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Estate Planning Ghost Stories: A Nightmare on Probate Street

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At the Conference Table 6

Estate Planning Ghost Stories

A Nightmare on Probate Street


Oct 28th 2016

Happy spooky Halloween and estate planning ghost stories.

What’s going on for Halloween in town Hayden?

Hayden: In the olden days, the place to be was on Belvedere. You went down Belvedere and it turns and heads toward Elizabeth, that was the hangout for all the teenagers.

Greg: They had teenagers back in the olden days?

Hayden: Yes. All the kids went, and there are two stories I can tell you. A quick one was, the police used to come down there and watch the kids and the kids would throw firecrackers, and these were the real firecrackers that could blow up toilets. But one time while the police were walking around, one the boys walked over, got in the police car and drove off. He got taken to the police station eventually but he didn’t get charged. Back then they were lenient.

Greg: That wouldn’t work out so well now.

Hayden: The other story, a friend of mine and I, she & I are still good friends to this day, and this was in 1964, and we were out riding around in a car, and there was a place called Willis Grill which is now ‘??’ (9:03) supermarket. They had little carhops who would come out and bring you your sandwiches. We were riding around and came back to Willis Grill to pick up a couple of male friends, and they wanted to stop at a 7 11, which was a little grocery store, and they came back with a dozen eggs. Trial Service station had big glass windows. It didn’t break but they got our tag number. Well the police knew where to look for teenagers on Halloween night, and they came down to Belvedere to Willis Grill and they had us follow them back to the police station. From that time until they let us go, I cried the whole way because my parents had to come and get me from the police station, but they let us go.

Greg: See what I have to put up with here at McIntyre Elder Law, a juvenile delinquent.

Hayden: I had some adventures but that’s not what I’m proud of. I never did it again.

Greg: But in retrospect it was kind of fun though. Hopefully that’s the worst that goes on this Halloween. We always had a lot of fun growing up in Shelby. I have stories from Halloween from when I was a kid, dressing up. One of my friend’s dressed up for Halloween and went around door to door in River Bend until he was like 30 years old, seriously. One time he was a mummy, he just wrapped toilet paper all around himself. My parents would just laugh.

I’ll tell you a story, one time I was going over to that same friend’s house late at night with some others. We ran across the golf course late to his house, and his bedroom was in the basement. We went down there with our mask’s on and woke him up. You have never seen someone so scared, he was seriously scared. So, don’t do that, you’ll give someone a heart attack.

Hayden: You didn’t do ‘ding dong ditch?’ You ring the door bell and run and hide. Some people carry it further and do other things but it was just enough to let us know we were doing something.

Greg: It was fun. You’ve got to let your kids have some fun. I think we try and make our kids too perfect sometimes.

Estate Planning Nightmares

So, you’ve had the intimate details about our pasts, now it’s time for estate planning nightmares. I wanted to talk about passing without a will.

If you don’t have a will, how can that be scary?

‘How about Scary State Control’. The state already has statutes set up if you don’t have a will in place. This would pass your property whatever way they saw fit, not the way you want to. So, if you want to control your property and pass it, if you want total control of it, you need to draft a will. Put one in place. But that could also lead to a nightmare.

I’ve talked about ‘Wills and Probate’, and not just a Will. You can use Deed Planning to pass things too. Or set up payable-on-death-beneficiaries on your bank account, but without giving your children control as a joint owner. They would just be the beneficiary once the owner passes. That’s a way to avoid probate, and is outside the controls of the state. I have seen bad situations when the state gets involved, especially when it involves what a spouse can get. There is a set share of what he or she can get but it’s not necessarily everything.

So, what about Probate pitfalls, what are Probate pitfalls?

Hayden: For one thing, you’re kind of on your own, unless you want to hire someone to help you, because the clerks at the court will give you a hand full of papers and that’s it.

Greg: They’re great at what they do but they can’t any do more because they can’t give you legal advice. You have to get an attorney, and it takes a lot of time to do probate.

Hayden: And just from seeing our Probate Department and the problems they run across, that’s not for me, I can’t handle all that. You didn’t bring this, and you didn’t bring that, and this doesn’t balance, and you shouldn’t have spent the money here, and this wasn’t your money. It’s just one complication after another, and if you do it wrong, it’s a nightmare for your children, but you can prevent it.

Greg: A Nightmare on Probate Street, and you don’t want that. When I sit down with someone, I have a formula I go through. We send out information beforehand to get you thinking that way. So let me know if you want an information packet. Just leave a comment or call us and we can email one to you as a welcome package. We will have you fill it out in such a way that it gives me some insights into what your assets are.

Why would I need to know someone’s assets? It’s none of my business right?

Hayden: Well, the size of the estate matters, who inherits it matters.

Greg: When I look at it, I go through a methodology where I say, what are your liquid assets, stocks, bonds, money, savings and how can we pass it outside of the state? How can we keep one eye on the fact that 70% of seniors over 65 right now are going to need some type of long term care.

How can we guard those assets? What about real estate? Do you have a house? Are there adjacent lots, is there other land? Are there other properties somewhere else? How can we protect it? Do some simple Deed Planning to protect it and pass it outside the Will, so we avoid probate. You don’t want to die on probate street.

Hayden: And you don’t want to wait until the last minute either, because there are ways to protect everything and the people you love.

Greg: Exactly, and Trust Planning is one. You want to hear about spooky control? My Probate Professor in law school carried a remote control he called Trust, a dead hand control. He’d say, it’s like you hand is sticking up from the grave with a remote control. That’s what a trust is, it’s your hand sticking up from the grave with a remote control.

I’m going to put that on Facebook as a visual. It allows you to control your money and property long after you’re gone, and care for your family, inspire them to do great things, pay for educations, pay to charities. Trusts are amazing things to exercise dead hand control.

I did an article in the paper recently called ‘Memories and Mementos’ and that’s what this is about. It’s about the things that matter, it’s the fabric of who you are, passing on the things that matter most to you. It’s not just the money, not just the property but with the money and property in a Trust, you can also pass on those values. You can inspire and fund educations, or fund charitable events, the things that matter most to you. And Trusts are also great for protecting assets from the Medicaid spend down.

Hayden: Suppose you don’t have any children or your children don’t need your assets. Then what can it do for you? I mean what if someone wants to go on a cruise?

Greg: Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts, you have to appoint a third-party trustee for this trust, but you lock your assets up in that MAPT and you have an income from this. It can provide for things like that, and it starts the look back clock ticking.

We’re going back to basics here, get your foundations in place. General and Durable Healthcare Power’s of Attorney, Living Will, and Will, those are your four foundations. If you don’t, then guardianships might come to get you. Guardianships are tough, they make it tough for your family to manage assets and do anything without getting permission from the court. There are strict rules as to the accounting, so the money is pretty much locked up. If you have long term care or healthcare problems, you might as well get a dump truck and haul your cash to the parking lot of the nursing home.

So, to avoid scary state control, get you foundations in place, avoid the pitfalls of probate, and protect your property from any long-term care situation. Remember, you need dead hand control to control your property well into the future.

