Why the need to update Estate Plans

Your Estate Plan needs to be regularly reviewed and updated.  Three major parts of your Estate Plan are constantly moving. The first is the relationships with the people who have roles as Trustee, Personal Representative, Health Care Agent and Financial Power of Attorney and other roles.  Those people in those roles may need to be... [Read More]

Special Needs Class Well Received

Steve’s continuing education class for professionals on special needs planning was well received by the CPAs, Insurance and Financial Professionals in attendance. Some of the information received that was most meaningful to the attendees included: “The ability to keep the challenged child on SSI and Medicaid if properly done.” “Special Needs Trusts clarification.” “The relationship... [Read More]

Plan for Mental Disability

You are six times more likely to become mentally disabled in a year than to pass on.  Estate Planning is about planning for as many contingencies as possible.  Mental decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s, or some other version of mental decline seems to be growing as we age.  In a Revocable Living Trust a/k/a Living Trust, you... [Read More]

You Have to Tell the Truth

An experienced, relationship based Estate Planning Lawyer needs to know the truth before they can do good Estate Planning for you and your loved ones.  That skilled, relational Estate Planning Lawyer needs to be able to know and understand you and your loved ones’ strengths and weaknesses, goals and concerns, and the real truth about... [Read More]

Access to Aged Parents

Sometimes there will be friction between adult children or step parents and an aged child which will preclude access to an adult child’s parent, especially if that adult parent is in a weakened condition mentally or physically. I had a friend call me recently where the octogenarian “wicked step mother” was limiting this middle aged... [Read More]

Estate Planning for Blended Families Is an Adventure

Any time you are doing Estate Planning for Blended Families, it is always a balancing act.  You have to balance the couple’s desire to take care of each other vs. their desire to take care of their children from their previous marriage.  As usual, a Revocable Living Trust is the best foundational Estate Planning tool. ... [Read More]

Ready or Not, Here It Comes

Studies show that 75% of us do not even have a current Will, let alone the needed legal planning in the event we become sick and our loved ones are unable to authorize medical treatment for us.  Nor do we have the proper legal planning in place for loved ones and friends to ask medical... [Read More]

Adult Guardianship Is a Custody Case

Adult incompetency proceedings, also know as guardianship cases, consist of two parts.  Both parts are court proceedings in Probate Court or before the Clerk of Superior Court in North Carolina.  The Clerk of Superior Court is also the Probate Judge in North Carolina.  There are two major parts of the guardianship case.  The first is... [Read More]

Your Living Trust and Dementia or Alzheimer’s

You can plan within your Living Trust to remain in control in the event you become mentally incapacitated by dementia or Alzheimer’s.  You can plan for Mental Disability  in the form of having a panel which would consist of a physician and family members or friends to decide if they need to turn on the... [Read More]

What Is A Living Will?

A Living Will is a legal document that normally states that if you are terminal and incurable and death is imminent, or if you are in a permanently vegetative state and not coming back, the medical providers may remove you from a ventilator, if you are on one.  It may also authorize the removal of... [Read More]