This week on The Outlaw Lawyer, Josh and Joe are joined in studio by attorneys Cassandra Nicholas and Ashley Penner to discuss the law and how it affects everything around us. And as always here at The Outlaw Lawyer, our attorneys tackle all the urgent burning legal questions such as what is a fiduciary? Are you an executor, administrator, or personal representative? What does a trustee do? What's the difference between a power of attorney, an attorney in fact, and an agent?
And finally, where did Duke football rank in the pre-season football polls? It's all urgent. It's all coming up next. And now, Outlaw Lawyer. Welcome in to The Outlaw Lawyer. I tell you folks, we talk legalese each and every week. The Outlaw Lawyers are Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, and Gastonia.
They are practicing attorneys here in the great state of North Carolina. Also on the program with us today, Cassandra Nicholas becoming a regular attorney at Whitaker and Hamer. Also, Ashley Penner get a first-time appearance on the program.
She'll join us a little bit later, but we are getting into so many different topics. And we're going to start with the big fat softball right over the middle of the plate, and that's Duke football. Josh, take it away. Joseph, I don't usually pay attention to the pre-season football polls. This year, I have been. As a state fan, this is an exciting time to pay attention to that kind of thing.
I know Cassandra, I don't think has paid quite as much attention to the pre-season. I'm not up on it. I don't know. What's the word with Duke football this year? You are Duke.
Yeah. What's the word with Duke football? Look, man, you know what the you know the word, because what our listeners don't know is that you said you wanted to mention this specifically to take a dig at me, man. And here's the thing, Josh, I think you should be careful, man.
I think you should be careful. We know, you know, I don't dislike state. Maybe you dislike Duke. Maybe even dislike Duke football. How?
I don't know how that's possible. But we we've seen we've seen these things with NC State, these high goals, these these lofty expectations. And you as an NC State fan, Josh, and pretty much any sport, you understand the things that can happen to that organization. And I don't want that, man.
I'm not like you. I don't wish bad. I like state. I do. I really do, man.
I hope they do very well. But I just want to urge caution out of you and answer your question. What is that supposed to mean? I do. You know, you know me very well.
I just want to have some fun with you. But yes, NC State, you you'll never find an NC State fan, a confident NC State fan. We're we're all worried about the first game with ECU. ECU, I'm sure, is going to be ready to go at their home stadium. But anyway, I just want to ask you that I didn't I hadn't heard you talk about it and you don't you're not a big you're a Duke fan, but you're not now like Morgan being a UNC fan.
You're not a hey, watch out. UNC fans will sometimes are very aggressive on their where they're at in the standings and things like that. Well, it's hard to be aggressive about Duke football, man. And I am a true Duke fan. You know, you have some Duke fans who just they like Duke's basketball team and they pick a different football team because that's just that's it. It was a long period of time where it was very difficult to be a Duke football fan. But, you know, I've always stuck it out, man. I've always tried to be as loyal as you can.
I've gone to a lot of terrible games and sat burning in the hot sun, watching them get destroyed. And there is hope for optimism. I have kept up heavily with the new developments and we could talk a lot about it, honestly, if you want to. But there's a lot of uncertainty, man. How do you know you have a new coach?
How do you know? I just know that there's optimism and it's cautious optimism. I think picking Duke dead last in the ACC makes perfect sense.
Anyone who did that. I mean, what else can you do? Because it's kind of a wait and see approach. Right. But I think there's better days on the horizon for Duke's football team. Do we still have a conference? I mean, is the ACC still around?
I mean, what's going on with that? I think for the time for the for the time being, they're still around. Yeah, maybe we make it through this season. Maybe we get at least one more ACC season in us. That would be the state thing, man.
States like killing it. Oh, yeah. Just disbands during the year or disqualifying the ACC from any participation. Oh, yeah. That would be exactly how it happened.
Exactly how it happened. And then joins the SEC and becomes the Duke of the SEC. That's a really fantastic school that I don't know.
I don't know. I take a shot at Duke. I mean, they're going to be if the ACC breaks up, that is a coveted property. They're going to basketball the entire institution. So Duke Duke's going to, you know, they'll they'll fare well. And NC State will, too. Their basketball program will fare well because it's a it's a entity unto itself. But it's it's I don't know, it's TBD about other sports. I hope the conference can manage. I hope the conference can stay around. But I tell you, it's it's a little worrisome.
Man, you want to talk about depressing, Josh. You talk about how the ACC tournament, you know, used to be this big thing everybody would watch. You know, during school, they'd roll the TVs in like just the thought of there being no conference period.
What a depressing thought. You know, there's been a lot of especially with state basketball haven't haven't been down here. There's been some that I can't remember if I watched it like I don't even remember if I watched it last year. And I think you said you didn't. Yeah. And, you know, 18 year old me, 21 year old me, like if I couldn't have taken off work to watch like every game out of quit, you know, just I was just that committed.
And now I don't even like really know when it's happening anymore. But, well, Joe, I was going to I was going to I saw a story that made me think about something that we're doing at the firm. So at the firm at the law firm of Whitaker and Hamer, we have attorneys that practice in several different areas. There's a lot of us these days, but the firm as a whole does a lot of real estate transactional. So we help a lot of people as their closing attorney when they purchase a home, office building, refinance, you know, a real estate closing transaction.
