This week on The Outlaw Lawyer, Josh, Joe, and Cassandra discuss the law and how it affects everything around us. And as always, here at The Outlaw Lawyer, our attorneys tackle all the day's most urgent, burning legal questions. Such as, could an AI chatbot be your next attorney? Why is it so easy to put off getting your estate plan done?
What does a good estate plan take into consideration? That's all coming up next on The Outlaw Lawyer. And now, Outlaw Lawyer. Welcome into The Outlaw Lawyer. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, are your hosts. We are also joined by Cassandra Nicholas from the Moorhead office.
And speaking of offices, Whitaker and Hamer are conveniently located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia, and, as aforementioned, Moorhead City. It is always about legalese. We get into a lot of different topics here on the program. You're going to have questions on something that you're going through and you need some answers. I've got a phone number for you, 800-659-1186. That'll get you in touch with Whitaker and Hamer. Leave your contact information briefly what the call is about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch.
You can also email your questions to the show, questions at theoutlawlawyer.com. All right, so away we go, Josh. What's up first? Well, Morgan, it's good to see you. We took a break over the holidays, so everybody's kind of back in studio.
Back in the saddle. We're all here. Mr. Joe Hamer's with me here in studio. Hello, Joseph. Hey, man.
And as always, Cassandra joins us remotely from the Whitaker and Hamer Moorhead City office. Cassandra, how are you this morning? I'm good. It's a nice day at the beach today.
Well, I'm happy for you. Is there a non-nice day at the beach? I just wanted to ask.
No, I even scraped my windows this morning and I didn't mind. We should do that one day, Joseph. We should have an attorney remote in from all the offices, right? Yeah. I was hoping you were going to say do the entire show from Moorhead City. I thought you were going to say that. Your idea was way worse than Morgan's idea.
From the beach, on the beach, wind blows. I'll take that one. We'll just have eight. We'll just have eight attorneys remote in one from every office. I'm going to do the show while I'm boogie boarding live. That would get really confusing if you couldn't see someone's face, though. You got eight people trying to talk. That would probably do much boogie boarding.
Upload it to the YouTube. I don't I don't I don't do a lot of boogie boarding. There's not a lot of boogie.
It's one of the better names for an activity. That's just that's just body surfing, right? That's just when you have the body surfing is when you boogie board without a boogie board, right? You're just using the body boogie boarding is boogie board. But a boogie board, that's just the little thing you buy at the beach store that breaks. Right now, you get a nice one. You're flat on your flat on your stomach.
You're riding the waves. They got ones for for guys like me and you. If you get the phone, you get the crappy phone ones for the kids.
Yeah, that's going to that's going to mean we're going to break that. They have a heavy duty version. Yeah, they got ones.
They strap you on to them. Chubs. The yeah. Yeah. Now we need to get down to the beach. We haven't been on the beach in a little bit.
Kids are probably going to get real ornery about that. But all right. Well, there's a lot of there's a lot of legal news to to tackle. You know, we haven't been together in a couple of weeks. And so we've there's a lot of things out there.
We're going to spend some time talking about legal chat bots. That's a thing that's come up a lot here lately. And then it's a new year. One of the things that we always preach to folks in the new year, you know, January, February, that's the time to get your estate plan either done for the first time or reviewed. So we're going to we're going to we're going to spend some time harping on what goes into an estate plan and and kind of spend some time on that because it's the season.
That's what January and February is for, you know, reviewing that kind of stuff. So a lot of stuff like that. I know Cassandra is our is our true crime correspondent. And so the well, what was it was it I hadn't been following was Idaho or Iowa, Idaho, Idaho or college students in Idaho. Yeah, my my wife has paid a lot of attention to that story because she's been telling me about, you know, it's mystifying. They haven't been releasing a lot of facts, but I know they arrested a guy and they they had some weird they came out with how they tracked him down.
It was kind of it's kind of interesting. Across the whole country. He was like on a road trip, basically with his dad. And he got pulled over multiple times. If you're fleeing the scene of a quadruple murder, don't speed.
That's good advice, too, if you're like a drug mule. So Cassandra, was he traveling with his dad? That's that's my understanding. They're like little clips of the police videos and it's the two of them in the car. I don't think his father was with him the whole time, so I don't know where they linked up. Did they how did they connect him?
Did you did you read that? How did they connect him to this crime? I think that was the interesting part, how they got to.
So I really I need to delve farther into it, too. I was really avoiding it when they didn't know anything, because it was really just too heartbreaking and scary that that they just had no leads whatsoever. These four students like in the middle of the night, seemingly without reason. And even now that they've got him, there's we we don't have that much information yet, but they've they've come out and said that he has no like personal ties to these people whatsoever. He was a Ph.D. student in criminology.
One of his research projects was interviewing murderers and other criminals and asking them how they chose their victims. So it's there there was a movie in like the 90s, early 2000s about these two guys that just chose someone at random. What movie was that? I didn't see this movie. You saw that movie.
Sounds like you have an interest in these types of things. Hey, they made a big movie about it. That's not my fault.
And I was a child. It's someone's fault that I saw it at all. No, seriously, what was that movie? I'm putting you on the spot. I'm doing the Josh thing.
Searching, searching, searching. Yeah, that's somebody was talking to me about it the other day. And again, this is the worst way to talk about a story. Somebody told me something that somebody else heard on the.
