PostShow: TRUSTS!!! We are taking trust today fresh off the Charlotte today experience. Get the Trust Planning Map FREE at: mcelderlaw.com/trustmap.
Greg McIntyre: Hey, this is Greg McIntyre with McIntyre Elder Law, helping seniors protect their assets and legacies. I’m here at NBC, WCNC in Charlotte, we just finished the Charlotte Today Show. We were talking about trust planning. What’s the difference between wills and trust? We only had a few minutes to talk about that. So I wanted to come on and expand on that a little bit. We call this the post show, or the postgame, and talk about trust.
great planning tools. We handle special needs trust, which are amazing planning
tools that can allow for people to… with disabilities to have money to be
spent on them and not affect, say an SSI, a disability payment or Medicaid
Healthcare that comes along with it. Also, people may reach a point where they
need trust for tax planning, or it really depends on your goal.
So what we
did was, Taylor and I – and Taylor’s filming right now, I appreciate that
Taylor – we made the trust planning map. This is hot off my desk literally, and
it talks about the difference between your revocable and irrevocable trust. It
gives you the difference, it says down below. It gives you some questions such
as you’re a irrevocable trust, or we could call that a Medicaid asset
protection trust if we were looking to, perhaps, pay for nursing home care or
assisted living care with Medicaid, but wanted to make sure the assets were
protected. A revocable living trust will not give you that option, okay,? So it
shows that right at the top. And then, which one is best for you? Do you want
control or do you want protection? Well, you could have more control as the
trustee with a revocable living trust, right here, or more protection with a
wanted to get that down and talk about control of assets, tax separately or the
same as you. Revocable living trusts can be taxed the same as your personal
income. Irrevocable trust have a separate tax ID number. It’s actually EIN
number the IRS makes you get to tag the taxes on the income generated in the
trust because a trust may need an income tax return at the end of the year if
there’s certain gains.
irrevocable trust, you have a third party trustee. So the third party trustee
means it’s not you. With a revocable trust, it’s generally you are the trustee.
Irrevocable trust, it’s going to be a friend, a trusted family member. It could
be an attorney or sometimes it’s a bank. Sometimes banks have trust departments
that handle and manage trusts, and they have plus managers within those
departments. We handle trust on a regular basis as the trustees if our clients
need us to do that. Those are a couple of differences.
We have many
differences irrevocable and revocable trust. I always start with goals. So trust
goals, one, two, three. We have a place that you can write down your goals. Is
it to send people to college? Is it to make sure that the grandkids have a
better chance in life or a better lot in life? Is it to preserve land and keep
it in the family? There’s a lot of reasons why you might want a trust. This is
so you can think about those reasons for yourself and write those there. We
talk about the wills a little bit too, and how those work with trust.
generally, a will is written along with a trust as a pour over will. The will
is written to pour over assets, not in the trust while you’re alive, into the
trust at that point. So you need to be conscious and aware of that if there are
any liens that could attach to the property that are going through the court
probate process through a will to be poured over into the trust. All those
things are individual to you and your family that you need to think about or
see a professional and talk about.
So this is a
good way to get started. To get this, you can go to mcelderlaw.com/trust,
mcelderlaw.com/trustmap, and you’ll also receive a free copy… ebook and audio
book copy of Saving the Farm: A Practical Guide to the Legal Maze of Aging in
America, that I wrote, that talks more in depth about trust and other legal
concepts to help you protect your hard earned money and property for you and
your family. Thank you so much for watching and listening. We’ll come to you
again regularly, at least once a week, with great information for you and your
family. Have a great day.
Charlotte Today Show: Greg, Colleen and Eugene talk about protecting assets with Trusts. Also get the FREE Trust Planning Map! mcelderlaw.com/trustmap
Eugene: Well, many of you may
have already drafted up your will, but how do you know if you should also have
Colleen: Here to tell us more is
Greg McIntyre with McIntyre Elder Law. Good morning to you, Greg. Thanks for
being here on Charlotte Today.
McIntyre: Good morning.
Colleen: Good morning.
McIntyre: How you doing
Colleen: Great, thank you.
McIntyre: Very glad to be here
Colleen: Let’s start with this.
What is a trust?
McIntyre: Sure. A trust is a
legal document or container, if you will, that can contain any real estate,
money, any property, stocks, bonds. Really anything that you have or
accumulate, you can place in a trust or leave to someone in a trust.
