Lately, I have been in a state of indecision in my business and my life, and I’ve worked with clients who have been indecisive (which is a toxic state of mind.) This was summed up by a friend who once told me, ‘you get killed at the crossroads,’ and it’s true. If you stand still in the middle of a crossroads (the decision) and don’t decide which direction to head, you can really get hurt.
What this all boils down to is this; when a decision needs to be made, making the decision is essential. I work with clients every day who did not make decisions and are suffering because of it.
I hope this will help you make a decision.
I see clients from time to time who have had a stroke, or a fall and a head injury, or have slipped into senility, or are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, and did not have even the basics in place. The basics are the most important part.
We overlook the basics sometimes, such as:
General Durable Power of Attorney
A loved one or trusted individual can come in and plan for you when you need to protect your home, or qualify for a benefit, such as a Medicaid benefit to apply for long term care, or a veteran’s benefit to pay for a veteran’s pension.
There are qualifications to those benefit programs that make it hard to qualify if you don’t have access to bank accounts and real estate to protect them.
I meet with clients in emergency situations and I guarantee all of them have at some point thought, I need to get my affairs in order. I need to put my foundational legal documents together to protect my home, but for some reason they didn’t act. Instead, they talked to their neighbor, or the street lawyer who thinks they know the answers. What they didn’t do is talk to a professional estate planning or elder law attorney who could help them put the right documents in place in time to make a difference.
Once this is done, it’s there, set up and ready if a situation occurs where they’re needed.
Ask yourself, if a healthcare event happens, who will make my healthcare decisions? Who will take care of my family? Will the assets I worked so hard for be preserved? Will I be able to access long term care benefits?
If I don’t plan ahead, it can be over before it begins because implementing a new plan once a healthcare situation occurs, is extremely difficult, if not impossible in some cases. My hands are tired. That is why it’s so important to plan ahead.
Where I see most of my elder law clients is when they’re transitioning towards retirement, or sometimes just past retirement. So, if you have assets, if you have a family, it’s a good thing to sit down and plan how to protect those assets. By doing so, you will benefit your family.
How do you want your legal affairs to be handled once you pass away? How do you want to care for your spouse at that time? All these things can be planned for ahead of time.
Beyond foundational planning, we can help you set up trusts and utilize them, whatever your family needs to protect your home and assets. If you have land or other assets you want your children to have, but you fear your daughter and son in law might part ways, you can protect those assets by Trust planning.
We provide Foundational planning, Trust planning and Crisis planning for long term care situations, Medicaid benefits and veteran’s benefits.
I urge you to be decisive. Make a decision. I call it the X-Factor.
When you are here at the edge of the X, you have all these potential decisions. How will I pay for long-term care, what about Medicaid, setting up Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Veteran’s benefits, what will happen to the house and assets, and who will get what? It can be overwhelming.
When you focus on the center point of the X, things get easier. By having an estate planning or elder law attorney help you plan, the overwhelm dissolves, things are taken care of and you have peace of mind.
To contact me, Greg McIntyre, call 704-259-7040 or go to mcelderlaw.com and sign up for our e-newsletter.
704-259-7040 Shelby Office
704-998-5800 Charlotte Office
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law