But the sounds like you're lawyering up. Yeah. There is like a hit. They use like the email in your whatever. And they do a gene.
They do the genetics thing on you. And it seems like that was in a database somewhere. Sounds like that maybe that was involved. No, no, no.
They got didn't they get trash from outside of his dad's house and match the DNA and found out that the dad was there. I'm thinking of something else. This probably I'm the Google in this movie right now.
I don't know what we're talking about, but I'm going to find out what this movie is, but I'm pretty sure that's I think that's what happened. That's why you should never that's that's my legal advice. You or none of your family should ever participate in that.
Send your send your genetic information in and figure out, you know, if you're like one part Icelandic or whatever. Yeah. Yeah. Well, or you just don't murder anybody. Well, you should do that. You should definitely not murder anybody. That's both my parents did the twenty three and me.
So I don't commit any crime. Yeah. I gave it up. Hey, hey, was Charlie Sheen in that movie? Maybe.
Was it called The Boys Next Door? Sounds right. We're going to go with it.
All right. Well, at least we figured that out. Young Charlie Sheen. That was before he started getting after it. You know, you know, what what was the movie Charlie Sheen was in where he was in the military prison?
We don't want the hotshots. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. What was the Charlie Sheen movie where he had to go to Cadence? Did you ever see Cadence? No, man.
No. When did that come out? The 20s?
It was I think the 90s. No, I didn't see Cadence. Did you see Cadence? No, I did not see it. Cassandra, I'm assuming you hadn't seen Cadence. No, I watched Two and a Half Men yesterday. Really?
Sometimes I forget that they only killed him off in the show and that he's still out there. You know what I'm really excited about? I think it's January the 14th. What's that? OK, I think it's January 14th. I can't remember exactly the new Night Court.
We're doing really well today. Look, we what does that come on? I don't know.
Yes. One of the major look I was thinking about the other day. I was trying to tell my kids about Night Court. My kids, I've got a good look, man.
My kids are all like between 13 and eight. And they'll sit around and like they actually hung in there and watch Family Ties with us. Oh, wow. How'd that go? Good, good. The two oldest ones would actually watch it with us. And now we're kind of watching Cheers because we cursed the alley passing away. We kind of started watching Cheers again.
And that's that's a tougher sale. But I was trying to explain to him how funny Night Court was when I was growing up. And I think Night Court is at least part of the reason I became an attorney. I just love that show. And they're coming out with the remake, the reboot, which I'm sure on the 17th, 17th. Any anybody we know that's in it? John Larroquette.
They got John Larroquette. OK. Yeah. Yeah. Because mostly, you know, Harry's dead.
It'd be tough to be in it if you're dead. Yeah. The guy who played bull was that guy's name, Richard Chan. I can't remember that guy. Anyway, a lot of them are dead. Max dead. Christine's dead. Harry's dead. So they got John Larroquette back.
It's not important. We probably shouldn't be talking about it, but I'm just saying Night Court's a good show. It's the reason one of the reasons you kind of look to the law when you were, you know, ready to make a career decision. But anyway, it was Tom Cruise that did it for me. A few good men and the firm. He was a great attorney in both of those.
I've never seen the firm. You know, there's there's there's there's there's nothing like it. There's a there's a there's a Tom Cruise tidbit that I read somewhere.
Every movie that he's in there has to be at least one running scene where he's running. Mm hmm. Makes sense.
I like the tidbit about his front tooth being dead center in the middle of his face. Oh, really? Yeah. Yeah. Take a look sometime.
It's the way it should. Obviously, you have. All right. I always like to remind people, especially, you know, when we we do the intro segment to our show, we like to have some fun and we like talk about stuff. Cassandra, Joe and I are very real attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer. We are a general practice law firm, meaning we can handle a bunch of different types of law. So you'll hear us talk about real estate transactional real estate law easements. You'll hear us talk about estate planning, estate administration, wills. You'll hear us talk about personal injury cases. You'll hear us talk about business law contracts. So we'll kind of go around to different things because that's what we handle in our in our day to day practice. Our practice consists of, you know, a lot of attorneys, a lot of paralegals spread across the state.
So we handle legal matters for folks across the state of North Carolina. And so today we won't start with it, but we will have a we'll have a good chunk talking about estate planning and some some specifics about estate planning. But up next up next, we're going to talk about all these chat bots. These you guys ever saw you all saw Terminator, right? We're all familiar with Terminator. I'm familiar with I've seen that one.
Yeah. All of them. Every one of them. I've only seen the first two. Well, you're not missing much. Maybe the third one here.
But beyond that third was not really good either, man, to be honest with you. All right, Morgan, that's what we're going to do next. All right. And just for the record, Morgan is not an attorney. The outlaw liars, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, Whitaker and Hamer law firm managing partners. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina offices, conveniently located.
Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and where Cassandra Nicklaus is chiming in from Moorhead City. If you've got a legal situation you're facing and you need some answers to questions, I've got a phone number for you. Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.
That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. Leave your contact information briefly what the call is about. And 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.
We'll be back. Welcome back in to the outlaw liars, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, your host. They're the managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, the power behind the program. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina offices conveniently located.
Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and Moorhead City. Cassandra Nicklaus, also an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer, joining us from that Moorhead City office. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate each and every week. It is about legalese, different topics.
You're going to have questions about maybe a situation you're going through and you need answers. 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. And you can email your questions to the show.
Questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. And Josh, you've got something you want to offer up. Is that correct? Yeah. We haven't done this before, Morgan. But what I wanted to do is offer our listeners a chance. You know, we give out our number. We we do have a lot of listeners call us just to give us some things to talk about. Or, you know, we've had we have listeners who call us because they have a legal matter and we end up trying to help them, you know, settle that up.
But what I think we're going to do today is something new. So we're going to do the first five listeners that call in with a legal matter. We're going to offer them a free 15 minute consultation.
Right. So for our consultations, a lot of times we'll charge upwards of three hundred dollars an hour, depending on what the matter is. And so what we want to do today, we want to encourage our listeners to call in the first five that call in with a legal matter that we can advise on. We're going to offer a free by phone or by Zoom or what have you, a free 15 minute consultation. So, Morgan, let's give everybody that number again.
Absolutely. Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six. That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. And you can leave your contact information and briefly what the call's about. And if you're one of the first five to call right now, again, that's a 15 minute consultation. And that is no, no cost, no obligation. So, folks, take advantage.
Yeah. We like I said, we haven't done that before. But when you call, let us know what you're listening to us on.
How you how you you know, if you download the podcast or you listen to us on one of the radio stations that we're on across the state of North Carolina, we want to just connect with you, learn how you learned about us. And then, like I said, if you've you've got a legal thing that we can handle, if you got a legal matter that we can handle, we'll certainly get you in the right direction. Consult with you. Kind of kind of get our hands dirty, helping you out with that legal situation.
So we're always happy to do that. But if you want super duper free legal advice, I saw this story a couple of times over the holidays, legal or I guess, yeah, legal chat bots serving as attorneys taking the bar. I saw all these different articles. Joe, have you read about this? I have, Josh. I have read about it. I'm very familiar with the chat bots in general. I hadn't looked at the legal aspect of it until I got your script for today's show, and that prompted me to look at it. Very interesting stuff, man.
Like you said, a great bargain. And in my research that I've been doing since we started talking about this in the last few minutes, you know, it seems the chat bots are ridiculous. Like, if you haven't messed around with the chat GPT, it's open AI, it's free, anybody can do it. You basically type to it, tell it anything that you want, and it will spit it out in real time with alarming accuracy, man.
It's gonna, it's nuts. But I hadn't thought about that legal application of it, and it sounds like, you know, chat GPT probably being the one that people are most familiar with isn't great with the law, doesn't have a lot of legal knowledge, but it sounds like there's some companies that are trying to teach it the law and kind of mold it into your AI lawyer, like you said. Cassandra, you were telling me about, you were telling me a little bit about this. Yeah, so there's my, I'm in a text group with other attorneys I went to law school with and they're really into the chat GPT. They've been enjoying just playing around with it and they've been doing some like first drafts of their like response emails for work with it as well.
So it's definitely got some useful applications. You can also get flagged in it for asking it things that it doesn't think you should be asking it. They've run into that several times. What are they asking it? Good Lord.
What about, what are your friends from law school doing? They're just testing. The internet was really buzzing about it last night. The chat GPT went down.
It's still down right now. I'm trying to pull it up so I can just have it tell me what to say and I can go on autopilot, but it's not working, man. I haven't played with it.
I haven't played with it at all. You know, at the firm for our real estate transactional practice, we do have an AI chat bot that, that assists us in communicating with all the different parties involved in a real estate transaction. So we've, we've talked about it on the show before, but we have Jarvis who is, are not, I mean, I guess that's not a very original name.
He's a friend, very friendly robot though. Not, not like the year Terminator robot. Look, man, you know, I saw a story. It was, it was like the middle of summer last year where they, they created like a tissue. I'm going to say it was like a living, I can't remember, but what I took away from the story was like a living robotic tissue that could replicate itself. I was like, man, terminates. We've all seen Terminator.
I mean, we keep talking about this artificial intelligence, you know, and like how it's growing by leaps and bounds. What was the company in that? Was it Skynet? Wasn't Cyberdyne? Was that like an offshoot? I don't know, man.
I don't know. I remember Skynet. Well, Skynet back in the day when we had pagers, I thought Skynet was one of the first pager companies. Was that not the case?
Am I wrong there? I'll do some research for you. I feel like when I got my first pager, the company I paid my $6 a month to for my pager was Skynet. Cyberdyne's who created Skynet in the Terminator franchise. I knew that was the name. I'm going to look up Skynet for you. I've heard, I've heard of Sky Best.
That's kind of a, that's a system that's out West in the mountains of North Carolina. And again, I don't know if the more youthful attorneys here with me know, but there used to be a Father MC song. I don't know if you're familiar with Father MC, but it was Beat Me and I'll Beep You Back. That was the name of the song. Beat Me and I'll Beep You Back? It was a pager related hip hop song.
I'm more familiar with the Kim Possible theme song. Call Me, Beat Me if you want to reach me. Hey, you know, it used to be a thing that was really cool, man, is when we had the next tales that might have been after your youth. It was real big in my youth, but it kind of combined it. Yeah, like exactly. That's what the people had.
And you wouldn't call you just you'd beat people instead. And yeah, that was a cool thing. It got out pretty quick. I remember being in high school and then like, yeah, I remember way back in the day when I was in high school, I remember getting a page and having to ask to go to the bathroom so I could go to the payphone bank and return my page. That was a thing that used to happen. I remember pagers, but it was a little past my talk. I remember them, but I never had to utilize one.