If you have any questions you would like to ask me any questions about the above article please call me at McIntyre Elder Law, 704 259–7040, or you can find us on Facebook and twitter @LawyerGreg. So leave a question or a comment, I do answer any questions and comments throughout the week so get writing.

Greg McIntyre

Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150


Memories and Mementos: What matters Most?

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So here we are with Hayden, Greg and Tucker. Tucker is my youngest son. Tell everyone something about yourself Tucker.

TM– I’m twelve years old, I go to TJ and my name is Tucker McIntyre.

Greg– Hayden was talking to him about our subject matter today, and he had things to contribute. We’re talking about Memories and mementos, what matters most? I wanted to do this because, when I meet with clients, sometimes there are tearful moments about what matters most to them.

I met someone this week and it made me think about what matters most to me. Sometimes, even though there might be one to three hundred thousand dollars in investments, many times, especially to seniors, it’s the little things that matter. It’s the stuff in your house, the really important stuff that you want to leave your children or grandchildren. And this made me think about things in my house, that when I touch them, or look at them, they bring me right back to that time and place. I should have brought my baseball glove. I meant to because that baseball glove I had in high school, it takes me back to the smell of cut grass and many years on the baseball diamond, and how much I loved and missed it. Or I’ll look back in photo albums, and you get lost in those moments. Those things carry so much sentimental value.

Do you have anything of sentimental value that you own?

What about you Tucker?

TM– Yeah, in 3rd grade, Miss Domes, was my favorite teacher, and my 3rd grade class spent the night at the Greenville zoo, and they had these things where the animal had stepped in them, and we painted it and it had your name on it, and it’s really cool because it’s the animal paw print, and I kept that.

Greg– And you’ll probably keep it as long as you can, and when you look at it, you’ll remember that whole event. It has a story. I think these are the most important things we can pass on, the memorabilia and stories. Now money makes things happen, sends the kids to college right? And that’s important to pass on too, and we do that here at McIntyre Elder Law, but really the sentimental things, the little things, you want to develop a mechanism to pass those on. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Didn’t you tell Miss Hayden what you wanted me to pass on to you?

TM– Yes.

Greg– And what was it you wanted most of mine?

TM– You’re money. No, I’m just kidding. I’d like this Mickey mouse thing, it’s like this stuffed animal that you kept, and it’s really cool.

Greg– The stuffed animal of Mickey Mouse that if you pump the hand, the legs walk?

TM– I didn’t know that.

Greg– Yeah, if you pump the hands, the legs walk. It’s an old Mickey Mouse that I had when I was a kid, and the second I see it I remember being a kid. Or the weird leather ET. I don’t know where it is, it’s somewhere. My parents bought me a leather ET, because they were told I was allergic to stuff, so I had to have a leather stuffed animal, so I have no love for the puffy stuffed animals. I was a sad child, just a white room with a leather ET in it. So, anyway, those things take me back to when I was a kid.

What about you Hayden?

Hayden– I’ve got several things, I don’t know that they fall under the same category. My father made me a chest of drawers and a bed, and he made it from scratch, raw wood, and he made me a Celtic heart, and it’s beautiful. The wood is beautiful. I think of the little things that bring back memories to me. I collected shells from three states, Alaska, Texas, and Vermont. One of the things I collected in the Bahamas was, it’s like a sand dollar but it’s more fragile, it hardly weighs anything. And when I was in the Bahamas, I met people who were shellers and beach combers, and met a lady who told me where to get these things. It was so fragile that when you touch one, it crushed into nothing. And what you had to do was dig the sand out from under it and lift it out, and this is the only one I have left. You have to know where to find them, and you have to get them at a certain tide level. I worked to get this one.

Greg– For those who don’t know, you lived for about 2 years on the sea didn’t you?

Hayden– Well, I lived on a sailboat, and we made crossings to the Bahamas, but we stayed mostly in the Abacos and Exumers, Bahamas, and I collected shells there. It’s not for everybody but I was meant for that life. And something else I collected in the Bahamas was conch shells, and we ate them. To get them out, there’s a hole where you use a little claw hammer and release the conch out of there, and they are nasty to clean but they are the most unique tasting food I’ve ever had.

Greg– I’ve had conch, a little rubbery,

Hayden– What you have to do is, you have to take one of those mallets with the little points on them, and pound it until it’s as thin as lace. That’s the only way to eat it otherwise you’ll be chewing for a long time.

This sign is really important to me, because when my children and I moved into a house, it was after a marriage ended, and I wanted peace, and no fighting and no arguing. This is Latin, and what it means is, ‘small house, great peace.’ I’ve had that for 50 something years, and I’ve lived by this, and everybody in my home has lived by this.

TM– George Washington’s great great grandchildren, you know what they have? They have his teeth.

Greg– That’s what they wanted as memorabilia?

TM– No, that’s just a joke, I made that up.

Greg– That’s pretty horrible. So why is that bust of George Washington important to you Hayden?

Hayden– I’ve always been somewhat political. At aged 22, I was the registrar in my precinct. And later on, after child bearing and child raising, I became aware of things that were bothering me. So I went to a rally in Washington, and the first door I went into, I saw this bust of George Washington. He’s always been a figure in history who was important to me. I admire him greatly, and I learned a lot about him. There are some who are more gallant and more heroic and passionate, but he exemplifies that very well, and when I saw that, I bought it, and it reminds me every day that I care and love my country.

One more thing. This is my Irish Santa. My grandson has red hair, it’s subtle but red. And he told me one day, he didn’t like it, and I showed him this Santa, and I said, that red hair was a gift from your ancestors who were Irish. They came over here, and they were hard workers and established themselves. And I said, where you came from is important, and the red hair is a sign of where you came from. So he likes this Irish Santa, and someday this will be his.

Greg– I just brought a couple of things I had in the office. This is a picture of me in the military in uniform when I was 21, when I graduated from my training school.

Hayden– You went around the world in that uniform didn’t you?

Greg– Man, yes I have been around the world. Another thing is this picture of a project I worked on with a tech company, when I first got out of the military. That’s where I made the inside cover of ‘Newsweek’. Those things really matter to me, and I’ve got baseball gloves at home, and pictures of different things, my diplomas on the wall, I put a lot of work into those.

So how do we pass these things on? How have you seen people pass on memorabilia like that?

Hayden– Well, my mother’s trying to pass things on now, and I can’t take that, it just doesn’t seem right. I’ll take them after she passes them on to me. Apart from that, I’ve seen people fight over the most insignificant of things. It might be grandma’s tea kettle, that she made tea in every day of her life, but both the sisters want it. Or, grandpa’s old shotgun, that he used to hunt with. There are ways to stop your children from fighting. I would rather they be mad at me in the grave than with each other alive.

Greg– So how are you going to tell your kids, I want this child to have the Irish Santa, and this child has the George Washington bust?

I’ve seen people put yard sale stickers on the back of paintings, on furniture with the name of their kids or grand kids on it. They’ve identified who the memorabilia will go to, these small, untitled assets, not the house, not the car, just everything in the house, with a sticker.

