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Estate Planning Around Elections!

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How will the election effect your estate plan? Brenton & Greg discuss in this week’s Elder Law Report. Schedule your FREE CONSULT today to get your affairs in order. Call: 704-749-9244 or online at mcelderlaw.com/bookfreeconsult.

Have you put off planning? We understand these are strange times and as our civic duty we are offering complementary consults for Estate Planning and Elder Law legal issues. Schedule yours today!
Schedule Free Consult

 

Can You Challenge a Trust?

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


Can You Challenge a Trust?

The last will and testament has been bestowed with a level of sanctity in the law approaching the divine. A person’s will is law. Whenever one writes their will, they are codifying rules they themselves are handing down. This unilateral legislation is recognized as a right everyone possesses, regardless whether you’re a politician or a prisoner. Given the solemnity employed in considering the will, the court is rather quick to entertain allegations of impropriety regarding the will’s creation. Thus, a challenge to a will is something that is not only something that can be done, it’s also a very important fail safe that been thoughtfully ingrained into our legal system.

Trusts are just like wills, except that trusts are considered living documents. Because a trust is a living entity, it avoids probate. Thus, a challenge to a trust is performed in a much different way than a challenge to a will.

In North Carolina, a challenge to a will is called a “caveat”. A caveat may be brought for any number of reasons. Maybe the testator (the person who made the will) was incompetent at the time of the signing. Maybe the will is a product of undue influence by some interloping family member. Maybe the signature on the will is a product of forgery. One may challenge a trust on same basis for challenging a will. The difference, however, is in the details.

When you challenge a will, the probate process is frozen. This means that the personal representative of the estate (read: Executor) can no longer administer the estate e.g. they cannot distribute assets. Conversely, challenging a trust does not freeze the administration of the trust. Notwithstanding a legal action, the trustee may still distribute assets. If the challenger wants to prevent this, they can seek an injunction.

An injunction is when the court is asked to compel or prevent an individual from doing something. To enjoin a trustee, one would need to prove to the court, as a matter of equity, the trustee should be prevented from distributing assets out to the beneficiaries. If you’re the one challenging a trust, you’d want to seek an injunction. It is much harder to reclaim the assets in the trust after they’ve been distributed.


Related Articles:


Just like a will, a trust may be challenged. However, there may be extra steps to the process. If you suspect wrongdoing within the estate plan of a loved one don’t hesitate to contact McIntyre Elder Law at 704-259-7040.

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULTSchedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Brenton S. Begley
Elder Law Attorney

Regards,

Brenton S. Begley

Elder Law Attorney

McIntyre Elder Law

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

www.mcelderlaw.com

Phone: 704-259-7040

Introducing Attorney Therron Causey!

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Therron Causey, Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

Therron Causey, Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

My name is Therron Causey and I am an attorney with McIntyre Elder Law. While I have always thought of law as a noble pursuit, for many people, it is simply windowless courtrooms, drawn-out legal battles, and, of course, high stress. What if I were to tell you that there is a little-known area of law dedicated to offering peace of mind? I am, of course, talking about Elder Law.

Elder law is a specific area of law dedicated to advocating for the elderly and their loved ones.  Older adults often have very specialized needs that warrant the assistance of an attorney that specializes in Elder law.  These matters might include Social Security, Medicaid, Long-term Care Planning, Estate Planning, Guardianship proceedings, or navigating the treacherous waters of Probate, just to name a few. Well, where does the peace of mind come in? I am glad you asked.

According to a 2010 study, nearly 70% of people who turned 65 as of 2005 will need some form of long-term care. That is a startling percentage, but what does it really mean? In short, it means that each of us has a considerably high chance of needing some sort of long-term care as we grow older, whether that be in-home, at an assisted living facility, or care at a skilled nursing facility. And how are you going to pay for that care? Unfortunately, many seniors all too often find themselves cashing out their retirements or losing their homes in order to pay for their care. We want to stop that from happening. An experienced elder law attorney can help you develop and implement a plan to qualify you for Medicaid coverage, while still enabling you to preserve and protect your personal assets.