We do quite a bit of those. And Joe, you've been heading this up for us. But we've been working with a company that helps companies like us develop what would you call artificial intelligent assistant.
Right. So we've come up with we kind of stole the name, but we've come up with that's a completely original. We've come up with a legal assistant, an A.I.
legal assistant named Jarvis. And so we've been putting a lot of work into that, Joe. And that's that's been a fun process.
Yeah, it's been a fun process, man. Our our A.I. assistant is not quite sentient yet. Yeah, I'd love for it to be. That'd be fantastic. If it could just. So we're talking like Star Wars.
We're talking about where it starts. Star Trek. I don't know that we're Star Wars level yet. We're it's great, though, man. It's there's a lot of great technology out there. We've worked with a company that specializes in it. And it's really amazing what it can do, just the way that it can be conversational and the things that it can pull and the way that it can adapt to a conversation. It's really kind of mind blowing to think, you know, this is it's not rudimentary. I mean, it's it's sophisticated. But this is nothing compared to what is probably at the top, top level of the the A.I. you know, developments today. Well, maybe scary implications, man.
It has. So we've been playing with Jarvis. So we've been playing with Jarvis and we've been watching how it communicates with people. It communicates with real estate agents and buyers and sellers, and it can fetch documents for us.
It can answer some questions. But when the story came up, there was a big story in Google. Google's developing some A.I. and an employee thought that the artificial intelligence chatbot or whatever there does got sentient. Right. He was afraid it was terminating.
Like, I don't know what the word would be, Cassandra, when something like this happens. Yeah. So he he went I guess that is what sentient means. But he went further than just saying the word sentient. He said that Google's A.I.
has a soul. Oh, yeah. Google didn't like that very much. The implications were a little bit too far for them to.
I don't know, man. I think that's great. If they've developed something that has a soul, that's an accomplishment, man.
They should pat themselves on the back. I saw that story. We've been so we've been working for six months on developing Jarvis so that he can he can assist in this type of thing. And, you know, I saw that story and I started looking at other stories. And there was an older story about Facebook, an artificial intelligence chatbot that Facebook was working on. And it developed its own language, you know, between the chatbots.
They were talking to each other and developed their own language. And Facebook shut that down. I feel like I feel like we should have learned something from the Terminator movies and stuff. And hopefully Jarvis doesn't evolve to the point where we got like a sci fi thing going. I don't think our clients need to be afraid of Jarvis yet.
I am on the other side of that right now, purchasing a property. So it's been interesting for me as a buyer to be getting texted by Jarvis. Jarvis is smart. Have you been Jarvis is a great robot. I have never hurt anyone. I haven't been like socially chatting with Jarvis.
Just mostly receiving information. You've kept it professional in your relationship. That's good. That's good.
All right. We're joined by Ashley Penner in the studio. Ashley was a little tardy this morning, even though she left her house way, way early to be here today. Ashley, I'm glad you could make it. Yeah.
Yeah. Anyone who knows me knows I'm usually running behind. And so I gave it the good college try to get here on time. Got rear ended, minor fender bender on the way, but nothing was going to stop me from being here to talk about fiduciaries. And that is what we're going to talk about today. Today's whole show is kind of, you know, we like to do these listener question shows where we answer questions that we get a lot.
And sometimes they're situational, like, hey, I got rear ended. What do I do next? Or, you know, I got this letter from the HOA.
What do I do next? And this one's not so much these questions are not going to be so much situational, but to kind of define some terms that we we use a lot. And they're all types of fiduciary relationships. So here at the outset, I guess the first thing to tell everybody is, well, what is a fiduciary? What's a fiduciary relationship?
Yeah. So a fiduciary, I like to really put it in layman's terms is just someone that you have appointed in a document, typically that we're preparing to handle something on your behalf, someone that you trust, someone who is is going to be a good person to put in this position of authority. So we have different types of fiduciaries, and I'm sure we're going to we're going to go into delve into those. But generally speaking, yes, someone that you know, you trust or is a corporate fiduciary, someone who is performing this as part of their job.
So, again, is in a trustworthy position. So the fiduciary relationships that we're going to tackle today, again, just defining what some things are. A lot of these come up during like estate planning conversations.
And we've we've talked about them here or there on the show over, over, over time. But so the first question that we'll tackle is, am I an executor or an administrator? And then the add on question there is what is a personal representative? And so this how this will have to do with a state administration.
Those are they're doing kind of the same thing, but there are there's some differences there. And so that's a fiduciary relationship that we'll talk about. Our second question is, is what is a trustee and what do they do? And so, you know, there's a couple of legal areas where a trustee comes into play and we'll kind of discuss that and what goes into being one of those. And then the last question is, am I a power of attorney, an attorney, in fact, or an agent?
And so there's been some North Carolina there's been some changes in the law that affect the document, a power of attorney document. And so we're going to spend some time talking about that because we we have folks who get confused or maybe don't use those terms every day. And so I thought that would be a good way to get us talking a lot about estate planning and estate administration, kind of two sides of the same coin. So we'll we'll spend a lot of time today talking about that. Morgan, the outlaw liars, Josh Whittaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whittaker and Hamer Law Firm. Our special guest in studio today, Cassandra Nicholas, who's becoming a regular, by the way, and also Ashley Penner, her first time on the program.