Eugene: Okay, so here it is. You
have a will but you can also do that very same thing in a trust. So what is the
difference between a will and trust?
McIntyre: Sure. So let’s say
in a will that I leave everything to my 18 year old son.
McIntyre: Right? And maybe if
I’m able to make a little money during my life, I don’t know about you, but at
18 years old I might not have been really wise with how I spent my money. I
heard you talking about your son at college and this and that. Right and what
he wanted to do, right? I would have probably gone to Myrtle Beach and just
blown it all, at the time, on something silly, you know?
McIntyre: Really. I wasn’t
even sophisticated with my taste at that point. Love Myrtle Beach though. Okay.
So, a will will allow you to one-off give things like that. You can place trust
in wills called testamentary trust, but mainly the idea of a trust is avoiding
probate, not going through the public court system, which a will does. So wills
are public, trusts are private, privately administering them.
McIntyre: Right. So that you
do that in the privacy within your family or with an attorney. It depends on
your goals. What are your goals? Do you have a hundred acre farm that you want
to remain farmland in the family for generations or do you want the son-in-law
to turn it into a golf course? Do you want to curse an 18 year old child or
grandchild with a lot of money or do you want to make sure that that trust is
discretionary and pays for health, education, and welfare until say they
reached 25 and then after that starts giving them that money in increments over
say a 10 year period or over their life.
Colleen: So, is there more
control with the trust then?
McIntyre: You can control…
My law professor used to call it dead hand control. Like a hand sticking up
from the grave, which is maybe a little bit of a morbid but it illustrates the
Eugene: Oh, I get the… Oh,
McIntyre: You can control your
money and property well beyond your life.
Colleen: So let me ask you this
then. Why would someone need a trust? Why would they choose putting the assets
in a trust over a will?
McIntyre: Some people get to a
point where they have enough assets that they want to protect them from tax liability.
Trusts are good at doing that. Or you may want to protect real estate and keep
it a certain way over time. You may want to do what we were talking about, make
sure the kids or grandkids go to college. Then start giving it to them after
they get more education and life experience, some of the money in the body or
the Corpus of the trust, the principle of the trust.
McIntyre: So it depends on
your goals. It really depends on what your goals are. Many people that come in,
they know they have to have a trust. They want a trust, that’s what’s for them.
They don’t. They really aren’t in a situation where they need a trust. There
are other, maybe more simple means to accomplish those goals. But I wanted to
talk about trusts today because they are a little more complicated planning
tools that can really help people achieve their goals and what they want with
their money and property even well beyond their lifetimes. Right.
Eugene: Does an executor deal
with a will as they do with the trust the same way?
McIntyre: So there’s some
different types of trusts. I would say there’s a revocable and irrevocable
trust. Many different types. We’ll talk about those.
Eugene: So, let’s talk about the
irrevocable, revocable trust then.
McIntyre: Sure. So revocable
trust, you’re the trustee, not the executor. That’s the will. Your the trustee,
say during your life maybe for a revocable living trust and you control it so
you have your hand in the trust. You can take things out of it and you can put
things into it. You can break it. Because of that, it’s not protected from say
if Medicaid had to come in and pay for five years of nursing home care. It
would be an asset, accountable asset, and a recoverable asset. So, it’s not
protection there but it does allow a lot of control. Irrevocable. You have a
third party trustee and it is more of a protected asset and it offers more
Colleen: Greg, you offer a trust
planning map. What is that?
McIntyre: Trust planning map.
We worked on that hard over the last week. That’s my ideas on the differences
between irrevocable, revocable trust. If you want to take a look at it with
your family or yourself and see if a trust is right for you and those
differences. Even has a spot to write down your goals and get into that. So you
can get that by going to mcelderlaw.com/trustmap, mccelderlaw.com/trustmap. We
worked very hard to bring that to the viewers. It’s hot off my desk. It’s some
of my thoughts visually and written on trust and the differences.
Colleen: You also wrote a book
called Saving the Farm. That covers a lot of these issues. You see the cover of
that book right there. If you go to mcelderlaw.com/trustmap, as Greg mentioned,
you’ll get the free copy of the trust map and a free e-copy of this book,
Saving the Farm. Something that Greg is proud to bring you and offer to you for
free today for Charlotte Today viewers. Thank you so much for being here this
McIntyre: Thank you very much
guys. I appreciate it.
Whether you are John D. Rockefeller, Sr. or not I would argue that the smaller the estate sometimes the more it matters. That home can really be valuable to the family. The retirement savings needs to be protected and needs to last.