Hayden– I’ve heard of people putting information on the back of objects to say where it came from, if it had any kind of personal significance, if it was an original.

Greg– That’s a smart thing to do.

Hayden– Yes, because it could be very valuable, or valuable to someone. You can see art in museums that if you found that at someone’s house and didn’t know it was painted by Picasso or Van Gogh or someone like that, it’s going in the yard sale.

Greg– There’s been famous paintings sold at yard sales before. I’ll tell you what we do with our wills. We have something called a ‘Personal Property Memorandum.’ It would have the person’s name on it, and you would be able to write the description of the tangible personal property item, and the person who is going to receive it, their address and relationship. So my son Tucker McIntyre, his address at that time, and the item. And then if I want my wife to get the item, and I only want Tucker to get it if my wife pre-deceases me, then I put a star by that item. We furnish several pages. If you have a lot of stuff, we can do as many pages as you need. You can even come back and get more pages. We have found that is a really nice way of passing personal property.

Now, we have a clause in our wills, that is the distribution of tangible personal property on the memorandum, and it directs your executor to distribute all your small personal property items, sentimental items by this memorandum. You just put this with your will. So that’s a neat way to do it. And I think our clients really like that, especially the wives.

There are certainly other large items that you can save and pass on, like your home, and we have different strategies for that, like trusts, Ladybird deeds, but we just wanted to talk about memories and mementos.

Thanks for joining us at the conference table for mementos and memories and what matters most.

If you have any questions you would like to ask me any questions about the above article please call me at McIntyre Elder Law, 704 259–7040, or you can find us on Facebook and twitter @LawyerGreg. So leave a question or a comment, I do answer any questions and comments throughout the week so get writing.

Greg McIntyre

Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150


Top Secret — Asset Protection Docs Disclosed

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The Way I Visualize the Asset Protection Game

Greg: I was thinking of titling this, ‘What’s it Matter,’ or ‘It’s a Small Town,’ things like that, and I’ll get into that later. What I wanted to bring you first was some special content, because Shelby is a special place, and I believe you can accomplish anything from anywhere.

Hayden: The world is a smaller place with all the technology, you can skype, you can have video conferences, and get places quick and easy. Anywhere can be a base.

Greg: The world is so much more accessible, just by what we’re doing now, we can reach out and touch the entire planet. Now what I’m holding in my hand and what we’re going to get to, is Top Secret Estate Planning. I’ve had people wanting to sneak these out of meetings, and say, I want to see this so I can explain it to my family, but I’ve always been really protective of it. Hayden cautioned me before we came on, “are you sure you want to do this?

Hayden: Well, it would end up in the hands of your competitors as well as clients.

Greg: I don’t look at it that way, it’s freely giving information, that’s what I’m going to do. I think visually, and this is a layout of exactly how passing a home or any other asset, the flow of passing a home or property through probate, deed planning, trust planning, and using beneficiary planning. It shows liens that can attach if you use probate, and how and why that can sabotage and shortcut from Medicaid liens, to creditor liens, to medical bills in the last year of your life that can force the sale of part of your money and property and keep it from getting to the kids. I will post this today and we’ll talk about it a little more here.

But I also wanted to talk about Shelby and Cleveland County. It’s a great place to raise children. One of our big annual events, ‘The Livermush festival’ is going on behind us. We’re going to go eat some livermush later. It’s a great festival, great food, great people, you see everyone you know there. Hayden, you grew up in Cleveland County. You were the home coming queen in (19??), why are you still in Shelby, you have such a big personality, what’s special about Shelby to you? Why be here?

Hayden: It’s home, my everything. I’ve been in every major city in the country more or less. Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Minneapolis and on and on. Here in Shelby, when I walk down the street, people I don’t know are friendly. My husband is from New York, he grew up in Brooklyn and still works in New Jersey, and he understands it too. He really misses it when he goes up there, he wants to come back. He’ll always be a Brooklyn boy, the accent, the whole thing but it’s just different here, it’s a slower pace, he loves no traffic.

Greg: I’ve asked this question of you, of myself, of business coaches, and people I work with, ‘How can I or someone else be a leader in an industry or field when based from a small place like Shelby, North Carolina?

Hayden: You could look at world leaders who grew up in small towns, and they managed to accomplish what they wanted to because they had the drive, they made the plan.

Greg: Let me ask you this. I grew up here, I rode a bus 182, and if you rode bus 182, leave a comment, because I had a ball on bus 182. All the kids did not just sit in their seats. That was the Old Boys?? Friends?? School here on main street, it’s now a town building. It’s the same place my parents went to high school, it used to be the ?? Crest High School.

Hayden: When I grew up in Grammar school, the first few years we had one 1st grade, one 2nd, 1 through 6th, and the library was two shelves in your class room. Everybody had their own two shelves, and I read all the books that were readable in the 1st grade, and I was working my way in the 2nd grade, so I had to go into that class.

Greg: That’s why you’re so smart. Readers are leaders. Anything is accessible now through books, through the internet, and I think you’re right, you can grow something from anywhere. Shelby is a great testament. But I hear people say all the time, ‘Oh it’s Shelby, oh it’s Cleveland County,’ have you heard people say that, as if they’re limited by that? Why do people say that? Or do people say that wherever they are? Do people always find excuses why they believe they can’t do something?

Hayden: I think many people are unhappy, and they blame exterior circumstances outside of themselves for their unhappiness. They don’t feel fulfilled, or that the world isn’t big enough for them here. A lot of them in this area go away but come back, they find out ‘click, click,’ red slippers, ‘there’s no place like home.’

Greg: The grass is not greener on the other side necessarily.

Hayden: They miss what I missed, the familiar faces, the politeness.

Greg: I think we’re too polite sometimes by the way, as Southerners, which puts us at a disadvantage sometimes, in business or whatever, in my opinion. I think you can do anything, anywhere you are on the planet, I don’t care whether you’re in a village in Africa, or you’re in Shelby NC. Obviously some people are born with a belief that they have more or less opportunity than others, accessibility to education and things like that, but whatever you want to do, you can do. Our forefathers were the ones who built the textile mills here. Even when I was growing up in Shelby, this place felt like it was booming. It felt like the land of opportunity. It felt good.

Hayden: Look at the vacant mill buildings around, and look at how PPG came in, the industry boomed, and everything was rocking. A good place to be to start a business.

Greg: In my opinion, we need to stop whining about it. The younger generation, myself included, needs to work and build the industry. That’s what I think.

Hayden: There’s a lot of solar farms around here and Disney.

Greg: How many people do they put to work though? I think the younger generation needs to put it on their shoulders to build.

Hayden: When we grew up, I’ll go back to my grandfather, when he passed away, he was with a company called M and J, it was merchants and jobbers. It was basically small money coming in that they loaned to small businesses and home owners. He retired, then my grandmother passed away and then he passed away, and he was able to leave a small legacy to his children. That’s the way we built fortunes in this country. Father to son, to grandchildren, to great grandchildren. Everyone leaves a little more.

Greg: That’s true, and I think one of the biggest barriers to growth right now is the lack of capital. We have shut off capital to new businesses and individuals in this country. It’s so hard to get a home loan now, or a business loan, it’s ridiculous.

