How We Give Seniors Their Independence Day
We just celebrated our country’s 239th birthday on July 4th. That’s what Independence Day means to us. It’s celebrating the birth of our nation. The independence of our nation, saying we were going to be free from taxation without representation.
But I feel like this applies a lot with seniors now in the United States. They’re in a situation where they spend three to four times what a house costs to pay for it, over the life of a bank loan – that’s 30 to 40 years plus interest.
For a $100,000 house, they’re going to pay $200 or $300 hundred thousand dollars when it’s all said and done. That’s our economy. That’s how our system’s set up. And you’ll hear me say system, because I do believe it’s a system.
Then you head into your senior years and you’re enjoying them… and then, bam! A healthcare situation hits. You haven’t done proper planning and you or your spouse are faced with having a lien placed on the house. Not being able to pass that along to the kids.
You’ve got to sell it or wait and have it taken away after you pass. That was your hard-earned money and property. You paid taxes your entire life to pay for things like long-term care Medicaid and assisted living Medicaid, and you’re told that you can only use that if you sell your house – or they’re allowed to take your house away.
Declare Your Independence
That’s not right. I don’t have a problem saying it.
Because it’s true. Your tax dollars should be paying for things like this. The long-term care Medicaid system is out there, it does a good job paying for care. The problem is, to qualify for it and use all of those millions of tax dollars you paid over your life, you have to basically be destitute. You have to sell or spend-down everything you’ve ever worked for.
We can help protect that. An elder law attorney can help protect those assets. I feel like we need to be independent of that taxation.
You need to celebrate your senior Independence Day.
We need better representation, who take into account what we as seniors and American citizens need. We want to be able to pass property and keep it.
That was one of the things that the early Americans were so concerned about too, the right to have and control their own property. To be free of tariffs on everything. The taxes on everything that they worked so hard for.
But now we’ve got our own governments that are on our back all the time wanting more and more money and are getting more intrusive into our lives.
I’m proud to be an American. I served in the US military and wear my flag pin everyday. Love the US.
But I still have a strong say so – like a rebellious American should – on being independent.
As seniors, independent means you’re saying in control of your lifestyle and in control your assets throughout your entire life.
That’s the goal of our planning. An elder law attorney like me can help you do that. Help make sure you’re in control of your home, your property, your monies, your retirement, throughout your entire life, while also recognizing that 7 out of 10 seniors are going to need some type of long-term care.
How Can We Do It?
Well, we can protect it using deed planning. We can use trust instruments, like Medicaid asset protection trusts, which are special irrevocable trusts; use Lady Bird deeds in North Carolina to protect the homestead immediately; tenants in common deed to protect other property.
Really sit down and make sure you have your foundational documents in place – power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, living will, will – to make sure you’re in control, you’re independent, you have the most healthcare options possible. Coupled with the protection of your property, which you worked so hard for your entire life.
I get a little passionate about these things. It’s because I love to fight for people. I really do. I love being the underdog – and I used to do this in the courtroom as well. I love the strategy. I love sitting down and saying, “Okay, the deck is stacked against you. These are the rules”.
Now let’s find a strategy, let’s find a way through it that’s guaranteed under the law, that gives you the most control and protects your assets. And that’s what you want your attorney to do, is to fight for you. To plan for you.
So whether it be a contested probate hearing or just some pre-planning, your elder law attorney should be fighting for you.
Luckily, I do have the freedom of speech to say what I want. And by gosh, I’m going to do it.
Call me if you have any questions:
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby