purchased them. One was a gift passed down to him from his father. The family all glean enjoyment from their use from family outings to showings at car shows to a simple weekend drive to both enjoy the ride and show off the cars a little bit. I mean the growth in value of these vehicles are in the 1000’s of percent. Finding an investment that would keep pace with this type of growth in value would be nye impossible. My client and friend recently approached me about advising him on the best way to care for each vehicle and ensure its access to the family and that the vehicles easily stayed in the family while also allowing for my client to direct who gets what vehicle and the rules surrounding that transition. My answer was simple and one that I have been givig for a long time to my clients who have the good fortune of owning classic automobiles. The “Car or Auto Trust”.
What is an Auto Trust?
Answer: An Auto Trust is a specialized trust that specifically is designed to hold an automobile and allows the trust maker many options. The trust maker may desice he wants the collection to continue beyond his or her death and for the autos to be held for the use and enjoyment of the family while also allocating funds for the maintenance of these autos for the foreseeable future. The trust maker may want one or more of the autos to be spun off into separate sub-trusts upon the death of the trust maker and allow children or grandchildren to be in charge of the autos in these trusts. The child or grandchild may be granted permission to sell the auto(s) if they so choose if that is the desire of the trust maker. There can be many options to protect and control your most prized possessions for the use and benefit of your family if something happens to you. An auto trusts also avoids probate and the high costs and waiting periods associated with it. An auto trusts also gives an additional separation of liability and protection to the vehicles that have captivated our imaginations.
Why do I need an Auto Trust?
Answer: Beautiful simplicityjust like the design of your car. Streamlined to fit your car perfectly and separate that asset. Isolating it and protecting it just like you would when parking your car in a crowded parking lot an Auto Trust allows you to set the rules for how your vehicle is handled if something were to happen to you. An idea might also be to set up an account or designate life insurance or another investment asset with the trust as the beneficiary to fund the trust with resources to care for the car for your family well into the future. You may wish a separate Auto Trust for each vehicle or of course we can design the Auto Trust to hold and pass all of your vehicles.
Why not put my vehicle in a general trust with all of my assets?
Answer: Liability!!! Like it or not, automobiles are deadly weapons and SHOULD NOT be placed in a trust with other investment and real estate assets. When placing an automobile in a general trust environment you expose your other assets to liability should there be a wreck or other accident.
If you would like to discuss crafting an auto trust for your prized auto or auto collection please contact me to set up a free consultation: 704-749-9244 or online at mcelderlaw.com.
This website is attorney advertising and does not establish an attorney-client relationship, which is only formed when you have signed an engagement agreement. We cannot guarantee results; past results do not guarantee future results.
McIntyre Elder Law
112 S. Tryon St. STE. 700
Charlotte, NC 28284