Greg McIntyre: Hi, this is Brett McIntyre with McIntyre Elder Law, coming to you from New York City. I’m talking about big town, small town, big estate, small estate, anywhere in between, it doesn’t matter. It’s all important. It’s important to do planning. I’m here at The Vessel, which is an amazing stairwell, and I’ll put some footage in of The Vessel as well at the end of this so you can see it. We’ve got the Hudson in the background. What a great city. What a great view, and I mean, I guarantee you within a few miles of where I’m standing, there are a lot of people with very, very large estates that need very, very in depth and extensive estate planning.
Greg McIntyre: But it’s really no different, even if you have a smaller estate or anywhere in between. Still, you start with foundational work. You get all your foundations knocked out. I would even argue that a smaller estate is more important to home, keeping that home in the family, using that for the family to use as a financial asset to own that for the rest of your life. That could be even more important to you with a smaller estate than with a really, really multimillion dollar or billion dollar estate, such as some of the people around us have. That could change the trajectory of a family, send a grandchild to college.
Greg McIntyre: Even in a large estate, you still need to start with foundations, the same as in any range. Foundational work, I say, is general durable power of attorney, which allows somebody to handle your finances for you if you’re incompetent or incapacitated, healthcare power of attorney, living will and will. All those things are extremely important. And then you could get into things like deed planning to protect, say a ladybird deed on the house, maybe a life estate deed on other property that you have in addition to the house or decide whether you want it to go into a little more complex trust planning. But trust planning really depends on assets and goals.
Greg McIntyre: Let’s say I had a farm that I wanted to stay in my family for generations and I didn’t want any of my knucklehead kids to turn it into a golf course or sell it off for development. I might want to put that in trust. If I wanted to protect my retirement, maybe some of my real estate, my home, I can put that in trust. Whether I have longterm care insurance can factor into this entire equation such as if I have longterm care insurance to pay for five years of assisted or nursing home care, then I’m not as concerned about locking everything down right now protecting me. But if I don’t, I might want to use something like an irrevocable trust or I might call it a Medicaid asset protection trust to really protect the home and maybe some other property and retirement assets so that those would be there for the rest of my life and then also would be there for my children and grandchildren’s lives.
Greg McIntyre: We engage in that planning all the time. The real failure is not to engage in planning. Do you think that the people that built these buildings and that designed this city didn’t engage in some long range planning? I guarantee you they did. To achieve great things, you have to plan, and you can certainly start small. We help people with small, medium, and large estates and anywhere in between, and we’re happy to do that. I’m Greg McIntyre with McIntyre Elder Law, just talking about big town, small town, large estate, small estate, it doesn’t matter. Planning is the key. If you want any help, you can reach us at 704-749-9244 or online at MCElderLaw.com/EstatePlanning. Have a great day.
Greg McIntyre: Joe Juniors, Joe Juniors. And what neighborhood are we in? We’re not at Union Square yet. Greenwich? Greenwich Village? Joe Juniors in Greenwich Village. This is breakfast with Drew. Say hey, Drew. He looks so stoic. Pretty much just eat what Drew eats. Drew’s a lot healthier than I am. This is probably one of my oldest friends in the world, and I can’t remember not knowing Drew. He’s taking time off of his busy international travels. We’re hanging out in New York City for the weekend, for a few days. He really does smile.
Drew: You got to take the snack shop whenever you can get it.
Greg McIntyre: Not too different than a snack shop, Joe Juniors.
I have been working in Manhattan for the last few days and the contrast between the massive size of this city and most others is striking and apparent. However, at the core, the city is made up of people. These people have the same desires, hopes and dreams as the people in my hometown of Shelby, NC. At the core, they are very similar. The people in NYC want relationships and families. They want opportunity, education, prosperity the same as other folks anywhere. There are big cities, small cities and every size of city all across the United States and the world.
The same is true of estate planning for families. There are families of all sizes and shapes. There are families at different varying levels of wealth. Individuals and families have different estate sizes. Some families simply have more stuff while others have less. But, all is important. Planning can be a bit different for a large estate versus a smaller estate but at the core it is still about protecting and passing on what is valuable to you. Here are 3 main points I think are valuable to make when considering planning for an estate of any size:
Everyone’s property is valuable. Whether you are John D. Rockefeller, Sr. or not I would argue that the smaller the estate sometimes the more it matters. That home can really be valuable to the family. The retirement savings needs to be protected and needs to last.
