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Articles

Changes Coming to VA Aid and Attendance Program

The Veterans Administration (“the VA”) published changes earlier this month to a benefits program commonly referred to as Aid & Attendance (“A&A”). If you are a war-time veteran or a widow(er) of a war-time veteran, you have less than 30 days to take action to potentially preserve some of your hard-earned assets. The VA has...
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Senior Fraud

When asked why he robs banks, Slick Willie Sutton responded: “because that’s where the money is.” This concept may explain why seniors are often targeted by scammer. Since our society has moved away from defined pension plans and towards IRAs, seniors tend to have access to more cash than in previous generations. Access to cash,...
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The Big Scary Nursing Home

I have yet to have a consultation with a client who tells me that they want to go to a nursing home. However, it is estimated that more than half of Americans will need care in a nursing home. No matter how healthy you are, none of us are above having a stroke or getting...
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Medicare and Your Retirement Plan

I find that people who are 65 or older are generally knowledgeable about Medicare. However, since health care and health insurance represent a significant percentage of our individual budgets, people under 65 need to understand how Medicare works in order to help prepare for our eventual retirements. You must be 65 years old to be...
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The Power of Power of Attorneys

As of January 1, 2018, the new North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act came into effect that significantly changes the authority, use, and treatment of Power of Attorneys in North Carolina. A Power of Attorney (“POA”) that was signed before 2018 is still valid and will be interpreted under the prior law, so if...
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Don’t Let Your Estate Plan Harm Your Disabled Loved One

Living with a disability is challenging enough, please don’t let your estate plan make it more difficult. If you have assets that will go to a disabled person at your death, it could result in your disabled loved-one losing public benefits upon which he or she relies. In order to help protect your disabled loved-one,...
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Assisted Living and Special Assistance

I previously submitted an article explaining Medicaid and skilled nursing care. However, what happens if a person (usually elderly) needs help, but doesn’t need a nurse? These people may be unable to take care of themselves at home, but would not meet the medical test to qualify for skilled nursing care or Medicaid. In North...
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No Need to Fear Trusts

Many people are confused or intimidated by trusts. While some trusts can be complicated, they don’t always have to be that way. If you have ever given your phone to someone to take your picture, you basically created a trust – the person might have possession of your phone, but it is still your phone,...
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The Usefulness of Pre-Need Burial Contracts

What happens to our remains after we die is the very definition of “someone else’s problem.” However, this can be a difficult and emotional issue for the loved ones that we leave behind. There are a lot of choices that someone needs to make: Cremation or burial? Fancy casket or economy model? Should there be...
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Rights of a Surviving Spouse

The most common estate plan that I create in my NC law practice leaves everything to spouse if spouse is then living, otherwise everything to kids. However, I occasionally have clients who don’t want everything or anything to go to their spouses. This is particularly common when there is marital discord, blended families after a...
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