What Happens If You Die Without an Estate Plan?

Die Without an Estate Plan

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! Everybody has an estate plan. Even if you don’t think you have an estate plan, that is a plan in and of itself. And if you die without a will in the State of North Carolina, a statutory scheme has been developed for you to divide up your assets in a way that you may or may not approve of. When this happens, you are said to have died “intestate” […]

Going to the Beach this Summer? Watch Your Kids

going to the beach this summer

Last week my family and I drove down to the coast to celebrate my son’s 7th birthday at Carolina Beach. We had a great trip, but not without some excitement. On Saturday afternoon, the waves were high and the tides were strong as a result of storms in the area. While our kids were busy building sand castles, every parent’s worst nightmare was unfolding in what could have been an absolutely tragic afternoon. It all started while Charlie (my son) and I were playing in the water and I heard some commotion down the beach. About 50 yards down from […]

What is Included With a Typical Estate Plan?

typical estate plan

If you talk to one of our clients about our estate planning services, you will find out a couple of things. First, our plans are extensive. We don’t just copy and paste your name into a pre-written package of 5 documents and call it a day. Second, you will find out that we are not the cheapest estate planning lawyer in town. But as you can see from reading below, there is a reason that we charge a premium rate – our service greatly exceeds that of other firms. What Sets Us Apart from other Estate Planning Firms? Our plans […]

What the Cavs Game 3 Loss Can Teach Us about Estate Planning

What the Cavs Game 3 Loss Can Teach Us about Estate Planning

For those of you that don’t know, I’m a huge Cleveland sports fan. Although I was born in the Carolinas, I was raised in Cleveland (Chagrin Falls to be exact), and have been a huge fan of the Cavs, Browns, and Indians for as long as I can remember. You could call me a glutton for punishment. Yes, the Cavs won the NBA Championship last year, but as time goes on, it is starting to feel more and more like a blip on the screen of Cleveland sports. Which brings me to the topic of today’s post – the Cavs […]

Estate Planning for the Sandwich Generation… What You Need to Know

Estate Planning for the Sandwich Generation... What You Need to Know

How do you know if you are part of the current sandwich generation? If you are like me, you are a member of “Generation X”, a demographic grouping of people who were born somewhere between the mid-60’s and the early 80’s. Do the math and you should be in your 30’s or 40’s right now. What is unique about this age range? For starters, it makes you part of the current “sandwich generation”. In other words, you are old enough to have young children that you must care for, but still young enough to have aging parents that may also […]

Estate Planning Basics: Coordinating Beneficiary Designations

beneficiary designations

Here is a fairly typical scenario that I see all too frequently. A happily married couple, Fred and Susan, have put together a basic estate plan for themselves but have failed to coordinate their beneficiary designations. They have what are commonly referred to as “sweetheart wills”. Fred has a will that leaves all of his assets to Susan, and Susan has left all of her assets to Fred. Here is a list of the assets that they each have: Fred’s Assets $200,000 of equity in the marital home (½ of a Tenancy by the Entirety with Susan) $25,000 in a […]

A Day of Remembrance

Memorial Day

I don’t normally write on Mondays, and I don’t normally share the contents of my weekly newsletter publicly. I suppose today I am making a couple of exceptions. Today is a special day. Today is a day when we remember those who fought for our country but are no longer with us. In this week’s edition of my e-newsletter, I took a minute to reflect on what this day means, and how we should interact with Veterans today. Things we should say and things we shouldn’t. What this day is all about, and what this day is not about. Here […]

Why using the Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney is a Bad Idea in North Carolina

short form power of attorney

In North Carolina, the legislature has prepared a statutory short form power of attorney to help and guide attorneys and citizens who need a durable power of attorney. (Which is pretty much everyone). However, just because it is out there, doesn’t mean you should use it. Here is a link to the statutory short form. (Or scroll to the bottom of this page, I’ve copied and pasted the form into this post). But if the Law Provides this Form, isn’t that good enough? No, not necessarily. Here is a story that illustrates what I’m talking about. Yesterday I was meeting with […]

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 […]

Free Seminar: How to Pay for Nursing Home Care Without Going Broke

Pay for nursing home care

On Tuesday, May 23rd, from 12-2pm at Cambridge Village of Apex, The Hart Law Firm will be hosting a free seminar entitled: How to Pay for Nursing Home Care Without Going Broke. This is a great informational session for anyone who has a loved one that is currently in assisted living or is receiving at-home care and may need to move to a nursing facility or who is already living in a nursing facility and was disqualified from receiving Medicaid benefits or Special Assistance. Some of the topics that we will cover include: Medicaid Planning Veterans Benefits Long Term Care Special Assistance […]