So gentlemen, be nice to Ashley today. I want to know more about Jarvis when we get through this program. If you ask Jarvis, if they're a fan of an ACC program, where's the power in the firm?
Is it going to be an NC State answer or is it going to be a Duke answer? Joe, why don't you ask Jarvis that and see what it says? During the break I'll ask Jarvis that and I'll report back. And we've got listener questions coming up on the program. If you've got a legal situation that you're facing and you've got questions, you can always call the firm 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.
And leave your contact information briefly what that call is about. An attorney with Whittaker and Hamer will be in touch. You can also email your questions to the program and we'll answer those questions on future shows. Questions at theoutlawlawyer.com.
We've got question and answer coming up on the other side. Welcome back in to the Outlaw Lawyers. Josh Whittaker and Joe Hamer, your hosts at the managing partners at Whittaker and Hamer Law Firm. We have special guests Cassandra Nicholas and Ashley Penner, also attorneys at Whittaker and Hamer.
I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. Whittaker and Hamer, they're everywhere. Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina and Gastonia. And I see in my notes Morehead City office. Guys, is that happening?
Yeah, yeah. That's our next office. We're going to be heading down to Morehead City. We've been trying to get down east for a while and found a good opportunity. So that we'll be talking a little bit about that here later in the show and more as we go along. But we're really excited to get down to Morehead City.
I have a feeling that future broadcasts, especially in the summer. Where are you? We're in the Morehead City office. The whole firm will be there. Why do you ask? There's room.
All right. Well, we are getting into listener questions. If you've got a situation you're facing and you just need some answers, you can always call the firm, 800-659-1186.
That's 800-659-1186 and leave your contact info briefly what the call is about. An attorney with Whittaker and Hamer will be in touch and you can email your questions to the show. We'll answer them on future broadcast questions at theoutlawlawyer.com. So listener question number one.
All right. So this is our show focused on defining the fiduciary relationships that you find in law. The ones that we come across when we're talking to a lot of our clients. And so our first listener question today is, Am I an executor or an administrator or a personal representative?
And so that's what we're going to start with today and we're lucky because Cassandra Nicklaus is here with us. And she works a lot in the firm on a state, what I would call a state administration, a state probate. But basically, you know, a client has passed away and we're executing their estate plan. And then we also have Ashley Penner with us, an attorney over at Whittaker and Hamer. And she does a lot of estate planning at the firm. So she's the one who kind of puts the estate plan into place. The inevitable happens as much as we regret it and our client passes away. And then Cassandra will often work with the heirs to kind of make sure that the estate plan gets executed. So it's good that we have them here today to talk about this. And I think, Ashley, I think the way to start this is to start it like we were estate planning and we're having to talk to our client about these fiduciary relationships.
Yeah. So when I'm working with folks on a planning side, we're only really ever discussing an executor. Executor is a personal representative, just like an administrator is, kind of the overarching term. But if you're an executor, you've been appointed by the will. The person who created the will has chosen you or you and someone else as a co-executor to be the person to carry out their final wishes, make sure their estate is settled appropriately. If you're an administrator, then someone didn't do as much planning, but there are still rules in place that say where your assets go upon your death. And so that administrator is someone who has applied and been appointed to administer your estate as it is under the law.
Right. So if I go in and sit down with Ashley, one of the questions that she's going to ask me is, OK, we're talking about your will. Who do you want to serve as your executor? Who do you want to be the one that's going to make sure your estate plan is put into place and they have a fiduciary relationship with you to make sure that this happens? And so a lot of people name their spouse, you know, their surviving spouse, sometimes children jump into this role. Sometimes it's a financial professional that will act as executor. Sometimes it's an attorney. But basically, whoever the client who's preparing the will can choose anybody who will do it. I mean, you can't choose anybody. I can't choose, I'm trying to think of somebody famous, Bo Jackson.
I can make Bo Jackson my executor, but I don't think Bo Jackson is interested in being my executor. That's right. You can certainly name anyone that you want to that's living and over the age of 18 and of course has the requisite competency, but they have to accept that position as well. So I get folks that a lot of times, yes, typically spouses name each other. And then if they've got adult children who are responsible, they'll look at naming those adult children. And sometimes, you know, folks are real concerned about making sure we go in birth order. You know, the eldest is always assumed to be the one that should be chosen first. But, you know, you want to go with someone who is, of course, trustworthy, someone who has, you know, got good attention to detail, right?
If my oldest is the one who checks the mail and throws it in the back seat of the car for six months, that's probably not going to be the one I want to choose. And then another factor that a lot of folks will consider is geographic location of the individual that they're appointing. As a standard practice, when we create wills, we ask the clerk not to require any kind of bond or surety of that executor, but the clerk does have that discretion. When you appoint someone in state, we don't have to worry about that. If you're pointing someone out of state, they may need to have, you know, an agent in state to be able to accept on their behalf any correspondence from the clerk. And I will say, doing a state administration, the clerks generally are requiring bond right now for any executors or personal representatives out of state, even if a will said that they don't need to be bonded.