Different planning tools. Everyone can benefit by engaging in foundational planning. Foundational work, from my perspective, is putting in place the basic estate planning documents that you need to operate your life and beyond: General Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Will. From there you may consider Deed protection, a Lady Bird Deed on your home, a Life Estate Deed on other properties, planning with Trusts or a combination of planning options. Trust can be great tools for avoiding probate and protecting assets depending on your goals. The bigger the estate, the more you may be worried about estate tax, but trusts can be used to achieve goals for families with estates both large and small. A revocable living trust can certainly be used to control assets while avoiding probate. You may choose to use an irrevocable trust to protect your home and other assets from a Medicaid recovery if they pay for long term care. Is there long term care insurance in place? If so, that could be a factor in considering which planning route to go. Of course, all planning really hinges on your personal and family goals. Is the goal to protect money and property and pass those down to next generations? Is your goal to send the grandchildren to college? Is the goal to preserve farmland to stay farmland for generations? Trusts can certainly help accomplish these goals and more.
Every estate size deserves a plan. No matter if your estate is large, small or anywhere in between, you should absolutely engage in planning with a professional. Most people can benefit from foundational estate planning. Most families have real estate to protect either by deed or trust. Most families can benefit regardless of the size of the estate by engaging in proactive estate and elder law planning.
Can we help you and your family with your estate and elder law planning needs? Learn more by calling: 704-749-9244 or online at: mcelderlaw.com/estateplanning.
The children and grandchildren are watching whether you realize it or not. Set a precedent of planning.
Here at McIntyre Elder Law, we are trying to get the word out. Specifically, we are trying to inform every one of the importance of planning ahead. There are many reason to start setting up an estate plan as early as possible: maybe you want to protect assets; maybe you want to avoid probate; perhaps you want to qualify for benefits to pay for long-term care; or maybe you just want to set a good example for your loved ones.
The thing I remember about my grandparents is how hard they worked. They were Depression era migrant workers who saved enough money to buy land and begin farming. But just because they finally had land of their own doesn’t mean it was all downhill from there. My grandparents toiled daily, farming, milking cows, raising poultry, and breaking horses. Despite the weather, sickness, or injury, they were up before the sun and worked until late at night.
This had a huge impression on me. It made me realize that a good work ethic is paramount in this life. It has continually motivated me to and inspired me. However, the most impactful example my grandparents set was how they planned ahead.
My grandparents realized how hard they worked to earn what they had. They also knew that they wanted to ensure that their children could benefit from that hard work. So, despite having never had much use for an attorney, they sought out an estate planning lawyer to help them plan ahead.
The plan they ended up setting in place had many benefits, of which a couple stand out. First, their assets were protected. Thus, the land, cattle, crops, equipment, and everything else they had earned were preserved for their children to inherit.
Second, there was no long process. The way my grandparents set everything up allowed their children to avoid the probate process. There was no court process that tied up inheritances for 6 months to a year. There was no government involvement in the passing of the assets. Everything was straight-forward and happened almost instantaneously.
Lastly, there was no litigation. My grandparents had 12 children who did not always see eye to eye. They didn’t think any of their children would challenge an estate plan, but they also knew that people have crazy reactions when a parent or loved one dies. Their estate plan limited their children’s opportunity to sue or challenge their plan. This led to a seamless and tranquil passing of assets.
I strive to be like my grandparents. Not only do I want to be a hard worker, I also want to ensure that I set plans in place that not only benefits my loved ones but inspires them as well. I started planning early on; not just because I want to protect my assets, but so I can answer “yes” to the question: Am I Being a Role Model?
Greg McIntyre: Hi, this is Greg McIntyre with McIntyre Elder Law, helping seniors protect their assets and legacies. And I’m here with fellow attorney Brenton Begley, who’s also with our firm. And we’re going to talk today about being a role model and what that means. And being a role model, perhaps not in the traditional sense that you might think of, but by setting an example for your family and for other reasons.
Greg McIntyre: So how can estate planning Brenton, how can Elder Law in any way help you be a role model or set a precedent for your family?
Brenton Begley: Right. So, you know, I wrote an article about this because I really think about this sort of thing when I’m talking to clients. The way that you can set an example and be a role model is to show your loved ones how prepared you were in your life and not only after your life, but during your life too. Life is easier if you’re organized, right? Life is easier if you plan ahead. You give this example all the time, Greg. Your son Tucker, right? If he has homework, when should he do it?
