5 Estate Planning Myths (and Why You Need to Know the Truth)

5 Estate Planning Myths (and Why You Need to Know the Truth)

In recognition of National Estate Planning Awareness Week (October 16-22), we are sharing 5 myths we frequently hear about estate planning. These myths often prevent people from taking action to protect their assets and ensure their loved ones receive the benefits of careful stewardship. Which of these myths do you believe? Myth #1: I only need an estate plan if I am rich. Truth: Almost everyone can benefit from estate planning. Estate planning allows you to determine how your estate is managed during your lifetime and how it is distributed upon your death. It also allows you to decide who manages those things for you. When you meet with an estate planning attorney, some of the things you may discuss include: Guardians for your minor children or an adult child (or parent) with special needs. Concerns about your assets or beneficiaries. An appropriate executor for your estate. Advance directives and healthcare power of attorney: These documents take estate planning a step further by allowing you to designate someone to represent you and carry out your wishes regarding health treatment should you be unable to make those decisions. Ownership of any businesses and how those will be handled upon your death. Is there a succession plan in place? Questions you may have about your online presence after you are gone. Whether a trust makes sense. Even if you are young and still have limited assets, estate planning is a good idea to make sure things are handled the way you want them to be. Myth #2: I should start with my estate planning in my 50’s or 60’s when I...
Local Firm Supports YMCA & 2017 HAWG Run

Local Firm Supports YMCA & 2017 HAWG Run

Brinkley Walser Stoner an event sponsor for the October 28 fun run and 5k event Lexington, NC – Brinkley Walser Stoner is once again a proud supporter of the annual HAWG Run. The J. Smith Young YMCA is coordinating the event, which includes a fun run and 5K that takes place the morning of the annual Lexington Barbecue Festival (October 28). All proceeds will benefit the YMCA’s annual giving campaign to provide after-school and summer camp scholarships for children in need. “The Barbecue Festival is such an iconic event for Lexington,” says Karen Greene, Business Manager for the firm. “The annual HAWG run is a tradition, and the cause is worthwhile. We encourage everyone to put on their running or walking shoes, join in on the fun, and work up an appetite for some barbecue!” This will be the 32nd annual HAWG run. The run is set for October 28 from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m., beginning at the YMCA. The cost is $15 for the Fun Run and $25 for the 5K Walk/Run event. Learn more. Brinkley Walser Stoner prides itself on providing new and cutting edge legal counsel built on a foundation of knowledge and integrity. Brinkley Walser Stoner’s attorneys are first and foremost counselors, advising clients on their legal rights and options for appropriate solutions. Practice areas include business law, real estate, litigation, elder law, estate planning, injury and disability, criminal defense, traffic and DWI, banking, family law, municipal, governmental, and education law, among others. Brinkley Walser Stoner is an AV rated firm by Martindale-Hubble®. The firm has offices at 10 LSB Plaza in Lexington and in...
Domestic Violence Impacts Everyone

Domestic Violence Impacts Everyone

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a good reminder that not everyone is in a caring and safe environment. An estimated 10 million people a year in the U.S. are physically abused by an intimate partner. This harm may come in form of physical, sexual, psychological abuse. Domestic violence or intimate partner violence (IPV) crosses all demographics and socioeconomic levels. It is about power and control over another person. Both women and men may be victims. While there are some commonalities among abusers (low self-esteem, drug or alcohol use, a desire for power or control, or a history of family abuse, among others), you cannot identify an abuser simply on sight. In some cases, abuse may come later in a relationship based on a trigger event such as the loss of a job or increased relationship stress. “Domestic violence costs $8.3 billion in expenses annually: a combination of higher medical costs ($5.8 billion) and lost productivity ($2.5 billion).” ~Forbes Warning Signs of Domestic Violence In many cases, there will be early warning signs that an individual may become abusive. These behaviors may include: Controlling access to your friends or family or expressing jealousy of your relationships with others Pushing, shoving, or hitting Yelling at you or threatening you Making demeaning comments or putting you down Attempting to control finances/spending Destroying your belongings Leaving you in an unfamiliar location Threatening your children or pets Find other possible warning signs here. Abusers often begin these patterns of behavior as teens, so parents should be aware of the signs your child may be in an abusive relationship. Talk to your teens...
BWS Update | September 2017

BWS Update | September 2017

Questions on Senior Communities? Brinkley Walser Stoner is pleased to present a series of videos for individuals and families considering a move to a senior living community. The series includes three videos: Transitioning to an Easier Lifestyle: Is it Time for a Senior Living Community? Choosing the Right Senior Living Community Downsizing or Rightsizing for a Move to a Senior Community Attorneys David Inabinett and Ryan McNeill are featured in the videos discussing the legal aspects of such a move. If you have specific questions or concerns about related topics like estate planning, elder law, real estate law, business law, or succession planning, please contact us at (336) 249-2101 to schedule an appointment. Watch the videos. 2017 Davidson County Agricultural Fair Is Here Looking for family friendly fun this week? The Davidson County Agricultural Fair is going on now. This 6-day event is being held from September 18-23rd at the Davidson County Fairgrounds. Be sure to go and check out the Entertainment and Rides, the Barnyard Animals, Free Entertainment from Bandstand Each Night, Fire Works Display Each Night, Food and Refreshments by Civic Club Groups, Specialty Food Stands, Fun and Entertainment, Livestock (horses, dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, poultry, and rabbits), Farm Crops, Flowers, Vegetables, Horticulture, Crafts, Educational and Commercial Exhibits, Farm Equipment and so much more. Free Seminars in Greensboro Our attorneys will be speaking at two October sessions at the Women’s Resource Center in Greensboro. These events are free and open to the public. Buying a House – October 3 @ 2:00 p.m. Purchasing your first home can be exciting and scary. Attorney Gary Bowers will address...
BWS Update | August 2017

