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Vietnam Veteran and Bronze Star Recipient, Gene Ramsey.

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GM: Hi I’m Greg McIntyre and this is lunch with a veteran. I’m here with veteran Gene Ramsey. Gene is the head of the VFW (Veteran of Foreign Wars) and has some very interesting stories.

Gene really is an advocate for veterans. He’s out there pursuing veteran’s disability issues, and a few weeks ago, we were at the VFW and you had a representative there from Senator Thom Tillis’ office.’

We did, and it was a good meeting and I had good feedback from some of the veterans who are from the Vietnam era, and I’m going to formally tell you about my journey for the last 50 years in the service. This week, being a reflection of 50 years ago, I was in a fire fight. We were running a convoy down there on Khe Pass or Highway 19, and about 2 o’clock in the afternoon we took fire, and the wrecker I was riding shotgun on got hit. That day we had 14 casualties of the 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, and we engaged the NVA in a fire fight. I ended up saving a guy’s life and trying to save a couple of other people’s lives that got into a fire fight ambush.

That day 50 years ago, it was a different time frame here in Shelby. My dad was a world war two vet and my two brothers served, and about thirty days after this incident, I got a letter from my mom who said she woke up in the late morning hours at the same time praying for my life, a sixth sense if you will. And I brought the commendation letter from my senior officer to recognize that god answers prayers. He took care of me that day, and the other 300 days plus that I served in Vietnam.

It’s about the third highest medal you can get in service, so I was blessed to have comrades and everybody else involved with that commendation letter that we got.

I’m telling this story because I didn’t realize at the time, with the 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, we experienced a thing called Agent Orange. As we went into a hot LZ they would spray that, and we didn’t know what it was. I was pulling latrine duty and other things, and I didn’t realize some of that was burning the fuel from Agent Orange to get rid of things we needed to get rid of. I didn’t have a problem with it, so, I came back and within a week went into Gardner Webb for 4 year’s education right out of the jungles of Vietnam, and spent 4 years that the government paid for.

GM: The GI bill?

The GI bill, one of the best things that ever happened to me. Sometime around 1986 I got a letter from Senator Roy Hill telling me a little about Agent Orange. I went ahead and applied to the VA, and it took a time to get a response from them, but I started to realize I was having a bit of a problem with diabetes. So, I went on working my business as a district manager at Western Southern which I worked at for about 40 years. I had the top agency at Western Southern and got along extremely well other than I developed a diabetic condition related to Agent Orange. That’s when I became involved in thinking about myself and my comrades that had been exposed to this.

I did some research and during that time I contacted my congressman explaining that we were probably going to have problems down the road, and I wanted to make sure I was looked after, as well as my family. So anyway, I became commander of the VFW post and the Am Vets for a number of years, a life member there, and the DAB as well as the American Legion. I got out of that as I was trying to move my insurance business to get ready for retirement.


This past year I had an incident with one of my veterans I knew with the VFW post, and they raised about $1100 for this individual, and I said, man I need to be a part of that again because I’m retired now. So, I took over as commander of the VFW. Since that point in time, I’ve had letters from Tom Tillis, Patrick McHenry, Senator Burr all helping with these veterans. I became 100% compensated for my disability from Agent Orange, and some Post Traumatic Stress which most of us who had been in combat had.

So, then I started working with veterans at the VFW post going down the line to see how we can help these veterans. Since then, I’ve had a folder put together at the VFW, that helps us with our local veteran affairs officer Debra Conn. I’ve worked with you on a case, and I’m working right now on 7 cases where Debra and myself are hoping these vets will get paid for Post Traumatic Stress, because they were in the same situation, or similar situation as I was. Also, there’s a national Amvets out of Winston Salem, that’s another route we can go to help these veterans.


So, I’m trying to pay back for the things that I’ve been blessedbronze-store-certificate to receive. That’s been the journey now. As I dig into this more, I’m finding there is a lot of veterans who don’t want to ask for benefits that are due compensation. I was interviewed by the Shelby Star about 15 years ago, in regards to, how does it feel, and how did it feel, and I realized my dad was probably exposed to Post Traumatic Stress due to his world war 2 experiences. He also received the Bronze Star. My goal is to work with you and the VFW for these individuals to help them get what they deserve.

GM: Absolutely, and there is compensation out there for disability, Agent Orange and other service connected disabilities. That’s a veteran benefit that you work on first hand all the time.

Yes, I’m pretty much involved. I’ve got some other people involved, I’ve even got a letter from Senator McCain and a Senator from Georgia who was over the VA services.


GM: There’s also veterans ‘Aid and Attendance’, which is something we do here at McIntyre Elder law on a regular basis. This can help seniors who are veterans, or the spouse of a veteran receive monthly pension benefits for the rest of their lives.

I think I worked with you on a case. I recommended they come to you, and that compensation has already started with that individual. Her husband was world war 2. I didn’t realize until you brought it up at a VFW benefit, and talked about the Ladybird Deed and Powers of Attorney and things like that how effective they are. Since that point in time, I’ve become involved with you and making these things happen. When I do something, I kind of gene-ramsey-young-uniformget involved and I walk the walk, I just don’t talk about it.

GM: I see that. I was impressed coming over the VFW a couple of weeks ago. A good group of veterans there and Senator Thom Tillis’ representative was there from his office, and he was very professional, couldn’t have asked for a more professional young man.

Yeah, it was kind of fun to get involved with this, because I was getting a little bored playing golf 5 days a week. This has given me an outlet to pay back some of my benefits that I’ve received through the government.

