Cary, North Carolina Elder Law Attorney and Legacy Law Center
Protect Everything You Have Spent a Lifetime to Build
Do You Have a Parent, Spouse or Loved One that Has Entered a Nursing Facility?
Are You Worried and Stressed Out That You Won’t Be Able to Pay for Their Care?
Sign Up for One of Our Upcoming Free Workshops!
How Can We Help You?
Free Estate Planning Resources to Get You Started…
I Need to Protect My Family
Two-thirds of Americans don’t have a will, let alone a comprehensive estate plan. Many more have some documents, but haven’t looked at them in years. Whether you need to get started on your estate plan, or you need to update your old plan, this is a great starting place for you.
I have a Spouse, Parent or Loved One that Entered a Nursing Facility
If you have a loved one that has entered a nursing facility and you are stressed out at how you are going to pay for their care, you are not alone. The typical advice is “spend everything they have and then apply for Medicaid”. But there is a better way. You do NOT need to spend all of their money on nursing home care. Click here to learn more about your options.
I need to protect my assets.
Asset Protection goes hand in hand with estate planning. If you are concerned that your assets will not be used in the manner you intend, or that they will end up with a creditor or divorcing spouse, then you should start here to learn more about asset protection planning.
Our Estate Planning Process
The First Call
When you initially call our office, you will be greeted by our warm and friendly receptionist. Let them know that you are interested in scheduling a Wealth Planning Session and they will transfer you to Mr. Hart to have a short introductory call. If you would like to schedule a time for Mr. Hart to call you at your convenience, please click the link below.Schedule an Intro Call »
The Wealth Planning Session
The Wealth Planning Session is where we get to know you and start to learn about your hopes and dreams. We will talk to you about what would happen to your assets and your family if something tragic were to happen to you without further planning. At the end of this session, we will determine your next steps.Read More »
Designing Your Plan
At the conclusion of the Wealth Planning Session, we will work with you to pick a planning option according to what you are looking to accomplish and your budget. Then we will start the process of designing a plan that will best meet both your needs and the needs of your family. We will help you determine how to pass on your assets and pick guardians for your children.Read More »
The Signing Meeting
About 3-4 weeks after your design meeting, we will schedule a signing meeting. During this meeting, we will go over your estate plan with you, answer any questions you may have and make sure that all your documents are properly notarized and witnessed. We will also give you funding instructions, your kids emergency action plan (if you have children) and provide you with questions so that you can properly prepare for your Legacy Conversation™.Read More »
Delivering Your Plan
About 3-4 weeks after your signing meeting, we will invite you back to our office to deliver your final estate planning documents to you. During this meeting we will also conduct your initial Legacy Conversation™ and go over the funding process with you to make sure you are on track. In addition, we will go over our membership plan options with you.Read More »
Ongoing Reviews and Check-Ups for Life
Finishing your plan is just the beginning of your relationship with our office. If you choose to join one of our membership and education programs, you will meet with us at least once per year to review and update your estate plan. We will also stay in touch through weekly educational emails and monthly newsletters, as well as periodic workshops and client appreciation events.Read More »
The Latest Estate Planning News and Tips
Practical Advice You Can Put to Use Immediately
In case you were thinking that you would file for Medicaid, and they wouldn’t ask you for any financial information to verify your application… think again. In December, a New Jersey appeals court upheld the denial of Medicaid benefits because the applicant did not provide sufficient financial verifications. P.B. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (N.J. Super. Ct., App. Div., No. A-5405-15T2, Dec. 8, 2017). Here are the basic facts of this case: P.B.’s daughter filed a Medicaid application on her behalf. The state Medicaid agency requested additional information about P.B.’s bank accounts, life insurance policies, and housing. The daughter […]
A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a friend of mine who has several clients with low-basis, highly appreciated stocks. They were looking to diversify, minimize taxes, provide some additional income, and keep some level of control over their investments. I initially thought a charitable remainder trust would be a great option… And then he asked me for my advice. I looked up a number of options for these clients including: Private Family Foundations Exchange Funds Gifting Programs Leaving the stock as is and letting their children inherit it Other related strategies But ultimately, I kept coming back […]
A joint tenancy with right of survivorship is a way that several people can hold legal title to an asset such as a piece of property, a bank or investment account, or even a car. When two or more people own a bank account or piece of property as joint tenants with right of survivorship, each “co-owner” has equal rights and access to that property. When one of the co-owners dies, the property passes immediately to the other co-owners without needing to go through probate. RELATED: Click here to read more about why updating beneficiary designations does NOT count as […]
