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EP 149 SCI Netcast: Kimberly Hegwood, Elder Law and Estate Planning

EP 149 SCI Netcast: Kimberly Hegwood, Elder Law and Estate Planning
EP 149 SCI Netcast: Kimberly Hegwood, Elder Law and Estate Planning
EP 149 SCI Netcast: Kimberly Hegwood, Elder Law and Estate Planning

HegwoodLaw.com

#elderlaw #hegwoodlaw

Senior Care Industry Netcast where leaders with 3 or more years in the Senior Care Industry share their advice.

Be a Guest on Our Show: https://www.seniorcareindustrynetcast.com/netcast

About Valerie VanBooven RN BSN: https://www.asnmarketingplan.com/about-us/

Podcast Website: https://seniorcareindustrypodcast.buzzsprout.com/

Youtube.com Channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLV5XuXXeUP4nt5dM0nww24_5dSc-uimeD

Full Transcript

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie Vanbooven with the Senior Care Industry Netcast, where leaders with three or more years of experience in the senior care market share their advice. So let’s get to it. In a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.

Kimberly Hegwood:

So my name is Kim Hegwood and we help families plan for the future, protect their loved ones and guide them through the unexpected. And so that covers a lot of our practice areas. And so it really embodies how we approach taking care of clients. So most people say, “Okay, well what areas do you practice”? So I’ll elaborate. And so we do a lot of elder law. We do estate planning. We do probate guardianship and special needs. And most of those are very interrelated when it comes to taking care of families. And so we want to make sure that we cover as much of the things that truly, that a family needs in a time of crisis and just in the time of non-crisis and just planning ahead.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Don’t we wish everyone would plan ahead.

Kimberly Hegwood:

Yeah. We find that estate planning is the number one procrastinated thing people do.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely. It is. It’s tough to think about all this stuff. It’s hard to ask these questions. It’s hard to have these conversations. And so oftentimes it happens in a crisis. My question to you would be, if you could talk to anybody, the public out there, and you would say, “Here are the things that you need to think about before there’s a crisis”. What would be your best advice there?

Kimberly Hegwood:

Getting your documents in place, getting your legal documents in place. Absolutely. Your basics or your will packages, your wills, your medical power of attorney, your statutory durable power of attorney, your directed to physician, your HIPAA authorization. Your core basic documents at a minimum. Depending on your family dynamics, depending on age, depending on assets, depends on how much more advanced planning you do. And so it really makes a difference in having an opportunity to really advise somebody, “Hey, here’s the best way for you to plan”. We find that a lot of attorneys don’t give really good legal advice when it comes to planning, especially for families that are blended. His and her kids have a lot of clients that have his, hers and ours. So you really have to plan carefully and will based planning doesn’t do that.

Kimberly Hegwood:

It doesn’t plan well for blended families. It’s not the best way to plan for minor children. It’s not the best way to plan for children with disabilities or adults with disabilities. It’s not the best way to plan for long term care when you don’t have long term care insurance. So having good documents in place and sitting down with somebody that can really walk you through the process and make sure that you get a very good education. Because, to me, I think education is most important. We have a ton of workshops on our website. They’re free to watch. You can watch as many as you want. But to me, education is the most important thing. And I learned that the hard way taking care of my grandparents, how important it was because their longtime attorney took care of them and all they had were wills.

Kimberly Hegwood:

And because George didn’t do anything else, they didn’t think they needed anything else. And that was back in the day, it’s been a while. But it’s really important to make sure that you find an attorney that truly cares about what happens to your family and gives you some good advice.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I think that people are under the misconception that a will takes care of it all. And I know, you know, the reality is that is a nice set of instructions, but that’s where it ends. And it really takes a long time to go through probate depending on the situation. Like for instance, my mother is married to her husband who is not my father. So that would be a blended family. His kids get his stuff, I get my mom’s stuff and they have everything set up in trusts. So the directions are there, all the legalities are taken care of pretty much. And when one of them passes away, we know exactly what’s supposed to happen. It’s all there and it’s all taken care of. Is that what you recommend?

