BWS Update |March 2019

BWS Update |March 2019

Role of an Elder Law Attorney There are many areas of law and sometimes they overlap. That can lead to confusion about the different functions performed by an attorney in each role. Sometimes a client might think they need an estate planning attorney or real estate attorney, but might really need an elder law attorney due to this overlap in areas of practice Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies. Read More Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies The death of a loved one, whether it is expected or not, can throw you and your family into turmoil as you enter a period of grieving. There are so many things that must be handled, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Some things must be dealt with quickly, while others can wait a few days or weeks. Read More Upcoming Events What if We Haven’t Saved Enough? Medicaid planning is a must for anyone who is concerned they may outlive their retirement savings. There are options within the law to protect property for the benefit of your spouse and heirs. Join attorney Ryan McNeill on May 8 to find out the rules related to Medicaid and steps you may take well in advance to protect your family. The event is free but registration is required. Date/Time: May 8, 2019, 10:00 a.m. Location: Mabel D. Smith Senior Center, 2401 Fairview St, Greensboro, NC 27405 RSVP:...
What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?

What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?

By Ryan McNeill, Attorney at Law There are many areas of law and sometimes they overlap. That can lead to confusion about the different functions performed by an attorney in each role. Sometimes a client might think they need an estate planning attorney or real estate attorney, but might really need an elder law attorney due to this overlap in areas of practice. The role of an elder law attorney includes a wide range of topics, not all of which are handled by someone who only does estate planning or real estate. So, what does an elder law attorney do? Elder law attorneys work with individuals or families dealing with legal issues that often come along with aging. These may include: Healthcare and financial powers of attorney Long-term care planning Medicaid planning Guardianships Special needs planning Updates to wills or trusts Living probate Elder abuse Nursing home law Probate The elder law attorney may also help find and coordinate resources to help clients. Some examples may include suggesting local Alzheimer’s or dementia resources, working with a Realtor to sell property as an elderly parent moves into a long-term care facility, helping with the sale of a business, or recommending caregiver support groups. When should I speak to an elder law attorney? Consulting with an elder law attorney before there is a crisis is always best, though not always practical. We often have clients schedule appointments in the following circumstances: You, a spouse, or a parent is diagnosed with a progressive illness or are severely injured in an accident and are expected to need long-term care; if you are married,...
Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies

Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies

The death of a loved one, whether it is expected or not, can throw you and your family into turmoil as you enter a period of grieving. There are so many things that must be handled, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Some things must be dealt with quickly, while others can wait a few days or weeks. In some cases, these items may be handled by a friend or family member, while in others they must be completed by the Executor of the estate or another individual specified by the decedent or by law. Here is a list of the top 10 things that typically must be handled. Note this list is not comprehensive and other tasks may still need to be completed. If your loved one dies in the hospital or a nursing home, hospital staff will issue a legal pronouncement of death, discuss their process, tell you what they need from you, and advise what help they will provide. If the death occurs at home while under Hospice care, contact them, otherwise, call 9-1-1 to report the death. You may wish to get multiple certified copies of the death certificate (a dozen or more are often required). The funeral home typically assists with obtaining these.If your loved one is an organ donor or has left his or her body to science, time is of the essence. Medical professionals should be made aware if a terminal patient desires to be an organ donor. If death is anticipated in the hospital, doctors there will likely speak to the family about their loved one’s wishes. If the deceased did...
BWS Update |February 2019

BWS Update |February 2019

Real Estate: A Busy Spring Research shows May and June are the busiest months for home sales. If you plan to buy or sell in 2019, check out some predictions from the market experts and learn more about the real estate closing process in this article from attorney Ryan McNeill. Read More Updates to the ABLE Act The North Carolina Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act enables individuals with special needs or their families to open savings accounts that do not count as assets (within stated limits) when determining eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or other government benefits.  Find Out How Caregiver Academy The Life Center of Davidson County, Inc. is partnering with several other groups to offer a free Caregiver Academy. Monthly classes are held at Wake Forest Baptist Health Lexington Medical Center. The monthly sessions offer practical advice and support from community experts. Registration is requested by calling 336.713.2378 or emailing...
Buying & Selling Homes

