BWS Update | May 2018

BWS Update | May 2018

It’s National Elder Law Month There is a lot going on in May. In addition to honoring all the mothers out there, we also celebrate Older Americans Month and National Elder Law Month. As we grow older and wiser (we hope!), it is important to remain engaged. Today’s seniors are more active than ever, spending time working, volunteering, traveling, or mentoring younger people. Many also talk to estate planning and elder law attorneys to plan for their future or regarding issues related to the care of their loved ones. Learn more… Medicaid Planning Seminar As part of National Elder Law Month, Ryan McNeill will be presenting a Medicaid Planning seminar at the J. Smith Young YMCA on May 11 beginning at 11am. The event is free but registration is required. Please call Kathy Shepler or the Front Desk at the Y at 336-249-2177. Wow…30 Years?! Many of you have met Karen Greene in your dealings with the firm or out in the community. We’ll bet you didn’t know that June 1 marks Karen’s 30th anniversary with the firm! Karen started as a bookkeeper in 1988 and took over as the business manager in 2010. She is responsible for day to day operations of the firm and manages the administrative staff. Karen is a life-long resident of Davidson County; she is married to Greg Greene and has two adult children, Sarah and Anna. We congratulate her on this milestone anniversary! Older Americans Month May is Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme is “Engage at Every Age.” We encourage everyone to get out and remain physically active, and find ways...
May is National Elder Law Month

May is National Elder Law Month

There is a lot going on in May. In addition to honoring all the mothers out there, we also celebrate Older Americans Month and National Elder Law Month. As we grow older and wiser (we hope!), it is important to remain engaged. Today’s seniors are more active than ever, spending time working, volunteering, traveling, or mentoring younger people. Many also talk to estate planning and elder law attorneys to plan for their future or regarding issues related to the care of their loved ones. What is Elder Law? Elder law encompasses a wide range of legal topics, including healthcare directives, healthcare and financial powers of attorney, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships, special needs planning, and similar matters. Elder law attorneys may also help coordinate public or private resources to assist the client and handle estate planning or probate matters. What is the Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning? Estate planning is often referred to as “wills and trusts” and involves determining how an individual would like his or her estate distributed upon their death. It also covers advance directives, powers of attorney, special needs trusts, digital asset review, and asset protection planning. There is some overlap between estate planning and elder law, though not all estate planning attorneys necessarily handle every aspect of elder law. When Do I Need an Elder Law Attorney? Many of our clients are adult children whose aging parents require legal assistance related to elder law issues. You may wish to speak to an elder law attorney if you, a spouse, or a parent is expected to need long-term care, is no longer...
National Healthcare Decisions Day Events 2018

National Healthcare Decisions Day Events 2018

NHDD encourages all adults to have advance directives and estate plans in place Lexington, NC – National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is coming up next week. Several local agencies, including Hospice of Davidson County, Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center, and Davidson County Senior Services, are hosting events during the week to share information and communicate the importance of putting plans in place to ensure your wishes are honored. Attorney Ryan McNeill of Brinkley Walser Stoner will join others to speak at a free event at Hospice of Davidson County on April 19 from 4 – 6 pm on the topic. Standard North Carolina advance directive forms will be available, and notaries will be present. “Talking about unexpected medical crises or end of life planning can be uncomfortable,” says McNeill. “Many individuals put it off, assuming there will always be a tomorrow. Not having that discussion or completing and signing advance directives can leave your family and loved ones challenged with making assumptions about what healthcare you might want if you are ever unable to voice your decisions. National Healthcare Decisions Day is a great reminder for all of us (regardless of age) to take action now. Come out this week to one of the many local events and learn more.” McNeill focuses his practice on Estate Planning, Elder Law, Business Law, and Real Estate Law in Davidson, Guilford and surrounding counties. NHDD will be celebrated from April 16-22, 2018. These local events are free and open to those 18 and older: April 17, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center, 207 Old Lexington Road, Thomasville. April 18, 9-11...
BWS Update | April 2018