Yeah. So anyway, but the legal aspect of the legal chat bot, the one that's getting attention right now is called Do Not Pay. It's been a thing since 2015 and it's they've used like the generated text to like get discounts or refunds from like a Comcast bill and from airlines. But their first case in court is next month for a traffic ticket. My understanding with those ones is that it's like pro se folks going in on their own and they're just going to have the headphones in. And the company has agreed that if the bot loses, the company will pay their traffic fines. So it's low risk. It's a win win, man. Right?
I'm gonna go speed. But Do Not Pay just tweeted three days ago that Do Not Pay will pay any lawyer or person a million dollars with an upcoming case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to wear AirPods and let our robot lawyer argue the case by repeating exactly what it says. We got to get something before that Supreme Court, man. That sounds like a good gig. They followed it up with another tweet.
We are making this serious offer contingent on us coming to a formal agreement and all rules being followed. So I don't know how they'll like make that comply with Supreme Court rules. Yeah, I feel like that's I feel like you get disbarred. I feel like it's a really that's a fast track to to getting disbarred.
You get that cool million dollars from the robot people. Yeah. Yeah, I guess you would.
But that would that would be a tough I don't know. I'm sure there's a lot of uses. You know, I came up as a as a journalism major. That was my that was my undergrad degree. I was kind of a journalism student. And even as I was coming up, there were already like programs, you know, they were already testing programs that like would spit out like you put in the score of a game, you put in the box score of a game and it would spit out the story. Right.
So you'd make your back when, you know, that's very real right now. Yeah, there's there's a lot of a lot of sports blogs that are nothing but that just spitting out articles and then just click baiting people into clicking on them and making money doing that, you know, I guess I guess I didn't realize how far along it was getting. Yeah, I read an article. It was like, I don't know what what chatbot exactly it was, but I read an article where chatbot had passed, at least the past the Virginia bar exam. In theory, like they they gave it somebody got an old copy of the bar exam. I think it was Virginia, but gave it to this chatbot.
And it did enough to pass, I guess. I believe it. Weird. It is weird. There are students turning in papers written by the chatbots, too. And another student who I'm sure the other students really love created an app to allow the teachers to run the papers through it to determine if a chatbot wrote it or not. It's like the ultimate brown nosing kid, man.
Miss Johnson, I'm going to fix this for you. Why do that? Just because you earn brownie points with the teacher. What other reason is there? Yeah, because I read that, too, that they were the chatbots were producing this for students of varying degrees.
They were producing stuff that was so hard to detect. Right. Because it's not.
Anyway, it blows my mind. I like if that was. Yeah, I would have to think if that was available when I was in school. I'd like to think I would still do it.
It'd be tempting, man. And even if you just get a start. Right.
Like what? Here's OK. Here's my argument for it. Right. You got to write a paper on something. Right.
What do you got to do? You got to do research. Is it that different from doing it's doing the research for you.
Like, I don't know, man. It's a lazy perspective. Obviously, you're not taking it verbatim. But like, what else is it? But it's searching through the Internet.
It's pulling information that you otherwise would be pulling yourself in a more efficient manner. That would be my argument. I don't know. I don't think that against that kid. Yeah, I don't think that works. You don't think so? No, but I can't.
It's crazy to me. Like, we've all seen Terminator. I don't know why we're on such a I feel like if I make it another 30 years, like the firm, like a 30 year show, we could be hiring our first Terminator.
We're a million percent, man. Mark my words. We will be on the cutting edge of having a Terminator lawyer. Have you seen those robots that, like, will serve you at restaurants like they they have like a screen head and they take you. I think we should do one of those, but put this chat thing in it and just like put it in consultations.
Yeah, I'd love just. Yeah, I'd like to have robots that we just don't go into the office. We go to the beach with Cassandra and then iPads on a robot just roll in with our face. We do everything while we're boogie boarding.
The people would love that. We can become older, older, older, chubbier, professional boogie boarders. Yes, the no, this stuff is crazy.
It's just crazy to me. You know, I feel like we should all take a break. Like as a as a society, we should I think we should go back to pagers. I think we should be the law firm where like no one has cell phones. We only have paid. Yeah, they just people beep us.
Yeah. And we don't even call them back. They have to beep us Morse code and then we'll beep them back with it. No, no, I'll call it. I'll call you back if you add 911 to the page.
Yes, that's what they used to do. That's how you know, it's an emergency 911. But what I thought there was something else on that. But, you know, we're part of the problem, I guess, you know, you know, all this started I won't name the company, but all this started with, you know, the there's a big industry on self.
What would you call it? Self service legal documents? Yeah, that's fine. I think you did a good job. Okay. Which, you know, we we're not a big fan of right. We're obviously we're attorneys. We think that, you know, attorney needs to know your specific situation, where you live, you know, where you own property. We can talk about that a little bit more when we get to our state planning section of today's show.
But this is all real cool and interesting that it works and that it can happen. Urge caution. Is that where you're? Yeah. Where does it go, man?
Where does it go from here? Like it's helping kids cheat, right? You know, if it's got a good use, I guess that's good.
But, you know, people usually use this stuff for good things, right? They usually use it for shortcuts. And I don't know, man. It's advancement. It's efficiency. I'm sure a lot of the things that we like take is a daily thing like spell check or something.