And for anyone who's unaware, bond is essentially insurance. You literally buy it from an insurance agent that covers you in case you totally mess up your fiduciary duty to the estate and take all the money or somehow lose all the money. That'll cover the other heirs for that loss. Yeah, so an executor has got some, there's some oversight there, right? The executor is going to serve, but the clerk, the county clerk, whatever, wherever you pass away, let's say I die, I pass away in Wake County. It's going to be the Wake County estate clerk who is going to watch my executor and the executor has to report back.
You have to get these estates closed out and approved. Clerks aren't often going to do that if things didn't get divided up the way the will says. So there's a fiduciary relationship there, a special relationship where the executor has to act in your best interest. And there's someone, there's someone that's going to be watching the executor to make sure that everything gets done. So we've got to define what executor, what an executor is. And like Ashley says, she's usually working with people to create an estate plan, so she doesn't really usually deal with administrators very much.
But Cassandra, you kind of get, get that from, from time to time. And so what's an administrator? So as Ashley mentioned, the personal representative is the umbrella term for all of these folks that are representing and carrying out an estate after someone passes. So executor is someone named in a will. Administrator is if there was not a will, the person died.
Intest it. There is one more position as well, a collector. That's also when generally when there's not a will, there can be a will, but it's when there's a small estate up to $20,000. So there's not much to do and they can have a collector. So all of these, even if you are named in someone's will as the executor, you aren't the executor until the clerk appoints you the executor. So you have to apply to do that. You can be named as the executor and not want to do it.
You can renounce that position and never have to serve as executor. Ashley, do you, you typically name a secondary, like a backup? I always try to encourage my clients to just think about who in their circle, whether it's family, close friends that they've known for a long time or associates, business colleagues, whatever, anyone that they would trust to put in that list of succession.
I will, I tell folks, I'll name as many people as you want to put because, hey, you just never know. And if you lose your first one, you've got a backup there. If you lose two, you've got, you know, maybe not to death, but to incompetency, lack of capacity.
Especially if folks are naming someone who is of their generation or an older generation. We want to try to have a backup plan there for the just in cases. Yeah. And I have run into that with estates where the executor and the backup executor, for whatever reason, are unable to serve. And then another person can step in and they're an executor CTA.
And I don't remember what CTA stands for. I think it's a Latin phrase. So there are a lot of options in this realm, but essentially all of them need to apply to the clerk to be appointed into that position and sign an oath stating that they're going to carry out that fiduciary duty that we've been talking about. So they're going to do what's necessary, following the statutes, making sure that whether there's a will or not, either the will is being followed or the intestacy statutes. That's a hard word. Intestacy.
That's right. Making sure that those are being followed, making sure that what's happening with the estate is what's supposed to happen. The right people get the right personal property. The bank accounts get split between the right people.
And those are laid out very specifically whether or not a grandkid gets to inherit anything if their parent has already passed and now their grandparent passed. So we work through all of those little details to make sure that a personal representative is not going to get hauled into court by the clerk. Never where you want to be. Joseph, did Jarvis have a favorite ACC team? Jarvis, we got to work on Jarvis. Jarvis isn't designed to answer those types of questions and he'll let you know it real quick, man. Jarvis has got a snappy little attitude that he'll throw at you. Is Jarvis going to end up being a UNC fan? No, definitely not. Jarvis, we'll kill Jarvis.
That was not a plug for UNC, by the way. I'll burn this office to the ground and all the servers that Jarvis lives on before I allow it. Not my baby. What did Jarvis say? What did he say? He said, I don't understand your question. I will forward it to a member of your closing team.
Plot twist. He's focused on work. He's a member of the closing team. So I have de facto answered Duke and I'm going with that to Jarvis' favorite team. I think we need to think of another silly question to ask Jarvis and see if we can get a good reaction out of him.
But we'll work on that next segment. Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, they are managing partners. Whitaker and Hamer law firm offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and now coming to Moorhead City. Again, practicing attorneys here in the great state of North Carolina and guests in our studio. Also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer, Cassandra Nicholas and Ashley Pinner.
We have more questions coming up on the other side. The Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, practicing attorneys here in the great state of North Carolina. Also in studio with us today, Cassandra Nicholas and Ashley Pinner, also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer.
Conveniently located offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and coming to Moorhead City. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. We talk legalese each and every week here on the Outlaw Lawyer. And we give you an opportunity if you've got a legal question you're facing, get in touch with the firm. Call 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.
Leave your contact information briefly what the call is about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. You can always email your questions to the show. That's questions at theoutlawlawyer.com. And please check out the website. It's cool. Theoutlawlawyer.com. Josh?
All right. So we're up to our listener question number two on our show dedicated to defining and answering questions about different fiduciaries that our clients encounter in kind of daily life. And so listener question number two is, what is a trustee and what do they do? Ashley, what is a trustee? So trustee is another fiduciary role. Someone who, again, that you trust, that you're putting in a position where they are going to be managing assets and distributing them to named beneficiaries. So you might create a living trust and appoint that trustee to carry out your wishes after your death.
