2019 Estate Planning Guide Available

2019 Estate Planning Guide Available

We have updated our Estate Planning guide for 2019. As your life changes, so should your estate plan. Our attorneys answer some common questions in this updated article. Find out the new gift and inheritance tax limits; learn how to avoid probate; discover whether a trust might make sense for you; and more. Read the...
McNeill to Present Medicaid Planning Seminar

McNeill to Present Medicaid Planning Seminar

Lexington, NC – Attorney Ryan McNeill of Brinkley Walser Stoner will present a seminar on Medicaid Planning on Tuesday, January 22, at the J. Smith Young YMCA in Lexington. The session will cover Medicaid rules and steps you can take to protect your family. The event is free but pre-registration is required. “The start of another new year is a reminder of the importance of planning for the future,” says McNeill. “Medicaid planning is a must for anyone who is concerned they may outlive their retirement savings. Consider what might happen to your spouse financially if you end up requiring long-term skilled nursing care. There are options within the law to protect property for the benefit of your spouse and heirs. While you may never need to rely on Medicaid, it is important you understand Medicaid’s requirements so you may make decisions now to protect your loved ones in the future.” McNeill focuses his practice on Estate Planning, Elder Law, Business Law, and Real Estate Law in Davidson, Guilford and surrounding counties. The Medicaid Planning seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22 at 11:45AM at the J. Smith Young YMCA at 119 W 3rd Ave, Lexington, NC 27292. The event is free but registration is required. Please call Kathy Shepler or the Front Desk at the Y at 336-249-2177. Brinkley Walser Stoner is also pleased to offer a free series of videos for individuals and families considering a move to a senior living community. These videos may be found at www.brinkleywalserstoner.com/senior-living-videos/. Brinkley Walser Stoner prides itself on providing new and cutting edge legal counsel built on a foundation of...
BWS Update | December 2018

BWS Update | December 2018

The Closing Attorney By Ryan McNeill, Attorney at Law When you buy or sell a home, there are expenses associated with the transaction, including fees for a closing attorney. Whether you are buying a house or refinancing your existing mortgage, you as the buyer or borrower may ask, ‘what is the role of the closing attorney’? Learn the five primary functions handled by the closing attorney during a real estate transaction and why they are so important. Read more… Empty Stocking Fund Help The Dispatch of Lexington and The Salvation Army of Davidson County provide Christmas gifts to area teens who are often left out in other toy collection drives. Last year, the Empty Stocking Fund provided gifts for 184 children between the ages of 12 and 16. You can help, too. Brinkley Walser Stoner is a proud supporter of the Empty Stocking Fund. Please mail donations to The Dispatch, Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 908, Lexington, NC 27293 or drop off at their offices at 30 E. First Ave. Checks should be made out to the Empty Stocking Fund. Learn More Food, Shelter & Support The holidays can be a difficult time for those struggling financially or emotionally. Greensboro Urban Ministry provides food, shelter, and support programs to those in need of a hand up. Brinkley Walser Stoner is proud to support Greenboro Urban Ministry in their goal to provide this help. Please consider donating to your local shelter and/or food bank to help those in need all year long. Visit the Urban Ministry...
BWS Update | November 2018

BWS Update | November 2018

Holidays & Car Crashes The holiday season is fast approaching. While most of us will be celebrating with family and friends, there is something none of us want to think about: the holidays often mean increases in car crashes. Read some statistics from the North Carolina Department of Transportation about car crashes, and get some tips to help keep your family safe in this article by attorney Roy McDonald. Read more. Milk & Cookies with Santa The City of Lexington will be hosting Milk & Cookies with Santa on December 8, 2018 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Robbins Recreation Center. This event is open to all ages. Price is per person, $12 for residents, $15 for non residents if you register by 11/23. Parents/participating adults must register along with the children that are attending. This event is limited to 70 guests. Register at registration.lexingtonnc.gov. Senior Hunger Sadly, hunger is a year-round problem in our communities. For those who face food challenges, the holidays can be especially hard as they watch others enjoy big meals with family and special holiday treats. Brinkley Walser Stoner is proud to support Pastor’s Pantry in their quest to address senior hunger in Davidson County. Please consider donating to your local food bank to help those in need all year long. Visit Pastor’s Pantry website. Holiday Hours We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 22-23 so we may celebrate the holiday with our families. We’ll be back on Monday, November 26 for business as usual!...
Holidays and Car Crashes