If I have learned anything in life, it is that having a plan is essential. To that end, we can help develop a plan that allows you to sleep peacefully at night, knowing that you have thought of everything. Maybe your goal is to keep the home in the family and have it pass down to future generations. Maybe you need to appoint someone to act on your behalf for legal, financial, or healthcare related decisions. The list goes on and there is almost an untold number of ways that an Elder Law Attorney can help. I am proud to wake up every day charged with preserving a lifetime of accomplishments and I am grateful to work alongside the many other professionals at McIntyre Elder Law that take the charge head on.

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULTSchedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

written by:

Therron Causey

Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

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

704-749-9244

therron@mcelderlaw.com








Brenton & Greg discuss All Good Things in Life Are Hard!

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The biggest irony in life is the fact that it is human nature to avoid hard things. Are you avoiding estate planning even though you know you need to do it? Brenton and Greg talk about overcoming this fear and planning made easy. Schedule your Free Consult today. Call: 704-749-9244 or online at: mcelderlaw.com/bookfreeconsult.








The Fraud of the Future

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

The Fraud of the Future

 

            I’m not sure if you can tell by the mini super-computer on which you’re likely reading this article, but we are now living in the future. Sure, it’s lacking the flying cars and hoverboards the past so optimistically hoped for. However, we are in the midst of lightning fast change of pace. Estate planning has not been immune from such a pace change. In fact, estate plans look nothing like they did decades ago; thus, fraud has had to adapt. It has done so rather well, with the same insidiousness and disastrous result.

Not Your Grandmother’s Fraud

            When I talk about fraud and estate planning, I’m talking about someone either using duress or undue influence to make a person to change their estate plan or fraudulently changing the estate plan themselves. This use to—and still does to an extent—look like a will created by fraud or other dishonest means. Years ago, most of a person’s property passed through their will. So, if a morally disturbed individual wanted to ensure their chance to receive an inheritance through deceit, they could manipulate the will or the person making it. This led to thousands of lawsuits challenging the validity of wills and alleging misconduct.

            Nowadays, the bulk of wealth that most of us accumulate will not pass through our wills—or through probate for that matter. This is because most of us have the bulk of wealth in accounts like 401ks or IRAs. For some, a decent amount of the wealth they will be passing at death will be through life insurance policies. All of these accounts have something in common, they have a beneficiary designation.

            If you have a beneficiary named on an account, the balance of that account will pass to the beneficiary or beneficiaries upon your death with very little process. This makes these accounts attractive because they avoid the long and drawn out process of probate. What’s also attractive about these accounts is that they are held with a company that has a whole department just for fraud investigation. However, that does not mean that fraud doesn’t happen. The folks in the fraud department stay busy.

            The whole reason there’s a fraud department is because the opportunity for foul play is abundant. So, how does it get done? There’s no one way that an individual commits fraud with respect to beneficiary designation. In fact, criminals tend to get creative with this sort of thing. The common thread in all of these instances is the beneficiary designation form. As you may have guessed, that’s the form that dictates who gets the balance of the account when the owner dies. This form is the target for those seeking to take the money.

Telltale Signs

            How do you know if fraud was committed? Well, there tends to be pretty obvious red flags with this sort of thing. Maybe the account went to someone that would not have otherwise inherited anything (like a distant relative or friend). Maybe the person who owned the account couldn’t have been in their right mind to change it because of substance abuse, dementia, incapacity etc. Maybe the account owner was isolated and subject to undue influence from the person who received the death benefits. Either way, there tends to be enough clues at the crime scene to put the pieces together.

What Happens if There is Fraud?

            If fraud does happen, the company that hold the account should know immediately. Otherwise the funds will be paid out and it will be much harder to recover them. If the company knows of possible fraud, they will freeze the payout and perform an internal investigation. They may even initiate a legal proceeding where they deposit the proceeds of the account/policy with the court and bring the other parties in to battle it out. Regardless, the best course of action if you suspect fraud is to hire an attorney to help you navigate the process.