You might create a will that contains language in it to create a trust after your death and that would appoint the trustee. So can come about in different ways and different documents. But again, always, always someone that you trust and fairly good with accounting details, right? Not just trustworthy, but also good record keepers, generally speaking. Yeah. You don't want to appoint your buddy that bounces a lot of checks or anything like that.
Yeah. I mean, might be a great guy and, you know, certainly someone that you want to keep in your circle, but not that you want to put in a fiduciary role. Sounds like you want to appoint a nerd, if you know that. So usually my clients, if they've got anyone with some kind of accounting background, you know, oh, I've, you know, my brother in law is a CPA. I'm going to put him in that position. And then, of course, you might have corporate trustees, someone who, again, performs this as a duty of their job and might be a financial planner or advisor or their firm, typically. And that's certainly a special circumstance you would want to know a lot about.
Yeah. A lot of times in the estate planning process, when we talk to someone about a trustee, you're trying to figure out who's going to manage your assets for, a lot of times it's your underage children. A lot of times you're thinking about if something happens to you and your spouse at the same time, an unfortunate accident.
You don't make it all the way to your, you know, the whatever. What's the average? When do people die? Averagely 74, 77 in the US, but it's very flexible by state.
There was a report that came out this week. Oh, yeah. I, uh, so you're not, you're not making it into your seventies, you know, the, you're appointing someone to take your assets and manage them for the benefit of your children. And so a lot of times you can create a trust. That's very, I said, I want some clients yesterday and we talked about, uh, some things they wanted to do for their kids. If, if something happens to them early on, like they want the trustee to make sure, of course, they go to any kind of school after high school that they they're getting their books paid for, they're getting their tuition.
They got a place to live. Um, you know, uh, the trustee has the power to, a lot of times the trustee will have the power to just, you know, your assets may be producing interest. And so that interest can go to the children, but they may also have the power to go into the corpus. So whatever you've got invested, if the kid needs something, needs a car, um, and then we, we, I think we talked about getting the kids some, some gifts along the way, right?
You know, if you get, when you get to 30, I want you to have this. And if you get, uh, you know, your first kid, I want you to have this, I want a down payment for the house. And so you can really structure these things depending on what your assets are. I hope I die with $0, but if you die with a, with a lot of assets, you know, the, the trustee is the one who's going to fill this role for you. So you might, you might also be, uh, if you're talking to Ashley, you might also be talking about maybe who would be guardian of, of your children, who you'd want to take care of them if something happens to you. But the trustee is a little bit different. That's the one who's going to be managing the money, keeping the records.
Often they have to file some reports. They owe a fiduciary duty, not only to you, uh, but to the beneficiary. So the children would be beneficiaries of the trust. And so there's a, I think there's multiple fiduciary relationships in that role, but, uh, Cassandra, you see where people have to step into this role once our client has passed away. Yeah, I do have, um, even right now there's one estate that I'm dealing with that Ashley wrote the will for and a minor inherited a, some personal property and a trust was created within the will. So there's a trustee just holding onto this personal property for the minor until they're of age, until they're 21. So that's a, a lesser fiduciary duty, but they need to hold onto that property and not lose it. So that is someone you want to trust, not, not to lose that. Yeah.
And a good rule follower. Um, you know, I think of the trust as kind of an instruction manual that's been left behind by, by our decedent who the person who has passed away. And now we're left with instructions as to how to manage and disperse, distribute these assets. So someone, you know, you want to typically give your trustee some discretion in case we've not thought of every possible use of those funds. And that's where, again, the trust is important, but also we've got to feel good about this person that they're going to follow our instructions. Um, sometimes folks are, you know, worried that they might appoint, you know, grandma or aunt who's going to be a little too loosey goosey with the funds and, and give it all away too soon. Uh, and I, and to those folks, I say, maybe we need to consider someone else or we've got to really tighten up our, our rules, our guidelines for distribution.
Yeah. You really have to figure out how, uh, how sophisticated your trustee needs to be. And then sometimes a family member is a good fit and maybe has some, some experience and, uh, that you trust in it. But if you're, if you die and you're, you're got $10 million in assets that need to be managed, you know, maybe a family member is not the best person. And so a professional trustee would be an attorney, a CPA, uh, you know, your financial advisor, all those people can serve in that role. Of course, you've got to get their permission, right?
They've got to accept that duty. And I'm sure there's usually fees for, for that, right? You know, if you're, if your aunt or your cousin does it, they might not charge any fees to the, to the trust. But if again, you got like 10 million, it needs to be invested. There's real property that needs to be managed.
You may need a professional and it may be worth, worth your money. Absolutely. And I mean, then in the planning stages, you want to have met with that professional as well. If you, if it does look like, uh, when you pass, you're going to be in that wealth bracket. You want to know what the fees for that service are going to be. Um, I am not a financial planner or advisor, so I always defer and refer my clients out. But you know, you want to get the general sense of what needs to be in this trust so that the fees are not eating away at the corpus, uh, such that, you know, we're losing funds that could go to that beneficiary. And so that, that would be an institutional trustee. We got a lot of times we'll call those institutional trustees, the, you know, the, the, the banks of the world and, and the investment advisors of the world.