Greg McIntyre: He should do it ahead of time. Not until the night before. Okay.
Brenton Begley: That’s right [crosstalk 00:01:21].
Greg McIntyre: Yeah. He should do it ahead of time.
Brenton Begley: Is he going to do his homework ahead of time or the night before if he doesn’t have anybody to model that behavior after? If his dad waits until the last minute to do everything. If his dad doesn’t plan ahead, is he going to plan ahead? So the answer’s no.
Greg McIntyre: Great role models that he has is his older brother. Okay? Who’s in college now who really, really gets ahead on his planning and homework and is very organized. And, I would like to think I am a good role model for him as well as far as planning, organization and living a good life to give him an example. To that point, my parents never talked about money.
Brenton Begley: Right.
Greg McIntyre: That was a horrible thing. And another great article we should write, by the way.
Brenton Begley: Right. You can go to either extreme. Like your parents don’t talk about money.
Greg McIntyre: Sure.
Brenton Begley: And so that’s one extreme. And my parents always talk about money, always talk about bills, and so us kids felt guilty about the fact that, if we didn’t have money, right?
Greg McIntyre: Right.
Brenton Begley: So I think you can go either extreme. But if you can show that you’re secure, even if there’s … everybody has financial problems.
Greg McIntyre: Sure.
Brenton Begley: So if you can show that you’re secure, you’re not afraid to talk about money, have it works, but you don’t put that burden on other people, then that’s a balance you want to strike, because that’s the type of role models you want to be.
Greg McIntyre: Sure. I think you have to be … how about I think if your parents, grandparents set a culture and a family of planning, being financially responsible of talking about those things, as opposed to simply ignoring them and act like they don’t exist, then you could change the trajectory of your family by being a role model by saying, “Look, I am doing planning for my behalf and your behalf. My foundational documents are in place.” I love it when people come to me and say, “It was so easy to operate things when something happened to mom and she needed some help. I was able to come in as the healthcare agent, under the the healthcare power of attorney. We were able to manage all accounts so that all bills were paid. And she already had the planning set up so that her property passed maybe outside of probate and was protected against any liens like real estate, home, things like that. And perhaps other accounts and things like that we’re also protected and passed outside of probate as well.
Greg McIntyre: When I can help somebody set up that way, it’s awesome. And I happen to think it rubs off on those kids too because those children a lot of times say, “Hey, we need to get with you to do some planning as well so that we can set things up equally to be protected and to be that easy for our children.”
Brenton Begley: Oh man, those are the easiest consultations aren’t they? When they come in already knowing the importance of planning ahead because they’ve had real world experience with that. You don’t have to explain to them the importance of these foundational documents like powers of attorney, living will, will, that sort of thing. And which, hey, I don’t mind doing that. I don’t mind spreading the gospel. I don’t mind informing people of how it all works. But, it’s great when people already know. They come in and they say, “Hey, we really need this because, if I’m in the same situation that my mother was in, my sibling was in, my spouse was in, I’d want someone to be able to act for me. Or I’d want my money not to be tied up. Or I’d want my finances or my healthcare, right? I want to be protected.
Greg McIntyre: Absolutely. So there’s all kinds of role models out there. I remember Michael Jordan was my role model growing up, [inaudible 00:05:23] in sports, and I was out trying to dunk like on a first an eight foot, then a nine foot. When I grew and all my friends were out there, I mean just [inaudible 00:05:33] on a nine-foot goal, just trying to take that thing down, all trying to be like Mike. Then we’d throw it up to nine and a half, and then 10. And just all trying to be like Mike and dunk and just be awesome. And the guy was a great role model to look up to. Kind of like a Superman of basketball really.
Greg McIntyre: But, those aren’t the only types of role models that we have. Who are our other role models? Leaders in the community sometimes [crosstalk 00:06:02], sometimes fireman. Politicians used to be role models, right?
Brenton Begley: Yeah, used to be.
Greg McIntyre: Yeah. And, we have certainly historical role models. How many people look at their family as their role models?
Brenton Begley: Yeah, that’s a good question.
Greg McIntyre: Not enough. Not enough.
Brenton Begley: Certain members of your family are always going to serve as a role model in one way or another. It could be good or bad. Because role models are-
Greg McIntyre: That’s a good point. You’re going to be a role model whether you want to or not. Despite what Charles Barkley says, “I’m not your …”
Brenton Begley: Oh yeah. Hey man, [crosstalk 00:06:37] I’ve seen many, many peoples take pride in not reading, take pride and not educating themselves. Take pride in living a certain way that may be detrimental because that’s the way my dad did it. That’s the way my mom did it.
