FAQs

Do you have questions about Estate PlanningNursing Home Costs, or Living Trusts?

Cheryl is a top-rated attorney by Avvo and has received several Clients’ Choice Awards for her contributions in Avvo’s Legal Q&A section. View Cheryl’s responses below or view her Avvo profile.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions on Elder Law

Frequently Asked Questions on Irrevocable Trusts

Frequently Asked Questions on Medicaid Income 

Frequently Asked Questions on Probate


More Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why Should You Choose Our Firm Instead of Another Firm? Isn’t One Estate Plan the Same as Another?

Answer: “It’s important to compare apples to apples when creating any estate plan, but especially a Trust Plan. While many attorneys handle estate planning as part of their menu of services, we only handle estate planning. Attorneys Cheryl David and Justin Plummer are Nationally Board Certified through the American Bar Association’s approved, NAEPC, and we’ve been handling NC Estate our entire career. Attorney Blaire McClanahan is a Certified Medicaid Planner. Very few attorneys actually handle all of the little things which keep your family protected and out of court, when you get sick or pass away. We transfer your deeds and assets into your trust name. This process of executing such transfers is called funding. So, when you’re talking to other attorney(s), ask them if they fund your trust, and ask them exactly what that entails because, in our experience, most trusts aren’t funded. You do this to make sure that your family doesn’t have to go through the Court Process known as Probate when you die.

When your accounts and real estate aren’t funded (transferred) into the trust name, Probate isn’t avoided at death. This means that your successors will need to hire an attorney after you pass away, and take your estate through court. The Probate process is expensive. You’ll lose about 5% of your estate to the process. People often don’t realize that when they use wills as their estate plan, they’ll go through Probate. With our trust you won’t go through Probate, and you don’t want to. Probate is time-consuming, often taking a year or more, and it’s aggravating. Knowing upfront that not all estate plans are created equal, and that most plans do not avoid prolonged Court involvement (Probate) at death, is a common oversight.

Our trusts include all of the funding (transfers) as part of the fee and part of the process. By having us create your estate plan, and fund your trust you know that your trust will work, and unlike most firms, you’re not expected to do the leg work yourself. We do the work, and trust us it’s work, and things can go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. We also give our clients trust cards, which allows you to easily transfer new assets as you acquire them, directly into your trust, thus avoiding court.

During these unprecedented times, we offer the touchless, curbside signings, and we keep in touch with our clients and let them know when the law changes or something else happens that affects their planning.

This is our asset book. This is the information we use to transfer your assets into your trust. You’ll know when you hire another firm, and they don’t give you such a book, and they don’t include the transfer of your assets into your trust as part of the package, or when they ask you to transfer your assets yourself (no easy process), that you’re not getting the same protection we’re offering.

I’m sure that when you compare the plans, our plan and our firm will offer greater flexibility, protection, and accessibility to our attorneys than most other firms.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about estate planning. If we can be of service to you in the future, please don’t hesitate to call us to set up a complimentary family meeting.


Question: Force brother to open a simple estate in N.C.? 

“Need to force brother to open an simple estate so i can be paid for burial expenses and other things. He refuses to go to clerk of court to start process and set administrator.”

Answer:  “If your brother has not opened an estate and he’s had a reasonable period of time to do so, (several months) then you can go to Court yourself and open the estate or do yourself a favor and hire a Probate attorney to handle the matter for you.
Once you open the estate you’ve incurred another job for at least a year and you won’t enjoy it. I don’t think there’s any such thing as a ‘simple estate’ especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Be very careful. It may not even make sense to open the estate unless there are assets which will cover the expense of an attorney and paying you back for the burial expenses. Much should be weighed before taking on this job to be paid back for burial expenses.”


Question: I have power of attorney for my mother who is in a nursing home can I sell her house without the state taking the money.

“My mom bought her house in North Carolina and paid cash for it 2 years ago she had a massive stroke which put her indefinitely into a nursing home she needs 24-hour care. She has Medicare and Medicaid which help pay for the nursing home they also take her Social Security pension every month and it goes towards that bill as well. My mother gave me complete power of attorney my question is I need to do something with the house because the property taxes are not being paid can I sell the house and not give the proceeds to the state or to the Medicaid or Medicare or the nursing home how does that work?”

Answer: “You need to see an Elder Law Attorney immediately. Depending on the Power of Attorney there may be a smart strategy to protect the home. However, if the necessary wording is not in the Power of Attorney which allows this strategy then a sale of the home would result in the proceeds from the sale paying to the Nursing Home in lieu of Medicaid until all of the proceeds are gone. Medicaid presently has a lien for monies expended on your mother’s behalf in her home, so money they’ve paid out may be recouped from the home when she passes. Often recovery doesn’t transpire until death occurs because you’re allowed to keep a home to return home to and qualify for Medicaid, but many people don’t know that Estate Recovery occurs when their family member passes. For those reading this who are still competent, please update your Power of Attorney in NC with an Elder Law Attorney so that you have the wording necessary for your family to preserve your home and other assets in this type of situation. (This sentence is the new content)”

 

 

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