Elder Law

What is a Wealth Preservation Trust and Why is it Important?

wealth preservation trust

One of the greatest tools available to estate planning and elder law attorneys is the irrevocable Wealth Preservation Trust. If you are like me when I first heard about this type of trust, you are probably thinking “that sounds cool, what is it?” Before we get into the nuts and bolts of what an irrevocable Wealth Preservation Trust is, let’s take a minute to go over who could most benefit from using a trust like this as part of their overall estate plan. Who Should Consider Using a Wealth Preservation Trust? If I’m meeting with a new potential client and […]

What is the Cost of Failing to Plan?

failing to plan

Yesterday I met with a client who had hired me to help him to determine how to navigate the minefield that is Medicaid Planning for his mother. I had already drafted a family asset protection letter for him, outlining the specific facts of his mother’s situation and providing various strategies for him to consider. It was interesting to see the lightbulb come on somewhere in the middle of this meeting as I was explaining my recommendations. The reason I say that is because at the very first meeting I had with this individual, he was adamant that he didn’t want […]

How to Pay for Nursing Home Care in North Carolina

Paying for Nursing Home Care

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 […]

What is a Ladybird Deed?

Ladybird Deed in North Carolina

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 […]

What are the Different Types of Senior Care Communities?

senior care communities

As people age, they aren’t always able to stay in the home they’ve lived in for many years. It could be that their home is too big, requires too much maintenance, or has just become too expensive to live in. Or perhaps they decide to move closer to children or other family members who can provide them with much-needed help and assistance. When we are talking to our clients about the different types of senior communities, there are four main types of communities available to our senior population. When making a decision to help a loved one move into a […]

The Importance of Planning this Holiday Season

The Importance of Planning this Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays. Between spending time with my family and friends, eating some good food, enjoying a nice glass of wine and maybe even watching some football, it really doesn’t get any better for me. Here is a quick video I did today to talk more about why I love Thanksgiving, and why the planning that we do to prepare for this holiday makes it flow so smoothly. For those of you that would rather read, here is the full transcript! Why I Love Thanksgiving… Hey everyone. Jim Hart here, and today I want to […]

5 Things You Must Do if You or a Loved One Has Been Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s Disease

diagnosed with alzheimer's

During the past several weeks, I’ve received several calls from prospective clients who have been thrust into the role of caregiver for a family member that has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. My experience with Alzheimer’s Disease is limited – my family has primarily been the target of cancer, so Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are not something I have first-hand experience with. However, during college, I did work as a nurse’s aide at a nursing home for several years. Honestly, this was some of the most rewarding work I ever did as an undergraduate. I assisted and got to […]

What is Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid planning

A frequent misconception about Medicaid is that it is only for poor people. In reality, Medicaid is a government-run social program that is used to help people pay for nursing home expenses. However, to qualify for Medicaid, you must meet certain income and asset thresholds. An elder law attorney can help people to position their assets and income such that when they apply for Medicaid, they will be approved for benefits while at the same time retaining as many of their hard-earned assets as possible. Here is the thing about Medicaid… One way or another your loved one will have […]

What is an Elder Law Attorney and How Can They Help You?

elder law

Defining the term “elder law” is an almost impossible task. The easiest way to think of what an elder law attorney does is to define the population of people they serve – the elderly and the disabled. But in terms of the actual work that an elder law attorney does, it runs the gamut from Medicaid and veterans pension planning to nursing home negligence and elder abuse. Many people don’t realize that Elder law is also a subset of estate planning. How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help You? Here are just a few of the things that an elder […]