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Should NC Lift the Stay at Home Order?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

            “You should seek balance in all things”. Someone important probably said that. Regardless of who did say it or what context they meant it, it’s a pretty good maxim. An extreme reaction tends to have extreme consequences. And, even if an extreme reaction is warranted, the it should be axiomatic that questioning an extreme reaction just comes with the territory.

            Case in point: “Shelter in Place”. Now, for whatever reason, this topic has become politicized.  That’s not necessarily bad because it means people care. But because it has become politicized, and I want people to keep reading this article, let me pose the real question with all assumptions included. The real question is not should we lift the Shelter in Place Order, but how do we open up the economy while protecting rights and those who are the most vulnerable?

            I read somewhere onetime that for every 1 percent the unemployment rate rises, 40,000 people die—direct correlation. That’s not to mention, that economic strife disproportionately affects minorities and the poor. Shutting down all non-essential businesses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, whatever your viewpoint, has certainty caused economic strife and we’ve seen unemployment skyrocket, which begs the question, what will make us sicker?

Hardworking people are out of work indefinitely. That not only means that they must struggle to provide basic necessities for their families, it also means that the economy loses their contribution i.e. taxes that supports our social safety net. The ripple effect of shutting down an economy will be sending waves long after this pandemic is over.

Let’s not forget, however, that this virus kills people, especially the more vulnerable among us. After all, the government is not just shutting down businesses for the heck of it. So, we need to find a balance. We need to ensure that we do not trade one bad situation for another. We may be out of the frying pan, but are we headed for the fire?

There’s also the question of individual rights. An executive order to shelter in place is, no matter which way you spin it, a suspension of individual rights—even fundamental rights afforded to us by the Constitution. Do we want a precedent? Do we want the government having grounds to prevent freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of religion?

Let’s look at where the rubber meets the road. We’ve had concerns about police overreach in this country for years. Luckily, police need probable cause to stop someone. Otherwise, anyone could be harassed by law enforcement. Probable cause means reasonable and articulable grounds that a crime is a foot. What about violation of a stay at home order? Does that mean that anyone not at home can possibly be violating the order, therefore providing probable cause for a lawful police stop? Can the stay at home order provide a pre-text for police to “lawfully” violate basic privacy rights?

I’m sure that the answers to the questions may vary. We’re in uncharted waters and no one really knows the answers. The important thing is that these questions be asked. I have learned that to solve a problem, you focus on the solution. The problem we’re facing is that we need to protect people from a pandemic, from infringement of individual rights, and not tank the economy. What’s the solution? Is there a solution?

Maybe an extreme reaction is warranted. Perhaps we should focus on “flattening the curve” and let the chips fall where they may. What you, the reader, need to remember is that whatever you may think, someone is making the decision for you. Your voice matters. Add to the conversation, contribute to the narrative, and help solve the problem. Ask your friends, your family, your congressman. Ask them what the answer should be. Ask the important questions and remain vigilant of the fact that this is a novel problem. Nobody has the answers, no matter how emphatically, how loudly, or how bluntly they declare they do.

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

Fax: 866-908-1278

Schedule Free Consult

Question? Can we reopen the State of NC in a thoughtful way?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

SPECIAL Elder Law Report. Health Update from DeShay Oliver, the Interim Healthcare Director of Cleveland County, NC and then Greg, Brenton and Hayden talk about the Question: Can we reopen our society in a thoughtful way?

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Virtual Is Now A Reality

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Virtual Estate Planning Platform or VEPP

What if planning was easy? What if you could craft a plan to protect your family, yourself, and your assets from the comfort of your own home? Would you want a comprehensive guide, advice, and access to legal documents on demand? These are the questions that we are asking our clients…and we think we know the answer.

For years, we have been making estate planning and elder law easy for our clients. But we are not satisfied. We’d like to give you the ability to obtain legal advice, planning, and premium legal documents without leaving your sofa. 

The Virtual Estate Planning Platform

Introducing the Virtual Estate Planning Platform. We have constructed a virtual law firm that you can access on demand. The VEP Platform breaks down all of the legal documents that we offer as a firm. Not only do we explain things like trusts, wills, and powers of attorney, we also guide you through setting them up in a manner that allows you to tailor the documents to your personal needs and goals.