Kimberly Hegwood:

Absolutely. So your parents got some, or your mom and stepdad got some really good advice because well based planning is the best way to disinherit children. And so you want to make sure that you do get that good advice, that somebody’s willing to walk you through the realities. And here in Texas, probate’s fairly easy. It’s gotten a lot more expensive this year, because the fees have gone up astronomical. But the reality is, is while probate is very easy here in Texas, the only thing that passes through probate these days is your real estate, oil and gas, mineral rights, everything else you have in life passes through beneficiary designation. So you want to make sure that your beneficiary designations are done correctly and once you give them to someone they’re theirs, you can’t get it back, you can’t change it to someone else.

Kimberly Hegwood:

And I’ve had even clients that had minor children, that named their minor children as beneficiaries or named the guardian, which is even worse, is the beneficiary on life insurance policies. You’re like they don’t have to raise your kids and they get to keep the money. And so you always want to make sure that you do all those things and part of what we do in my law practice, because we do do a lot of trust planning, is we help clients fund their trust. And that sets us apart from just about everybody out there. So we help clients with their beneficiary designations. We make sure they’re done correctly. We have them bring us back copies of them so we know they’re done correctly. Have a full time funding coordinator. That’s all she does is help clients make sure that their stuff is done well. Because it makes a huge difference in planning because most people don’t think about those beneficiary designated assets and how they affect your plan when not done correctly.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Sure. And things change over the years.

Kimberly Hegwood:

Oh, absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Marriage, and kids grow up and so lots of things change over the years. So it’s always good also to check in once in a while and make sure that things are still the same, that nothing has changed. And how old is everybody now, if they were minors then. What do you want to change today? There’s so many things that you could be doing to make it easier on the kids when you are faced with a devastating illness and you’re in a place where you can’t speak. Those powers of attorney, those things. They say everybody puts it off because it’s a hard conversation to have, but it’s so important. So let me ask you this. What is the best thing about serving aging adults and their families?

Kimberly Hegwood:

I tell everybody, I miss my grandparents, getting to hang out with somebody else’s grandparents is the best part of my day. You truly have to, for me, I love seniors. They’re so knowledgeable and we have just some of the nicest clients. And so they’re just good people. And it just seems to be, and I don’t know if it’s the generation for specifically, or I’m just blessed with having a bunch of great clients, which could be true too. It’s so good to be able to help them through the process because I had to learn through it with my grandparents. I had to learn on the job. And so, for me, it’s like, I don’t want someone else to have to go through all the heartache and hassle that I went through.

Kimberly Hegwood:

So it’s better if I can catch them early, get them on the right path. It lessens the issues with the children, because you put a plan in place and then I had to explain to a child I see a child but it’s a grown, man, “Look, this is the plan that your parents put together. And this is what you have to do to implement this plan. Now that you’ve got a parent that’s declining, you can do X, Y, and Z, but please don’t do this because that’s going to mess up the plan”. So really advising them to make sure that the plan that mom and dad put together will work when they need it, now that it’s coming into play of having what do we need to do? Being able to walk them through the process and making sure that everything gets done well, that the parents are getting taken care of the way they want to, because that’s important.

Kimberly Hegwood:

I’m a huge, huge fan of quality of life and having as much dignity as possible and being able to make your own decisions and good, bad or ugly, we want you to be able to make them. And so a lot of kids have problems with that. You walk them through the process of, “Hey, if your parents are competent, they’re grownups, they get to make those decisions, regardless they get to make those decisions”. And so for us, it’s just a matter of helping them through that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Sure. It’s funny how a whole lot of dysfunction starts rising to the top when a parent gets sick and, or passes away and having the directions in place and everything already done is so much easier on all the kids. The decisions are already made and that lessens the amount of insanity they have to all deal with when it’s over with. And maybe for you too.

