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Four Pillars Law Firm, PLLC



Please enjoy these four “columns

brought to you by Four Pillars Law Firm



Firm & News Events

  Four Pillars Catches Wilmywood Fever 


Last week, Four Pillars Law Firm became a film studio for a day.  We worked with a professional film crew to create a series of new videos for our website.   It was truly a day of lights, cameras, and action.  


The morning started with makeup and hair for everyone, including Barrister!  After the crew set up  lights and microphones and rearranged some furniture to capture the best angles, we took our places.  We were interviewed by a behind-the-scenes moderator while a camera crew captured it all on tape.  A few "friends of Four Pillars" made discreet cameo appearances, agreeing to have their hands, arms, shoulders, and backs immortalized on film. 


Although there were no stunt doubles, no A-list celebrities (Robert Downey Jr.--where were you?), and no catering trucks to be had, the atmosphere in the office had the buzz of a movie set.  Still, business continued 'as usual' with Matt even fielding a phone consultation with a prospective client while Kelly talked to the cameras.


After nearly six hours of shooting, the video team declared it a wrap!  It will take a few weeks to edit the footage and finalize the videos, but stay tuned.  We'll be sharing them with you in the New Year....


The Future of VA Benefits

VA Pulls the Cord on UMEs in Senior or Independent Living Facilities


The Department of Veteran's Affairs recently "pulled the cord" on counting room and board in Senior or Independent Living Facilities as unreimbursed medical expenses (UMEs) that may be deducted from income for pension purposes:


Current VA regulations require the deduction of UMEs from income for purposes of the pension program.  In the past, UMEs for room and board at a senior or independent living facility (i.e. residence in a protected environment with emergency pull cords, 24-hour staffing, and locked exterior doors)  were deductible. 


Now, in order to claim room and board as an unreimbursed medical expense, a claimant must receieve assistance with two or more Activities of Daily Living, such as bathing, showering, and dressing, at the facility where he or she resides.



Click here to learn more.


Legal Tip

 Just Because You're Single, That Doesn't Mean You Don't Need an Estate Plan!


Many people believe that if they are single, they don't need a will and other estate planning documents. However, estate planning is just as important for single people as it is for couples and families.  Perhaps more so:


If you do not have a will directing who will inherit your assets, your estate will be distributed according to state law. If you are single, most states provide that your estate will go to your children or to other living relatives if you don't have children. If you have absolutely no living relatives, then your estate will go to the state. You may not want to leave your entire estate to relatives -- you may have close friends or charities that you feel should get something. Without a will, you have no way of directing where your property goes.


Likewise, it is important to have a durable power of attorney (for financial decisions) and a healthcare power of attorney (for medical decisions) to allow the people you choose to step in and represent you should you ever become incapacitated.  


Click here to learn more.




Founding Father's Funny Math:


Lawyer jokes have been around so long even our founding fathers couldn't resist taking a crack at the profession.  This quote is attributed to John Adams, statesman, diplomat, leader of the American Revolution and, of course, the 2nd President of the United States:


"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, two men are called a law firm, and three or more become a Congress."




If you think you have a good lawyer joke, please share it with us and we may publish it in our next newsletter.  We invite you to submit jokes, cartoons, questions, and comments to:






FOUR-WORD Firm & News Events

FOUR-CAST The Future of VA Benefits










Presidential Pooches


This month has been historic for me; it marked my first presidential election.  Kelly was in D.C. during election week to attend an Advanced Elder Law Review conference.  I was left at home to gnaw on my tail while feverishly awaiting the election results.


I followed the campaign trail with great interest--after all, two of my favorite topics were hot issues this year: big birds and dogs!


Of course, this wasn't the first year that dogs have been a part of the political scene...


Political pooches have been around since the days when George Washington was President!  In recent years, First Dogs of the United States have included Checkers, Rex, Millie and our current representative, Bo. 


Being a West Highland White Terrier, I was most pleased to learn about Fala, a fellow Scottish terrier and faithful companion to Franklin D. Roosevelt.


In 1944, Roosevelt accidentally left Fala behind while visting the Aleutian Islands. After allegedly sending back ships to rescue his dog, Roosevelt was ridiculed and accused of spending thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to retrieve Fala.


Roosevelt said, "You can criticize me, my wife and my family, but you can't criticize my little dog. He's Scotch and all these allegations about spending all this money have just made his little soul furious!" 


Some humans say Roosevelt was elected to a fourth term as a result of that little speech.  We dogs are sure of it.  That said, I plan on leaving the politicking to other pups; I'm completely bipartisan, willing to accept treats, compliments and carresses from anyone no matter their political affiliation! 


Thanksgiving is the perfect time to express our sincere appreciation for your confidence, loyalty and friendship.


We are deeply thankful and extend to you our best wishes for a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving Day!


Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.  ~Edward Sandford Martin


Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.  They are consumed in twelve minutes.  Half-times take twelve minutes.  This is not coincidence. ~Erma Bombeck


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie


We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have ~Frederick Keonig


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As always, feel free to contact us at 910-762-1577 with any feedback or questions you may have regarding estate planning or long term care planning needs.

Four Pillars Law Firm, PLLC • 2202 Wrightsville Avenue, Suite 213 • Wilmington, NC 28403
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