That last part is pretty important. That’s what sets our Platform apart from any other online access to legal documents. We do not provide simple fill-in-the-blank documents. We navigate you through the nuanced legal issues that may arise in creating these documents. Additionally, further explanation and advice is just a phone call away. That’s right. Each client who accesses our platform will likewise have access to one of our attorneys who will be available to answer any and all questions.

What About Signing?

Another thing that sets us apart is our process. We do not just send you the documents to print from your home computer and leave the rest to you. The documents must be properly executed in front of a notary (many must be witnessed). After we draft your personalized documents, we will send a draft copy for your review.  Once approved, we will print your documents and have a signing team assist you in properly executing your documents. This also gives you another chance to ask the attorney any questions.

The Other Perks

Virtual estate planning may be somewhat more impersonal than the original method.  However, we value the relationships we form with our clients and we reflect that in the services we provide. Services like our annual review. 

Once we’ve developed a relationship, we want to make sure you know we are still there for you. Lifechanging events tend to also change what’s needed in an estate plan. That’s why we encourage our clients to come into our office or call if anything changes and sit down with the attorney for a free hour of legal advice. Even if nothing has changed, we still encourage that you take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the attorney for your annual review.

Conclusion

Since our inception, it has been our goal to provide cutting edge services to our clients and make estate planning and elder law as easy for them as possible. The next step in this journey is an interactive and on demand law firm experience, coming to you from our virtual platform. We are excited to provide our client the opportunity to have the best experience crafting the plan for their future, regardless of proximity or time constraints. Everyone should have access to premium legal documents that are personally tailored to their needs and goals. Now they do.

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

Fax: 866-908-1278

Schedule Free Consult

Did You Know That Your Rights Are in Danger?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

If you’ve been a frequent subscriber to our articles, you’ve likely detected a theme, namely us advocating for you to take control of your own destiny. As a member of a free and democratic government, you are powerful. The average American citizen has more power now, in today’s society, than any other citizen in any other country throughout history. Not only are you a part of the structure that constitutes our government: the people, you are also a check on the government.

You probably remember learning in school about how our government is formed with checks and balances built in. This is to ensure that no one branch of government obtains too much power and acts in a tyrannical fashion. Something that you likely did not hear in that lesson is that the people are a check on the government as a whole. If we are a government of the people, by the people, for the people, then the government’s power cannot exceed the authority given by the people.

It is our individual duty to ensure that our rights are not eroded and to guarantee that the government is acting on behalf of the people and not itself. You should know that the rights that you have as an individual are not constant.  Individual rights have waxed and waned over the history of this nation and will continue to do so, that is the nature of politics regardless of how free we were set up to be. Therefore, it’s up to us to protect our rights.

So, how are your rights in danger? They’re always in danger. That’s the point I’m making. Individuals must guard their rights like a shepherd guarding his sheep, keeping an ever-vigilant eye toward the tree line. There are people in high places making decisions that affect your life without your input. That will not change unless you do something about it.

All of this is especially true in the times we are experiencing at this very moment. A global pandemic has all but shut down the world. Governments across the globe have suspended individual rights in the name of the collective good. That may be the appropriate response. Confining people to their homes and keeping them from forming in groups, attending religious functions, and moving about freely may save much more lives than the. alternative. However, if history has shown us anything it’s that once rights have been taken, even temporarily, they are not given back in the same nature as enjoyed before. Once a precedent has been set, the government can then clearly see just how many miles they can stretch that inch you gave them.

What can you do about it? Take control. Make sure your family, yourself, and your property is protected. It’s not hard to do, you don’t have to be a political activist or politician. All you need is to lay your foundation. I’m talking about your General Durable Power of Attorney, your Healthcare Power of Attorney, your Living Will, and your Last Will and Testament. Not only will these documents give you the ability to protect and dictate what happens to your property. It also gives you and your loved ones the ability to assert your rights, the ability to ensure your individual freedom, and the ability to take control of your destiny.

You can start the conversation about protecting your rights by calling McIntyre Elder law at (704) 259-7040 or visiting our website at www.mcelderlaw.com.

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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

Fax: 866-908-1278

Will You Get a Stimulus Check?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

How Do You Receive Your Check?

According to the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service most Americans don’t have to do a thing to receive their stimulus checks. For those who rarely file a return a simple one page document is available on irs.gov that must be filed.

Who Is Eligible?

According to the Internal Revenue Service:

“Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are also eligible and will not be required to file a return. 

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.”

How Will They Know Where To Send The Check?

The IRS will use the information on your 2018 or 2019 tax return for where to send the economic impact checks.

