The Importance of Planning this Holiday Season

The Importance of Planning this Holiday Season

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Alternatively, you may sign up for email updates in the box to the right. Thanks for visiting!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 […]

Medicaid Crisis Planning: A Case Study

Many people falsely believe that if they or their loved one has to enter a nursing home unexpectedly (after an acute event such as a stroke, an accident, a heart attack, etc.), that they have no choice but to spend down all of their assets (typically on nursing home care) before they can qualify for Medicaid. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When something like this happens, an elder law attorney can assist with what is called “Medicaid Crisis Planning“. The goal of Medicaid crisis planning is simple, to protect as many assets as possible while at the same […]

What is a Power of Attorney and Why is it so Important?

What is a power of attorney

I’ve done a lot of posts on this blog talking about powers of attorney in North Carolina, what they are, why they are important, and why you need to have one. I’ve even talked about some of the pitfalls and mistakes people make with powers of attorney. I’ve had a number of clients recently that have made some mistakes when it comes to their powers of attorney. And right now I’m in the midst of filing a guardianship for one client because of a faulty power of attorney. The bottom line is that these mistakes are easily avoided with proper legal […]

What to Do if a Loved One is Indicted… How Estate Planning Can Help

Russia Indictments

On Friday, the first round of indictments were handed out in the Russia Investigation and arrests could come as early as today. And while we don’t yet know who the indictments are for, and who may be arrested, we do know one thing… estate planning could help the families of those arrested in these situations. Update: Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were ordered to surrender to the Justice Department today. Estate Planning Can Block a Loved One From Serving as Trustee Whenever I’m meeting with clients for a planning session, I always ask about when loved ones should receive access to […]

Why Estate Planning is so Important to Me, and Why It Should Be Important to YOU too

Why Estate Planning is so important

Today I wanted to take a minute to talk to you about why estate planning is so important to me, and why it should be important to you too. So many people just pass off estate planning as something they need to do, but never actually get around to doing it. Frankly, this is a terrible mistake and one that is easily avoidable. Check out this video to learn more about what I mean. Here’s a full transcript of the video… Why Estate Planning is so Important to Me Hey there. Good morning, gang. This is Jim Hart here from […]

Why Updating Beneficiary Designations Does NOT Count as Estate Planning

beneficiary designations

Today I did a quick Facebook Live Video to discuss something that is really ticking me off lately. Let me be clear – just because you have updated beneficiary designations does NOT mean you have a good estate plan in place! Watch the whole video for my reasons why… Full Transcript – Why Beneficiary Designations do NOT count as Estate Planning! Hey there, Jim Hart here from the Hart Law Firm and I thought I would do a quick video today outside because it’s a beautiful day here in North Carolina. It’s in the 60’s, mid 60’s degrees outside. It’s […]

Spotlight on Skilled Nursing: Pettigrew Rehabilitation Center

Pettigrew Rehabilitation Center

Today’s spotlight is on Pettigrew Rehabilitation Center, conveniently located off Route 147 in Durham. The administrator of this facility is Michael McMorris, who was kind enough to meet with me to answer my questions and show me around last week. Pettigrew is a 4 star Medicare rated facility and is listed in U.S. News and World Report’s list of best nursing homes for 2017. My first impression of this facility is that it was very bright and sunny. There are lots of windows and the sun provides lots of natural light, which is a great intangible benefit for the residents. […]

Spotlight on Skilled Nursing: Tower Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Tower Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

This week my tour of skilled nursing facilities continues with a review of Tower Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located in east Raleigh just off the belt line. Although Tower is one of the larger facilities I’ve toured with 186 beds, the facility is spacious and has a small facility feel. Jackie Livermore, the Administrator of the facility, was nice enough to meet with me and show me around. A Focus on Long Term Care According to Ms. Livermore, the focus at Tower is on attracting long-term care residents, as opposed to the shorter-term rehab patients that many facilities covet. According to […]

Why Spend Down Doesn’t Necessarily Mean “Spend Down” for Medicaid Purposes

Medicaid Spend Down

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been meeting with a lot of Nursing Home Administrators and Social Workers. For many people who are applying for Medicaid to pay for Long Term Care costs at a Skilled Nursing Facility, the staff at the nursing home is the front line of information on what they should and shouldn’t be doing as they apply for Medicaid. For many applicants, a Medicaid “Spend Down” is necessary so that the applicant will qualify for benefits. But what is and what isn’t a Medicaid Spend Down? Many people who I talk with don’t fully understand what […]