Greg McIntyre: And they were cool with that because that was their culture in their family and their comfort zone.
Brenton Begley: Right. And those parents didn’t understand how much of an effect they were having on those children. Right? By-
Greg McIntyre: Well, they were a role model [crosstalk 00:07:05]. So you don’t have to step up and be like, “Hey, I’m going to be a role model now.”
Brenton Begley: … No.
Greg McIntyre: “I’m going to be this super person in a great way.” You are being a role model in your family no matter whether you want to not, and no matter whether you step up and proclaim that you’re a role model model or not. People in your family are watching you.
Brenton Begley: Right.
Greg McIntyre: Especially the young people and say, “Hey, this is how I should be. This is how my dad is. This is how my granddad is. Mother, grandmother.” Right? And it makes them okay with being the same way.
Brenton Begley: Right.
Greg McIntyre: Some people go against the grain, but I think society would show, and history would show, it’s not the norm that you go outside of your family culture and boundaries and values.
Brenton Begley: Hey man, I have wore some weird clothes throughout middle school, early high school, because hey, I had an older brother who went through the 90s’ grunge phase for a while, right? So I looked up to him too, man, I wanted to be just like him. And so I wore some pretty odd clothing growing up because of that. And hey, that’s over, right? I’d like to think I have good sense of style now. [crosstalk 00:08:24] he’s got a better sense of style now. That’s right, wear a suit. But [crosstalk 00:08:28].
Greg McIntyre: It’s not your brother’s suit.
Brenton Begley: That’s right, it’s not my brother’s suit. My suit. But I’ll tell you this, he didn’t realize that I was wearing funny clothes because he was wearing funny clothes, right?
Greg McIntyre: Right.
Brenton Begley: He was just living life and I was just trying to be like him for the better or worse. And that’s just such a good example. I saw that with my younger nieces and nephews, I’m the youngest so I’m the [inaudible 00:08:57]. Nieces and nephews, they wanted to be like me too. So I had to take a look at my wardrobe and fix that. Take a look at my actions. Fix that too. You know?
Greg McIntyre: So, planning to protect your money, property, getting your legal and financial affairs in order, sets an amazing precedent for your children, your grandchildren, the people that are watching you and want to be like you and want to make the way they do things okay. So it could mean an entire culture shift for your family and direction for your family. So I would counsel people to be a good role model. We would be glad we would be glad to help with that. If you have any questions about estate planning or elder law, please give us a call or visit us online. You can call us at 704-749-9244. Or online at mcelderlaw.com.
Greg McIntyre: Thank you for joining. Thank you for listening to the Elder Law report and watching. And we’ll come to you next week with an important piece of information we think that will add value to your life. Have a great week until then. See you next week. Thanks Brenton.
Brenton Begley: Good night.
If you have any questions or want to learn more you may contact McIntyre Elder Law at: 704-749-9244 or online at mcelderlaw.com.
Eugene: If something were to
happen to you today, would your family be protected? That might depend on
whether or not you have a will.
Colleen: Here with more this
morning is Greg McIntyre, with McIntyre Elder Law .
Colleen: Greg, good morning.
We’re so glad you’re here today.
McIntyre: I’m glad to be here.
Colleen, Eugene, thank you so much for for having me today.
Colleen: Of course. Let’s start
McIntyre: You’ve got me
Colleen: Oh yeah?
McIntyre: I don’t know.
Colleen: It’s all good. It’s all
good. Let’s start with this, what is a will, and why is it so important?
McIntyre: I get that question
all the time. Or, because I practice estate planning and elder law, I get the
Larry the Cable Guy question, which is, “You do wills?”
McIntyre: Yes, we do wills,
okay? However, that may or may not be the best place to pass your hard earned
money and property. Wills are fraught with peril. But let’s talk about that.
Eugene: What type of financial
things are located in the will, or situated in a will?
McIntyre: Sure. A will allows
you to name the person, the executor, that passes on, and that handles the
distribution of your assets, passing out your hard-earned money and property,
after you pass away, to your heirs. To your children or grandchildren, or
perhaps charities, your church. Okay?
McIntyre: You can really pass
almost anything through a will. A home, any real estate, or any kind of money,
IRAs, 401ks, but that may or may not be advisable, based on your individual
Colleen: Hmm. Okay. How does a
will help the surviving family members avoid probate?
