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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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Friday, August 3, 2018

Leaving Behind Unique Assets Requires Proactive Estate Planning

Anthony Bourdain’s suicide left many of us shaken to the core. It is shockingly sad that someone so gifted, who seemed to have such a thirst for life, would want to give his up. His estate plan reflects what we as a public knew about him, and is a perfect example of why everyone should work with an experienced attorney to craft a customized estate plan rather than buying the legal equivalent of a fast food burger from an online, DIY site.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

You Might Need 20 Copies Of Your Loved One’s Death Certificate

There are a lot of strange things you will have to do when a loved one dies, and handing out copies of their death certificate is one of them. You may need around 20 copies of your loved one’s death certificate in order to settle his or her estate.

A death certificate is a government form filled out by the funeral home or mortuary at the time of death.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Do You Have The Mental Capacity To Make A Will?

Do you ever walk into another room to get something, and suddenly forget what that something is? Do you get confused and irritable when you are tired? Did you understand all of the fine print in the last contract you signed? Depending on how you answer these questions, someone might challenge your mental capacity to make an estate plan.

At its heart, an estate plan is a bunch of contracts. And one of the fundamental rules of contracts is that the parties entering into them must have the mental capacity to understand what they are agreeing to.


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Friday, July 6, 2018

Special Needs Trusts Protect The Special People In Your Life

If you have a loved one with special needs, you already know that the benefits they receive from the government are both amazing and completely inadequate. Your loved one would not have the quality of life they currently enjoy without receiving government benefits, but the benefits only provide for very basic needs.

You likely supplement the government benefits, but understand there are rules you must follow in order to preserve your loved one’s eligibility. The need to carefully manage your loved one’s benefits and care while providing them with the highest quality of life possible will not end when you pass away. Therefore it is important to do what you can now to plan ahead for the time when you will no longer be there.


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Monday, June 18, 2018

I’m a beneficiary. What does that mean?

A few years ago, a young man came to our office asking for some legal advice. He had received a letter in the mail from an attorney informing him that his half-brother had passed away. He had not spoken to his brother in many years, and their father had already passed away, so he wasn’t sure what he needed to do to claim the money he imagined was now going to inherit.

We made some calls and discovered that this young man was indeed his brother’s closest living heir. But it was not likely that he would inherit much, if anything, from his brother’s estate.


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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

More Than Just The Start of Summer

If you didn’t know better, you might think that Memorial Day is all about heading to the beach, eating hotdogs, and scoring a good deal on a new mattress. Advertisers have taken what was once an opportunity to remember our deceased soldiers and our relatives who passed before us, and turned it into the “unofficial start of summer.” This year, plan on setting aside some time to remember those who have passed away.

Memorial Day as we know it became popular after the Civil War. The families of fallen soldiers would come together on an afternoon in late spring to spruce up the cemetery after the winter months, and lay flowers on the graves.


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Monday, June 4, 2018

Track Your Benefits With A My Social Security Account

Do you know how much money you will get from Social Security if you retire or become disabled in the near future? You could access that information in a matter of seconds if you had my Social Security account.

My Social Security is an online portal the Social Security Administration (SSA) has created which allows you to track your Social Security benefits in real time. It can be a big help to those who are doing retirement planning or


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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

What Happens to Cryptocurrency When Its Owner Dies?

Cryptocurrency and Estate Planning

Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Dash, Ripple, Monero… these aren’t just a bunch of made-up words, they are the most popular forms of cryptocurrency. They are a making waves in the financial world and creating interesting challenges for estate planners.

If you die with a shoebox of cash hidden in your closet, or with money in a traditional bank account, or owning a piece of property, how those assets will be treated is pretty straightforward.


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Monday, April 30, 2018

What If This Is My Circus? And Those Are My Monkeys?

There is an old Polish saying that roughly translates, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” It is a reminder that one need not get involved with every messy situation one comes upon, and should not take responsibility for controlling or changing a volatile or delicate situation out of one’s sphere of influence. The phrase gets bandied about a lot in social media forums, where as you probably know, getting in a fight in the comment section does little to change the world, but can ruin your day. 

Recently, however, merchandise has been popping up online asking, “What if this is my circus? And those are my monkeys?” The first time we saw that, it really struck a chord with us because it reminded us that we are the people that others call for help when the tent is missing a pole and the monkeys are throwing poo. 

This is especially true in the


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Saturday, April 28, 2018

What Happens If You Don’t Have An Estate Plan?

When you meet someone new, the conversation usually covers the same general topics: family and careers. We love bragging about our family as much as the next person. But when the conversation comes around to what we do for a living, we are much more cautious about sharing our passion. A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about...


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



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1701 First Baxter Crossing, Suite 101, Fort Mill, SC 29708
| Phone: 803-594-4453
6000 Fairview Road, Suite 1200, Charlotte, NC 28210
| Phone: 704-369-9977

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