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PostShow: TRUSTS!!!

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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.

                                    Trust are 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 irrevocable trust.

                                    So really 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.

                                    With an 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.

                                    So, 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.

Trust Planning

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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 a trust?

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.

Greg McIntyre:             Good morning.

Colleen:                        Good morning.

Greg McIntyre:             How you doing Colleen, Eugene?

Colleen:                        Great, thank you.

Greg McIntyre:             Very glad to be here today.

Colleen:                        Let’s start with this. What is a trust?

Greg 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?

Greg McIntyre:             Sure. So let’s say in a will that I leave everything to my 18 year old son.

Eugene:                        Okay.

Greg 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?

Colleen:                        Right.

Greg 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.

Greg 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?

Greg 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 concept.

Eugene:                        Oh, I get the… Oh, okay. Yeah.

Greg 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?

Greg 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.

Colleen:                        Okay.

Greg 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?

Greg McIntyre:             Trustee.

Eugene:                        Trustee.

Greg 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.

Greg 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 protection there.

Colleen:                        Greg, you offer a trust planning map. What is that?

Greg 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 morning.

Greg McIntyre:             Thank you very much guys. I appreciate it.

Big Town/Small Town – Big Estate/Small Estate

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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.

 








Big Town/Small Town – Big Estate/Small Estate

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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.
 
Greg McIntyre JD, MBA
Elder Law Attorney
written by:
 
Greg McIntyre
Elder Law Attorney
704-749-9244
greg@mcelderlaw.com

Be A Role Model: Are You Setting a Good Example for Future Generations?

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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?

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

PO Box 165

Shelby, NC 28151-0165








Be a Role Model: Are You Setting a Good Example for Future Generations?

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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.








Wills and Avoiding Probate

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Greg, Colleen and Eugene talk about the importance of Wills and Avoiding Probate. Learn more: Call: 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.

Greg McIntyre:             I’m glad to be here. Colleen, Eugene, thank you so much for for having me today.

Colleen:                        Of course. Let’s start with this-

Greg McIntyre:             You’ve got me nervous today.

Colleen:                        Oh yeah?

Greg McIntyre:             Yeah.

Colleen:                        Why?

Greg 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?

Greg 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?”

Greg 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?

Greg 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?

Greg 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 plan.

Colleen:                        Hmm. Okay. How does a will help the surviving family members avoid probate?

Greg 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 accounts now.

Greg 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.

Eugene:                        Gotcha.

Greg 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.

Greg 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?

Greg McIntyre:             No. And the-

Eugene:                        What keeps your protected from that?

Greg 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 removal.

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.

Greg McIntyre:             I do.

Colleen:                        Can you tell us more about it?

Greg 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 multiple times.

Greg 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.

Greg 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.

Greg 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-

Greg McIntyre:             It does.

Colleen:                        Whether it’s best to leave these things through the will, you mentioned, or outside of the will? How-

Greg McIntyre:             It all depends on your risk for liens. In elder law, we’re always looking-

Colleen:                        Got it.

Greg 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?

Greg McIntyre:             It may be the will, but it certainly may not be.

Colleen:                        Okay.

Eugene:                        You also wrote a book called Saving the Farm, correct?

Greg 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 public.

Greg 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.

Greg 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.

Placement Problems?

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Elder Law Report: Today our guest is Mike Mannion, a Certified Senior Advisor with Senior Care Authority. Mike talks to us about how to find the right care facility for your loved one. Learn More: 704-259-7040 or mcelderlaw.com.

Greg McIntyre:             Okay. Hi. I’m Greg McIntyre with McIntyre Elder Law, helping seniors protect their assets and legacies. And I’m also here with Brenton Begley, who is an attorney with McIntyre Elder Law. And Brenton, say hello.

Brenton Begley:            Hi. How’s it going?

Greg McIntyre:             Or don’t or whatever. So anyway, I’m a director, producer, and commentator today. So we’re trying out some new technology. I think it’s going to work beautifully, just recording, going back and forth. And I’m lucky to have our special guest here today who I work with a lot, and I wanted to bring him on because what he has is valuable to say and the information that he’s putting out is valuable.