Hayden: From the advertisements you wouldn’t think so.

Greg: But it is, it is, do not think credit does it. If the banks don’t believe in the American people, who does? Do you believe in your grand kids? Of course you do. Do you want to leave them something to help them?

Hayden: Absolutely.

Greg: I do too. I believe in my kids. If I could free up capital, I’d make it available to people in Cleveland County to start new companies, to create new ventures. But in general, capital is not readily available, and you have to make it available.

Hayden: That’s what the Asset Protection Document means to me, because I’ve worked, I pay taxes, I own my home, it’s paid for free and clear, I have a car that if I hadn’t wrecked it would be paid for free and clear. That was early goal in my life, as a young parent was to make sure that everything I invested in was enough to provide my kids with a small legacy.

Greg: But you don’t want to hamstring them with a sense of entitlement either. So that’s the trick, how do you give them a leg up?

Hayden: You teach them to work. My kids did the loading of the dishwasher, they mopped, they vacuumed, they had A week and B week for chores, and they swapped every week.

Greg: My thoughts are, banks aren’t the ones to help your kids and grandkids out to get loans and start businesses, to build new empires, to build new industries. If you look at Cleveland County, it’s not easy, running a law firm is not easy. There’s struggles for production, and marketing, and client relations, and capital is always a part of expansion, and it slows growth.

What you can do is leave a legacy for you kids and grandkids. You can protect the property in your family that you bought, or your parents bought, or their parents bought, or you can also hand down money through trust planning. Maybe you don’t give it to them all at one time, but it doles out a little at a time. Maybe at 25 years old, 30, 35, or maybe you leave it for them when they go to college.

The point is, you can do whatever it is you want to, wherever you are.

So, I’m going to post this visual plan, exactly how I think about Estate Planning, and Deed Planning, and Trust Planning. I’m going to show you something where, I’ve had people try to walk out with this, and I’ve said, “I cannot let this go out of the office okay.” This is really special only because I take the time to put these things down so my clients can visualize it. So I’m going to post this, I don’t care if it’s going to help my competition. My goal is to help you by putting this out there, and being very open with everything we do to help you.

My thoughts are, by putting this out, it will inspire me to do the next thing, and take it to the next level.

You can do anything from Shelby, or from Lattimore, or from Boiling Springs or wherever you want, and you can protect your hard earned money and property, and give your kids and grandkids a better chance to achieve more. My goal is to help millions of people. I don’t say it that much but it is.

So go to and sign up for our e-newsletter, and I’ll send you a really high quality picture of this visual document.

We’ll be back at the conference table next week at noon on Friday.

If you have any questions you would like to ask me about anything discussed in this article you can call me at McIntyre Elder Law at 704 259–7040, or you can find us on Facebook and twitter @LawyerGreg. So leave a question or a comment, I do answer any questions and comments throughout the week so get writing.

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyre

Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150


Golf & Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts

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Image result for deer brook golf shelby, nc

Deer Brook Golf Course

Greg: We’re getting ready to play in the ‘Make A Wish Foundation’, Golfers Granting Wishes tournament here at beautiful Deer Brook, a really pretty golf course, and we’re going to talk about ‘Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts’.

Why might someone need a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust?

Hayden: Imagine a jar is the Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, and inside it’s got, money, property, a car.

Greg: So, money, property, those are things you can put in an Irrevocable Trust, or any trust. Why would you want to use a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust?

Hayden: One way is when you’re trying to protect money from the Medicaid spend down.

Greg: Would this work in an emergency situation?

Hayden: It’s pre-planning.

Greg: That’s right, this is pre-planning. If you want to plan ahead, take a portion of your money and place it in a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust. You can have a private trust company or a family member, a son or daughter, manage the money that’s in this trust, or a professional fund manager like ‘Edward Jones,’ could manage this trust, and grow the money in the trust. The money can still be used to buy things for you, the dividends, the interest can still be used to provide for your health and welfare, but the important thing is, it starts the clock ticking, that 3 or 5 year clock ticking, which is what we talked about last week, the look back period.

So you want to do this ahead of time.

What would happen if we were 3 years in with the clock ticking on this Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, but you had an emergency Medicaid situation and had to start paying for nursing home care?

If you had to dip into this Medicaid Asset Protection Trust right away, because it’s not protected until 5 years (after the clock has starting ticking) for nursing home care, you would only be forced to have a spend down of 2 years of this money. Then after the 5 years it’s locked.

So, it starts that clock ticking. That’s what you want to do when you’re planning ahead. This is a great tool for people who have some retirement funds they have set up, an income they have set up, or investments they’re managing. Maybe they have money they don’t really touch that much but they want to make sure it passes on to the grandkids, or they want to protect it for themselves or their spouse, if one of them needs long term care.

Then this is a great way to ensure it’s there, and can still be used for their benefit to help take care of them, but it’s not spent down on nursing home care, if long term care insurance is not available.

A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust is an irrevocable trust which means you can’t revoke it and there is a third party trustee. They are great pre-planning tools for Medicaid planning or long term health care planning.

So if you’re interested in talking about any kind of trust, a great combination would be a revocable living trust for the money that was very liquid for you, and then other monies in a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust.

You know what, I’m not a big fan of the car in an irrevocable trust, but properties, what about properties that you want to protect?  So here’s the advantage. It does take 5 years for nursing home care, 3 years for assisted living, to protect these, but, if you wanted to sell a property, and someone is in nursing home care, and has benefits, like Medicaid benefits, you can sell that property. If you sell the house, the money is still in the trust.

If you have any questions you would like to ask about Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts, you can call McIntyre Elder Law at 704 259-7040, or you can find us on Facebook and twitter @LawyerGreg. So leave a question or a comment, I do answer any questions or comments throughout the week so get writing.

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby



Back-Up and Look Back – Medicaid Look Back Periods – At the Conference Table 2

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Greg: Look back periods, we’re on look back periods. What is that?

It’s Friday, September 23rd, and the longest toughest week ever. I was in court until 9.00pm last night, night court dealing with guardianship issues which I can’t talk about.

People may come in here any minute so we better tell everyone about look back periods.

Did you want to say anything for Hayden’s Happy Place?

Hayden: Well I did intend to do it today. So, I love the way Greg signs his emails. And I was thinking, we had a client, a young man, he had a traffic case for you, which was unusual. Nevertheless, he said, have a nice day, so, I was telling him, you know, Greg signs all of his emails, or letters, or whatever, ‘Make it a great day,’ and I thought a lot about that, and I told him, that’s a choice we have, we don’t just have one, it doesn’t just fall out of the sky and happen to us.

Greg: You could have a crappy day, a horrible day, you choose to react to what happens to you. So react in a positive way, no matter what happens. What harm can it do.

Hayden: We can’t always control what happens to us, but we do control how we react to it, and how we think about it, and deal with it. But I was thinking, we have 52 weeks a year, and of those 52 weeks, how many do we actually remember?

We get up, we go do something outside in the yard, or do laundry, or go shopping, nothing memorable. How many weeks do you remember Greg? You probably can because there has been several that were memorable lately.