I don't know. Yeah, our kids lives will be way different than ours. You know, you fast forward 20 years into the future and we're all probably our minds would be blown. Our robots mind wouldn't be blown because it's going to know the deal about everything.
Hey, before I like the idea of the advancement, it's it's on its way. Yeah, I was just gonna say before we get to robots, we do have five positions we're gonna open up and it's a 15 minute consultation. Josh, tell us a little bit about how that's gonna go for these five callers. All right.
I already forgot about that. Yeah, we that's what we're doing this week. We've never done it before.
I don't know if we'll ever do it again. But for this week, the first five listeners that call in and have a legal problem need need legal help. We'll we'll do 15 minute free consultations, right?
So that's the first five people that call in. You got to tell us what your legal issue is. You got to tell us how you how you listen to us how you found us. And then if you're one of the first five people to do that, we'll we'll call you back and we'll set up a time to talk to you in person by phone by zoom, whatever, whatever works best for you.
And see if that's something that we can we can help you with Morgan. So what's the what's the best way for folks to get in contact? Okay, once again, no cost, no obligation. 15 minute consultation. If you've got some kind of legal situation you're facing, and you need answers, call this number now. 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.
Leave your contact information, obviously briefly what the calls about, and an attorney will be in touch with you. And again, the first five, this is a free consult for 15 minutes on your situation. You're listening to the Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. They are the managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm practicing attorneys here in the great state of North Carolina offices conveniently located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina, Gastonia and Moorhead City. And again, Cassandra Nicholas, an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer joining us from that Moorhead City office.
When we come back on the other side, we're going to get into estate planning. That's all next on the Outlaw Lawyer. You're locked into the Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm and hosts of this show. And again, the power behind the program is Whitaker and Hamer. They are practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. We also have joining us from the Moorhead City office, Cassandra Nicholas, also an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer. There'll be an opportunity coming up for a free consultation with Whitaker and Hamer.
So stay tuned for that. Gentlemen, where are we going next? Well, I wanted to talk about estate planning, right? Estate planning is something that everybody needs to do, whether you have $25 million in assets or you're living a life where you have your real property and you've got kids. Everybody needs to do estate planning. And usually we get an avalanche of clients looking to do estate planning in late December. About this time, January, February, we see a lot of people kind of take the beginning, the end of the year and the beginning of the year as a time to be like, hey, I'm finally going to do my estate planning or I'm going to have my estate planning reviewed. I just talked to someone the other day who had a very great estate, a very complex, good estate plan done in 2017.
They haven't reviewed it. And fast forward to 2023, a lot of things are different, right? And that doesn't change all of your estate plan. Like once you get your estate plan in place, usually you're just tweaking it. You're adding things, subtracting things, changing beneficiaries of a trust.
We have a lot of folks who put a lot of stuff in trust and we'll find out they bought a condo or they bought a car and it didn't make it into the trust or they got a new life insurance policy and we need to tweak the beneficiaries. So if you haven't done your estate plan, there's no time like the present, right? Have you ever heard that phrase they do for a tree, the best time to plant a tree?
When's the best time to plant a tree? No. You've never heard that?
Cassandra, have you ever heard that? Yes. Oh, it's a real thing. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time to plant a tree is right now. Ah, I like how you whispered it. I think when you whispered it, it makes it sound cooler. If you whispered it. Or you yell it, it's right now.
You just can't say it. No, you say it normal, that quote's not good. Nobody, nobody looks forward to estate planning and we've at the law firm, we've tried to streamline the process so the process is as pleasant as it could possibly be. We do phone consults, zoom consults. We usually do end up sitting down with you at least once to actually execute the documents.
But we've, you know, there's all kinds of reasons why people wait. Joseph, what was, did you ever put off estate planning? Yeah, man.
Yeah, for sure. I always tell people, I, you know, so I started practicing law in 03 and it took me like five years to actually sit down and do my own estate plan. It cost me no money, right? Because I'm an attorney, I can do my own estate plan. I didn't have to fill out any forms because it was already all in my head and it still took me several years to sit down and do it. It took, you know, not a lot of time to actually produce it. It's again, it's the motivation to do it, right?
Right. So I had young children and that's what spurred me. We were starting a family and so I had young children.
And so that spurred me to start thinking about doing it. And then that also ended up delaying it because me and my wife didn't agree right away on who the guardians of our young children would be if something happened to both of us, right? And that's, you know, that doesn't happen very often. It doesn't happen very often where, you know, two spouses, parents of children both die at or about the same time. But that's something we talk about in your estate plan. And a lot of times that holds up folks from getting their estate plan done because they're not in agreement on who guardian of young children should be if something happens to boast up, both of them. Or if, you know, a trust is created for minor children who the trustee of the trust should be. And so I see that hold a lot of people up. And that's a realistic, that's something that is concerned, like that's something you should be concerned about, right? But you know what's worse than arguing about it is not having it decided ahead of time and leaving it up to the courts or, you know, that's always, retain control.
That's what estate planning is. Can I ask a real quick question, Josh? So you're having this conversation with your wife. So what was the hold up with your choices and what was the hold up with her choices?
You guys obviously had a disagreement on who you wanted. Well, I think I think our disagreement was was one that a lot of couples have because if something happens to me and my wife, we've got three young boys, and we have to figure out like, okay, well, who should be their guardian, right? And so you look to parents, right? We look to their grandparents, our parents, but there's always concerns. How old will they be if something happens to us?