Related Articles:


Conclusion

            The only constant is change but something that hasn’t changed is people’s love for money. Fraud is a useful tool for many people of moral indignity and will remain as such for the foreseeable future. All the rest of us can do is remain vigilant. If you suspect fraud with respect to a beneficiary account, don’t hesitate to call McIntyre Elder Law at (740) 259-7040 or visit our website at www.mcelderlaw.com.

 

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULTSchedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Brenton S. Begley
Elder Law Attorney

Regards,

Brenton S. Begley

Elder Law Attorney

McIntyre Elder Law

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

www.mcelderlaw.com

Phone: 704-259-7040

All Good Things Are Hard

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment








I once heard that fulfillment is a result of foregoing short-term pleasure to reach a long-term goal. When I heard that, it made sense to me immediately. When I think about it, everything I am proud of in my life is a result of hard work, discipline, and dedication. With that realization comes a further revelation: the biggest irony in life is the fact that it is human nature to avoid hard things. We know eating right, exercising, flossing, and paying our taxes are good for us. However, as human beings, we avoid all those things as much as possible. We do this because we are geared to seek short-term gratification.

Thus, we humans are creatures of prolific procrastination. We avoid productivity and that which we do produce is done so begrudgingly at the last minute. If we do develop good and productive habits, it’s only because we found the fortitude within ourselves to instill discipline until that productive action became a habit. What’s ironic about this human propensity is that we desire to be productive and successful. However, we also desire short-term gratification—sometimes so much so that we become a slave to it.

If you take this to its logical extent, the more we procrastinate, the worse off we are and the less we procrastinate the more freedom we experience. Discipline frees us from the confines of our superficial desires.

Preparation

Preparation is hard, especially in the context of estate planning. No one wants to think about their own death, the possible need for long-term care, or what may happen if we develop dementia. As an estate planning and elder law attorney, I know first-hand how difficult those conversations can be. Some people are more open to that discussion than others. Those who are more open tend to be so because they have personal knowledge of how devastating procrastination can be. Maybe It was their mother, perhaps their uncle. Regardless, they had an experience that demonstrated to them the importance of preplanning. 

Those who are less willing to sit down and prepare are not folks who deny the importance of preparation. Just like diet and exercise, they understand that estate planning is a good thing. But, just like diet and exercise, estate planning is put off as something that can be done later.

What you may not know about estate planning and elder law attorneys is the other side of the practice. We not only help folks prepare through preplanning; we also help clients pick up the pieces after their loved ones failed to preplan. As attorneys, we are therefore endowed with the burdensome knowledge of the result of procrastination. None of us are promised tomorrow, yet most of us live like we will never die.

We all fall victim to procrastination. There is not a human being, star athlete, or Navy SEAL that is perfectly disciplined. However, we should all strive to be better, to set aside procrastination for the grater good. This is a call to action.  Sit down with an attorney and make sure you have a plan in place for yourself and your family. Just like all good things, it may be hard.  But, just like all good things, you will only regret not doing it. Call McIntyre Elder Law today at (704) 259-7040.

 

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULTSchedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Brenton S. Begley
Elder Law Attorney

Regards,

Brenton S. Begley

Elder Law Attorney

McIntyre Elder Law

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

www.mcelderlaw.com

Phone: 704-259-7040








Crabby Old Lady

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment








 

Crabby Old Lady:
Hayden sent me this poem this morning and I wanted to share it with everyone. Let’s treat everyone with the respect they deserve. A long life well lived is full of ups and downs and love and loss. If we can help you are your family please give us a call at: 704-749-9244 or book your FREE Consult online at: mcelderlaw.com/bookfreeconsult.

Crabby Old Lady
What do you see nurses? . .. . What do you see?
What are you thinking .. .. .. when you’re looking at me?
 
A crabby old lady .. .. .. not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. .. .. with faraway eyes?
 
Who dribbles her food ..     .. .. and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice .. .. .. ‘I do wish you’d try!’
 
Who seems not to notice .. .. .. the things that you do.
And forever is losing .. .. .. A sock or shoe?
 
Who, resisting or not ..     .. .. lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding .. .. .. a long day to fill?
 
Is that what you’re thinking? .. .. .. Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .. . .. you’re not looking at me.
 