Um, cause your, your, your cousin you grew up with might not be the one to manage your $10 million portfolio after you're, after you're gone. So definitely a role that requires some extra trust and that, and that's why it's a fiduciary, uh, relationship. So that is, that is a trustee and that is what they do. You'll see the trustee, uh, occupation come up in other areas of law. It comes up in real estate. There's a trustee on your deed of trust, your mortgage document that's, uh, you know, so you'll, you'll see that here or there, but in the estate planning, estate administration world, that's kinda, that's kinda what it means. The Outlaw lawyers. We have Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm. They host each and every week.
It is legalese. We talk the topics. We're doing questions from our listeners today. We have special guests in studio, Cassandra Nicholas, who is becoming a regular. We may have to start paying her. Ashley Penner also joining us first time on the program. Ashley's doing a great job. Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate offices located for Whitaker and Hamer, and they're everywhere.
Folks, Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and coming soon to Morehead city. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, you've got questions. I've got a way that you can get an answer. Call this number 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. Leave your contact information briefly what that call is about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch.
And you can always email your questions to the program. We'll answer them on future shows. Questions at the outlawlawyer.com. Again, check out the website, the outlawlawyer.com.
We're back on the other side. Welcome back into the Outlaw Lawyers hosted by Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners Whitaker and Hamer law firm. Again, offices Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and soon to be Morehead city. They are practicing attorneys here in the great state of North Carolina and visiting with us today. Also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer and in studio, Cassandra Nicholas and Ashley Penner.
We're doing question and answer, but we've got some sidebar coming up. Cassandra, what's this documentary you're just telling me about? Untold, the story of Manti Teo. So he was a football player at Notre Dame. I don't remember Manti Teo.
I don't understand, Josh. I remember he was like a middle linebacker, right? He was a linebacker. Yeah, he was very, he's, uh, he was very popular. He was very prominent.
He, uh, he was, uh, he almost won a Heisman as a middle linebacker, which is, you know, exceedingly crazy. He probably didn't win due to his personal drama. Well, no, he was there because of his personal drama. So his personal drama hadn't unfolded by then. So part of the, he, he dedicated his senior season, his, his grandmother and his girlfriend died on the same day and he like got in the media and he talked about how, like he was dedicating a season to them. And, uh, so it was a huge national story before every day, every game. And just for our listeners, catfishing, let's go over that.
Cause that is, I mean, it's a show on MTV, but people assume identities and fake it. And apparently he was caught up in that. It was like the, this was like the original catfish where, yes.
So he basically... The early days of Facebook where strangers would just friend you and you'd talk to them. And people were more trusting, man. You didn't really, no one, for whatever reason, people hadn't really thought of this idea of hoodwinking people into thinking you're someone else and, um, turn into this big, long relationship. Anyways, I guess it got to the point where this, the guy who's catfishing them, which there's speculation there was multiple people.
Like this is really like a deep, intricate, interesting story. But, uh, I guess he painted himself into a corner to where, you know, he was going to have to meet at some point and he ultimately faked his, faked his death. But beyond that, man, he didn't just fake his death.
He kept impersonating other people. And he was like, yeah, the girl, her name was, uh, what was it? Lea? I can't remember her exact name.
Yeah. So Lea, that's what it was. He was like, Lea's, you know, she's in the hospital and he was getting on the phone for weeks, for weeks, having, uh, Manti talk to Lea and just breathing as her, like pretending like he was breathing on life support into the phone while the guy talked to him. And he would like change the cadence of his breathing.
It's nuts, man. And actually met the catfisher in person. There's a little clip of the two of them meeting, but Manti believes that the person he's meeting is Lea's cousin. Um, so they hug and whatever. And that was the person he was in a relationship with for years and had no idea. He ran a whole, the guy created entire family.
So he created family members. What's the go here? What's the go here? What was the go here?
He's going to be there. He was doing, he was apparently the guys, the, the, the, the individual who is, who now identifies as a, a trans woman had some issues and, and basically explains it. One thing I don't like about the documentary personally is, uh, they really paint this person that, that perpetrated this hoax and kind of a sympathetic light. And, uh, I got issues with that man, because the way, like the merciless way that this was, that he went about this and, um, the impact that it had on, on Manti is just, it cannot be overstated. Like when that came out, like that was everything and it came out and that just basically derailed everything for him.
Uh, completely tarnished his reputation. I mean, it was a major, major issue. And I remember at the time there was a lot of speculation from people because he was so vocally, he was vocal about this happening. So there was a lot of speculation that he was in on it. And, and honestly, that, that was what I thought until I saw the documentary. And you can look at it and you still, I mean, he was naive for sure.
But like, when you realize that this person went to, it's crazy. Which he admits to, I would be way too embarrassed to be in the documentary. I don't know how, Manti was in it and the cat Fisher were in it. They were both interviewed extensively. Manti's family was interviewed. Manti's family actually talked to, uh, the characters created by the cat Fisher on the phone too. So they had a little girl, he got his little sister to pretend like he was the niece and had the little child sister saying, talking about the girl, but here's the twist, Josh.