Greg McIntyre:             I just recently did a podcast on Boomers Today, which he helped hook me up with, which is a nationally syndicated podcast with the founder of Senior Care Authority.

Mike Mannion:             Right, Frank.

Greg McIntyre:             Right? Frank Samson.

Mike Mannion:             Samson, yes.

Greg McIntyre:             And I really enjoyed that interview.

Mike Mannion:             Yeah, you guys did good. I listened to it.

Greg McIntyre:             I really liked it. He asked some great questions and you can tell he’s done this a couple of times before.

Mike Mannion:             Yes, he has experience.

Greg McIntyre:             So we do the Elder Law Report. We’ve done the Elder Law Report for a long time, too. And tell us a little bit, tell us who you are and tell us what you do, yeah.

Mike Mannion:             Sure. Mike Mannion, my wife and I, we own Senior Care Authority here in the Carolinas, and what we do is we help families, older adults and their families navigate the challenges and frustrations and stresses of all the elder care options that might be out there. We’ve had the benefit of taking care of both sets of our parents. I’m a retired corporate executive that failed retirement and we chose to get back into doing something worthwhile and we know caring for older adults is our passion. We enjoy it immensely.

Greg McIntyre:             It’s been a long time since I have talked about failing retirement. I had done podcasts and radio shows before about literally second careers for people who retire and they find it’s not for them and they go into something else, right?

Mike Mannion:             That’s exactly what we did.

Greg McIntyre:             I work with Mike on a regular basis. Mike does a great job placing people who need placement at the proper level of care and finding solutions to do that. I can give you great legal advice on how to protect assets, activate benefits. I know the rule systems in and out, but Mike is plugged into, as much as I’m plugged in the legal side, I just imagine him, and this is pretty much true I think, pulling up this database of every assisted living, nursing home facility, independent living facility, every place possible around and knowing exactly what vacancies are there, and you’re able to match up the needs of the client with the proper care facility, right?

Mike Mannion:             We listen a lot, Greg. Once we understand what the client’s needs are and what the family’s desires are and preferably what the client’s backgrounds are so we can match them up effectively with the right communities. We sometimes don’t have all the listings of where vacancies are because things change so quickly, but we do know the tenure of the staff of the different communities and facilities in the area. We know what they offer, what they don’t offer. We know which ones speak different languages, which ones don’t. So we’re able to, once we listen and understand what the client is looking for and needs, we have a high batting average of connecting them with the right solution.

Greg McIntyre:             I believe that. I mean Mike goes after his job with a tenacity that you rarely see and it takes a level of care to do that. And I trust that when I hand a client off to you that you’re going to work with them and it’s going to be seamless. We’re both going to work hard on both of our respective sides.

Mike Mannion:             Correct.

Greg McIntyre:             That works out really well for the family.

Mike Mannion:             Well, it is both. Certainly, we can’t be combating each other. That doesn’t help the family at all. They’re already under a level of duress. So the intent here is to make it as clean and smooth, and de-stress as much as possible, but still be very honest and truthful and give them good counsel. I think it has worked very well between us and it certainly is our goal and our objective without a doubt.

Greg McIntyre:             And what I like is that you’re not scared to roll up your sleeves and and do the tough work.

Mike Mannion:             Yeah, we like it.

Greg McIntyre:             Yeah, yeah.

Mike Mannion:             [Crosstalk 00:04:52], but we like it.

Greg McIntyre:             Well, oddly enough, some people don’t.

Mike Mannion:             No, I know. We are different. We know that, but that’s okay. We lived it with our parents, both sets of parents. We understand the stress and duress, and we understand that the answers aren’t simply out there on the internet. We’re feet on the ground. We’re local. We’re in these communities. We talk to people face to face, and we’re able to discern and provide solutions that make sense, financially, emotionally, environmentally, it just makes sense for the families and for clients.

Greg McIntyre:             Sure. And we’ve worked together not on just benefits cases and placement needs right now, but also in guardianship situations where there might need to be a move or to find another facility with the condition of a case, and we’ve been successful. I think that was one of the toughest cases I’ve had lately and you really helped me immensely.

Mike Mannion:             I don’t know how much I helped you. I know you work very hard on it and I know the family is incredibly pleased with the results, and hats off to you.