BWS Update | August 2017

Best Practices for Employee Reviews By Bradley S. Hunt, Attorney at Law If you are like many supervisors, preparing and delivering annual employee reviews is not on your list of favorite things to do! That said, regular performance reviews are important, and how they are handled matters. Reviews are important to employees Employees want and need feedback, and regular communication with individuals and teams can help improve the work environment. Knowing what they are doing well and where they need to improve can make employees feel the employer cares about their success with the company. While an annual review is standard for many companies, you should give feedback regularly. It can be hard to remember what happened eight months ago, so an informal monthly or quarterly review may be helpful to both the employer and employee. If an employee’s action requires correction or discipline, handle that immediately and be sure to document any corrective measures that need to be taken. Read more… Why BWS Supports Big Toy Day Each Year Big Toy Day 2017 is an inexpensive and fun way to support local school children in need. Families can come out and see all kinds of big “toys,” including planes, fire trucks, boats, and other large equipment. The money collected goes to Communities in Schools of Lexington/Davidson County to fund their programs, including mentoring for at-risk students referred by the schools they attend, and supplying backpacks and school supplies. Funds also pay for needs like doctor visits for sick children who might not receive treatment without this support. This is a great cause, and we encourage everyone to come...
Is It Time for a Senior Living Community?

Is It Time for a Senior Living Community?

Have you been considering a move to a senior living community? As they reach retirement age, many people begin looking at their living situations and talking about transitioning to an easier lifestyle. They may be tired of maintaining a large house and lawn, find they don’t have as much free time as expected (due to the house and lawn!), are not located where it is easy to socialize, or have concerns about living alone.  So, how do you decide when it’s time to consider a senior living community? Watch the first video in the Decision Time series and hear from others on the topic. Attorneys David Inabinett and Ryan McNeill also provide...
Inabinett Recognized for Work in Elder Law, Trust & Estates

Inabinett Recognized for Work in Elder Law, Trust & Estates

Brinkley Walser Stoner attorney selected for The Best Lawyers in America® 24th Edition Lexington, NC – David E. Inabinett, Managing Member of Brinkley Walser Stoner, has been selected once again by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2018 in the fields of Elder Law, and Trusts and Estates. “Estate planning and elder law are incredibly rewarding fields of practice,” says Inabinett. “I enjoy working with individuals and families as they take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones as they age. Many people assume you do not need an estate plan unless you have assets. This is not true – all adults should have advance directives and other legal paperwork in place, regardless of age or wealth. It is especially important to update the plans regularly to account for any changes in your life, especially the birth of a child or taking on the responsibility of caring for a parent.” Inabinett is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA™) and has received an AV™ Preeminent Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. He focuses his practice on Estate Planning, Elder Law, Education/School Law, Business Law, and Real Estate Law in Davidson, Guilford and surrounding counties. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer review evaluation. Over 83,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, and we have received more than 10 million votes to date on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For...
Best Practices for Employee Reviews

Best Practices for Employee Reviews

By Bradley Hunt, Attorney at Law If you are like many supervisors, preparing and delivering annual employee reviews is not on your list of favorite things to do! That said, regular performance reviews are important, and how they are handled matters. Reviews are important to employees Employees want and need feedback, and regular communication with individuals and teams can help improve the work environment. Knowing what they are doing well and where they need to improve can make employees feel the employer cares about their success with the company. While an annual review is standard for many companies, you should give feedback regularly. It can be hard to remember what happened eight months ago, so an informal monthly or quarterly review may be helpful to both the employer and employee. If an employee’s action requires correction or discipline, handle that immediately and be sure to document any corrective measures that need to be taken. Individuals should know up front what their job duties are and understand the employer’s performance expectations. Written job descriptions can provide guidance to employees and protect employers if there are questions about duties or salaries. A well-written employee handbook can define high-level expectations related to conduct (tardiness, vacation, procedures to report a workplace injury, etc.) and spell out discipline procedures, including actions that would result in immediate termination. This handbook can protect both parties and help ensure all employees are treated the same. Reviews can protect employers Employment in North Carolina is “at will,” meaning an employee can be terminated without cause. While there are some exceptions to “at will” employment, we usually recommend employers...
McDonald Selected to Serve as Deputy Command Judge Advocate

McDonald Selected to Serve as Deputy Command Judge Advocate

Lexington, NC – Brinkley Walser Stoner attorney Roy L. McDonald II, a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve and Judge Advocate General Corps, has been selected to serve as the Deputy Command Judge Advocate for the 166th Regional Support Group “Taino Warriors,” located at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. The Deputy Command Judge Advocate is the second most senior legal advisor in the command. “We are very proud of Roy’s continuing service to our country and our community,” says Brinkley Walser Stoner managing partner, David Inabinett. Brinkley Walser Stoner has been twice recognized by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, for its support to the national defense, receiving both the Patriot Award and the Above and Beyond Award. Brinkley Walser Stoner is located in Lexington and serves Davidson and Guilford County. Mr. McDonald’s law practice is focused on business law and civil...