So he's on life support, right? Breathing into the phone for weeks, just breathing into the phone and finally fakes the death, right? Well, some time goes by and he, and this guy obviously has issues and can't let it go and like starts calling and saying that he's the sister. He's like, I'm so-and-so's sister. And then randomly during a conversation, he's like, Manti, it's me and starts doing the girl's voice. I had to fake my death to get away from some people.
And, but, but now I'm safe and I can tell you that I'm alive. And he's been on national media saying that his grandma and girlfriend died on the same day. And now this person- He told everyone she was dead. And then he finds that out like right before the Heisman ceremony. So he gets up there at the Heisman ceremony and they're asking him all these questions about it. And he was like, I knew that she was alive, but I didn't like, I don't know what to do.
So like, he just kind of goes with it. It's just nuts. Yeah, this is in honor of my dead girlfriend who I just talked to five minutes ago. Did anybody go to jail for any of this stuff? Does this is like- Did anyone get committed for any of this then?
No, I mean, the person who perpetrated the hoax is alive and well doing just fine. It blows your mind because they start off the documentary and this is a young man that's, that's doing this. And then like out of nowhere, they cut and they show the person coming on screen and like I said, transition into a trans woman looks completely different. It just it's like the it's like the most mind blowing immediate shock transition.
And they even say they gave a disclaimer. They were like everyone that filmed this, that that discusses this person had no idea that this person had transitioned. So they refer to it's just nuts, man. The layers of it. It's very intriguing, man. I know you don't watch things, Josh, but I'm never going to watch it.
This is the most I'm ever going to know about it right now. Well, he was drafted into the NFL back in, what, 2013. And I think he played through last season.
I'm not sure if he is going to be on a roster this season, but you watch I only watch the early portion of the documentary. His family has a huge legacy at Southern Cal, and it was pretty apparent that he was going to go there. He ends up at Notre Dame from a sign.
And it was, you know, you go from, you know, that tropical climate to Notre Dame. And he was just kind of lost. And all of a sudden it was like he was the perfect target for something like this, but not seeing someone and dating them for that long and not having questions. And and I mean, it's just and then, you know, it gets out into the media and it's almost like he's got to keep it going, too.
I mean, it's crazy. You should you should know if you ever tell me about something or say, Josh, you should check out this movie or Josh, you should check out. I'm not watching it. I'll never say it. Josh, what you don't know is I've been catfishing you for several years.
I heard Bart Simpson has a cameo. So maybe that'll get you. Well, we do have a we do have another question. I feel like we should at least get to this question.
So listener question number three. Am I a power of attorney, an attorney, in fact, or an agent? So we get people all the time. We were kind of confused on what these terms mean and who they are and what the documents may be called. So, Ashley, I guess the first answer to that question is to define what a power of attorney is.
Yes. So you are not a power of attorney. That is a document that someone has signed appointing you as either an attorney, in fact, or an agent.
And this language is is fairly interchangeable. In twenty eighteen North Carolina, the General Assembly passed a an update to the North Carolina power of attorney statute. And so they updated the terminology used to be called an attorney, in fact, now called an agent. We will still see older powers of attorney that were prepared prior to that update.
And they are still, you know, as long as they were validly executed and all of the formalities there were intact, still effective documents still can be used. And so we try to be consistent with the language in the document. If if it refers to you as an attorney, in fact, we'll keep that language. But new language would be to call you an agent. And I think it creates less confusion. People hear the word attorney and automatically jump to an attorney license to practice law.
But very big distinction there. Attorney, in fact, is just what you call the person that was appointed under an older power of attorney in North Carolina. When that changed, I still don't know how I feel about agent. I feel like agents not special enough. Special agent?
That would be way better. Yeah. Yeah, I get it. It's, you know, we, of course, in our real estate practice deal with real estate agents. And so that language can become, yeah, I guess a little confusing for folks, especially if you're involved in a real estate transaction and you need to use your power of attorney to allow your agent or your attorney, in fact, whatever they're called in the document to sign. So, yeah, maybe they'll work on that for the next update. But that's good, though.
Yeah. Power of attorney is a legal document. So you're never a power of attorney. You may be acting under the authority given to you in a power of attorney, but you are never a power of attorney. You are an attorney, in fact, or an agent.
Again, a lot less special. But if you're acting in that capacity, you do have a fiduciary duty to whoever you're acting for. So if you're, you know, your aging parents made you their attorney, in fact, via a drafted power of attorney, you're always acting in their best interest, even if you have the power to give to yourself, even if there's all kinds of powers somebody can give you. They can be very limited.
They can limit it to one transaction, one checking account. You know, it can be very limited or it can be very broad where you can do just about anything the person who appointed you as their attorney, in fact, an agent can do. But you're always subject to that fiduciary duty, doing what's best for them. And of course, that's not what's best for you or best for, you know, your siblings, but what's best for for them.
So I think that's always an important distinction. But yet another fiduciary. Yeah, I haven't dealt with these very much outside of the real estate context where someone else is signing for someone at a real estate closing. However, I did find a limit to even a very broad power of attorney for an estate client. Someone was named an executor, a spouse who is elderly, and their grown child is an agent for them under a very broad power of attorney.