And are they just gonna have to go to someone else in five to 10 years? And so then you kind of look at siblings, right? And then you kind of look at friends, right?
You know, but I think I think that's just you just talk about pros and cons. You know, like that family already has five kids. They really want to take our three kids, you know, and you kind of get I think you kind of get stuck in that. Gotcha. Well, and it's tough, too, because you're talking about giving your kids the money, you know, and that's got to be someone who...
It's a huge responsibility. I've had that conversation with close friends. It was 30 years ago. And I mean, it was, you know, they had us over for dinner. And then right after the main course, they said, Hey, we want to talk to you about something. If something were to happen to us, we do travel quite a bit together.
We want you to raise our kids. I mean, it was I mean, it floored us. Yeah. At that time.
And it was I mean, it was it was flattering. But then you start thinking, Oh, my God, I mean, you're going to you will inherit children at some point if something happens. And it's a worst case scenario. But I mean, you do need to plan for it. Yeah, you don't think about it happening. You don't you don't ever think I mean, you have to think about it, right? We have to think about it.
But you don't ever want to think about you and your spouse passing away at the same time. But it happens, man, that what was that story? Batman. Oh, you heard about that one? Yeah. Yeah. That's what happened to him. Yeah. So lost both of us. It's a real thing, man.
Yeah, it's a real thing. And luckily he had Alfred. He had Alfred. Now, I don't have a butler just in general, much less one that I can leave my kids to. We need one of these chatbot robot butler. I've had these ladies that have cleaned my house before. I'm not I'm not going to leave my kids. Nice ladies.
And then and then something else I see slowed people down to just so you know, like other people are struggling with the same issues once you finally do decide. Right. Like we agree that so and so should take care of the kids if something happens to both of us. Well, your assets are more than likely if we're dealing with minor children, your assets are going to be going into a trust that we also create.
Right. So any real property you own, life insurance, investment accounts, like you're going to funnel all that into a trust. So if something happens to you and your spouse, you've decided who the guardian of your kids are going to be or is going to be a trust. And someone has to be in charge of that trust. Somebody has to be a trustee to manage your assets for the benefit and care of your minor children. And some people want their guardian to be the same person as the trustee. Right.
The person who has physical custody of the children would also be controlling your trust that benefits your children. Some people want that to be a different person. Right. They want the guardian of their children to have to go to a a person and say, hey, you know, we need to pay for their school. We need to pay for this.
Can you write a check? Right. So sometimes for different reasons, you want those to be two people.
Sometimes it makes more sense for it to be the same person. Right. If you trust your kids enough to have someone be their guardian, sometimes the theory is, you know, you trust them to handle the money for your children. Right. Sometimes you have a lot of assets and you kind of want a professional. You want like a CPA or an attorney or an investment advisor.
You want someone else to serve in that trustee position to manage those assets, make sure money is being used the way it needs to be invested the way it needs to be. Right. So I talk about that a lot with folks. And from a legal perspective, we can give you legal advice. But in the end, that's just a decision you end up having to make. But but like Cassandra was saying, you can get something into place. You know, once you establish your estate plan, you don't have to redo it from scratch every year unless you win the one point one billion dollars in the lottery or something that you'd probably want to redo your estate plan if something like that happens. But once you've established an estate plan, you can make changes to it every year, every other year. You can keep it current.
You can keep it fresh. But sounds like you had that conversation a lot to Cassandra. I do. However, I do not have my own estate plan done.
Inspiration. However, I don't have children. I have student loans, a mortgage and a 2005 Impala with a quarter million miles. Look, look, man, somebody's going to want the student loans.
You got to. But with clients, it's not just so when you're choosing people to be the guardians and the trustees, you can build directly into the document backup folks so that if that person is unwilling or unable when the time comes, there's already somebody else you've chosen as the next in line for that position. And then as far as the trust stuff goes, there's a lot of other decisions, too, about how specific you want to get about how your assets are to be used for the care of your children.
You can be real specific, like just education and like their essential needs. Or you can choose to give that trustee some discretion over what's necessary for the care of your kids. So a lot of decisions to be made. And this is this is where I'll add, you know, we talked about a little bit before the break, but there's a lot of online services where you never speak to an attorney. You never talk to an attorney attorney doesn't review anything and legal forms are made at your at your you basically you answer some yes, no questions. You put in information and and they spit out. They spit out forms for you. I have never been a big fan of those. We early on when those things started, we kind of we kind of went through the process and compared the cost with what what we normally charge in a similar situation.
And when I look at it, the cost is is relatively the same. I think a lot of those sites and there's several I think a lot of those sites have like teaser rates where they'll say, hey, only whatever blank for a full estate plan. And then once you get in there, it's not you know, it's not a full estate plan. And there's some things they can't there's there's a lot of there's a lot of things they can't handle.
I have never been a fan of that, but it is popular. We see a lot of folks do that. We've reviewed a lot of those and the review never goes super well. Right. We find a lot of things that we're unhappy with or a lot of statutory references. You know, estate planning is still very state specific. Right. There's some statutes that all states have adopted. There's some uniform trust statutes that make trust a little more uniform across states. But there's a lot of state specific things. Right.
I am not qualified to advise a New York resident on their estate plan because I am not licensed to practice in New York. But in North Carolina, we know that stuff. Right.
We know that forward and backward. But, Morgan, I think that I think we're going to I know we're coming up against a break. I think next we'll talk about what goes into an actual estate plan.