Can I Get Direct Deposit?

Yes! The Treasury will be setting up a website to take your bank account information.

If you currently have a tax obligation the economic impact check will go towards that debt and rumor is the same if you owe back child support.

At McIntyre Elder Law we are here to help you and your family with any of your estate panning needs. During this crisis we have waived our consult fees. Contact us today for a FREE CONSULT at 704-749-9244.

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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

AVOID Virus Scammers! A Word from the Sheriff

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Greg, Hayden and Brenton discuss ways to avoid Cabin Fever and also speak to Sheriff Alan Norman ways to avoid SCAMS. Lots of information covered in this episode of the Elder Law Report. Learn more: mcelderlaw.com/freewebinar.

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Will You Be Burned By Probate?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

To better understand how to avoid probate. It is important to first understand why you should seek to avoid probate. Let’s start by defining some terms.

Why?

Probate: the process by which an asset (that has not been otherwise predesignated) passes from a decedent to that decedent’s heirs. The part of that sentence in parenthesis is pretty important. That’s because, if an asset is predesignated to pass to an individual, it avoids probate. In other words, we already know to whom the asset is supposed to go, so we don’t need to go through the probate process to determine the rightful owner. Without pre-designation, we have a bunch of assets and we have to figure out the proper recipient.

That determination can be convoluted and controversial to say the least. You might be thinking to yourself: “doesn’t a will clear all of this up?” The short answer is no. The long answer is that there’s two reasons why the answer is no. 1. The will does not actually take effect until some has passed away and a court of competent jurisdiction determines that the purported will is in fact the decedent’s last will and testament; and 2. Because the will does not take effect until the aforementioned point, naming an heir in the will is not pre-designation. That’s not to mention the fact that will can be challenged even once they are accepted by a court.

So why avoid probate? It’s long, it’s expensive, it extends the grieving process, and people can sue, challenging the will. Probate can take anywhere from six-months to two-years, depending on a number of factors (like a will challenge). Most of the time, the process is rather confusing, and you generally have to have some help if you’ve never done it before.  That’s especially true if you’re the executor and want to avoid any liability. Finally, you want to avoid probate because it’s the opportunity for creditors to come in and take part or all of the heirs’ inheritance. Creditors tend to be medical creditors like nursing homes, hospital bills, and Medicaid.

How?

            Now that you know why you should avoid probate, let’s talk about how to avoid it. I mentioned pre-designation above. Essentially this means situating an asset in such a way that it passes immediately to someone named as beneficiary or someone whom you’ve given right of survivorship. However, not all assets are the same. So, it’s not as easy as naming a beneficiary for every individual asset you own. Luckily, trusts take care of that problem.  

            Trusts are awesome tools. It’s essentially a pot with pre-designated beneficiaries. Thus, anything you put into that pot is likewise predesignated to go to those beneficiaries. Thus, anything in the pot passes outside of probate.

            But what if you don’t go the trust route? After all, a trust may not be right for you. Again, it depends on the asset.

Let’s look at most people main assets. Financial accounts such as checking, savings, IRAs, investment accounts etc. can all have beneficiaries assigned to them (pre-designation). Car’s and anything with a title can have a joint owner with right of survivorship. Lastly, real property can pass outside of probate in a number of ways, depending on how you set up the deed.

When drafting your estate plan, one of your goals should be probate avoidance. Save your loved ones the headache and risk. If you have questions about probate avoidance, give us a call at (704) 259-7040 or visit our website at www.mcelderlaw.com.

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Book Your Appointment 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

Fax: 866-908-1278

A Word from Stef…

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Greg’s wife Stef shares a little about the peace that comes with having your Estate Plan in place, and having all your “docs” in a row. ***We are offering In Person, Telephone and Video Consults*** FREE OF CHARGE during this crisis. Call us: 704-749-9244 or online at mcelderlaw.com.

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Charlotte Today Show! Stay-At-Home Crisis Planning

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Don’t Miss This Episode!!!

Greg and Eugene discuss the current state of the crisis and why essential services are needed. Greg discusses the need for certain planning during this crisis.

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LIVE!!! BE PREPARED RADIO SHOW!!!

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Great Show Today!!!

Brenton, Greg & Hayden LIVE on the radio Elder Law Report about the Getting Peace if Mind in Trying Times Times. SPECIAL OFFER: FREE Consults during this crisis. Call: 704-749-9244 or online at mcelderlaw.com.

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