GM: I appreciate all your service that you have given to our country in Vietnam and the Bronze Star, that’s huge.

Well, I just happened to be in the wrong place at the time I was needed, but blessed to be back and have lived a good life.

GM: We don’t know how lucky we are in the safety of our communities and homes, and we’re afforded that by good men like yourself who have gone out there and really helped our country.

There was a nice article in the Shelby Star about how many veterans the VA has taken care of, how many fell in World War 1 and 2, there was almost 60,000 in Vietnam killed, but we don’t know how many have been killed since then because we have a lot of Post Traumatic Stress. I think most people are aware that about 22 veterans every day commit suicide.

GM: And a lot of them are coming back from the Persian Gulf wars, almost every hour on the hour for those soldiers.

They’re probably exposed to more things than we’re aware of, and it doesn’t hit you until later in life. Some of these things just seem to slip back on you.

GM: I had Evan Thompson on last week talking about the American Legion, and the importance of getting involved with groups like the American Legion and the VFW. You are a huge proponent for the VFW, commander of the VFW and that is a great group that is ready made for our veterans coming back from overseas to just go plug in to. To be able to have people there from different war eras, and their own war era to understand what they through.

I’ll put a plug in for the Vietnam War Veterans that you were privileged to sit with in Kings Mountain. I think we’ve got 114 members now. It’s the second Monday of every month at 8:30 in Kings Mountain where Jim Medlin is doing a great job bringing us together. They started out with 5 members, 5 years ago, and now we’re at 114 members. That’s an awesome thing he’s started. Some of these veterans are not part of the VFW, Amvets and those places, but hopefully we can attract them in and help them realize they’ve got some things they may not be aware of.

GM: There are people in these places that understand what veterans are going through. People who can help them and make them feel part of the brotherhood they felt when in the military. That’s why we join, that’s why we do that. You think about coming out of a war zone where there is horrible stuff going on, maybe in the Middle East, and coming back and trying to sit in a college classroom. You did it Gene, I’m sure that was quite an adjustment?

It was a shock actually.

GM: Tell me about that shock. How does that work?

Well, the first thing I remember when I came back from Vietnam, I had about a week before I started in Gardner Webb. I was coming out from the jungles of Vietnam and then into Gardner Webb college which is a Baptist school, and I remember thinking, man how am I going to go about this. It was a goal of mine to finish college, and one of the reasons I volunteered for the draft was to get the GI bill. I remember going into the first class and Paul Stacy was my biology professor. Probably the hardest class I ever took, and I took it in summer school just so I could get that out the way. Thank goodness he understood what being a veteran was, what it meant. He took me aside and mentored me in how to go about studying, how to focus on study for that period of time, to make sure I made the grades to get a college degree. So, it was a shock but I adjusted fairly well.

GM: My thoughts are, you’re in the jungles of Vietnam, or you’re in the deserts of Iraq or Afghanistan, and your mind is racing a mile a minute I’m sure. When you’re in those pressure stress times of a fire fight or similar situation, and you’re with this band of brothers, weaponry is part of your life, fighting is your life for a long time, and then you go sit down beside some other kids who did not have those experiences. You said you came out the jungles of Vietnam and went almost immediately into college. One minute you’re in the jungles in a fire fight, and the next you’re in a college classroom and you are expected to behave much differently, with people who don’t have your experience and who are not used to those situations. I have found myself saying in my mind, this person is full of crap, or they’re babies, they don’t know.

It kind of felt that way when I first came back but I was able to put that a bit behind me. I had a couple of buddies who came back and went to Gardner Webb at the same time, so, we had a kind of a brotherhood as you say. Coming out of Vietnam, we also had the many changes that were going on in America where people weren’t too happy about the Vietnam war. It was hard for us to suck it up and ignore them to some degree but fortunately in a smaller town, we didn’t face as much adversity as we did at Fort Washington where we came back to debrief for a couple of days. There was a lot of protests and things going on, but we put that aside and made some friends.

GM: So, you’re not moving to Canada?

No, but I’ve got a good story to tell you. I had a younger brother who went to Germany, I recommended he go in the service for the discipline, and he ended up getting in the National Guard, and one day he came to my dad and said, I think I’m just going to Canada. My dad looked at him and said, why don’t you look in that mirror right there, my brother said, what do you mean, and my dad said, you want to see a coward looking in that mirror? You go to Canada, you don’t come home. So, he went on and joined the National Guard and finished his 6 years.

There was a lot of different opinions at that time, as there is today, but it is a big change today as it was 50 years ago. The military has changed tremendously. In fact, one of my goals this year is to go back to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where I took my basic training for 10 weeks, and then go back to Fort Jackson because I haven’t been back since I got out. It’s on my bucket list. I want to check it out and see how much they have advanced since I was in there.

GM: Well come back and see me, I would love to hear about the contrast of the military today as of the military then. I imagine it was pretty rough?

Boot camp was 10 weeks at that time out of Fort Bragg. You always heard about volunteering, so I volunteered to be a fireman about the third week in. I thought I would be on the back of a fire truck, I didn’t realize I would be shoveling coal at night on duty for volunteers. So, I learned to not volunteer for a lot of things in basic training. 

GM: What does Navy stand for? Never Again Volunteer Yourself.

That’s right.

GM: Thank you Gene for coming by for lunch with the veteran today and talking about veteran stories. You certainly have some brave stories and accomplished some great things in your life. I appreciate everything you’ve done.

Lawyer Greg

Greg McIntyre


Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150


Planning with family over the holidays.

