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Category

Estate Planning

Marriage, Death, Divorce & Your Social Security

While most people have a general idea about their own Social Security benefits, I have found that many are unsure or even unaware of the effect that marriage, divorce and a spouse’s death could potentially have upon a person’s eligibility for social security. A very quick summary of Social Security retirement benefits: To qualify for...
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Avoiding Probate

You may have heard that you should try to avoid probate. While this is generally a good idea, probate isn’t nearly as costly or burdensome in North Carolina as it is in some other states. In any case, it would be easier to avoid probate if you had a good understanding of it. Think of...
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The New SECURE Act & Your IRA

In December 2019, the SECURE Act was added to one of the year-end appropriation bills and was passed by Congress. This act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) became law effective on January 1, 2020. The Act includes various provisions, but one particular provision will have a significant effect on the estate plans for...
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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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