BWS Update | April 2018

Succession Planning By Bradley Hunt, Attorney at Law What will happen to your business if you retire, become ill, or die? Succession planning allows you to determine the answer to this question well in advance of any of these scenarios becoming reality and can ensure your business survives into the future. An article on business.com reported fewer than two-thirds of corporate leaders interviewed were actively executing a succession plan by grooming potential leaders. Another survey reported only 17% of non-profits have a succession plan in place. Read more… Another Anniversary! The firm is recognizing a number of milestone anniversaries this year, among them, Gary Bowers. Gary joined the Stoner, Bowers, Gray & McDonald (one of the two firms that merged in 2015 to become Brinkley Walser Stoner) in 2003. May 10, 2018 marks his 15th year with the firm. Congratulations, Gary! National Healthcare Decisions Day Ryan McNeill will be speaking at Hospice of Davidson County on estate planning and advance directives starting at 4:30 p.m. on April 19 as part of National Healthcare Decisions Day, celebrated during the week of April 16 – 22, 2018. The event is open to everyone 18 and older. This is just one of the free events this month sponsored by Hospice of Davidson County, Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center and Davidson County Senior Services. For more information on the Healthcare Decisions Day events, call Hospice of Davidson County at (336) 475-5444 or visit hospiceofdavidson.org....
Succession Planning

Succession Planning

By Bradley Hunt, Attorney at Law What will happen to your business if you retire, become ill, or die? Succession planning allows you to determine the answer to this question well in advance of any of these scenarios becoming reality and can ensure your business survives into the future. An article on business.com reported fewer than two-thirds of corporate leaders interviewed were actively executing a succession plan by grooming potential leaders. Another survey reported only 17% of non-profits have a succession plan in place. Many business owners put off developing a succession plan. After all, who wants to admit they may not be here to run the business forever? In truth, the planning process can be a challenge and often brings up underlying issues that must be addressed. In some cases, the CEO may not believe there is a qualified internal candidate to groom to take over the business, while the Board may disagree. In a family business, those in the next generation may not have the same level of interest in the business. Similarly, a deep dive into the succession planning process may uncover process or technology challenges that must be resolved. Succession Planning Considerations If you have a leadership team and/or Board of Directors, engage them in the succession planning process and keep it transparent. Hold a special meeting (or more than one) devoted to this topic. Determine what traits you want in the individual(s) who will succeed you. Values and a good cultural fit can make a big difference in the acceptance of this person as a future leader. Identify potential successors. Are there internal team...
McNeill Presents Medicaid Planning Seminar

McNeill Presents Medicaid Planning Seminar

Free seminar at the Mabel D. Smith Senior Center in Greensboro scheduled for March 14 Lexington, NC – Attorney Ryan McNeill of Brinkley Walser Stoner will present a seminar on Medicaid Planning on March 14 at the Mabel D. Smith Senior Center in Greensboro. The session will cover long-term care planning, including relevant changes in the estate laws. The event is free and open to the public. “Medicaid planning is a must for anyone who is concerned they may outlive their retirement savings,” says McNeill. “There are options within the law to protect property for the benefit of your spouse and heirs. It is important to discuss these issues up front and make appropriate plans to protect your family.” 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 will take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 10 AM – 11 AM at the Mabel D. Smith Senior Center, 2401 Fairview St, Greensboro, North Carolina 27405. Registration is not required. Questions may be directed to the Senior Center at 336-373-7566. Brinkley Walser Stoner is 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. Practice areas include business law, real estate, litigation, elder law, estate planning,...
Common HOA Disputes

Common HOA Disputes

By Gary Bowers, Attorney at Law If you have ever lived in a planned community with a homeowners’ association (HOA), you may have formed distinct opinions about whether HOAs are a good or bad thing! In most cases, HOAs help keep up the property values in the community by enforcing commonly accepted restrictions. Sometimes, though, common HOA disputes will arise when a homeowner is unaware of the restrictive covenants, interprets the rules differently, or ignores them altogether. What are the benefits of a homeowners’ association? HOAs exist for several purposes. They are responsible for care and upkeep of common areas in the community. This might include the entrance(s) to the community, signage, a pool or other amenities, or lighting and utilities (where the community is gated or streets are private). In a townhome or condominium community, the association may also cover roof repairs/replacement, exterior maintenance, alleys, driveways, etc. All homeowners benefit from these activities, as they typically make the community a desirable place to live. If common areas are limited, the annual or monthly HOA dues may be relatively small. In other cases, the fees may be higher to build up reserves to pay larger or longer-term expenses like resurfacing a pool or replacing the roof on the building. HOAs also define and enforce community standards in an effort to protect homeowners and ensure potential buyers are not deterred by the actions of a single homeowner. If your neighbor, for example, decided to paint his house a bold purple or store dozens of junk cars in his yard, you might object to having his see his property every day...
BWS Update | March 2018