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with Greg and Hayden.

Happy thanksgiving!

GM: Happy thanksgiving. I bought a big picture of a turkey, I can’t wait to dig in. Today’s topic is ‘Turkey Talk.’ How to get down to business and talk turkey with your family over the holidays, and why you should do it.

So, what are you doing for thanksgiving?

HS: We’re going to New York, to Manhattan for a couple of shopping errands, and we are going to New Hampshire.

GM: Send me some pictures, I’m jealous, I love New York City.

HS: And we’re going to Amish country. We’re having thanksgiving with my husband’s sister and her family and extended friends that we know. It’ll be great.

GM: I’m going to Savannah, Georgia. Stef and my kids have convinced me to go and see my mom and dad. I will be working Friday from a Savannah satellite, but I am going to try and unplug a little bit.

So, why, during the holidays is talking about estate planning so important?

Well, I’ll tell you..

Families should get together and talk business anyway, you should set up a time. I meet with my family for an official meeting on a weekly basis. We do a family meeting at 8pm on Sunday night and plan out the week. We run it like a business meeting because my wife has her calendar going, the kids have their calendar going, and we all try and get on the same page. We look at finances, we look at everything, any grievances we have, and we hash it out. If you can’t be on the same page with your family, there’s going to be problems in life.

HS: I don’t want people to think you’re all business with the kids because you let them climb all over you.

GM: Oh, I love my kids, but you’ve got to be responsible, you’ve got to have your calendar, money and work under control. We talk about all those things. Nothing is perfect but certainly you can’t even get close to perfection if you’re not on the same page and meeting regularly and keep things going. This is just an extension of that.

You should meet at least on the holidays. If you’re a senior, your kids are spread out everywhere. You might have kids in a different state right? You might have parents in different states like I do. You need to meet on the holidays because that is when you come together. You don’t need to do it when you sit down at the dinner table and say, oh yeah, business, business, business, when you’re stuffing your mouth with delicious turkey and stuffing. Carve out some time after dinner, but make time. Talk about family business, about estate planning, and why that might be important? Remember, your parents are aging, your aging.

Family traditions change all the time. I admit, I don’t like change, at least when it comes to holiday traditions, but a good change would be to introduce a family meeting.

I’ll give you an example. I had a client one time whose mother got a call, and they said, hey, you’ve won the lottery. Now, she was suffering from early on-set dementia, and everybody knew it, they knew something was wrong, but nobody had talked about it much. It was kind of like, sshh, don’t talk about it. That’s what families do, they shove it under the carpet, they don’t take action, they don’t talk about it. So, this phone call, they said you’ve won the lottery, all nice and polite, all you have to do is send me $30,000 dollars on the taxes of the winnings and we can send you your millions. What’s your bank account number, what’s your credit card number, great. $30,000 gone. There are so many scams out there.

So, how do we prevent things like that?

HS: Have conversations.

GM: Have conversations, plan, talk and take action. One thing you can do in that situation is either pursue a Guardianship, or put in place General Durable Power of Attorney, and maybe have something on the accounts that makes it harder to clear that transaction. Just have some ‘control’ put in place, so it’s harder to give away land or money or property.

I meet with families all the time who are scared that mom or dad might deed away their house to somebody.

HS: I’ve heard of people who’ve had caregivers come in and befriend them and convinced grandma to leave them the house because their kids don’t need it.

GM: Let me ask you, if you could go back and prevent the forest fire from happening in Lake Lure in the mountains, would you do it?

HS: I’d be stomping that thing out.

GM: You’d do it right away wouldn’t you? One way to prevent things like that is to have your foundations in place with your parents and yourselves. Everyone 18 to 180, should have their ‘General Durable Power of Attorney’ in place, so I could help you or you could help me if I’m in a wreck on the way home, and help me look after my personal business so I don’t lose everything. The band played on right?

Also, ‘Healthcare Power of Attorney.’ I want to appoint a specific person I trust to make my life or death and even long term healthcare decisions. That way, my kids aren’t arguing over what should be done with me, because I’ve appointed that one quarterback.

How many quarterbacks do you have for one team on the field? And why?

HS: One, because you can’t have two people giving conflicting instructions.

GM: You can’t have more than one person calling the plan, or calling plays, everybody would be fighting with each other, you would never get anything accomplished.

HS: You know, the military is a good example. People who go into battle, or overseas, or anywhere, they make sure they have all their documents ready, such as a will, my grandson had to have this done before going to the Middle East as an Army Ranger. They do that for a reason.

GM: And whether you believe it or not, your family is a business. You have assets, you have bills to pay, you have expenses, it’s a personal business.

HS: The ‘Saving the Farm’ book would be a great ice breaker. Just say to mom, I read something in this book I think you should read. I think this is something we might need to talk about.

GM: I wrote this book for situations like this. I like what Hayden said about this, it’s a reference book that reads like a novel. It’s very informative, it raises questions. But unless you talk about those things, does mom and dad have long term care insurance in place? Do you as a young or aging senior have long term care insurance in place?

This book is a great ice breaker. Nothing would be better than setting up your meeting after lunch on Thanksgiving day, and have this book there as a reference to talk about long term care insurance, or types of wills, or the pitfalls of wills, who’s going to be the executor? Who’s going to be your Power of Attorney? What’s wrong with Guardianships? Guardianship nightmares, read about those. What about VA benefits, is someone a veteran in the family? How will those benefits affect you? There are little known veterans benefits such as ‘Aid and Attendance’ that could add several thousand to your account every month, that could pay for an in-home care, or help pay for long term care.

