Latest Blog Entries

Was James Gandolfini’s Will a mistake?

James Gandolfini is reported in the New York Daily News of having a $70 million estate for which a federal estate tax of approximately $30 million will be due in large part to his generosity to family and friends. In the article, at least one commentator characterizes this as a tax “disaster.” You can read Mr. Gandolfini’s will, […]

Do you really need an Elder Law Attorney for Medicaid planning in North Carolina?

Do you need an attorney for even “simple” Medicaid Planning? In most cases, the prudent answer would be “yes.” The social worker at your mother’s nursing home assigned to assist in preparing a Medicaid application for your mother knows a lot about the program, but maybe not the particular rule that applies in your case or […]

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to low-income children, seniors, and people with disabilities. In addition, it covers care in a nursing home for those who qualify. In the absence of any other public program covering long-term care, Medicaid has become the default nursing home insurance for many. Lacking access […]

The 5 Components of Estate Planning

Many people believe that if they have a will, their estate planning is complete, but there is much more to a solid estate plan. A good plan should be designed to avoid probate, save on estate taxes, protect assets if you need to move into a nursing home, and appoint someone to act for you […]

How do you know if you have capacity to sign Estate Planning documents?

Proper execution of a legal instrument requires that the person signing have sufficient mental “capacity” to understand the implications of the document. While most people speak of legal “capacity” or “competence” as a rigid black line–either the person has it or doesn’t–in fact it can be quite variable depending on the person’s abilities and the […]

The many steps of Estate Administration

Estate administration is the process of managing and distributing a person’s property (the “estate”) after death.  If the person had a will, the will goes through probate, which is the process by which the deceased person’s property is passed to his or her heirs and legatees (people named in the will). The entire process, supervised […]

What a Trust does…put simply

A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” The rules or instructions under which the trustee operates are set out in the trust instrument. Trusts have one set of […]

Why Plan Your Estate?

The knowledge that we will eventually die is one of the things that seems to distinguish humans from other living beings. At the same time, no one likes to dwell on the prospect of his or her own death. But if you postpone planning for your demise until it is too late, you run the […]

Fear or no fear, it is going to happen anyway

  “Sabrina Winters made the trust planning process extremely easy. She is very responsive and is flexible about meeting times, venues, etc. She and her office are warm, yet professional. She exhibits a vast amount of knowledge about her field and we truly feel that she is acting as our advocate. We are very reassured […]

Don’t Have Your Loved One Rolling In Their Grave By Making These 4 Probate Mistakes

Probate is the Court process to settle a person’s estate after their death. The process carries with it several potential problems and risks. Knowledge of such pitfalls can eliminate or reduce the difficulties. 1.  Missing Documents: A Will names an Executor (also known as a “Fiduciary” or “Personal Representative”) to probate the Estate. In order […]


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