I’ll tell you who I am .. .. .. As I sit here so still,
As I do your bidding, .. .. .. as I eat at your will.
 
I’m a small girl of Ten . .. . with  a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. .. .. who love one another.
 
A young girl of Sixteen .. .. .. with wings on her feet, 
Dreaming that soon now .. .. .. a lover she’ll meet.
 
A bride soon at Twenty .. .. .. my heart gives a leap,
Remembering, the vows .. .. .. that I promised to keep.
 
At Twenty-Five, now .. .. .. I have young of my own
Who need me to guide .. .. ..  a secure happy home.
 
A woman of Thirty . .. .. My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other .. .. .. With ties that should last.
 
At Forty, my young sons .. .. .. have grown and are gone,
But my man is beside me . .. . to see I don’t mourn.
 
At Fifty, once more, .. .. .. babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children .. .. .. My husband and me.
 
Dark days are upon me .. .. .. my husband’s now dead.
I look at the future .. .. .. and shudder with dread.
 
For my young are all rearing .. .. .. young of their own, 
And I think of the years .. .. . and  the love that I’ve known.
.
I’m now an old woman .. . .. and nature is cruel.
‘Tis jest to make old age .. .. .. look like a fool.
 
The body, it crumbles .. .. .. grace and vigor depart.
There is now a stone .. . .. where I once had a heart.
 
But inside this old carcass .. .. .. a young girl still dwells,
And now and again .. .. .. my battered heart swells.
 
I remember the joys .. .. .. I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living .. .. .. life over again.
 
I  think of the years .. .. .. all too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact .. .. . that nothing can last.
 
So open your eyes, people .. .. .. open and see
Not a crabby old woman .. .. .. look  closer .. .. .. see ME!!
 
Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within.  We will all, one day, be there, too!

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULTSchedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Greg McIntyre Elder Law Attorney

Greg McIntyre Elder Law Attorney

written by:

Greg McIntyre

Elder Law Attorney

704-749-9244

greg@mcelderlaw.com








My Wife Left Me…

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My wife left me Friday. She packed up the car and headed to Savannah, Georgia without me. One of my nieces is having a birthday and she wanted to be there. My daughters wanted to be there as well. I read an article this week about Bill Gates. Billy takes a week every year to go away somewhere without his wife and kids with no technology and no distractions. He does bring books to occupy his mind sand time. It is a week for him to simply be and think without the noise of the outside world. Just a man alone with his thoughts. This is my weekend alone. I had some work to do and pulled s late night Friday. I then went out for a steak and potato and saw some friends at the restaurant and hung out a bit. I woke up this morning disappointingly early but in defiance rolled over and closed my eyes, determined to catch some more zzzz’s. I ended up laying in bed for a couple of hours watching a Netflix movie on my phone. Of course, I do still have responsibilities. I had to turn on the heat lamp for my son Tucker’s turtle, Steve, and feed him. Then I headed out to the Cafe to eat a noontime breakfast. What a lazy day. Gates says that many innovations and new directions have sprung from his lonesome annual holidays. I’m calling this my weekend getaway.

It is hard for me to conceptualize my life without Stef and the kids. They are just part of who I am. When I think about decisions or plans they are just there, embedded in my process. That’s why I feel a bit lost if they are ever gone, even if just for a weekend. I think it is a great thing to spend time alone, thought… to let the dust settle to the bottom. To be able to think clearly and to hear your inner voice distinct from others but it just feels weird at first. It takes some getting used to.

My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a child or a spouse. May of my clients have gone through the death of a longtime mate and they talk to me about it. I empathetically tell them that time heals all only for them to tell me that it doesn’t. I feel like we help people move on. We assist with closure when a loved one passes away through handling their probate estates. We do that for many people. However, I know they will have to go through the journey alone and adjust to that life and that must be so hard. My eyes tear up thinking about it. I know I would be lost without Stef and the kids if one of them were really gone. I can’t imagine.