Another reason you want to get a meeting planned and going is Guardianships. You do not want to end up in a Guardianship situation with your family. It’s cumbersome, it’s overwhelming trying to work with the courts, and when you do, you have to petition the courts to spend any money. Even if it’s to protect assets.

Look at your foundations. General Durable Power of Attorney. You do not want to have three quarterbacks on the field when your life and finances are on the line. You want to designate one person who will make the decisions for you.

Living Wills is another one, (also known as ‘The Declaration for Desire of a Natural Death.’ Put those in place so you can say, if I’m terminal, incurable, brain death has occurred and I’m being maintained by a respirator, do I want to continue on that way?

And do I want to put that on my son or daughter or my wife to make that guilt ridden decision, or do I want to make it, and go ahead and put forth my statement of intent.

What about ‘Wills?’ You should have a Will to allow you to pass your property the way you want to pass it, not the way the state of North Carolina has chosen to pass it for you. I guarantee, politicians have already chosen a path for you, and your property. Elect me, and I will choose how everybody in the state chooses to pass their property, how about that? Does that sound good?

HS: No. But they have to do that because there are so many people who die intestate (without a will).

GM: That’s true, it is done for a reason, it’s a good thing.

HS: And nowadays there are second marriages, and step children, things aren’t cut and dried anymore. You’ve got a second husband who is living in the house and you’ve got a daughter whom you wanted to inherit the house. There’s all kinds of situations.

GM: So, avoid surprises.

HS: If you don’t know the questions to ask, we can help you understand the situation and what is going to work best for you.

GM: Those are your foundations. You need to have them in place. Just starting there can be great. Go to our website,, I will post this Deed Planning guide. This is a whole estate planning guide. It will show you how you can use Trusts, and avoid Probate, and how you might want to use Ladybird Deeds or Life Estate Deeds to protect your property and avoid probate. I will post that, and you talk about it with your family.

Talk about eDocs Access which I will post also. It will show you a 5 step process how to use our system. This is a bank level security system. We put all your documents there, and your kids from out of state even, can access them only if you give them permission to do so. If there is an emergency, it allows you to view those documents, even if you are traveling.

I will also put up a Trust guide for you.

Print these off, it will make a good guide to your conversation. Just make your meeting a separate thing, don’t make it a dessert conversation piece. Set a real meeting time, and get on the same page as mom and dad, or your kids. Figure out how to protect all the hard earned money and property your family worked for. Don’t let another Thanksgiving or holiday season go by and gamble everything.

HS: And when we do Wills, there is a personal property memorandum that we give to everyone, where they can start to list things. That would be a good thing to have in your hand for Thanksgiving. People could then say, okay mom, I want you to put it in writing, you promised me that item, and I want you to put it on this list. That could start the conversation.

GM: And remember, you can avoid all the infighting by making some simple decisions. If you add a little money to the family mix, it’s like blood to sharks.

So, make sure to give us call at 704 259 7040, or go to our website and download those documents, and use them.

Make it a great day and Happy Thanksgiving.

Greg McIntyre


Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150


Predicting Upcoming Changes

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with Greg McIntyre and Hayden Soloway

GM: We’re talking about predictions and change, changing of administrations, and changes in policies. We’ve got a lot of changes and upheaval in the country right now. A lot of energy going about, some of it guided, some of it misguided and wasted, but a lot of energy nonetheless.

Happy veteran’s week to all the veteran’s out there. I’m a vet, I was very proud to serve in our military, it was a great time to grow up, to figure out myself and get away from home. I think kids should be booted out the house at eighteen, sometimes before eighteen because I think we stay in high school too long now. At least at eighteen, your kids should be out the house and be doing something on their own.

HS: It had a great effect on my grandson, he matured and matured so well. He went through the army ranger program and became an army ranger. I was just amazed, and I am so proud of him.

GM: I agree, but I can’t remember when there has been so much unrest and upheaval, people at each other’s throats over political philosophies and how to do things. I hope California doesn’t secede, I like California, I was based there.

HS: They wouldn’t be able to pay off their debt.

GM: It’s true, how would they pay off their massive debt? They’re not going anywhere, but it’s fun to talk about. There is change coming though. There is change at the local level, the state level, and there is change at the national level. How does that affect us? How does that affect seniors?

Seniors ask me all the time, hey, what if things change with ladybird deeds? And I say there is one constant in life. It’s going to change. Things are going to change. Things are always going to change. We get scared with the what if’s, and what if they don’t change, then something’s wrong, but there is always change. When I was growing up, ’55 saves lives’ that was the big campaign in schools. Now you can drive at 70.

HS: It did save lives.

GM: It saved gas. I think it was the gas shortage then, but there is always going to be change, in legislation, in laws and political philosophies, and the needs of a people, the needs of a country. I think if you are dependent on the government to do anything for you, then you need an attitude adjustment.

Regardless of whether it’s Democrat, Republican, the Libertarians, the Green Party, and who else? There’s a bunch of other ones out there. I’m okay with whatever you think but regardless, the point is, don’t get so caught up that the person we elect is going to change everything, I just don’t see that happening. I think it is up to us to change things, on a personal level. Change ourselves to change the world kind of thing. And I understand, your vote counts, but the thing is, the people we do put in power are obviously going to make policy changes, right? So, I want to talk about that.