Yeah. And let's remind everybody, too, our first five callers to the program today are going to get that 15 minute consult. No cost, no obligation. Maybe you've got questions about estate planning. You could use that 15 minute consult for that alone. So the number to call to get one of those spots, again, 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. Just leave your name, contact information.
And if you're one of the first five callers, you get that 15 minute consult. No charge. You can also email your questions to the show questions at the OutlawLawyer.com. He's Josh Whitaker. Joe Hamer's over there. And we also have Cassandra Nicholas joining us from Moorhead City, an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer.
We'll be back right after this. The Outlaw Lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer are your hosts. They are the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, and that firm is the power behind the program. We also have Cassandra Nicholas joining us from the Moorhead City office, also an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer. And they are conveniently located.
Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and the aforementioned Moorhead City. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. Each and every week we get into the legalese conversation. But we're also going to give you an opportunity to get on the calendar with Whitaker and Hamer.
No cost, no obligation, simply no pressure. Talk about maybe a legal situation that you're facing. Again, we've got 15 minute consults that we are making available. We only have five of them this week, but the first five callers to 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. You're going to grab one of those consults.
And again, 15 minutes. You can use that for maybe estate planning. We've been talking about that today.
Josh? Yeah, and more into estate planning. You know, I want to talk about, we talked about some of the reasons people don't get their estate plan done. Because it's something you, by nature, by human nature, it's something you don't want to do. You don't want to think about your death. You don't want to think about your young kids or your adult kids being here without you.
As a human being, you will, you want to delay it, and any reason to delay it satisfies that desire. So, we were talking in the last segment how we've all, at some point, Cassandra's still doing it, delaying her estate plan, despite the fact she could whip one up, you know, lickety-split, if she hasn't done it. So, we understand the hesitance in doing it.
It's not on everybody's priority list, but it is a priority. Because that's, you know, one of the things the firm does is estate administration, right? So, after you pass, a lot of times we're going to be meeting with your surviving spouse or your surviving kids, and they're going to be going through your stuff, trying to figure out where you make payments to, where all your bank accounts, you know. Now, not everybody gets statements.
That used to be, that used to be something we'd get a lot of, right? People would just kind of watch your mail, like you're gone, and whoever was going to be working on your estate would watch your mail for 30 days to figure out where your bank statements were coming from, figure out, you know, if you were paying a car note, where that was going. Because we don't share a lot of that information as much, right?
And you're not getting as much mail. So, it becomes a little bit of a mystery sometimes for kids if you have not prepared an estate plan, your adult children to come behind you and figure out what needs to be paid, what needs to be done. So, we see that side of it all the time, and it makes estate planning even more important in our eyes because we see what folks have to do once you're gone. So, I was going to talk about some of the things that you would normally put in an estate plan, right? And so, the number one, arguably, most important document that everybody's going to have in an estate plan is a will, a last will and testament, a will. And a will is going to say things, you know, wills can get super specific, right? They can say, hey, my gun collection from my uncle to my second born, and I want the house at the lake to go to this kid. I leave everything to my law partner.
But you can get as specific or as general as you want. A lot of times we're coupling the will with kind of a standalone trust, right? And we talk to folks about trust and what they can do.
I like to say it's not 100% true, but trust don't die, right? So, if you establish the Josh Whitaker trust, a lot of things can be in there and kind of get to the next generation, avoiding probate, avoiding some messy transfers, you know, trust can do a lot of things. So, sometimes wills are just pour overs. We just say, hopefully, by the time I die, everything's in the trust, but if not, my will can leave everything to the trust. And the trust can say, hey, I want this to go to the kids and I want my wife to have this, my spouse to have this as long as she's alive. And so, wills and trust are kind of the ground floor of estate planning. Avoiding probate. You said that, and that's a, I think that's an important consideration. I think that's that, like you said, that's the goal is to the more you can avoid probate, the less you have to involve the clerk, the less you have to make anyone do legwork because they're already stressed out, right?
Right, right. And when I go sit down with, when I go sit down with, if a client comes into my office and wants to talk about estate planning, I have a different mindset. You know, if you're a younger couple with kids, or your kids are adult children who have moved out, or you're in the later stages of your life, right?
I go in with kind of a different idea, depending on your assets and things like that. But avoiding probate is always up there, right? If you're, you know, if you're married, you know, we always try to set up so that the surviving spouse, you know, can keep on moving without having to do very much, right? Avoiding probate, because there's tons of horror stories, right? Because if you don't do it yourself, if you don't set up an estate plan, a valid, good, understandable estate plan, a lot of bad things can happen.
You won't be here, right? So you're leaving it for your kids or your spouse to deal with. But also a part of a good estate plan is going to be talking about setting up a power of attorney, setting up a healthcare power of attorney. Those are two other documents we talk about a lot because it doesn't, power of attorneys don't seem that important until you need one. And once you need one, you're incapacitated, you're incompetent, it's too late to do one at that point. So if you don't have a power of attorney set up so that an agent, your kids or your spouse can step in and do stuff for you. Once you need it, it's too late, and they're going to have to go to the court. They're going to have to apply for a guardianship. It's the court's going to watch over assets.
It's a different, it's a different scenario. And so all this stuff is easy enough to do. There's, of course, there's some costs, there's some legal fees, there's some time, because you'll have to talk to an attorney, make sure everything is executed properly. But once it's set up, it's there, you got it, you got a plan, and then we'll review it with you, right?