Holidays and Car Crashes

By Roy McDonald, Attorney at Law The holiday season is fast approaching. While most of us will be celebrating with family and friends, there is something none of us want to think about: the holidays often mean increases in car crashes. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported the following statistics for 2017 (the most recent year for which data is available): For the four-day Thanksgiving holiday period, there were 2,746 crashes reported Those crashes resulted in 1,213 injuries and 23 fatalities 207 of those crashes were alcohol related Over the four-day Christmas holiday period, 2,206 crashes were reported Those crashes resulted in 1,011 injuries and 5 fatalities 176 of these crashes were alcohol related The NC DOT captures contributing causes of all accidents reported to the police. Speed, lane departure, and distracted driving are three leading causes of accidents. While crashes involving alcohol accounted for only 4.1% of all crashes, these accidents were deadly. During the holidays, we are often in a hurry and distracted by our busy lives. It is crucial that all drivers be in the moment when they are behind the wheel. You may be a safe driver, but if the other person is impaired or distracted, you may pay the price. Safety Tips You can take steps to help avoid car crashes. Here are a few safety reminders. Drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings. Obey the speed limit signs, adjusting your speed down in cases of reduced visibility or other dangers. Leave a safe stopping distance between you and the car ahead. Focus on driving. Put away the mobile device, food/drink, and...
Finding the Best Long-Term Care Facility for a Loved One

Finding the Best Long-Term Care Facility for a Loved One

Updated for 2018 Placing a loved one in a long-term care facility is often one of the hardest decisions a family must make. As our population has aged, the number and type of these facilities have increased to accommodate the need. There are active adult communities, assisted living centers, special care units (memory care, palliative care, and others), nursing care facilities, residential care and specialized facilities for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Also available are progressive care campuses that offer residents a continuum from independent living through full nursing care. The search to find the “best” or “right” facility can be confusing and stressful. The challenges are compounded when a sudden health issue requires a quick decision. Not all long-term care facilities are created equal, and you want your loved one to have the best care possible. Here are some things to consider and some resources available here in North Carolina to help you make your decision: North Carolina adult care facilities are licensed and inspected by the state. There is a star rating system based on the annual inspection results. You may search by county, city or facility name. This is a good place to start but should not be the only factor in your decision. The search page is located at http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/acls/star/search.asp. Look at Medicaid’s nursing home comparison tool located at http://medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html. You can choose up to three facilities to compare. Note: Medicare is implementing a new star rating system. You can find a thorough explanation of the new rating system and how to review the facilities in comparison to the current star system. Tour the facility at...
BWS Update | October 2018