Greg McIntyre:             Well, thanks. Brenton, do you have any questions for Mike?

Brenton Begley:            Yeah, yeah, I do. I’m curious, Mike, what are some of the biggest challenges that you guys face in looking for placement for an individual and getting him placed?

Mike Mannion:             Oh, well, Brenton, I will say the biggest challenge is what the clients want and need often doesn’t match their financial capabilities. That’s probably the number one thing comes up as often as not all the time. That’s a big deal. Quite frankly, that’s where we use you guys to help us sort, close that gap and find solutions and protect the assets as well as getting to help the need.

Mike Mannion:             The second thing is family dynamics. When you have a situation whether mom or dad or even a spouse with children, the family dynamics can be challenging and we have to listen. We have to understand and sometimes, we have to be the bad guy at the table with the family and we can say things other family members can’t, but we don’t dare do that until we fully understand it.

Brenton Begley:            Right, right. So in this line of work, you hear a lot of things and you hear a lot … Well, me and Greg like to call it street law, but I guess what you would call the stereotypes about your line of work, right? We have stereotypes about our line of work. You probably have stereotypes about your line of work [crosstalk 00:07:14].

Greg McIntyre:             Yes, street lawyers like [inaudible 00:07:17].

Brenton Begley:            Yeah, street lawyers.

Greg McIntyre:             Practicing criminal law, it’d be like jailhouse lawyers.

Brenton Begley:            Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Greg McIntyre:             People who are always there, they know everything, right?

Brenton Begley:            Right, right.

Greg McIntyre:             And you kind of trust them, but you’re not sure. And it’s like, “Yeah, well, I heard this and this person keeps telling me this.”

Brenton Begley:            Right.

Greg McIntyre:             And sometimes when you listen too much to those people, it can get you in trouble ’cause it can limit what you think your options are and [inaudible 00:07:44] problem, yeah.

Brenton Begley:            Yeah. And I mean those people I feel like are out there with regard to nursing homes, assisted living, that sort of placement, there are stereotypes out there. So can you talk about some of those stereotypes and whether or not they hold any weight?

Mike Mannion:             Sure. The biggest, most obvious one, you probably hear this a lot, is that Medicare will cover the expense. Now Medicare does not cover longterm care and that’s something that-

Greg McIntyre:             You mean Medicare doesn’t pay for longterm care?

Mike Mannion:             Believe it or not, it doesn’t. It is one of those myths.

Brenton Begley:            Right.

Mike Mannion:             It’s broadly accepted and embraced, but it’s not true. The idea of assisted living community is the same as a nursing facility. Not true. But that’s okay. We find that families going through this, they only go through it for the first time so we don’t expect them to know that. We expect to be able to sit down and explain and decipher all that. But we ask a lot of questions to make sure we know where the myths are that they’re latching onto so we don’t have things come up later on in our work with the family that creates a yield or a stop sign.

Mike Mannion:             So two of the biggest one is they think Medicare is going to cover the expense and that there is no difference between assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities. They think of the old nursing homes, the old retirement homes. That’s largely not a true scenario for most of my clients.

Brenton Begley:            Right. You bring up the differences between the level of care and as I’ve seen, I mean I’ve been in a few nursing homes, assisted livings that there’s just a difference between the facility to facility, right? So what would you say the average quality of care is out there?

Mike Mannion:             Well, that’s a challenging question. Averages are dangerous, right? Overall, you’ve got a lot of well trained people taking care and providing care for the residents in these communities, in these facilities. Averages are just that. I think it is reflective of leadership of the communities and facilities. The leadership sets the tone of how well people perform their functions whether it be in this industry or other industries. So we stay very close to understanding who the leaderships may be, who’s filling those leadership roles in these communities and facilities, which gives us a higher level of confidence in our recommendations and counseling the clients.

Mike Mannion:             We counsel well over a hundred clients a year. And if you met one of my clients, you’ve met one of my clients.

Brenton Begley:            Right.

Mike Mannion:             Each one has unique needs and we love that. We embrace that. So we don’t jump in with assumptions. Every once in a while, I got to catch myself that I think I know the answer, but I just have to make sure I listen long enough and ask enough questions to make sure I’m not setting myself in a bad situation where I’m not the person I say I am.