There was Chicago. That was fun. And one of the things you enjoy is working with elder counsel, and you were presenting in Chicago.

Greg: I had the privilege of presenting to a nation-wide group of elder law attorneys recently in Chicago, Illinois, and passing out my book to them. Giving it away as door prizes, and it was awesome. Anything I can do to help and learn. I learned a ton. So you think I have memorable days, and people should remember their days?

Hayden: On a day to day basis, most people could probably not remember more than 5 weekends. I think that ought to be a goal sometimes. To do something you will remember. So I’m thinking, let’s make this a great week. Look at what we have to do, and then in our free time we should plan something we will remember.
My grandchildren love to go up to Lake Lure and climb over the rocks and jump in the river. Just jump from rock to rock. You have to portage some of the way because it gets too rocky.

Greg: I don’t even know what that means, portage.

Hayden: Portage is when you carry your canoe on land around un-navigable areas.

Greg: Sounds French.

Hayden: It probably is, but Americans do it to. So that’s my happy place, making it a great week.

Greg: Let’s make it a great week. I firmly believe that you are in control of your own destiny. I take responsibility for things that happen to me, and around me, whether they’re directly related or not.

Unless you do take responsibility for those things, from making it a great day, to controlling your attitude, or controlling time, you put yourself at the mercy of that thing, and everything that goes on around you. So that’s why I say, ‘Make it a great day,’ because it’s your responsibility, it’s your choice.

So, let’s talk about look back periods.

What is a look back period? Why would you apply for Medicaid? Let’s start there. Why would a senior ever apply for Medicaid?

I talk about this in my book, ‘Saving The Farm,’ I mean we really get into it. I had clients today, who have read the book, and knew, they knew what they wanted to do. This is what I want. It’s nice, it’s being knowledgeable. But back to the look back period. So many seniors burn through their money, like flipping through this book, like water, because it costs somewhere between $60,000 – $100,000 per year for nursing home care, assisted living care, dental care, but Medicaid is not necessarily going to pay for dental care okay. So, what happens if you burn through all your money, what happens to your house, to your property?

Hayden: Medicaid puts a lien on your house, it passes through probate, they change the title, and it gets sold to the highest bidder usually.

Greg: So what happens if all the money’s been spent, and the wife is afraid because she has another 20 or 30 years to live, and her husband is in a nursing home, burning through the money? How do we put a stop to that?

Hayden: A ladybird deed can.

Greg: A Ladybird deed can work. Put a Ladybird deed on a house and it beats the look back period. There are two types of Medicaid for nursing home and assisted living care. They’re different types. ‘Special Assistance Medicaid’ is for assisted living. ‘Nursing Home Medicaid’ is Long Term Care Medicaid.

Special Assistance Medicaid for assisted living has a look back period of 3 years.

Hayden: And by look back period, you mean all the money you spend and the way you pay off your assets during the previous 3 to 5 years (however long the look back period is for).

Greg: Nursing Home Medicaid has a look back period of 5 years.

Hayden: So there are certain ways you can spend money that are acceptable, and other methods that are not, such as giving away massive amounts, or considerable amounts of money to your family.

Greg: If it’s not a regular pattern of gifting, and you give money to a family member, within that time, it will count as a penalty. The Medicaid system are going to penalize you for a certain period of time, until they will actually come in and pay for healthcare.

So, if we’re doing a benefits case, we’re going to comb through 5 years of bank statements for Nursing Home Medicaid, and 3 years for Special Assistance Medicaid. We will go through them all and look at spending.

Hayden: An attorney markets ways that no one outside of being an attorney would know. It’s things that you and the elder counsel have come up with and developed, or discovered loopholes or whatever.

Greg: They’re not loopholes, it’s just, the rules are complicated. So, we say, here’s what we did, here’s how we did it, or sometimes we’ll take a penalty period. But to get back to the look back period, Nursing Home Medicaid has a 5 year look back period. Traditionally, without real creative thought and knowing all the rules, you have to do a spend down. Also all your moves (transfers of property to kids) to protect property, would have to be outside the 5 years look back.

Hayden: Now, the IRS says you can give $14,000 dollars.

Greg: I’ve had that question before, ‘hey can I give every member of my family $14,000 dollars and it’s not reportable?’ Yes and No.

Yes, you can give up to $14,000 dollars and not report it to the IRS, because it’s a gift, it’s not reportable. But anything over that, you have to report. And how that works is, it just counts off how much you can give during your life, or in death, tax free. So that has nothing to do with look back periods.

If you start giving away $14,000 during your look back period, you are going to rack up huge penalties before Medicaid will come in and apply time relative to that dollar amount.

There’s a formula built in to the statutes, that allow you to calculate that dollar amount. We get ahead of the game. We do all these calculations, but we also do the legal work. Social workers are the experts for putting in the acts?? (16:27) and the rules, the problem comes about because their hands are tied. They cannot give you legal advice.

So look back periods are the time before you applied, that you have to get everything done in. And if you’re within that time period, what if you didn’t plan ahead? Come see me. I can save the money, and I can save the real property with the different tools and the strategies I have. So what would you sum up. What are look back periods?

Hayden: It’s a 5 or 3 year period, depending on the type of care you need, in which Medicaid is going to look at your expenditures, and if they feel you have tried to hide money or spend money, you’ll be penalized.

Greg: They are simply a set of rules about how you can spend money during that look back period. If you don’t follow those rules, then you’re penalized for that amount of money, and you have to pay it back, or, you have to wait the time commensurate with that amount of money. Say, if it was $60,000, they might penalize you for a year.

So that’s how it works.

But, we can help you fix it, or we can help you with the spend down, emergency Medicaid planning is a department we have.

So what’s coming up this week?

Hayden: Healthcare fairs around Shelby and Cleveland County, we are going to have booths there. Next Friday, I will have the whole list for you. Or you can go to the McIntyre elder law facebook page, we have a list of all those activities.

Greg: Next week we are going to talk about Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts. So, we’re going to play some monopoly and go through some pre-planning okay.

This is ‘At the Conference Table’ with Hayden and Greg, see you next week, Friday at noon.

To get a copy of ‘Saving the Farm,’ you can get it at or you get it through my office McIntyre Elder Law. The audio book is out, you can get it on Audible, or iTunes. Or you can get the enhanced e-book, which has all the video and audio interviews right in the book.

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby


Upcoming Events: At the Conference Table with Hayden & Greg – Upcoming Events

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Welcome to ‘At the conference Table’ with me, Greg McIntyre and Hayden Soloway. This is akin to the Elder Law Report, we’re going to come at you live, every Friday at noon. So pull up a chair, we’re going to talk about up-coming events, and current topics related to elder law and we may have some guests come along now and then.

We usually do Hayden’s Corner on the elder law report. What would you talk about today on Hayden’s Happy Place?

Hayden: Well, I gave a seminar by myself yesterday.

Greg: And talked to a group in Lincoln county, and handed out copies of our book as a thank you for coming to the seminar. Tell me about the groups you went to this week. You went to Journey, you went to Axis, what’s Journey and Axis?

Hayden: Journey is a partnership for end of life issues. They concentrate on helping people make the end of life decisions, and getting people to sit down and really think through how they want things to be. At times it’s difficult to approach a person faced with these issues, and they try to make things easier.

Greg: They create a book ($20), I call it a ‘Get it together workbook,’ because it’s helps to get everything together in one place. How you want things handled as you age if something should happen. A financial planner, or caregiver, anyone who came into your house, such as a nurse, who would know exactly how you want your pillow fluffed, and how many creams and sugars you want in your coffee. Even down to that level of detail.

Hayden: Your plumber, handyman, to keep your relevant documents handy. 

Greg: Your ‘Durable’ and ‘General POA’s’, and other legal documents in there as well.  The ‘get it together’ workbook can be purchased at Hospice and I think the senior center may have some, or you can get one through our office.

We did a presentation at the country club, called, ‘So’s Your Mother’ presentation, which is on, and went out on our e-newsletter. If you haven’t already signed up for our newsletter, you should. We blast out entire hour long seminars with question and answers, articles on elder law and other senior issues, and things that you don’t know. Know what you don’t know. You get the newsletter right in your email. Just go to and sign up with your name and email, and you’ll start receiving those, and become part of our e-newsletter family. I put a lot of work into those newsletters, so it’s worth signing up.

Hayden: You can also see the articles on the lawyergreg facebook page.

Greg: Yes, but there is a lot more content and value in the newsletter. At the start of that video of the presentation at the country club, you gave a talk about what ‘So’s Your Mother,’ means. Share that with us, what’s ‘So’s Your Mother?’ Cause it sounds a little bit disrespectful.

Hayden: It does. Years ago, we did a lot of boating down on Lake Norman, and David, my husband, said there was a pizza restaurant. And they had all types of pizzas. It’s a hangout. There was one that had everything on it, pickles, onions, all types of meats, everything you can imagine, and they would say, ‘the onions are on it, the peppers are on it, and so’s your mother. It was just like a catch phrase, everything is on the pizza.

Greg: So why call the presentation ‘So’s Your Mother?’

Hayden: Because you take all the factors of elder law and put them all together and make a big picture.

Greg: A little bit of everything right? And we had financial guru Ed Hardy, who talked about long term care insurance and things like that, and Jamie Richards.

You know a hot topic right now are Ladybird Deeds. It’s such a great tool, an immediate protection, no matter your circumstances. Right now, people are taking advantage of that. If you are thinking that nursing home, assisted living care is on the horizon for somebody in your family, a Ladybird Deed on a family residence or primary property, can save that property from Medicare under the current policy. Which is very nice.

Hayden: And it can be done immediately, no look back period.

Greg: That’s right. We also handed out the ‘Saving the Farm’ book at a couple of seminars this week, and this book is now available on itunes and which is Amazon itunes basically. ‘Saving the Farm,’ is a reference book that reads like a novel.

Hayden: I think the name of it should have been, ‘Anyone 50 years or older should have this book, and anyone with parents 50 years or older should have this book,’ because it really is full of things, and people in their 50’s need to plan ahead. That’s how you can be the most effective and do it much cheaper than when there’s a crisis.

Greg: And the reason we say it’s like a reference book is because of the table of contents. You can see that any chapter can really drill down into subject matter. If you want to know about Ladybird Deeds and Life Estate deeds, they’re in there. There is an entire chapter on Medicaid Crisis Planning. Veteran’s Planning, and that’ll show you how patriotic I am about veteran’s affairs.

We were talking today about working the audio book into some of our seminars.

What do we have coming up?

At Elizabeth Baptist Church on October 5th at 5:30 pm, we have a Dementia Information Group, headed up by Bob Mori. He’s thinking of expanding that group to other churches. On this particular seminar they have opened it up to the general public. We will send that out on our e-newsletter as well. At that event, I will be playing the chapter from the audio book on Dementia and Alzheimer’s based around an interview I did with Teepa Snow, a world renowned expert in Alzheimer’s and Dementia. And we’re going to talk about some planning and things you need to have in place legally, to help a dementia or Alzheimer’s patient.

Hayden: She talks about dementia also. I have been listening to it since I’ve been dealing with that with my parents. She made me feel like, as least what I was dealing with, it might be unique but I wasn’t alone.

Greg: So, what she talks about is dementia being the umbrella, and beneath the umbrella is Alzheimer’s, but there’s frontal lobe dementia, there’s different types of sub-categories of dementia. Now I’m not an expert on dementia but I’m pretty good at the planning.

Hayden: I’ll say this again and again but Greg is a user friendly attorney, 6am to 9pm, 7 days a week, and I have seen that to be true.

Greg: Number 1, you care about your clients. Number 2, you go to where your clients are. I’m just going to keep it real. It blows my mind, in any profession, in businesses now, how business is just supposed to walk through the door. How clients just walk in the door and they’re supposed to be thankful that I hang a shingle, or that I practice medicine or law or that I serve hamburgers, or ice cream or whatever.

No, cater to your customers, cater to your clients, treat clients right, go above and beyond. It’s just common sense. I’ll see clients 6am to 9pm. It works around your schedule.

Hayden: And in additional to the Elizabeth Baptist Church, we are going to be at the Senior Center Health Fair which is on October 7th, 8am to 11am and that’s open to anyone. We will be at the ‘Journey’ writing your final chapter events. Keith Larson is their headline speaker and he really is a great speaker. The flyer says, ‘come hear a real life story about a families journey, and hear more about available community resources.’ They will also have really good food. We will have a display there, so come up and say hello to us. We have East Lincoln Community Center Health Fair and one in Lincoln County Senior Center. There is a free Medicare seminar, so anybody who has Medicare and is facing some difficult decisions, this is on October 20th at 10am at the Senior Center. And Hospice is having a Rib dinner fundraiser on October 21st from 3-7. There is a whole list of places you can get your tickets. Hospice, or call our office to find out. Also the Neale Senior Center is having their Auto Bazaar and Flea market, where they have old and classic cars.

If you have a specific topic you would like us to address, please shoot me a message. We will have a list of topics that we’ll address by next Friday. If you have facebook live, you can put your comments in. What I should have by next week is facebook up on my laptop and I’m take your questions live in question and answer time, all starting next Friday at noon.

Have a great week.


Make it a great day,

Greg McIntyre

Elder Law Attorney

McIntyre Elder Law

“We help seniors maintain their lifestyle and preserve their legacies.”

Phone: 704–259–7040

Fax: 866–908–1278

PO Box 165

Shelby, NC 28151–0165

Trusts Simply Explained (Trust Me)

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Hey this is Greg McIntyre, the elder law guy coming to you from the observation deck on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center in Chicago, Illinois. From here you see the whole city and beautiful Lake Michigan.

There’s a lot of wealth out there. The buildings, the families that have built here, I guarantee they have and are using trusts to control their assets well into the future. The Kennedys are a great example of a family whose trusts take care of their wealth and family. Now, you can do that and on a smaller scale than the Kennedys.

So very simply, what is a Trust?