Kimberly Hegwood:

Most definitely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Okay, so I’m going to switch gears just a little bit. There are lots of senior care providers out there, home care agencies, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, care managers. I’m sure you’ve dealt with all ranges of senior care providers. If you could talk to those senior care providers, what piece of advice would you give them? What would you like them to tell their clients?

Kimberly Hegwood:

I would want them to tell their clients to make sure that they see a very good elder law attorney, to make sure their documents are in place, to make sure that they have that plan because a lot of people are caught unprepared. Something happens, they end up in the hospital and they’re going from the hospital to the nursing home for rehabilitation, but they’re probably not going to leave after that. And when in a crisis there’s usually one option. In pre-planning, there’s lots of options and you want clients to have as many options as possible. And so the better you plan, the more options you have. And so, and I think that’s really important. And we try to get that out. Independent living, when people are at their best, “Hey guys, y’all need to really plan well so you have some good options, otherwise in a crisis it’s ugly, you get one option and it may not be the one you like, but it’s the one you’re stuck with”.

Kimberly Hegwood:

And I think people like having options. I think they want to be able to make good decisions. A lot of people are afraid of talking about death and dying. And I laugh and tell all my clients, “We discuss that stuff at the kitchen table”.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I understand that.

Kimberly Hegwood:

And it’s in my family, it’s just been the running joke for years of how we were all going to be taken care of when we’re old and where we’re going to be buried and all kind of fun stuff. So it doesn’t really bother me to talk about it. I’m less bothered about it because my faith is strong. And so which helps immensely, I think, in the overall scheme of things. But I think that, and I told this to a client one time, and I think it resonates. It’s such a truth. If you have somebody you love, you plan. If you don’t have anybody you love, or if you don’t like any of your family, do nothing. It’s the last knife you can stick in their back. Because it’s painful for those kids to come into my office going, “I can’t believe mom and dad didn’t plan, I can’t believe they left us this mess that we’re having to take care of”. So if you have somebody you love, you plan because it’s so much easier on them. And they will appreciate it immensely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

They will thank you. Yes, it is. And because most of the time, we’re in a moment of devastation and heartache and you’re having to make all these decisions that you weren’t prepared for because who’s ever prepared for that. So it’s a rough time when you have to pile on all the things that come up because no planning had been done. So I agree with you and we appreciate what you do. Last question I have for you, this is supposed to be a fun one. When you have a win in life or in business, a birthday or something fun’s going on, how do you like to celebrate?

Kimberly Hegwood:

Well, I’ve reached the age where I have gift days. And so we don’t have birthdays. We have gift days. And so, I think a celebration in my world has everything to do with the family. I’ve got awesome grandkids. I tell all my clients too that grandkids are a reward from not killing our children as teenagers. And if we could have them first, we’d had never had the children.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s right.

Kimberly Hegwood:

But the grandkids are so much fun. And so I spend a lot of time with them. I travel, hope to do more of it this year. I’m a very novice photographer, but I usually find that I have one picture that I take when I go on vacation and they’re now starting to appear on my wall in my office.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s awesome.

Kimberly Hegwood:

And then I have the clients that gave me a beautiful picture for Christmas and it’s hanging in the wall right before you go into my conference rooms. And so it’s just truly really having some fun. Spending time with family is probably what I enjoy more so than anything.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s great. And great answer. We’ve had answers all over the map. It’s hard for us as caregivers of others or as helpers of others to take that time. It sounds like you’ve got a good handle. And I like the gift days instead of birthdays. That sounds good to me too.

Kimberly Hegwood:

My mother is up to about a gift week now, so she expects to be spoiled a little bit longer than just one day. So it’s a lot of fun.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. Well, thank you so much for doing this, for being on the show. We’ll make sure all of your contact information is with this video and we appreciate it. So thank you very much.

Kimberly Hegwood:

Thank you very much. It’s nice talking to you, Valerie.

 

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN

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