McIntyre: That’s a great
question. A will actually is subject to probate. To avoid probate, you would
pass your money and property outside of the will. You could use
payable-on-death beneficiaries for bank accounts now. That’s free probate
avoidance advice. You can use transferable-on-death beneficiaries on investment
McIntyre: You can use trust to
avoid probate, but your will has to go to the clerk of court. “Madame
clerk, will you please probate this will.” Okay. Don’t take your own will,
because you have to pass away first, before you can probate it.
McIntyre: Okay. But then it’s
subject to liens, because you publish in the paper for four consecutive weeks.
It’s open for 90 days before, really, anything happens. That’s so that liens
can come in and attach to the estate. If you want to avoid that, there are some
certain ways to do that.
McIntyre: You might want to
consider will/trust combinations, or other ways to pass your money and property
outside, just by making sure your beneficiaries, your primary, secondary,
tertiary beneficiaries, are all lined up. I counsel people on those things all
the time. But it’s a very individual process.
Eugene: Can the executor of a
will ignore what is spelled out in the will?
McIntyre: No. And the-
Eugene: What keeps your
protected from that?
McIntyre: That’s a great question,
Eugene. When you take the the will to the clerk’s office, and they probate the
will, there’s going to be a very highly-trained probate clerk, and if need be,
a judge, that’s going to ensure the executor does exactly what they need to,
and that you specified needs to be done with the will, or they’re subject to
Eugene: Oh, wow.
Colleen: Very good.
Eugene: I didn’t know that.
Colleen: You have a visual map,
that helps walk people through this estate planning process.
McIntyre: I do.
Colleen: Can you tell us more
McIntyre: This is what I’m
trying to probate with you. This is an EP map, estate planning map. I’m a very
visual person. It took me a long time to grasp all the concepts, and I still
learn every day. Sometimes, when I explain things, we have to go over them
McIntyre: Some people, who are
very visual, it looks very much like a board game almost, but it shows the
house, investments, money, property, being passed outside of the will in
different types of ways, with trust or deep planning. It also shows the will
and probate process, where liens can attach.
McIntyre: If people want their
copy of this, this really helps families plan out their futures, especially
families with seniors, or seniors themselves. Okay. Go to McElderLaw.com,
that’s our website, /epmap. McElderLaw.com/epmap, and you can get this.
McIntyre: I spent a lot of
time working on this, there’s several iterations, and here’s how it exists
today. I want them to have it. I want the viewers to have it today.
Colleen: So does it just depend
on each person, I guess-
McIntyre: It does.
Colleen: Whether it’s best to
leave these things through the will, you mentioned, or outside of the will?
McIntyre: It all depends on
your risk for liens. In elder law, we’re always looking-
Colleen: Got it.
McIntyre: At that longterm
care component to, hey, how are they going to pay for that? Are they going to
run up this huge tab with Medicaid for North Carolina, that’s going to attach
to the estate? Is there a way to avoid that, or otherwise pay for longterm
care, and how should we pass those assets?
McIntyre: It may be the will,
but it certainly may not be.
Eugene: You also wrote a book
called Saving the Farm, correct?
McIntyre: I did. Saving the
Farm: A Practical Guide to the Legal Maze of Aging in America. Spent a couple
of years working on that, tens of thousands of dollars on bringing it to the
McIntyre: You can buy it on
Amazon, or I’m going to give it away for free today, if you go to
McElderLaw.com, or McElderLaw.com/epmap, sign up for that, and you’ll get a
free audio and ebook copy of Saving the Farm.
Colleen: Again, to get a free
copy of the estate planning map, or a free ebook copy of Saving the Farm, visit
McElderLaw.com. It’s right there on the screen. Go to the website now.
Colleen: Greg, thank you so much
for being here.
McIntyre: Thank you so much.
You guys have a great day.
Eugene: All right, thank you.
Colleen: You, too.
Eugene: All right, coming up on the show today-
If you have any questions or want to learn more you may contact McIntyre Elder Law at: 704-749-9244 or online at mcelderlaw.com.
an Elder Law attorney, much of what I do is help people pay for their long-term
care. It has become a large part of our practice, which is no surprise when you
consider that 70% of individuals over the age of 65 will need some type of
long-term care and that care costs can range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a
month. For many people, the goal is to get Medicaid to pay for your cost of
care. And why wouldn’t you? You pay into Medicaid your whole life. You should
be entitled to see at least a little bit of that money. But what happens when
you get Medicaid approved?