We’re going to try and predict how the law is going to change okay. We are going to give it our best guess. This is tough, this is like saying who’s going to win for President or who’s going to win the superbowl? You can be wrong, but we’re going to give it our best educated guess. So, what do you want to talk about that relates to change?

HS: Fears, I’d like to talk about that.

GM: Fear is the whole thing really, people fear change. People are scared of change.

HS: That’s one of the top five philosophical things people fear. Death, change, rejection, failure, and success.

GM: People sometimes self-sabotage themselves. Have you ever done that? I’ve probably done that, because success or winning brings with it, responsibility.

HS: And work, more success brings more work, those are rational fears. The top 5 irrational of all fears are, spiders, snakes, heights, crowded or open spaces, and dogs.

GM: Who was it who said, ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,’ that was FDR, my kid’s favorite president. I mean, the only thing we do have to fear is fear itself. Fears are usually misplaced. I think the point is, you don’t have anything to fear. It’s all your perception. I think faith conquers fear.

HS: I do have many fears, fear of losing my driver’s license and being dependent on others. I’ve never been someone to ask for what I wanted, so to have to ask someone to drive me to the grocery store.

GM: A loss of independence. Yeah, I think seniors and anyone fears losing their independence.

So, I was looking at US news, they have a list of the top 3 senior fears. Healthcare is number 1. Staying healthy, mentally sharp. There are tons of ways of doing that. But we’re talking about Medicaid and Medicare health programs.

HS: Do you think that would be at the top of the list with the political situation?

GM: I think it’s just a general fear of death and wanting to stay healthy. We all have these fears. I think that’s our most primal fear.

So, №1, what do you think, there has been talk of privatizing Medicare, that’s certainly a political discussion? Do you think there’s going to be change in the Medicare system for seniors in the next 4 years?

HS: Yes.

GM: I think they are going to privatize the system. I think there is going to be change in the next 4 years. That’s my prediction. Is Medicare going to change, Yes! I don’t know it, it’s my prediction. It will change to save it and extend it. That’s a big issue. So, what’s next?

What about estate tax, I’ve had people ask me about estate tax. Estate tax right now, only applies if you pass more than $5,430,000 dollars. It’s tied to the gift tax, so, if I gave you a million dollars, I can then only pass you $4,430,000 dollars because it would subtract. Do you think that’s going to change, and why?

HS: The numbers may change a little bit. Traditionally Republicans have been kinder to you, on things like that.

GM: Regardless of political affiliation, we’ll leave that out, are they going to leave it alone and allow you to pass $5,430,000 dollars? Or will they monkey with it?

HS: I don’t think they would need to do that.

GM: It used to be a million. George Bush gave a year where it was no estate tax. So, if you were going to die, that was the year to do it. Now the question, it would be betting against the odds politically, if I said, yes, there is going to be a change.

HS: That’s not something that’s a major hitting the news topic. Most people don’t have that kind of money so it’s not so much an issue.

GM: So, you think there will be no change in the estate tax? I’m going to agree with you on that. Our prediction is, no change on estate tax.

Here’s another one, health insurance, what about long term care insurance? You hear people all the time say, you should have long term care insurance. I think something that should change is in-home care services should be treated on equal footing as institutional care like assisted living and nursing home care.

HS: Well it is statistically more beneficial to care for someone at home.

GM: There is probably a concern about abuse of Medicaid with in-home care. Long term care is a great thing to have, however, pre-existing conditions, right now, one of the changes in healthcare law, that has happened in the last 4 years that I agree with, is that you cannot be denied because of a pre-existing condition, that is no fault of your own.

HS: What the problem is, they’re insuring you knowing that you’ve got a condition that will cost $200,000 a year or whatever for medication, versus someone who doesn’t have that risk. The potential is much less. So how do you make it fair?

GM: The theory now is, the cost will be absorbed by all. What about car insurance, how do they do it? If you have a wreck, then you pay higher rates.

HS: Or you go into a pool and you are divided out among the different insurance agencies, and it’s a higher cost.

GM: But long term health insurance that you can buy, you can’t get it sometime if you have pre-existing conditions.

So, question, will the government intervene and force insurance companies to accept pre-existing conditions for long term care insurance?

HS: I’m going to say no, because I’ve never heard them mention that.

I agree with Hayden, I’m going to say no, the government will not intervene and force insurance companies to accept pre-existing conditions for long term care insurance.

HS: We should have a time capsule we open in 4 years to see how we did.

GM: We have, this is it. In 4 year’s we are going to do another of these to see how we did on our predictions. We’ll grade ourselves.

What about VA, it’s just been veterans weekend. So, VA benefits, you can apply for veteran’s aid and attendance benefit which is a pension benefit, where a veteran or a spouse of a veteran can receive good money monthly to help care for that veteran even in-home. Are there going to be any changes to that system?

There is no look back period if you are a veteran on Aid and Attendance. A look back period is something where Medicaid is looking back 5 years on how you handled and transferred assets. You must do it under a strict set of rules and guidelines, or you can get disqualified. So, VA has no look back period so it’s easier to qualify, and position assets for qualification. Is there going to be changes to the VA?

HS: I think there is going to be improvements to the VA. It’s a hot bed issue, but as far as Aid and Attendance goes, I doubt it.

GM: So, changes overall in VA?

HS: Yes, I think you will see services at the VA hospitals improved.

GM: I think you will see major Batman ‘POW, YES, POW’ changes coming to VA and veterans, and I think that’s a good thing.

I would localize it. I would localize the delivery of services.