Brenton Begley:            Right. Yeah, and that’s what I’ve found, too, is in working with people and in working with facilities is that they tend to provide a pretty high level of care and they do a good job. There’s well-trained people, people care. You always have these aberrant situations where you hear stories, right? But I would say that that’s more on the rare side from what I’ve been able to see. But the way to prevent that, right, is to use someone like you to make sure that the placement is right for them and their needs.

Mike Mannion:             Well, I agree and I think we’re seeing that. If we do our job well, the placement will have a much higher likelihood of being a good fit and a good experience for the whole family. But you got to do the homework. You got to understand what the family wants. I’d like to know what the background of the older adult is. Are they spiritual and religious? Do they like gardening? Do they like book clubs and reading?

Mike Mannion:             I had one woman that the challenge was that she was struggling with some dementia and she reverted back to her home language, which was Farsi.

Brenton Begley:            Wow.

Mike Mannion:             Wow. That was tough.

Greg McIntyre:             I don’t know Farsi.

Mike Mannion:             Yeah. So we finally found a community with a lot of work and a lot of research that had a full time nurse’s aid that spoke Farsi. Well, that made that whole connection work well for that family. She had to go a little further away from home than they wanted, but it was well worth the balance. That’s the kind of research that makes a difference.

Greg McIntyre:             They had to go to Farsi.

Mike Mannion:             They had to go Farsi.

Greg McIntyre:             Sorry. So no, but in all seriousness, this is a serious topic, but we need a little levity, right? So I agree that the quality of care is good. There’s a lot of people trying hard in the industry, even among different price ranges for facilities and even if it’s Medicaid versus private sometimes. And to that point, you help place people whether they’re coming out of pocket to pay private pay.

Mike Mannion:             Right.

Greg McIntyre:             Or you can even help if they are low on funds, they need to roll to a Medicaid option and maybe there needs to be placement right away because that’s an issue, right?

Mike Mannion:             Greg, you’re right and we worked on a few. And having that plan, I think that’s where you guys come in in a big way is having that roadmap, that runway so there’s not only just the immediate solution, but what’s it look like three months, six months, a year down the road, I think is pretty critical. If not, it just starts the whole stress and duress all over again, which is not fair to the family and it’s not ideal for the older adult seeking residency in one of these communities. So thinking it out, planning it out, having a plan and a way to get there is pretty critical. That’s the holistic approach we try to get to with help with you guys.

Greg McIntyre:             Yeah. And we talk about from an estate planning and overall perspective the plan ahead. We’d much rather you plan ahead, and I don’t mean five minutes ahead.

Mike Mannion:             Right.

Greg McIntyre:             Maybe years ahead would be great, right? Because sometimes, those who build a plan, plan to fail, which is some old saying that Ben Franklin re-coined in some quote book back in the day, but was originally some kind of … I traced it back to some philosopher or poet that was maybe ancient Greek or something like that. But yeah, planning ahead is best. So if you can do that on the elder law estate planning side, that’s great. If you can do that with longterm care insurance …

Mike Mannion:             That’s an option.

Greg McIntyre:             That’s great. If you could get with someone like you to think about those issues, but I mean couldn’t you give people a lot of insight?

Mike Mannion:             Absolutely.

Greg McIntyre:             You really could.

Mike Mannion:             We can share the stories and give the direction and connect people with the resources that might be useful to them.

Greg McIntyre:             You should do a seminar with me one day. I just made that connection.

Mike Mannion:             Yeah, absolutely.

Greg McIntyre:             I mean they would be great information, people needing that because people don’t understand, I don’t think people realize, families realize, the chances of needing some type of assisted living or nursing home care.

Mike Mannion:             Well, the numbers out there was 70% if you’re 65 and older at this point, roughly 70% of us will be needing some level of assisted care. And by the way, I know the data point I read recently was there were an estimate of 54% of that 70% do not have any plans in place at all.