An elderly parent was not available to sign a document for the estate. So I allowed the power of attorney to sign and the clerk said no. So even the very broad ones do have limits where the agent signing on your behalf may not be effective. Yeah, they're absolutely, you know, you can't give every authority that you have over under a power of attorney. You can give your agent certainly some broad authority, but for example, you won't ever be able to give your agent the authority to change your will, change, you know, your estate planning documents. You can give them some authority as it relates to a trust if the language is there and very specific. But yeah, absolutely does have some limitations.
I probably should have called Ashley first. We're coming up against the break, but I think this is a good start, a good place to point out that if you are someone's attorney, in fact, or agent, that power that they've given you ceases at their death. So occasionally we'll run into someone who thinks they can still do things when the person who gave the power has passed away and your power ceases when they pass away. And that's when you have to go get an estate open and become the executor or the administrator collectively of the personal representative.
So you can no longer act on behalf of someone who's passed away under a power of attorney. But that's a good that's a good summation of those those definitions. The outlaw lawyer, we're going to wrap things up after the break. But Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, your host, managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, our guests in studio, Cassandra Nicholas and Ashley Penner, also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer offices conveniently located.
Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina, Gastonia and coming to Moorhead City. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, you can always call the firm. Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.
That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. Leave your contact info briefly what that calls about. An attorney will be in touch from Whitaker and Hamer. You can always email your questions to the show questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. Back after this. Welcome back in final segment, outlaw lawyers, it will be fast.
Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer are your hosts, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, their guests in studio, Cassandra Nicholas and Ashley Penner, also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer. Josh, take it away. We don't have a lot of time, but we got talking about that documentary a minute ago, and it made me think what everyone's favorite documentary would be.
Joseph, what is it? What's your favorite all time? I don't have favorites of things, generally speaking.
I don't like to because I don't want my things to get jealous of one another. So I try to not name favorites. It's definitely not that one, man. I like the super sad documentaries that that make you want to just really hit you in the gut.
And then because then after you watch them, you're like, well, everything's fine with me. But if you guys want one of those, there's one. Dear Zachary, if you haven't seen that, go check it out. Don't look it up. Just go check it out. And it'll it'll just ruin your your whole day.
Josh is already. I'm not I don't even I don't even want to know. I would want to check it out. It's very it's a good it's a happy it's a happy one.
Ashley, what do you got? I don't watch a ton of documentaries, I'll just say so. I guess I got to go with Tiger King. I think that's a great call. It came at just the right time. And honestly, I was adamantly and violently opposed to watching it until, you know, what was it, June, July 2020.
Where was there else to go but up? And so, yeah, Tiger King. I watched it immediately. I was all over that. Joe Exotic. He's he's a fun guy. Yeah. He's entertaining nearby.
He's in Butner in North Carolina in the medical. I'm disqualifying that because that's a that's a series that's not a true documentary film. So I'm sorry, guys. But I think it counts. I think it does. Yes. Is that both of you, Tiger King? So my other option is also a series, but like ancient aliens with the guy with the hair. Oh, the pyramids were made by aliens.
Everything was. What do you got, Morgan? If it's sports, I'm going to go with Last Dance.
You've heard of him, Michael Jordan. Really good one. And then Fantastic Fungi or Fungi, however you want to pronounce it. But my significant others into mushrooms. So we watch that.
Pretty impressive. I couldn't make it through the last dance. I got like there was a too much of it. It's too long. It's dancing.
That's the problem with the I like. I'm a go is last waltz. Would that be a documentary? Last waltz? What's that? The the the the band in their last performance, the last waltz. Surely someone knows what I'm talking about.
I got blank faces. I mean, it's more like a concert, but they talk during it. The last one that we'll call it a documentary, man, just to make it even less than Tiger. Somebody just needs to go watch Dear Zachary. And I want you to report back how it makes you feel inside of your heart.
That's what I want everyone here to do is it's miserable. Are we talking about the Canadian band, the American rock Canadian American rock? Well, there's one American in the band.
But yeah, the the rest of them are Canadian. The guy just died. He was an American. He was from the south. I can't remember his name.
The band's farewell concert appearance and the concert had the band joined by more than it does. Blah, blah, blah, blah. But apparently a documentary. You liked it. Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff. It was good stuff.
The just a reminder. Everybody but Morgan here, practicing attorneys in the state of North Carolina. No offense to Morgan.
No, we are. We're happy to help you if you if there's anything the firm can help you with. The law firm of Whitaker and Hamer will always be glad to help you. I hope you will trust us enough to give us a call and give us that opportunity. Morgan, how can folks get in touch with us? All right. Here's the number.
Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. Leave your contact info. Briefly what the call's about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can always email your questions to the show.
Questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. Another show in the books. Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, your host, Whitaker and Hamer law firm. And our special guests, Cassandra Nicholas and Ashley.
We're back next week on the show. Law lawyers hosted by an attorney licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Some of the guests appearing on the show may be licensed North Carolina attorneys. Discussion of the show is meant to be general in nature and in no way should the discussion be interpreted as legal advice. Legal advice can only be rendered once an attorney licensed in the state in which you live. Had the opportunity to discuss the facts of your case with you. The attorneys appearing on the show are speaking in generalities about the law in North Carolina and how these laws affect the average North Carolinian. If you have any questions about the content of the show, contact us directly.
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