I’ll tell you where I think there will be huge changes in VA benefits applications as it affects veterans and Aid and Attendance. I do not think there will be localized attendance for veterans overnight, I think there will be a push over the years for that. The incoming administration has made promises which I hope they live up to. I believe very strongly that coming January 1st, there will be a 2 year look back period placed on Aid and Attendance benefits given to veterans on all assets transfers.

HS: I say no.

GM: Hayden says no. I say yes, big time. I have an inside source okay.

So, plan ahead, I can help you plan ahead. I am certified as an attorney to the US department of veteran’s affairs, that allows me to do that type of planning and VA disability benefits.

Another change I think is going to happen is about ‘not knowing how much money you can keep’. There is no hard and fast rule, is it $80,000, or is it $20,000 for VA that a senior can have. I believe it’s going to go to $120,000 and it’s going to be a written, hard and fast rule. And I think there will be strategies developed by elder law attorneys and veterans certified attorneys like myself to allow you to keep much more, even with a 2 year look back period.

HS: You mentioned a while ago about Ladybird deeds and how they might change.

GM: Yes, let’s talk about ladybird deeds. Right now, and over the last several years, North Carolina has allowed ladybird deeds. Ladybird deeds are important in protecting property, especially if you are going into a nursing home or assisted living facility, and you need Medicaid benefits to come in, and you want to save the farm. My book ‘Saving the Farm’ explains all about these types of strategies. Lady bird deeds are cool tools that allow you to protect your home instead of losing it, because of a healthcare situation where you had to get Medicaid to pay for long term care. That’s awesome. It avoids the 5 year look back period.

Are there going to be any changes?

HS: I have some inside information.

GM: I love inside information.

HS: It’s not really inside information. You have said you believe they will grandfather that in and make changes.

GM: It’s a policy not a law, but I hope that if changes are made they will be grandfathered in. So the question is, are they going to change it so we cannot do Ladybird deeds?

HS: I think with the new administration, that there will be no change.

GM: Okay, I think North Carolina has been very accommodating to seniors, it’s a senior destination a lot of the time, and I think there is not going to be a change. So, no change. I think North Carolina has been very progressive in welcoming seniors to come here.

I want to go one more. Medicaid. Nursing home Medicaid in North Carolina is under a system called long term care Medicaid. There is a 5 year look back period.

What about the 3 year look back period for assisted living? Are they going to change those look back periods of 5 and 3 years?

HS: I’m going to say it’s not going to change over the next 4 years.

GM: I have wanted to disagree with Hayden all day, so I’m going to disagree. I think it will change. I think there will be a change in the next 4 years to the look back period. I think assisted living Medicaid will go to 5 years, and nursing home Medicaid will go to 7 years.

We have covered a lot here, and I don’t know if we are going to be right or not, but if you have any questions about this, you can contact us at 704–259–7040.

Greg McIntyre


Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street

Shelby, NC 28150


Lunch With a Veteran: Marine w/ 2 Purple Hearts, Bob Cabaniss…

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Thank you for joining us for lunch with veteran Bob Cabaniss, 2 time recipient of a Purple Heart, veteran of the Marine Corp, an enlisted Marine, and former member of the Army and Airforce. A very rare individual.

When you walk into Graceland, you walk in the door and there’s a hallway with a balcony, and Elvis and Ann Margaret were standing on the balcony…

 He had sent his guys to the base and said he was having a big party at his house, and if any Marine showed up in their dress uniform, they would be invited to the party…

 “So, me and 3 other guys had dress blues and so we got a car to get out there…

 We walked in and said hello, and walked on through the house to the back yard and there was a barbecue set up, hamburgers and stuff. So, we ate hamburgers and hung around…

 “We stayed for about 2 hours, and were getting ready to leave and he sent his guys out to ask, who wants to play touch football?..

 “So, we’ve got dress blues on right, that was the most expensive clothes a Marine had, and back then, the front lawn didn’t have any of these big oak trees on it, so we played touch football on the front lawn of Graceland with Elvis.

GM: You were in Millington, Tennessee, the same place I was stationed for training for AT school?


AE school was in Jacksonville, Florida. I went to AE school, myself and my buddy Dick Wells, then went to our next squadron which was New River NC, and we had our choice of squadrons. So, the base commander said, what squadron do you want? Well, we had no idea. He said, well, you could go to Spain, France and England, Dick and I looked at each other and said, that’s the one. So we got in it and found out about a year later when you’re in your first squadron you couldn’t get out. I don’t know if they had this planned then or not but we were going to Vietnam as a squadron. We took over from the group that was over there for about 8 months and took over their helicopters but we went as a group, so we all knew each other. But, when I got to the squadron the commander said that all crew chiefs were mechanics, but we need a crew chief who’s an electrical guy because of all the problems they were getting, so they chose me, and I was sent back to AT school, so I was AE and AT.”


GM: So, you’re a Vietnam vet as a Marine, but then you’ve been in multiple branches of the services, more than just the Marines.


Right. Army National Guard and the Airforce National Guard.”


GM: How does that happen?


“I really intended to stay in the Marine Corp, but when the reenlistment lecture came around and I asked the commanding officer, because I had the Purple Hearts, I wound up in the Naval Hospital in Key West convalescing from my wounds, we got shot up a lot over there, so I asked, if I reenlist in the Marine Corp am I going back to Vietnam? And he said, oh yeah. So I was thinking, oh no. They tried to kill me the first time, so I thought about it and considered it, and got completely out of the military and went to work for RCA.”


GM: You were awarded two purple hearts?