Greg McIntyre:             Right, or not capable. Because as human beings, we are motivated by fear and pain, they’re our number one motivators. So it’s like right now, it’s happening right now, but to plan ahead is easier and better. So Mike, if someone needs to get in touch with you, how can they get in touch with you? I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina right now. Brenton’s not too far down the road, maybe 45 minutes down the road right now.

Brenton Begley:            That’s right.

Greg McIntyre:             And Mike, you’re also in Charlotte, Charlotte area.

Mike Mannion:             I’m in Charlotte. My office is in Charlotte, in South Park area, but we cover nine counties around that-

Greg McIntyre:             Cover nine counties around that-

Mike Mannion:             We do. Between my wife, myself, a couple care managers, we cover nine counties.

Greg McIntyre:             Sure. And how can people get in touch with your organization, you’re Senior Care Authority in Charlotte?

Mike Mannion:             We are. We’re in Charlotte and you just go to mike@seniorcareauthority.com, all one word.

Greg McIntyre:             So you email Mike there.

Mike Mannion:             That’s the easiest way. And phone number is (704)754-8754, and that number will reach us no matter what. It’ll reach myself or one of our team. It will go right into our voicemail and text, whatever works best for you. And if we for some reason none of us connected to the phone, I assure you you’ll get a response back the same day.

Greg McIntyre:             Absolutely. And we’ll put the number up on the screen so it’ll stay there for awhile and … So even though we’re talking locally today, Senior Care Authority as we said, Frank Samson founded it.

Mike Mannion:             Yeah.

Greg McIntyre:             He’s in California.

Mike Mannion:             He is.

Greg McIntyre:             We did the podcast, he called me from California to do the podcast.

Mike Mannion:             Correct.

Greg McIntyre:             So I have to believe there’s more Senior Care Authorities out there.

Mike Mannion:             There are about 50 of us and we go by a pretty high standard of ethics and integrity and training, and quite frankly, I have folks that are living here, but their children are … Like Seattle, Washington, I had one recently. So we helped that family manage from a distance. We have a placement going right now. A family here is placing a loved one up in Ohio. So we’re able to go across the country and soon [crosstalk 00:17:11] .

Greg McIntyre:             [Crosstalk 00:17:11].

Mike Mannion:             Yeah, absolutely and soon, believe it or not, we might actually be looking at Mexico and Canada before long.

Greg McIntyre:             Really? [Crosstalk 00:17:19].

Mike Mannion:             [Crosstalk 00:17:19]. We’re looking at it. Right now, it’s US.

Greg McIntyre:             Okay, okay. Great, great.

Brenton Begley:            And your licensed in Mexico?

Greg McIntyre:             Yes.

Mike Mannion:             That’s right.

Greg McIntyre:             So we’ll work on that, Brenton. We need to be [crosstalk 00:17:30], too.

Brenton Begley:            I’ll take the Mexican bar exam.

Greg McIntyre:             There you go.

Mike Mannion:             Yeah. What kind of bar would that be?

Greg McIntyre:             I don’t know. But I thank you for being on our show today, the Elder Law Report and Brenton, thanks for being on with us today and-

Brenton Begley:            Yeah. Great talking to you, Mike.

Greg McIntyre:             Yeah. And if you have any questions, call Mike at 704-754-8754, and he can help you whether you’re in the local Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina area.

Mike Mannion:             Right.

Greg McIntyre:             Or beyond, okay. And you could always I’m sure Google Senior Care Authority, okay, and get someone in your locale, but Mike can direct you. He can be a good resource for you to get to the right person and the right area in your state. So have a great day out there and we’ll keep bringing you great content every week with the Elder Law Report. See you, Brenton.

Mike Mannion:             Thank you.

Greg McIntyre:             All right. Play us out.


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.

You’ve Been approved for Long Term Care Medicaid. Now What?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Comments are off

Now What?

            As 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:

I.         They 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.

            The PML 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.

II.        They 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.

            Where your 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 Ladybird Deed.

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.

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

PO Box 165

Shelby, NC 28151-0165

Does the US Care About the Elderly?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Comments are off

Does the US Care About the Elderly?

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:

  1. We 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.
  2. We 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 from happening.

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 system.

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.

Conclusion

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?

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

PO Box 165

Shelby, NC 28151-0165

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