BWS Update | March 2018

Common HOA Disputes By Gary Bowers, Attorney at Law If you have ever lived in a planned community with a homeowners’ association (HOA), you may have formed distinct opinions about whether HOAs are a good or bad thing! In most cases, HOAs help keep up the property values in the community by enforcing commonly accepted restrictions. Sometimes, though, common HOA disputes will arise when a homeowner is unaware of the restrictive covenants, interprets the rules differently, or ignores them altogether. Read More… Uniform Financial POA Act On January 1st, 2018 North Carolina enacted the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which is codified in the new Chapter 32C of the North Carolina General Statutes. This marks a significant change in the laws concerning Financial Power of Attorney documents in this state and is modeled after the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which has been enacted in a number of states. Learn more… Happy Anniversary! Congratulations to attorney Ryan McNeill on his 10-year anniversary with the firm! Ryan joined us on April 1, 2008 as an Associate. He was promoted to Member in January of 2015. Ryan’s practice areas include estate planning, elder law, Medicaid planning, corporate law, real estate law, and HOAs. If you see Ryan out and about, please congratulate him. Here’s to another 10 (or more!) years. Medicaid Planning Seminar 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 at the Mabel D. Smith Senior Center in Greensboro on March...
North Carolina’s New Uniform Financial Power of Attorney Act

North Carolina’s New Uniform Financial Power of Attorney Act

By David Inabinett Financial Power of Attorney documents have long been used in estate planning to allow a person to appoint a fiduciary to manage that person’s financial affairs. They are often used both in situations where the person granting the power of attorney (the principal) is unable to manage financial affairs any longer or where the principal has the capacity to do so but prefers another to handle those matters. On January 1st, 2018 North Carolina enacted the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which is codified in the new Chapter 32C of the North Carolina General Statutes. This marks a significant change in the laws concerning Financial Power of Attorney documents in this state and is modeled after the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which has been enacted in a number of states. The first significant change is now all Financial Power of Attorney documents have automatic durability. Durability means that the power of the agent acting on behalf of the principal will remain even after the incapacity of the principal. Before this change a power of attorney had to specifically mention durability or the power of attorney would become invalid after the incapacity of the principal. Terminology has also changed in the new statutes. Formerly the person acting on behalf of the principal was referred to as the “attorney-in-fact” and they are now referred to as “agent.” This clears up some confusion about the use of the term “attorney-in-fact” because many people believed that it meant that the person was actually the attorney for the principal. The term “incapacity” replaces references to “disability” in the old statute,...
BWS Update | February 2018

BWS Update | February 2018

Avoid These Medicaid Planning Pitfalls By Ryan McNeill, Attorney at Law Have you planned for what might happen if you were to require long term care? According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of those currently 65 years old will need some form of long term care in their lifetimes. Medicare has limits on long term care coverage, and long term care insurance can be pricey and may only cover certain expenses. Most Americans have not saved enough money to cover the costs of long term care out of pocket. In such cases, many requiring long term care will need to apply for assistance through Medicaid. Read more… Elder Law Planning Event Attorney Ryan McNeill will be speaking at the Smith Senior Center in Greensboro on 2/21/18 at 10:00 a.m. on long-term care planning, including relevant changes in the estate laws for 2018, documents everyone should have (regardless of age), and practical and legal perspectives when considering a senior living situation for yourself or a loved one. The event is free. Contact the Senior Center at (336) 373-7566 to learn more. Firm Supports Veterans Brinkley Walser Stoner has joined NCServes Central Carolina, a branch of AmericaServes, a network of organizations providing a broad range of coordinated assistance to veterans and their families. NCServes utilizes technology to improve communication, transparency, and effectiveness of their support services. Learn more…...