Buying & Selling Homes

Expect a Busy Spring on the Real Estate Front Research shows May and June are the busiest months for home sales. If you plan to buy or sell in 2019, here’s what the market experts are predicting: Interest rates will edge up a little higher. For many buyers, this will not be a deciding factor, but for those on the edge, it may force them to lower their expectations or wait to buy.Buyers will have more inventory to choose from than they did in 2018, but homes may take longer to sell, and sellers may not get multiple offers.Millennials are expected to be the largest group of buyers, accounting for 45% of mortgages. Many, but not all, will be first time home buyers. Expect this group to start their home search online. If you are selling a home, the online presence (high quality photos or a video tour) will be very important. They may also prefer homes in walkable neighborhoods.Home prices last year increased faster than incomes. This, combined with the interest rate increase, means affordability will remain an issue, especially for first time home buyers. They may need to look at smaller homes, townhouses, or manufactured housing.The new tax laws related to real estate may impact some buy/sell decisions for those with bigger mortgages and people living in states with high tax rates. Buying or selling a home can be an exciting time for many people. Understand that the process can take a little time. Buyers may not find a home they love on their first outing, while sellers may expect their beloved home to prompt an immediate...
Updates to the ABLE Act

Updates to the ABLE Act

What is the ABLE Act? The North Carolina Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law in 2015. The ABLE Act enables individuals with special needs or their families to open savings accounts that do not count as assets (within stated limits) when determining eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or other government benefits. These savings accounts are intended to cover qualified disability expenses for the individual with the disabling condition. This may include housing, transportation costs, assistive technology, job training, and more. The IRS determines which expenses qualify. Who is eligible to open an ABLE account? The ABLE Act has two criteria that must be met: The disabling condition must have occurred prior to age 26. The savings account may be opened after that age, but the disability must have existing prior to the 26th birthday.The individual must be considered disabled based on criteria set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If he or she already receives SSI or SSDI payments and meets the age criteria, then approval is automatic. If not, then self-certification of disability is possible, but it would be advisable to have a medical doctor sign a letter certifying the individual does meet the functional requirements outlined by the SSA. ABLE Act Limits for 2019 In general, the current annual contribution to an ABLE account from all sources is $15,000. If the account beneficiary works and his/her employer does not contribute to a retirement plan, then the individual may contribute employment earnings over and above the $15K (with limitations). If the individual receives SSI and the ABLE balance exceeds $100,000, SSI...
Inabinett Presents Estate & Long-Term Care Planning Seminar

Inabinett Presents Estate & Long-Term Care Planning Seminar

Free seminar at the Smith Senior Center in Greensboro scheduled for February 6 Greensboro, NC – Attorney David Inabinett of Brinkley Walser Stoner will present a seminar titled Estate & Long-Term Care Planning on Wednesday, February 6, at the Mabel D. Smith Senior Center in Greensboro. The session will cover long-term care planning, basic asset protection techniques, and strategies available to help avoid probate and maximize the assets which may be protected for a surviving spouse or disabled child. The event is free; registration is not required. “More than two-thirds of those 65 and older will need long-term care in their lifetimes,” says Inabinett. “That’s a hefty percentage, so it’s an important factor to consider. Long-term care insurance is one option, but there are other alternatives to include long-term care in your estate plans.” Inabinett focuses his practice on Estate Planning, Elder Law, Business, and Public School Law in Davidson, Guilford and surrounding counties. Estate & Long-Term Care Planning is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6, from 10:00 – 11:30AM at the Mabel D. Smith Senior Center, 2401 Fairview St, Greensboro. Registration is not required, but anyone with questions may call the Senior Center at (336) 373-7564. 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 knowledge and integrity. Brinkley Walser Stoner’s attorneys are first and foremost counselors, advising clients on their legal rights and options for appropriate solutions....
BWS Update | January 2019

BWS Update | January 2019

Estate Planning Tips 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 More NADRC Handbook The National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center has published a guide titled Handbook for Helping People Living Alone with Dementia Who Have No Known Support. This is a good resource for medical, legal and social services professionals who work with individuals who have memory disorders. You may also find it useful if you are concerned about a friend or relative with limited (or no) support. Please share! Get the Handbook Project Potential Come out to Project Potential’s Dancing (& More) with the Potential Stars. This fundraiser features amateur talent from the Lexington area as they compete for a great cause. Project Potential helps Lexington students break down barriers to college by providing them with coaching/mentoring services, SAT/ACT test preparation, community service opportunities, college advisory services, help with college applications, scholarships, and more. Dancing (& More) with the Potential Stars takes place on Sunday, January 27 at the Edward C. Smith Civic Center at 4:00 p.m.. People may also vote online for their favorite performers. Each vote is $10 and goes to support students. Upcoming Events January 22: Medicaid Planning, J. Smith Young YMCA, Lexington Medicaid planning is a must for anyone who is concerned they may outlive their retirement savings. There are options within the law to protect property for the benefit of your spouse and...
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...