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Be Nostalgic about the old days: Don’t lament a lack of planning.

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nostalgia-gustavo-rondón.0.533.1149.574.960.480.cHey this is Greg McIntyre the elder law guy with McIntyre elder law. I’ve been feeling nostalgic this morning. I wrote this while at the beautiful Gardner Webb University, where I come to get a little peace and quiet every once in a while.

The reason I’m here today is I’ve been working on my book called ‘Saving the Farm, a practical guide to the legal maze of aging in America’ which should be finished in the next 2 days, but I wasn’t happy with the front and back covers for the book, so I came here to get some original photos. I went out to Lattimore North Carolina which is where my grandfather Papa Mac and Mama Mac lived on the farm. My grandfather had lived in assisted living for more than a decade.

So I was looking for wide open spaces. I had envisioned the back cover to be a farm with land and rolling hills and I got a great picture. I’ve edited it for everyone getting the newsletter, or you can see it on youtube, or our website, mcelderlaw.com, just click on the tab that says ‘elder law tv’, and you’ll see what the back cover will look like. I photographed a great barn that I’m going to use for the front cover, and applied a black and white filter to convey the mood for ‘Saving the Farm’.

I got nostalgic looking around at that old house thinking about my grandparents and remembering watching the wonderful world of Disney with my grandfather. I’d get up in the morning, smell the pancakes my grandfather made, coming down to the kitchen and eating and playing out by the barn where there were chickens, or going back to a logging operation behind the house. All kinds of memories, so I was a bit nostalgic. I went around for a few hours before I found what I wanted to photograph.

It’s a big leap between a written document and a printed book or ebook formats, so I’m working with a book designer to organize and achieve that. So look out for it, it’s going to be first on Amazon iTunes, and we’ll do a lot more to get it to everyone affiliated with our firm, or who is a client with our firm.

Now I like word origins. The origins of the word ‘Nostalgia’ comes from the Greek word ‘Nostos’, which means ‘return home’ or ‘homecoming’, and then ‘algos’, which means ‘pain’, or ‘ache’ so, return home in pain. That was different than what I thought it would be. The definition for ‘Nostalgia’ says, ‘a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place associated with happy personal connections’.

You’re sentimental when thinking about college days, the grandparents, the kids, your own childhood, or it can be: Something done or presented in order to provoke feelings of nostalgia. An evening of TV nostalgia for instance.

Also there is the German word, ‘Heimweh’, which means ‘homesickness’. In the late 18th century these merged into ‘Nostalgia’, or ‘acute homesickness’.

For me, Nostalgia is just thinking about the past in a sentimental or a good way. What I’m cautioning you not to do, is you don’t want to lament the past in a bad way. That Greek word, ‘Algos’ or ‘pain’, you want to leave that out of your nostalgic thoughts, if you can. You want them to be as enjoyable as possible. You want your kids to be nostalgic about their memories with you. What I’m getting at is this; we want to make sure we plan ahead.

Nostalgia

Don’t lament the loss of property because you didn’t plan properly, or knowing that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent down on a nursing home stay that could have gone to sending your kids to college. You might want to set aside money for that nursing home stay in case it happens, or make sure you’re in with your insurance agent on long term care.

It takes minimal effort to plan ahead, to put in place a General Durable Power of Attorney, so that somebody else can handle your personal business for you. Healthcare Power of Attorney, so that someone can manage life and death healthcare situations. You certainly don’t want to lament that if you don’t have it in place. Seeing an elder law attorney would help you put in place a Ladybird Deed that could save the house right now under North Carolina rules. North Carolina policy could save the house even if you need Medicaid assistance for nursing home or assisted living care. Why wouldn’t you put that in place?

Planning

That’s a no brainer. It could save a house worth tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, that you worked so hard for, paid so much for and put so much blood sweat and tears into owning and acquiring. Heaven forbid that you’re incapacitated or incompetent at some time in life, where you don’t have a family member appointed to take care of your personal affairs and your cash. If you’re stuck in that situation where somebody has to pursue Guardianship over you to take over the finances, as well as healthcare decisions, that’s not good. Don’t put your family in that situation. Don’t put them in a situation where all the money is being spent down. Plan ahead for that.

We have Trust Planning that we can do for clients that can send the grandkids to college, and can make sure you have plenty of income going into your senior years, and make sure it’s protected against that spend down if you had a long term care incident or need of a stay. At least it gives you options. At least you’re not subject to the whims of the laws and the wind, whichever way it’s blowing right now in the political climate.

You think the political climate and laws change? Of course they do, and this is a perfect time to talk about it. Tax laws change, Medicaid laws will change, the look back periods change. The word on the street is they will go from 3 years for Assisted Living and 5 years for Nursing Home Medicaid, to a look back period of 5 years for Assisted Living and 7 years for Nursing Home Medicaid. And who knows how long the Ladybird protection deed will be in place? I’ve had people in the know tell me about how they wonder if that is going away soon. I’m surprised they haven’t taken it away already? So get that protection while you can. Get your foundational documents in place while you can. Look at Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts while you can. Don’t let your grandkids be nostalgic about how the old home stead now belongs to someone else, because you failed to plan to protect it and keep it in your family.

Nostalgia’s great for thinking about the right things, about the wonderful world of Disney, Disney was special back in those days. I want to say it was black and white but I know it was in color. It came on maybe at 7 o’clock on Sunday nights. Watching it with the grandparents with the smell of pancakes in the air on a Saturday morning, I can smell them right now. It was so special. Don’t let the kids and grandkids lament or be nostalgic in a way where because of a lack of planning, Johnny and Suzie didn’t get to go to college or have a chance to fulfill their potential.

I’m Greg McIntyre the elder law guy. If you need to talk to me or see me, you can follow me on twitter at lawyergreg or give our firm a call at 704-259-7040. We would be glad to set up that appointment.

So call me, I’ll be glad to talk about putting your foundations in place, putting a Ladybird Deed around the house to protect it. We’ll talk about Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts, that’s a really neat trust we draft that can help save your hard earned money and property, not just for you but for future generations.

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street
Shelby, NC 28150

 

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