A Trust is no different than a drinking glass. It holds your assets, directing exactly how it will be distributed. The Trust protects your assets from say a civil lawsuit. If you’re in a car wreck and you get sued, and your car insurance didn’t cover it and so they came after your personal assets, a standard Trust will protect your money against that attack. However, in a Medicaid situation where you need long term healthcare, if you have a living trust or a revocable trust, the government would still deem you in control of that money.

Wills and Trusts

The main difference between leaving things by ‘Will’ or setting up a Trust is, a Will has everything go through probate, which means they are subject to liens and things of that nature. A Trust will avoid that and the entire probate process.

Dead Hand Control

Another important thing to know is Trusts allow you to, what my law professor used to call ‘Dead Hand Control,’ or control from the grave. I picture a hand sticking up out the grave with the remote control in it, controlling everything well into the future, in perpetuity.

You can set up Trusts that provide for your grandchildren to go to college. Then distribute some of the money after college, say 25 years old, and some at 30 after they’ve reached more maturity, and maybe a final dispersal at 35.

And you can donate to charities over time. You can set up a charitable Trust to help fund a library if you wish.

Revocable or Irrevocable

The very top Trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. An Irrevocable Trust means you give up the money and appoint a trustee.


Trusts at their base have a trustee, usually a trusted family member or a company. Trust companies will manage your assets for you. They will generally have a separate tax id number if they’re irrevocable trusts. Usually if they’re revocable trusts, you can revoke it, you can put money into it, take money out, cancel it, break the glass so to speak, and you probably want to use your same tax id number, social security number for that trust because then you won’t have to prepare a separate tax return for the trust. If it’s an Irrevocable Trust, prepare a separate tax return for it. I work with a great accountant who can help you do that.

Trust beneficiaries.

Trust Beneficiaries are the recipients of money from the Trust. They will get both the Trust income and the Trust corpus. The Trust property you put in it, (the corpus, the body of the Trust), whatever is earned from that, say your investments, that’s called the Trust income, and is be distributed to the beneficiaries upon your instructions.

Just be aware

I meet with family members all the time who say, I have a trust and we’re ready to file for Medicaid to take care of my spouse, they’re protected.

If you have what’s known as a family trust or a revocable trust, it is not protected against that Medicaid situation or long term care situation. That’s where long term care insurance and legal planning become extremely important.

To fund or not to fund that is the question.

I see a lot of trusts, and many times people are under the wrong impression. They think because they are schedule A of the trust, or their list of property on the trust says they have a house in the trust, or money, bank accounts and investments in the trust, that it’s all okay. But I have to explain, that we’re looking at your deed, it’s still in your name, your car title or your bank accounts are in your name, it’s absolutely not in the trust, they are under a false impression that they funded their trust. So, literally the glass is empty, it has nothing in it.

To put the ice in the glass, or the property in the Trust, you have to title those deeds in the name of the trust, the deed to the trust in the name of the trust. Even car titles, now I’m not a huge fan of vehicles in trust but you can do that. The bank accounts need to be in the name of the trust. It could have a separate tax id number for those bank accounts, and should if it’s an irrevocable trust that has a separate tax id, that we get from the government for you.

I hate to see a trust unfunded. I want it protecting assets, doing its job, instead of a mad scramble to fund it, or to discover too late that it is unfunded.

If you have questions about whether your trust has been funded or not, should be funded or not, then come see me. I would be glad to do a free consult if you mention this blog post.

Trust Funding Classes

I am going to start trust funding classes at our office on a regular basis on Saturday mornings. They will begin sometime in September, and we can talk about the nuts and bolts of trust funding. You can bring your trust, or if you are just interested, we can put that out in our e-newsletter.

Go to and sign up for our e-newsletter or follow us at lawyergreg on twitter, facebook and youtube. If you get the e-newsletter and I advise that you do, I will give you the trust funding class for free.

This is Greg McIntyre, the elder law guy signing off 94 floors up in Chicago.


Make it a great day,

Greg McIntyre

Elder Law Attorney

McIntyre Elder Law

“We help seniors maintain their lifestyle and preserve their legacies.”

Phone: 704–259–7040

Fax: 866–908–1278

PO Box 165

Shelby, NC 28151–0165


Wrong Mix of Medications Can Lead to Faulty Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

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The main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss, confusion and changes in personality or mood. However, these symptoms can also be caused by medications, supplements and vitamins, or a dangerous mix of these—and often results in a false diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

The list of drugs that can cause dementia-like symptoms is long and includes:

* antidepressants                                       * antihistamines

* anti-Parkinson drugs                              * anti-anxiety medications

* cardiovascular drugs                              * anticonvulsants

* corticosteroids                                        * narcotics

* sedatives                                                * statins


The elderly are especially at risk of developing dementia-like symptoms because their bodies are not able to process medications as well as a younger person’s does. A lower metabolism, less lean body mass, less water in the body, and decreased kidney and liver functions make it harder to clean out toxins. As a result, drugs can accumulate in the body.


Also, seniors are usually prescribed more drugs as they get older. Polypharmacy is the term used to describe the use of five or more medications in people over 65. This can easily happen when multiple doctors are prescribing drugs for different ailments. The more drugs they take, the greater their risk for a damaging drug reaction.


Using one pharmacist can help provide a gatekeeper, but it is vitally important to have a primary doctor oversee the person’s complete list of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements. Alcohol, or even taking someone else’s medication, can add to the problem.


In many cases, the cognitive symptoms vanish when medication is stopped. But don’t try to do this yourself. Work with the primary doctor to determine which medications can be reduced, eliminated or replaced without adversely affecting the person’s overall well-being. Take the bottles and containers with you so the doctor can evaluate the dosages and expiration dates.


More than 100 other conditions, from vitamin and hormone deficiencies to rare brain disorders to depression to urinary tract infections, can mimic Alzheimer’s disease. Some are readily treatable.


It’s important to know the person, be aware of medications being taken, and watch for changes in behavior. If a loved one has started exhibiting dementia-like symptoms, act quickly. Insist on an evaluation of their medications and eliminate other conditions. If dementia does exist, it is critical to start treatment as soon as possible.


Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby


10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

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Early diagnosis of dementia provides the best opportunities for treatment, support and planning for the future. The Alzheimer’s Association ( has released the following list of signs and symptoms that can help individuals and family members recognize the beginnings of dementia. If you are concerned about any of these, be sure to see a doctor and, if suggested, begin treatment as soon as possible.

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Of concern: Forgetting recently learned information, important dates or events; repeatedly asking for the same information; relying on notes, devices or family members for things they used to handle on their own. Normal age-related change: Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.


  1. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Of concern: Changes in the ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers, such as having trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills; difficulty concentrating and taking much longer to do things than before. Normal age-related change: Making an occasional error when balancing a checkbook.


  1. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or leisure. Of concern: Finding it hard to complete daily tasks, such as driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game. Normal age-related change: Occasionally needing help to use settings on a microwave or to record a television show.


  1. Confusion with time or place. Of concern: Losing track of dates, seasons and passage of time; trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately; forgetting where they are or how they got there. Normal age-related change: Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.