Every year, every two years, we'll take a look at it and kind of review it. But that is the basic documentation set in a basic estate plan, I would say. The Outlaw Lawyer is Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. You can find them at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm. They're the managing partners. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. Joining us from the Moorhead City office is Cassandra Nicholas. We want to remind you, too, that we have five positions on the calendar with Whitaker and Hamer, and these positions are 15-minute consults, and there's no cost.
Again, there's no pressure, folks, no obligation. Your opportunity to ask questions may be about a legal situation that you are facing. To get one of those five positions, you can call 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. Leave your contact information briefly what the call is about.
Again, first five callers, 800-659-1186. If you have any questions for the attorneys, we'll answer them on a future program. You can email the show questions at theoutlawlawyer.com.
We're back to wrap it up right after this. Welcome back in to the Outlaw Lawyer. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, are your hosts. We also have Cassandra Nicholas, an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer, joining us from the Moorhead City office.
And speaking of offices, they are conveniently located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and again, Moorhead City. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. It is always about legalese.
Guys, we've got a short segment, but take it away. Well, you know, Morgan, I can talk about the law all day. That's what I do, right? That's what I do.
People come in, I talk to them about the law. That's what Joe does. That's what Cassandra does. We could do it all day. But in the show, I wanted to ask Joseph and Cassandra a non-legal question. And this is something I was thinking about this morning coming in. And these kids are young.
Joe and Cassandra are young. When is the last time or when is the last time or what is your favorite? I'm going to use the word album.
All right. I'm going to use the word album. But you could substitute it in CD or... Hey, they're retro.
They're back, man. Albums are back. Digital downloads. Wax. The last time you did it or what is your favorite album? Like physical media?
Well, it doesn't have to be physical. I'm using album to talk about like when a artist releases like 10 songs together. And you're saying purchasing that.
Yeah, you would buy it, whatever the medium would be. So you don't do that anymore, right? You don't. Yeah.
Well, you're talking about the last time. I do. But... Why? Because I just do.
But listen, what is your... So I would say a CD, right? Because when I was coming up, CDs were the big thing. Tapes and CDs. Like you just put one in and you listen to the whole thing.
He's played it. Yeah. All the way through. Sure. So is that ever... For you guys, has that ever happened? Yeah. Yeah.
It used to be. Come on, man. How young do you think I am? Well, what is your favorite... I have hair on my face.
What is your favorite one of those things that you could listen to all the way through? Oh, man. I don't know that I've...
It's tough, man. I don't have many favorites. If you don't know me... That's my least favorite thing, right?
What's your favorite movie? Any question like that, I hate it. And I hate you by extension for asking me that. Well, all right. We'll go to Cassandra. But Cassandra can answer.
I had a pretty limited album selection of CDs since the 90s. Right. But let's see.
That's why I say people today don't... No strings attached. I feel like Cassandra listened to a lot of Bjork. I don't know why. I'll break the ice. Eagles greatest hits.
There you go. Yeah. Favorite one? That's favorite or that's the last one you purchased? No, that would be my favorite one. I can probably think of the last one.
Hotel California. So I've got the Amazon music in the car and I was just looking at albums. I don't know what you call them now. What would you call them now? You'd call them an album. You'd still call it an album. You'd still call it an album. Yeah, you'd call it an album. So I got these ones that I listened to and so I was like... I had Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders. I was like, I can listen to that all the way through.
How often does it happen now where you can listen to something all the way through and you're pleased with it? But you had to then too, right? Like if you didn't have to... Well, you could skip. Yeah.
I mean, I guess not on like a record. You didn't have as much to do back then. Yeah. ACDC, Back in Black. That's a good one. That's a good one.
I can get behind that. I had John Coltrane, A Love Supreme. That's good. It used to be cool. You had those. You remember you had the thing, the CD that you'd spin it around in your house. Did you have one of those? Like the CD tower?
The 100 Chamber? Yeah. No, I'm talking about like the towers where you would just store the CDs and there used to be like an artistry to the CD cover, et cetera.
Yeah. I miss those days, man. And video. While we're at it, VHS videotapes or even DVDs, man. I was going through an old box. I was going through an old...
I know we don't have a lot of time. I was going through an old box the other day and I found a VHS cassette. It was like what Sports Illustrated gave you.
It was like the 93 March of the Tar Heels. And you had... Oh, what? Yeah. I don't know why I still have it. You should bring that in.
I'd take that. Yeah. Well, I was like, man, I...
I'd take it to the bathroom. I was like... What? It seems like this should have... It seems like...
I got a 90s box for my birthday this year, which included a VHS tape. So I have it... So you can't do anything with it? No.
Yeah. We still... We have a DVD player and I guess, you know, the Xboxes and everything. I have a VHS player. I can let you see it. I can let you borrow it. What is your tape? It was a Goosebumps video. I also still have the double VHS Titanic set that I bought with my allowance.
That sounds terrible. All right, Morgan. I think we're out of time. The Outlaw Liars. We have another one in the books. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, are your hosts.
And again, joined by Cassandra Nicholas, also an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer. If you've got any questions, legal situations you're facing, again, we have five consults available for you. Again, first five callers, 800-659-1186. No cost, no obligation, no pressure. That's 800-659-1186. We'll see you on the radio next week. Thanks for watching.
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