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

Why Estate Planning is so important

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!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 […]

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 […]

Spotlight on Skilled Nursing Facilities: The Oaks at Whitaker Glen – Mayview

The Oaks at Whitaker Glen - Mayview

This week I’ve decided to start a new spotlight series on various skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers in Cary and Raleigh. There are 26 such facilities within 25 miles of my law office. I’m in the process of visiting all of these centers and will be doing a brief write-up of each facility after my visit. First up is The Oaks at Whitaker Glen – Mayview. Earlier this week I had the pleasure of meeting with Neykitha Applewhite, the admissions director at Mayview. She was kind enough to give me a tour of the facility and answer many of my questions […]

Nursing Home Medicaid Planning

Medicaid Planning Rules

To many people, the entire Medicaid planning process seems complex and overwhelming. And to be honest, if you are attempting to navigate this minefield on your own without professional help – it is. If you are caring for a loved one or family member who will need to move into a long-term care facility at some point in the near future, then Medicaid Planning is an absolute must. Understanding the Medicaid planning rules is the single best way to ensure that your loved one receives the care they need while at the same time protecting as much of your hard-earned […]

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 the Gift Tax in NC?

Gift tax in NC

You came to this page looking for information on the gift tax in NC, and more specifically, you probably want to know some answers to the following questions: What is the Gift Tax in NC? How much money can you gift away without having to pay a gift tax? How much money or property can you give away during your lifetime? So let’s dig in and start with some of the basics… What is the Gift Tax in North Carolina? At its basic level, the gift tax in NC is a tax on the transfer of assets from one person […]