There are many “street lawyers” out there spreading myths
about Medicaid and how it works. The best way to address what happens when you
get Medicaid is to address two of the main myths:
take all of your income.
This is not
necessarily true. Once you’re approved for Medicaid, they will calculate you
Patient Monthly Liability (PML). This is the amount you will be liable to pay
to the facility. Your PML will be
calculated based on your cost of care and income, from whatever source.
Depending on what level of care you’re receiving e.g. assisted living or
nursing home care, you will receive a nominal monthly allowance between $30 and
$60 per month.
will eat up most to all of the income unless you have a spouse or a dependent
family member who resides with your spouse. If either applies, you can divert
your monthly income to your spouse and dependents up to a maximum limit of
$3,0161. For example, your spouse makes $1,000 a month but their cost of living
is $6,000 per month, you can divert your income to your spouse to cover the
difference between their income and cost of living up to the maximum
amount i.e. in this example $2,161 can be diverted.
can take your home.
This too is
a half-truth. The home, your principal place of residence, will not count as an
asset for Medicaid purposes. Thus, when they count up your assets to see if you
qualify, the home typically won’t be included in that calculation. Thus, before
qualification and while you are receiving Medicaid, they can’t just come in and
take your home.
home is at risk is when you pass away. The Medicaid death penalty—the amount
that the government can recover from you when you die—can come in and use your
home to pay back Medicaid. However, there are ways to protect this like a
Getting qualified for Medicaid doesn’t mean you lose your home and all of your income. You should know the rules to protect your family and property. If you have questions about Medicaid and long-term care, our experienced attorneys can help. Call McIntyre Elder Law at (704) 259-7040.
As the baby boomer generation ages
so too rises the collective age of the nation. As the nation ages, we will run
into more and more issues; issues such as how to pay for long term care and how
to deal with dementia. A new age (no pun intended) of the elderly, what has
been deemed the “silver tide”, is coming and we are not prepared for it.
We do Guardianships All Wrong
If a loved one cannot make
decisions for themselves, for whatever reason e.g. dementia, and you do not
have power of attorney, then you must seek guardianship of that person to make
decisions on their behalf. The issue with guardianships is that to obtain
guardianship, you must first have your loved one adjudicated incompetent. This
means that you’re having the court deprive them of their liberty by declaring
them unable to make decisions on their own behalf. They will remain as a “ward”
of the state until such time as their competency is restored by proving to the
court that they are no longer incompetent—which is not easy to do.
There are a couple glaring problems with guardianships:
do not understand dementia. Dementia is much like other cognitive issues in
that it affects people differently. It presents itself in a unique way in each
individual it touches. And, just because you suffer from dementia, does not
mean you’re per se incompetent. After all, it varies in its severity.
do the process all wrong. When I say the ‘Court” adjudicates the individual
incompetent, I mean a clerk, sitting as judge, makes this decision. A clerk is
an employee of the court system, who is not required to have any formal legal
or medical training, and who is given temporary judicial authority for the
purpose of the hearing. Many times the government is the one bringing the
petition for guardianship. These people are appointed a third party (called a
guardian ad litem) to give an objective option. However, the GAL does
not represent the ward and they tend to be just as much a part of the system as
the government. So, we have a system whereby people are losing their rights
even though we do not quite understand the extent (or lack thereof) of their
illness. Oh, and by the way, there are little to no safeguards preventing this
A guardianship can be nothing more
than an exercise of the blind leading the blind. Where the government rubber
stamps orders to deprive people of their rights as they are moved through the
We Pay for Long Term Care All Wrong
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.
So, more people will need long term
care. We know this because more people than ever are reaching age 65 or over.
And if more people need long term care, then we are going to have an issue
paying for it. We know this because we are experiencing the issue now
and have been for some time. Long-term care can range from $5,000 to $10,000
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 hard to get.
We need a solution. Perhaps further
regulation on long term care facilities would help to lower their exorbitant
fees. Maybe a system similar to Medicaid but easier to obtain would be a cost-effective
alternative. Whatever the answer it needs to be different from the status quo.
We need better solutions to these problems we are facing. The population is aging and still nothing has been done to curb the impending wave of emotional and economic turmoil, which makes you wonder: does the US care about the elderly?
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McIntyre Elder Law 112 S. Tryon St. STE. 760 Charlotte, NC 28284