Current Events

Why You Should Donate More to Charity Before the End of 2017

charitable donations in 2017

Unless you are living in a bunker somewhere, you probably know that there is a tax bill making its way through Congress as I write this. Earlier this weekend, Congress released the final version of the bill that will be voted on this week. The current version will nearly double the standard deduction to approximately $12,000 for individuals (and $24,000 for couples). Sounds great, right? Not necessarily. The result? Many people will no longer need to itemize their deductions and a much higher segment of the US population will be taking the standard deduction. However, as an added kicker, the […]

You are NOT Invincible…

you are not invincible

The past several weeks, the news has been dominated by two things… potential nuclear war with North Korea, and the tax bill making its way through Congress. If I had to bet, I suspect you’ve spent at least a little bit of time reading the news stories about these issues lately. And that is completely natural. As human’s, we want to know what is going on in the world around us. But that’s not all… We want to know how these events might affect us. We want to know what we should be doing right now to protect ourselves, protect […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Legal Issues Surrounding Aaron Hernandez’s Estate

aaron hernandez estate

You may have thought that you heard the last of Aaron Hernandez after he committed suicide in his jail cell last week. But unfortunately, this tragic story might just be getting started. The lawyers handling Aaron Hernandez’s Estate will have plenty of work to do in the coming months, with millions of dollars at stake. Aaron Hernandez and Grievances with the New England Patriots The first issue that must be settled are the contractual disputes that remain in play between Aaron Hernandez and the New England Patriots. There are currently three pending grievances that must be resolved, two from the […]

Don’t Ever Take Your Life for Granted

chyna thomas

The following is an excerpt from my Weekly Newsletter. I don’t typically share my newsletter on the blog but decided to make an exception this week. If you would like to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you may do so by clicking here. “I’m Lucky to Be Alive” The Officer wrote me a ticket for “improper lane usage”. Yeah, I guess you could call it that. During my Senior Year of High School, I must have been 17 or 18 years old, I was visiting my Father who lived in the middle of nowhere in Illinois. My parents were divorced […]

Why Donald Trump’s Revocable Living Trust Doesn’t Mean Squat

Donald Trump Revocable Living Trust

Donald Trump’s massive business holdings have been heavily scrutinized over the past several months. Yesterday I came across an article on NPR that reveals that he has put his business interests into a Revocable Living Trust. Sound familiar? It should. That’s because a revocable living trust is one of the primary tools that I, as an estate planning attorney, advise my client’s to use for their personal estate plan. A Revocable Living Trust does some things really well, especially when we are talking about drafting a comprehensive estate plan. Unfortunately, shielding the owner of the trust who is President of […]

The Power of Organ Donation – How UNC Senior Jason Ray saved the Lives of 4 People

organ donation

Organ Donation is a topic that comes up every single time I’m designing an estate plan with a new client. It’s one of the last questions I ask new clients and one that surprisingly few people have thought about before I ask it. Ironically, this is one of the main benefits to using an estate planning attorney – we ask the difficult questions that you had even thought about, but I digress… The reason I chose today to discuss a topic like organ donation is because of an emotional article I came across over this past weekend in the News […]