I like Bill Gate’s idea of a week alone for clarity, thought and planning. I may incorporate this into my year going forward. However, I don’t like to think about the day I might be without my wife. I just hope she is always there and I like to pretend that’s the way it will be. I also couples plan for the future by mapping out their estate plan in case one of them isn’t there anymore. I don’t like to think about that so I know my clients don’t either. However, like Gates, our lives will run better if we do take that time to plan. I hope that I can help them sit down and think about each other and their lives and develop their plans for those days we don’t like to think about.

So, I am going to try to put a plan together for today… maybe a workout, some planning, some work and some television. It’s back to work as usual on Monday and I plan to be well rested by then. If I can help with your plan give me a call at 704-749-9244 or online at mcelderlaw.com.

IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULTSchedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Greg McIntyre Elder Law Attorney

Greg McIntyre Elder Law Attorney

written by:

Greg McIntyre

Elder Law Attorney

704-749-9244

greg@mcelderlaw.com

 








Life Insurance Beneficiary Fraud

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Brenton and Greg talk about this hot topic in this week’s episode of the Elder Law Report. Schedule your Free Consultation today by calling 704-749-9244 or online at mcelderlaw.com.
Have you put off planning? We understand these are strange times and as our civic duty we are offering complementary consults for Estate Planning and Elder Law legal issues. Schedule yours today!

Related Articles:


Schedule Free Consult

How to Pay for a Nursing Home Stay

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

How to Pay for a Nursing Home Stay

Long-term care is incredibly expensive. The average cost of long-term care ranges from $7,000 to $10,000 a month. Considering the average stay in a long-term care facility can be years, you’re looking at paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars if you need long-term care, which you most likely will. On average, 70% of individuals over age 65 will need some type of long-term care. And this number is slowly creeping up. As medical technology gets better, people live longer. However, the quality of life doesn’t necessarily increase. This means that more and more people live longer and require assistance in the form of long-term care.

Okay, you get that it’s expensive and that you’ll mostly likely need it, so how do you pay for it? Well, you have a few options: you could pay out of pocket. However, given the crazy cost, you couldn’t maintain that for long. Besides, that’s how you end up losing your hard-earned money and property. You could utilize a long-term care insurance policy. However, these policies are difficult to get, they can be expensive, and they are meant to supplement, not cover, long-term care (not that you shouldn’t look into getting long-term care insurance). Lastly, you can utilize the pot of money that you have been chipping into ever since you started working, Medicaid. 

Medicaid is a lot like Social Security (SS). You pay into the system with every paycheck just like you do with SS. Except, with Medicaid, you have to apply and qualify. Most people tend to think that you cannot own anything if you want to qualify for Medicaid. That’s not true. In fact, you can own quite a bit of assets and still have your cost of long-term care covered. The key is to set a plan in place to 1) get Medicaid qualified while keeping your assets; and 2) protecting the assets you keep.

To get Medicaid qualified, you must think about preserving the value of what you own. There are assets that Medicaid considers exempt and other assets are considered non-exempt. Thus, an effective plan for preservation and qualification involves turning non-exempt assets into exempt assets—thereby preserving the value but removing those assets from the list of assets that Medicaid holds against you. 

To protect your assets, you must set them up in such a way that they avoid probate. Probate is the process of transferring assets from an individual who’s passed away to their heirs at law. Probate is a default process that can be avoided by very useful estate planning tools. The reason why. You’d want to avoid probate is because 1) it is a long, expensive, and complicated process; and 2) probate is the opportunity for creditors—including Medicaid—to come after your assets after you pass away. If you avoid probate in the correct way, you avoid the creditors/Medicaid from coming in and taking everything you saved before it can pass to your loved ones.

Medicaid is a great option to pay for long-term care. With the correct plan, you can get your long-term. Care paid for and preserve your assets. If. You have a question about Medicaid or asset protection, give the experienced attorneys at McIntyre Elder Law a call at (704) 259-7040 or visit our website at www.mcelderlaw.com.


Related Articles:


IN PERSON . VIDEO CONSULT . PHONE CONSULTSchedule Free Consult

Book Your FREE CONSULT Today!

Brenton S. Begley
Elder Law Attorney

Regards,

Brenton S. Begley

Elder Law Attorney

McIntyre Elder Law

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

www.mcelderlaw.com

Phone: 704-259-7040

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