The first purple heart was what I call my John Wayne wound. I was in four helicopters in Vietnam, and this one was I think the second one. We got shot up and landed hard, and I thought I’d snagged my flight suite getting out of the helicopter, because it wouldn’t quit bleeding. I didn’t think much of it but I finally went to the doctor and said, why is this thing keep bleeding, what’s wrong, and he started digging around and pulled shrapnel out and he said, my god, you’ve been wounded. He was pulling these little fibers out that looked like stranded electrical wire where the strands have come out. He pulled out about 5 or 6 of them, and said I’ll put you in for a purple heart. Now it looks like a vaccination scar. My buddy Mitch Carpenter got wounded also. He got hit across the bridge of the nose.

So, a month later they had us line up and had Marines give us purple hearts. So, the airwing of the Marine Corp, the infantry Marines consider us to be almost air-force. This Colonel is giving out the purple hearts and he stopped in front of these guys who really got hurt. This guy had his arm all bandaged up and the Colonel said, so son, how are you wounded? And he said, I stepped on a land mine, he really got hurt. So, he went down the line and got to Mitch. Now in the Airwing, we were working on these old piston engine helicopters and they were nasty, and our uniforms were all oily, we just looked bad, hair down to here. In early Vietnam, you couldn’t get food or anything, our uniforms were rotting off us literally, because of the damp, they never got dry. So, we’re looking like someone’s rear end, and he walks in front of Mitch and said, son where were you wounded, and Mitch said, right across the bridge of my nose sir, and the Colonel said, where? Mitch went, right here sir, and the Colonel said, oh yeah. Then he looked up and down and said, you’re in the airwing aren’t you? Yes sir, and he pinned the purple heart on him. Then he walked up to me and he said, son, how are you wounded, and I said, shrapnel in the back of my arm sir, and he said, you’re in the airwing too aren’t you? I said, yes, sir, and he pinned it on me. Some on these guys were really hurt, and some of them got sent back to the states. It was funny and it was embarrassing for Mitch and I, we wanted to crawl under the nearest rock.

The second time they sent me home. Anyway, it was 52 years ago. A Long time.


GM: So, how did you end up back in the service?


I was out for about 5 or 6 years, and I missed the military. I also wanted to buy an airplane, but I didn’t want to spend family money, so I checked out the air guard because they had airplanes but they didn’t have any openings, they were completely full. Back in the 50’s my dad was commanding officer of the Army National Guard Unit in Shelby so, I checked out the army guard.

I walked in the door and there behind the desk was a man named Gus Gregory, wonderful guy. I walked in and I remembered Gus from my dad, and I said, Sergeant Gregory, and he said yeah, who are you? Bob Cabaniss. He said, Bobby Cabaniss, cause when I was a little boy they called me Bobby, and he’d known me since I was a little boy. He asked me what I was doing down there? I told him I was down to see about enrolling in the army guard, but I said, you guys don’t have any airplanes out there. What would I be doing? He said, just come down and look around, if you see something you like, just let me know. I said, where do I sign up?

I was in the army guard for 12 or 13 years in Shelby. Then I went to the air guard in Charlotte and they had an opening in avionics. So, they said I had to be discharged from the army, and take the ASVAB test, so that’s what I did. I loved the army but the air-guard is a whole other world. They’re very professional and I literally went all over the world. The first Gulf War, Bosnia, Panama, we did a lot of stuff the army guys just didn’t get to do.

I wound up as first sergeant. First Sergeant is like Master Chief, in charge of all the enlisted guys. The commanding officer called me up to the office one day and he said, I’d like you to be my first sergeant. I said, you know my reputation, and he said, oh I know your reputation. I asked, what do you know about it? He said, you despise officers, and I said, I do. He said, well, you’re not going to be with the officers, you’ll be over with the enlisted guys. I asked him, why did you choose me to be first Sergeant? He said, because you were in the army, we need someone to straighten this place out.

In the Airforce, and Air-guard, everyone had different colored ballcaps, to differentiate the shop you were in. The engine shop wore blue ballcaps, the electronic guys wore green ballcaps. I became first sergeant when we switched over from green uniforms to the camouflage stuff, so we had to get rid of all that and wear the camouflaged BDU cap which I hated. That was one of my deals, to make sure you were wearing proper uniform. You had to blouse your boots, you had to wear the proper uniform. I was really tough of them. I was going around snatching hats off them, you can’t do this, can’t do that.

I knew we were getting a new commanding officer, and I was standing in formation one Sunday, and all these people out there. First Sergeant goes out and brings everybody to attention, and the XO comes out and gives the squadron to him, and then you go stand behind the squadron with the Chief. So, I’m standing behind the squadron and I look, and there’s some guy with a mesh black ballcap on, right in the middle of my squadron. The base commander is up there talking, and so I slipped down there and ease behind him and said, you get your butt in my office. So, I looked down, and the guy was a Major. I said, sir, what are you doing standing in formation with my enlisted men? And he said, I thought that’s where I should stand with a new commanding officer. I said, sir, you don’t stand in formation with the enlisted men, come stand with me. Come to find out he’d never done anything but be an Airforce flyer, he had no clue. He came back and stood next to me, and said, I think I need to come to your office and you can teach me how to do my job. I said, sir, where going to get along just fine.”


GM: I’m sure there’s a lot of truth to that. I’m sure that officers are dependent on the enlisted.


I told my new commanding officer, when you get a new butter bar, that’s a guy right out of school, an ensign to you, how about sending him through my office before you send him out to his job? And he said, why? And I said, I just need to talk to him.