BWS Update | October 2018

Disability Employment Awareness October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. We applaud the many contributions by individuals with disabilities in our workforce, and work to educate the public on issues encountered by those with disabilities. This year’s theme is: ”America’s Workforce: Empowering All.” Visit, What Can You Do to educate and inspire your team to focus on what each person CAN DO to effect and empower the team as a whole. Read More Barbecue Festival Fun The Lexington Barbecue Festival is almost here! Head out on October 27 and enjoy some good food, entertainment, and a variety of events planned that day (and leading up to the Festival). Options include the Hawg Run (see below), the Tour de Pig, Sandsculpture competition, Barbecue Golf Tournament, Carnival, Wine Garden, BMX Stunt Show, and more. The Festival runs from 8:30am – 6pm on Saturday, October 27 (some events run on different days/times, so check the schedule!).Photo credit: The Dispatch/Donnie Roberts/Barbecue Festival Visit the Barbecue Festival Site Lauren Cecil Memorial Golf Tournament Lauren’s Ladder will be hosting its 6th Annual Lauren Cecil Memorial Golf Tournament on Friday, October 19, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Colonial Country Club, with two tee off times. Lauren’s Ladder supports organizations and activities that contribute to the educational, emotional, physical, social and spiritual growth of children. Brinkley Walser Stoner is a proud sponsor of Lauren’s Ladder. Teams of 4 can register for for the golf tournament for $260. If you do not play golf, you may sponsor a hole for a $50 donation. Calling All Runners! Come out for the annual Lexington Barbecue Festival Hawg...
National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October ushers in fall and the beginning of holidays and celebrations. It is fitting that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. National Disability Employment Awareness Month was established by Congress in 1988 to applaud the many contributions by individuals with disabilities in our workforce, and to educate the public on issues encountered by those with disabilities. This year’s theme is: ”America’s Workforce: Empowering All.” Visit, What Can You Do to educate and inspire your team to focus on what each person CAN DO to effect and empower the team as a whole. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the importance of focusing on the “can do” by reminding employers of best practices: When hiring, you cannot discriminate because a person has a disability. What you can do is make reasonable accommodations for the individual so he or she can do the job without any barriers. The Americans with Disabilities Act Overview provides a good understanding of what you can do. Encourage team members to get to know each other. This helps put the focus on the person (and their abilities) rather than the disability. When referencing a person with a disability, you should not say “disabled person” or call the person by the name of the disability. Once an individual with a disability has been hired, remember to provide the same access to advancement, trainings, benefits and any other offering your company extends to all employees. Not all disabilities are visible or immediately apparent. Make certain all your supervisors and managers are aware of how to address requests for reasonable accommodations. Get your company involved! The...
BWS Update | September 2018

BWS Update | September 2018

Storm Thoughts We hope everyone reading this newsletter was able to stay safe during Florence. As the storm approached North Carolina, it turned our thoughts to emergency preparedness and how important it is to think about both short-term (water, food, shelter) and long-term (advance directives) plans. Read More Congratulations, Molly! Come out for the annual Lexington Barbecue Festival Hawg Run 5K and Fun Run Walk on October 27 at the J. Smith Young YMCA. Proceeds go toward after school and summer camp scholarships for children in our community. The 5K starts at 7:30 am, while the Fun Run Walk begins at 7:45. The course is USATF certified. Molly Broadway is celebrating her milestone 10th anniversary with the firm! Molly joined Brinkley Walser Stoner (then Brinkley Walser) on September 15, 2008. We congratulate her on her anniversary and hope you will all wish her well! Calling all Runners! Come out for the annual Lexington Barbecue Festival Hawg Run 5K and Fun Run Walk on October 27 at the J. Smith Young YMCA. Proceeds go toward after school and summer camp scholarships for children in our community. The 5K starts at 7:30 am, while the Fun Run Walk begins at 7:45. The course is USATF certified. The 5K Run/Walk is $20 and the Fun Run is $10. The price goes up after September 21. Don’t forget when you’re done to run on over to the Barbecue...
Estate Planning is Part of Emergency Preparedness

Estate Planning is Part of Emergency Preparedness

By Ryan McNeill, Attorney at Law The recent news stories in North Carolina of coastal residents evacuating due to the hurricane reinforces just how important it is to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Storing drinking water, non-perishable food items, and extra medicines will meet an immediate need. Unfortunately, many people stop their planning there. While Hurricane Florence is passing south of the Triad, the damage we are seeing on the news is a good reminder for everyone to add estate planning to their preparations for future events. Why Do I Need an Estate Plan? Many people put off estate planning assuming they will have time to deal with it later. Seeing a strong storm come ashore in the Carolinas reminds us there are no guarantees in life. Injury, illness, or death can occur at any time. No matter your age or financial situation, it is important to get your estate planning documents in place to cover whatever situation might arise. This includes documents to allow medical treatment as well as wills or trusts. What Documents Do I Need? There are some basic documents everyone should have, and others that are relevant to specific situations. Everyone should consider having the following advance directives: A healthcare power of attorney gives another person the legal right to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. A living will allows you to determine the extent of treatment for a medical condition when you are unable to state your wishes. This is sometimes referred to as a declaration of desire for a natural death. A third...