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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Burt Reynolds Disinherits Son?


Shortly after the news broke that legendary actor Burt Reynolds had passed away, sources began whispering that he had also disinherited his only child, Quinton Anderson Reynolds. While it is true that Quinton is intentionally omitted from his father’s will, he was not disinherited.

The Language That Got People Talking 


The language that got tongues wagging after Burt Reynolds passed away is this: “At the time that I execute this, my Last Will and Testament, I am not married, and I have one (1) child, QUINTON A.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Estate Planning For Farmers Helps The Next Generation Grow


4.9 million acres. That’s how much land the South Carolina Department of Agriculture says is farmed in the Palmetto state.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Saying Goodbye To The Queen


On August 16 we lost an icon. Aretha Franklin was not just a phenomenal singer, she was the undisputed Queen of Soul (and Gospel and Rock and R&B). She was a vanguard of the Civil Rights Movement and her recording of Respect was the unofficial anthem of the women’s rights movement.

We will all miss her, but in the same way, we miss other celebrities who pass on. We will feel a twinge of grief the next time one of her songs comes on the radio, but we will move on with our lives.
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Monday, December 10, 2018

Providing For Loved Ones With Substance Abuse Issues


The opioid epidemic is ravishing the nation and North and South Carolina are being hit particularly hard. In response, more and more families in our area are drafting estate plans with trusts that prevent loved ones who have substance abuse issues from fueling their addiction with inherited funds.

A good example of how this is done can actually found in Hugh Hefner’s estate plan.
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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.


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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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