One of the harsh realities of life is that if you live long enough, at some point you may need move into a long-term care facility, otherwise known as a “skilled nursing facility”. The cost of these facilities can be downright crippling to most families. At a typical cost of between $6,500 to $10,000 per month ($78,000 to $120,000 per year), a lifetime of savings can be lost in just a few short years at one of these facilities. As a result, one of the most common questions I get from potential clients and my trusted referral partners is simply […]
North Carolina is one of a handful of states that allows individuals to use Ladybird Deeds to protect their personal residence. But what is a Ladybird Deed anyway, and how do you know if you need one? One of the best ways to explain a Ladybird Deed is to use a simple hypothetical. The Story of Bill and Mary Bill and Mary are an elderly couple. Bill is 75 and has survived several heart attacks. Mary is 77 and has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Many years ago, Bill and Mary drew up what are commonly called “sweetheart wills”. This […]
This blog post is a little out of the ordinary. But today I wanted to touch on something that many people don’t think about when it comes to dealing with an estate planning or elder law attorney. And that’s the importance of having a relationship with your attorney. Many people think of estate planning as an isolated transaction. They go to a law firm (or worse, online), hire a lawyer to draft some documents for them, and then check “prepare estate plan” off the list of things they need to do. They bring their plan home, throw it in their […]
Words of Praise for The Hart Law Firm…
“Highly Recommend. I found Mr. Hart to be extremely helpful. He spent a lot of time with me, and laid out a plan that I both understood, and gave me options.”
Our Philosophy and Core Beliefs
Estate Planning is more than just a legal practice… to us it is a calling.
Why I Became an Estate Planning Attorney.
My name is Jim Hart and I’m the founding attorney here at The Hart Law Firm. I started this practice back in 2005 with the core belief that building a business is nothing more than building relationships, establishing trust, and providing true value to my clients.
As the years have gone come and gone, my practice has changed, but the reasons I started that little law practice in Central Florida 12 years ago have not. Building lasting relationships with my clients is still my primary goal, but that was just not possible with a practice that was centered exclusively on breaking families up. By adding estate planning to the practice, I am able to build a long lasting, lifetime relationship with my clients.Continue Reading →
Words of Praise for The Hart Law Firm
“Straight forward advice, genuine concern for my situation and didn’t make me feel that I’m just another paycheck. By offering me options to suit my needs and presenting methods to accomplish in my own if possible but also offering me a comfortable option if hired as my lawyer, I left our consultation feeling confident in the road ahead of me.”
“Great first impression. He listened to my situation and commented on what I was doing well and also on some areas that I could improve on. By the end of our session, I felt very comfortable and am still happy with my decision to see Mr. Hart. Hopefully, I won’t need him (or any other lawyers in the future), but if my circumstances change and I am in need of an attorney, he will be the first one I contact.”
“He treated me like a person who actually cared and not just a paying client. He was very warm and welcoming. He seemed to truly care about what I was going thru. Instead of making me feel like a paying customer.. He took a very long time to get to know me and my situation. He truly has a heart for what he does. It shows in his work and the way he treats people. I would def recommend him as an attorney.”
“I was nervous going in but once you starti talking with James, he made me feel like an old friend just having a conversation. He is knowledgeable and answer all my questions with honesty. Within the first 5 minutes I knew he was a lawyer to trust not someone who will take your money with no results.”
“I was recommended to Attorney Hart by one of his peers and had a meeting with him immediately feeling a connection of care and concern. He made no promises but did more for me in three weeks than my other attorney had done in a year. I am so fortunate that I found someone who cares about his clients and takes it personal. He literally worked on my case day and night catching up with the details. I appreciated his dedication and determination for me.”
– Anonymous Client
“A Good guy and a good attorney. Jim was very up front and informative. He will explain all options that are available to you.”
“Mr. Hart was wonderful. He walked me through everything and even told me how I could do what I needed to do cheaper using other resources. I love that he has a small practice and bases who he chooses to represent based on the clients morals and ethics. I knew I had found the right firm when I read his website. He made sure that he answered all my questions and listened intently to my story. When I emailed and cancelled my initial consultation… he wished me luck and said that he hoped I never had to contact him again. He seems like a genuinely good man, something that was a comfort to find during this difficult situation. I would highly recommend him to anyone who unfortunately finds themselves in my situation.”