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Monday, November 19, 2018

Estate Planning For New Parents

Estate Planning For New Parents

It may not be the top thing on your to-do list when you find out you are expecting, but crafting an estate plan is something all new parents should do. It is not one of the fun and exciting parts of parenting, but it is critically important.

Decide on a Guardian & Trustee

A lot of people are under the impression that the people they name as Godparents will become their child’s guardians should the unthinkable happen. This is not true. Naming someone a Godparent is a religious or cultural gesture, it is not a legally binding action.

In order to designate a legal guardian, it is necessary to execute a will. In a will you can name anyone you want as your child’s potential guardian. You can also change your mind and name someone different in a new document in the future.


Read more . . .


Monday, November 12, 2018

Cutting Someone Out Of Your Will May Be Harder Than You Think

When former President Benjamin Harrison died in 1901, his two oldest children inherited nothing. Harrison specified that his second wife, Mary Scott Lord Dimmock Harrison, was to inherit everything. Harrison two older children were already married with children of their own, so it wasn’t like he was leaving them destitute, but it did get people talking once again about the former president’s love life.

You see, Mary was Benjamin’s late wife’s niece. She had lived at the White House during Harrison’s presidency along with her mother and grandfather, and served as a sort of social secretary to the First Lady, her beloved aunt Caroline. In 1892, Caroline died and Benjamin lost his bid for re-election. A few years later, in 1896, Benjamin and Mary wed. He was in his mid-60s and she was in her late 30s. A year later, the couple had a daughter, Elizabeth.


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Monday, November 5, 2018

Sometimes It Can Be Hard To Tell The Good Guys From The Bad

We all like to think that if one of our loved ones was being abused, we would realize it right away and quickly step in to help. We also imagine that if we were being abused, we would get help or that someone would recognize the signs of abuse and step in on our behalf. It’s scary to think otherwise. Unfortunately, our years of experience have taught us that elder abuse can be tricky to spot and difficult to stop. A very public example of this is playing out right now as comic book legend Stan Lee’s family, lawyers, and business associates fight each other over control of his future.

Stan Lee is the mastermind of the Marvel comic book universe. He created or co-created some of the world’s most well-known superheroes, including Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the X-Men, but right now it seems he could use a hero of his own.


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Monday, October 22, 2018

Remembering Terri Schiavo

Each generation lives through a number of events that its members will never forget. The older generation remembers Pearl Harbor and the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. The Boomers remember the day JFK was shot and the OJ Simpson murder case. Generation X vividly recalls 9/11. Each of these events defined the generation and shaped how they view the world and the legal system.

Despite their differences, members of each of these generations often mention the same person during their estate planning meetings — Terri Schiavo. Terri Schiavo’s compelling and tragic story captured the nation’s attention, and is something that is hard to forget.


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Monday, October 15, 2018

Dealing With A Loved One’s “Stuff” After They Are Gone

Taking care of all the “stuff” that a loved one leaves behind is a daunting task. It’s both emotionally draining and physically exhausting.

From a legal perspective, the person in charge of sorting through all the stuff that a loved one leaves behind is the estate administrator named in the estate plan. Whether this person does the actual physical work of cleaning out a loved one’s home depends on his or her personal preferences. Many estate administrators find it easier to hire a professional to come in and handle things.

No matter who is doing the actual sorting, gifting, and selling, the first step in the cleaning out process should be passing on items that are specifically named in the will. If mom willed all her jewelry to sister Sue, get all of it out of mom’s house and in to Sue hands.


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Monday, October 8, 2018

What Does It Mean To “Spend Down?”

Do you have a plan for paying for your long-term care? Most people do not, which limits one’s options and leads to poor choices. That’s why there are so many horror stories out there about seniors losing properties that have been in their family for years because they fell and broke a hip.

Planning ahead is the only way to make long-term care costs manageable. For most people that means planning on relying on Medicaid. Though this popular government program was designed to be a last resort for people who have no other way to finance their long-term care, it has become the single largest payer of nursing home bills in America.

In order to qualify for Medicaid, an individual must have a low income and be under the age of 21 or over the age of 65, or be disabled or blind. The exact income eligibility requirements vary from state to state. People who have too many assets or make too much money to qualify can “spend down” in order to become eligible for for the program.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Help For North Carolina Seniors In Need Of Home Repairs

If you are starting to feel like Cary Grant in “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” or Tom Hanks in “The Money Pit” you are not alone. Experts say that the average homeowner should expect to spend at least 1 percent of his home's value each year on repairs and general maintenance. The older you get the more difficult this becomes as the house gets older and needs more work, and you get older and can handle less of that work yourself.

If you are having trouble keeping up with needed home repairs, you may want to consider applying for the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s...


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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Potential Changes In The Law May Help Veterans Exposed To Agent Orange

Agent Orange was a powerful herbicide the U.S. military sprayed on jungle terrain and crop lands occupied by our enemies, and on our military bases beginning in the 1950s. Today its use is banned as we now know exposure to it causes many health issues. Some veterans who were exposed to it are eligible for compensation and others may soon be.


Read more . . .


Monday, September 10, 2018

Is Buzz Aldrin In Trouble?

In October, Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, will be appearing in court. The whole world will once again be watching him, but this time it is not a happy occasion. Earlier this year, Buzz’s children, filed a legal petition seeking guardianship over him, and he filed a lawsuit in response.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What Is A Reverse Mortgage? And Should I Get One?

The tv commercials toting them aren’t as prevalent as they once were, but we still get a lot of questions about reverse mortgages from our estate planning clients. We’ve therefore put together this quick primer on them.

What is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is exactly what it sounds like - the reverse of a mortgage.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

It’s A Wonderful Life… Insurance

The Frank Capra’s Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life was recently on tv as part of some sort of “Christmas in July” promotion, and I happened to catch the part where mean old Mr. Potter suggests that George Bailey is worth more dead than alive because all he has to his name is a $500 life insurance policy.

Setting aside the fact that most policies are void if the insured commits suicide, there’s a lot of folks in the world who are worth more financially after they are dead than while they were alive thanks to life insurance. The reason why draws you back to one of the lessons learned in Bedford Falls - you can’t overestimate the value of your life because the impact your life has on your loved ones and the world around you is far greater than you know.

Hopefully insurance companies appreciate this despite the fact that putting a value on a person’s life is precisely the business they are in.


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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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| Phone: 704-369-9977
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| Phone: 704-369-9977
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