  1. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Of concern: Vision problems that make it difficult to read, judge distance, and determine color and contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not recognize their own reflection. Normal age-related change: Vision problems due to cataracts.


  1. New problems with words in speaking or writing. Of concern: Having trouble following or joining a conversation; stopping in the middle of a conversation with no idea how to continue, or repeating themselves; having problems finding the right word or calling things by the wrong name. Normal age-related change: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.


  1. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. Of concern: Putting things in unusual places; losing things and not being able to go back over their steps to find them; accusing others of stealing from them. Normal age-related change: Misplacing items (glasses, car keys, remote control) from time to time.


  1. Decreased or poor judgment. Of concern: Changes in judgment or decision making, especially when dealing with money, such as giving large amounts to telemarketers; paying less attention to personal hygiene. Normal age-related change: Making a bad decision once in a while.


  1. Withdrawal from work or social activities. Of concern: Not wanting to participate in hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports; having trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or completing a favorite hobby; avoiding social situations because of changes they are experiencing. Normal age-related change: Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.


  1. Changes in mood and personality. Of concern: Becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious; becoming easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone. Normal age-related change: Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.


Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby




The Living Legacy: If you’re searching for the ‘Key to Happiness’, then I have something important to share with you.

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The Living Legacy:

If you’re searching for the ‘Key to Happiness’,

then I have something important to share with you

It’s not out there in the world. It never was.

So what is happiness?

            It may appear different for everyone, depending on what’s important to you and

            your children, but happiness really is only one thing, and the one thing in life that

            everyone is looking for?

Most of us look for it out there in the world. We search and search in jobs, houses, money, people, booze, drugs, you name it, and sometimes we search our whole lives but only a few it seems, really find it.

And there’s a really good reason for this, and here it is:

What if happiness is there all along, we’re just searching in the wrong place, or in the wrong direction?

Think about this: When you meet someone and you realize, wow, this is it, what are you feeling? It’s love right? Well where are you feeling it? It’s within you. Do you ever feel love outside of you?

All your feelings are within you right, and because of that, all these feelings are choices. You choose to feel happy or sad, loving, or angry. It’s your decision whether you love someone or hate them. You base your feelings on things external to you but they’re still your feelings.

Some of you will feel empowered by this and some will be offended, angry and hurt by it. Again it’s your decision.


But what is a living legacy and how does it relate to your happiness?

To start with, I need to show you that love and commitment exist. That it does and can happen, even to you? I can show you what it is that gets people 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years of love and commitment.

But time is really not a factor in your legacy. A living legacy is all times. It doesn’t matter, it’s not a race, we’re not in a happiness competition with each other.

You have a living legacy whether you know it, want it, or care.


So let’s ask this again. What does happiness entail?

It’s just a decision to be loving and positive no matter what.

We all have our rough days but it’s precisely at those times when we should say to ourselves, “I am going to be loving and stay positive no matter what,” and then say in your mind, “I love you” to whatever situation or person (including yourself) that is causing you to choose a negative path. Then keep saying it until you feel it.

If it seems too hard in that moment, fake it until you feel it.

It’s actually not that difficult. It’s just you making a decision and committing to it. You can do that right?


What is the ‘Why’ of all this? Why should you care?

You should care because underneath it all, we all want to be happy more than anything. No matter what you do in life, your position, family, role, level of success, we all want this thing called happiness, so test it.

Make a decision for one day to be happy and loving no matter what goes on, or what happens during that time.

            Here is the one big thing to help with this, because we as humans have, in general

            Failed to grasp this:   

            Stop thinking in terms of wanting to be loved,

            and instead think only of being loving.

If we all did this, consistently, it would change the world, rapidly.


This is an example of a Living legacy.

Ted and Terry McIntyre. 50 years of marriage. What’s the Secret?

“What does it take to hold a marriage together for 50 years?”

Mom– “Love, commitment.”

Greg– “And lots of awesome kids.”

Mom– “Who can separate with 5 kids. I think the most important thing is to love the person you’re married to, otherwise you won’t be happy, and commitment. Just make it work.”

Greg– “Dad, do you have any words of wisdom?”

Dad– “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Mom– “Cause there’ll be plenty of big stuff.”

Dad– “There’ll be a lot of that.”


    This is my family.

    This is what we work for. A lifetime devoted to personal betterment, yes, but also driven by devotion to family. To make a better life for ourselves and our children.

    They have.

    My father is the hardest working man I know.

    I remember hearing his alarm clock going off at 4:30am every morning and hearing him roll out of bed and get ready for the day. It was consistent. Like clockwork. His employers could always count on him. We, the family, could always count on him.

    Dad (Ted McIntyre) has been retired several years now and has remodeled my home almost single handedly. He is constantly working on other projects. He is very involved in his church and with friends. I always remember this one saying from my Dad: I used to play so much baseball and I would get down when I first started, when I made errors on a play. He’d say, ‘Everybody makes errors once in a while, but you’ve got to get ready for the next play cause the next batters up, the next balls coming.’ He taught me that. Great life lessons happen all the time, throughout life. It really got me ready because that’s very much how life is. Every once in a while we make a mistake, but we have to keep moving forward cause the next plays coming right. A truly great role model for me and my sons.

    My mother (Terry McIntyre), is equally hard working and creative. She was my mother and chauffeur when I was growing up, shuttling me endlessly to ball games and practices, and she worked full time as the pastor’s secretary at First Baptist Church in Shelby, NC. She was the queen of school projects, always there to push me forward and beyond. I have to say dad also helped a ton so I guess you would call him the king of school projects.

    They’ve been there more than words can say. I followed my Dad’s lead into the Navy. It worked well for him and for me. I followed his lead going to college. Man, was that a great decision! I have tried and sometimes failed to follow his lead as a Christian father, a God fearing man, tirelessly devoted to his wife, children and providing for them no matter what.

    I’m different from my parents, we all are, but they provided and continue to provide a great roadmap to follow for how to have a thriving marriage, family and be a decent human being.

    That’s their legacy. The legacy that you hang in there with your wife through thick and thin. You support each other. You made it look quite effortless but I know it takes a lot of work. You work hard for your family no matter what. You love your children unconditionally. You try to teach them the right things to do, what you consider the right things. You know what that is!

    These are the real legacies we leave our families.

    I have been married over 17 years now to my lovely wife, Stefanie. 50 years seems like a long way away. My mom told me yesterday that 25 years would be here before I knew it. She’s right. This life… time flies by so fast.

    I wish my parents a Very happy 50th anniversary.

    I hope that I can live up to their living legacy of being kind, hard working, Christian folks.

    Thank you very much for your wisdom, advice, perseverance through your marriage, and here’s to you both.

I know you are working on your living legacy out there too. I hope we all make it to 50 years of love and commitment and everything else, so choose to have a good life no matter what. It can only get better by doing so.


Bibliography and Resources

The Ultimate truth – Lester levenson

No Attachments No Aversions. The autobiography of a master – Lester Levenson

Love Yourself and let the other person have it your way – Lawrence Crane

The Divine Matrix – Gregg Braden


Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby



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