These guys would come in and they would always get put over at the shop, the engine shop, avionics or something. They’d bring them in to me, and I’d say, sir, you’re a brand new officer, congratulations. You’re going to be the OIC down at the engine shop. Now Chief Jones has been the Chief down at the engine shop for 15 years, he pretty much knows what’s going on. Do yourself a favor, go down there, introduce yourself to Chief Jones and say, I’m here for you to teach me how to do my job. If you do that, you’ll do fine. If you go and start throwing your weight around, next thing you know, Chief Jones is going to be on the phone to a buddy in the Pentagon and you’re going to wind up in Alaska. Just you remember, these Chiefs, they know everybody. They all owe each other favors, and all they’ve got to do is pick up the phone book and they can make your life miserable.

My dad died when I was 13, my mom died when I was 16. So, I’ve been on my own since I was 16, and had it not been for the Marine Corp, there’s no telling what might have been. The Marine Corp set my future you might say. I just went to Parris Island a few weeks ago with my grandson who graduated from there, and driving on base was almost emotional for me, and it still is to this day.”


GM: I feel the same way about the Navy. I got to see the world in the Navy. I spent a lot of time in the Middle East, Asia, and I was stationed in San Diego.


When I first got in the Marine Corp, when I first got situated, some old salt had written on the sea bag everywhere he went. I thought that was pretty cool, I need to do that, so I got the guys in paraloft to make me a clothing bag, and I wrote on there all the places that I’d been. When I go through an airport with that clothing bag on my shoulder, everybody stops and stares and say, look at that guy. Cause all these years I’ve been in the military, it’s 33 years, I’ve been gone all the time. My grandson, before he joined the Marine Corp, I pulled that bag out and said, I just want you to see this. This is what you can do.


GM: The Navy allowed me to become independent and grow up a little bit, and get out on my own. My dad was in the Navy at San Diego too, and he was in Vietnam, he worked on subs as a sub-lieutenant. One of the things he always said, which I realized to be true was, I was enlisted, I went in enlisted, and he always said, the only difference between myself and the officer was a piece of paper. So, that inspired him to come straight out and get his engineering degree, which made a great life for us.


My grandson lived with us his senior year in high school. My wife who I love dearly, said to him, let’s go upstairs, I want to show you your papa’s armoire. She opened it up and all my t-shirts were folded as so, and my socks and everything, that’s what the Marine Corp does for you. She said to him, when we first got married, he had to show me how to fold his underwear, because if it wasn’t folded just so, he would just refold it.”


GM: I used to iron my underwear. My wife just freaked out, boxer shorts with creases on them.


I was telling my grandson, they do things differently when you’re in boot camp, they issue everything to you. All his field gear, all issued to you, so they’ve got to haul that mess around with you every time they go somewhere. And I said, did they show you how to pack a sea bag? He said, well, no. They didn’t show you how to pack a sea bag? Well I’ll show you how to pack a sea bag so you can get all your stuff in it. So, let me just show you, and I started rolling everything up and putting it in there, and I said, you wouldn’t believe what you can get in a sea bag if you do it right. You can get so much in here you can’t pick the thing up.

Then I said, did they not show you how to fold your dress uniform? He said, no. So, I said, let me show you, because you tuck one sleeve into the other sleeve and then you roll the thing inside out so it’s not all wrinkly. Somebody is going to teach you how to do this sooner or later. And when you have ‘junk on a bunk’, a clothing inspection, you just unroll it and it’s not wrinkled, it’s looks good, whereas if you just stuff it in a bag, it’s going to look horrible. And you can’t fold it, because folding it leaves creases.”


GM: I think our society is lot more casual now also.


I wound up being a high school teacher, I taught electronics and physics at Burns. The kids in my classroom, when I first started teaching, at the end of your senior year, you have your final exam, and the last question on all my final exams was, ‘What do you like, and what do you not like?’ I can’t tell you how many times they answered, we enjoy the discipline in your classroom. And I thought, of all the things, and so I asked the kids, why is that? And they said, because when we come in your classroom, we know how far we can go. We know we can go up to the line. In other classrooms, we don’t know, and it creates stress because we don’t know where to go, we don’t know how far we can go.”


GM: Society as a whole and the school systems need to back that up, because it doesn’t do kids any good if you can’t give them some discipline.


“My discipline was, I will never send you to the office, I don’t care what you do, I’m going to take care of it right here, right now. I never sent a kid to the office in 30 years, because the kids knew. I think they respected me enough, no.1 not to pull any crazy stuff. I would say, if you want to play a practical joke on me, I’m all for it as long as you don’t hurt anybody and you don’t damage any equipment. Make it a good one, because I’ve seen all of them, and I’ll laugh as hard as you. My thing was, if you’re late coming to classroom, and late means your butt is not on the seat, don’t say a word to me, just go to the back of the room, drop down, and give me 25 push-ups. That’s the first time, second time it’s 50, and third time it’s a 100.”


GM: That’s a lot of Push-ups.


Young kids especially would say, I can’t do 25 push-ups, I’d say, I tell you what partner, I’ll do a one arm push up for every two arm push up you do. So, I’d say, show me what you can do. They’d do 25 push-ups even if it killed them, even if it broke their back so they could see me do 25 one arm push-ups.


I’m Greg McIntyre and this is ‘Lunch with a Veteran.’

Thanks for sitting down with me.

I am an Elder Law attorney and also handle Veteran’s Benefits for veterans and their families. I am proud to be a certified attorney through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 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






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

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Comments are off

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

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