Jeff Kelly: Go Alright, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a fun guest today on the radio show. Lee Treadaway, somebody I used to work with many many many years ago. And Lee I just love that story. many months ago when I used to work at Fuller McKay. And and before I ever met you, I felt like I knew you because Ken Fuller would say that he’d go shopping for groceries at the old Piggly Wiggly that was over there behind what is now Stanley’s. And I used kana have got hired this boy when he gets out of law school named Lee Treadaway. Every time he went grocery shopping your mother was your fan brother. You got a good mother, don’t you?
Lee Treadaway: Absolutely. Absolutely. She. Yes, she stayed after Ken until he really had no choice. But for McKay, those were some fun times. They were they were fun. We all work together.
Jeff Kelly: So So now you’re you’re doing elder law. Is that right?
Lee Treadaway: Well, I’m doing I’m doing some wills and estates and Okay, trying to focus on Elder Law within that, and also a little bit on special needs trust as well.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah.
Lee Treadaway: What there’s a lot of overlap in that.
Jeff Kelly: Excellent. Excellent.
Jeff Kelly: So how many years? How many years you’ve been practicing now? It’s been a while?
Lee Treadaway: Yeah, let’s see. Um, gosh, I
Lee Treadaway: I became a member of the bar in 2004. So 16 years. It goes by quickly, man does it ever good grief it that goes by quick. So where’d you do? Where’d you do your undergrad? Yeah, so I went to University of Georgia and got a business degree from undergrad it didn’t actually worked for about 10 years and then went back to Samford University and got my law degree ever in Birmingham.
Jeff Kelly: Excellent.
Lee Treadaway: Yeah, undergrad was at UGA.
Jeff Kelly: Alright, so that’s why you’re a diehard Georgia Bulldog fan still?
Lee Treadaway: Absolutely. Roughly can last weekend, but
Jeff Kelly: I know college can be rough.
Lee Treadaway: Can they can I know. And I’ll admit it. I’m still a fan. You haven’t had it easy. The last few years.
Jeff Kelly: It’s been more than a decade. I think it’s been rough. It’s been rough. I don’t think they’ve been good since. Since we worked at fuller McKay. Unbelievable. It’s been a long time.
Jeff Kelly: Well, so now you
Lee Treadaway: don’t happen to to a nicer
Jeff Kelly: no mercy, huh. No Mercy right away. So tell me about you didn’t go straight from undergrad to law school. Right. You work a little bit in between there.
Lee Treadaway: Yeah, I had about, I said to about nine years of working in between there.
Jeff Kelly: Excellent. Excellent. Where’d you work?
Lee Treadaway: So for most of that time, I worked for a company in Calhoun, Georgia at the company was in good woven textiles. So I was started out with the entry position in their product development area of all things, which is really not my background. But I did have a little bit of manufacturing management background from college and moved into like, supervision there. And I always knew that I wanted to continue my education and do something. Do something else.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah. When did you realize hey, I want to be a lawyer.
Lee Treadaway: Well, actually, so I finished my undergrad in Gosh, this does seem like a long time now. 91. And about two years out of out of college, after my undergrad I decided to apply and and try to get back then, and just the timing was not right. And, you know, my grades first year undergrad were not probably what they needed to be scores were good, but wasn’t able to go then and but sort of always had that in the back of my mind to do. I was just, you know, I always had an interest in being a lawyer and learning more about the law. And so I took the LSAT again.
Lee Treadaway: And Gosh, I guess it was 99-2000 and started back to law school and in the fall 2000.
Jeff Kelly: All right. Very good. Yeah. So So now you’re doing, you know, estate planning, wills, estates, Elder Law planning? What Tell me about your, your typical client, what what kind of needs do they have? And how do you how do you meet those needs?
Lee Treadaway: Well, the there are two areas. Right now that that I’m trying to focus on, one is for older clients who want to plan for the possibility that they may need long term care. And, you know, obviously, nobody hopes to do this, but wants to plan wants to plan in the event that they had to go into a nursing home. And so there are some things that we can do with trusts that would allow them to have assets held in trust.
Lee Treadaway: And, you know, that could go to their beneficiaries at their death and be used for their benefit, if they were in nursing home care. But but at the same time would not disqualify them from for instance, the the Medicaid Nursing Home program. So it’s, it’s a way to help folks not really become impoverished if they, like, so many folks end up having to go into a nursing home.
Jeff Kelly: So like, Can you tell me like, what’s the worst case scenario, somebody does no planning nothing, they go into a nursing home, and then what happens?
Lee Treadaway: So so the, if someone goes into a nursing home, and, you know, if they’re, if they’re self paying, in other words, if they’re just paying the total cost out of pocket, you know, you’re looking at minimal right now around 7000 a month. Medicaid has a nursing home program. In other words, Medicaid will pay for a portion of, of someone’s nursing home bill every month. But the asset limits that somebody can have a really low, so for instance, as a single person. So if you have a single person that goes into a nursing home, or a widow or widower, that person can only have $2,000, in, in financial assets, so anything over that they’re not going to qualify for Medicaid.
Lee Treadaway: And so, you know, most people aren’t going to have at that age aren’t going to have seven $8,000 a month in income that would pay for it. So right, you can you can become impoverished pretty quickly.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen where a lot of these nursing homes, they’re, they’re not gonna you correct me if I’m wrong here, but they’re not just going to accept anybody into their home. And oftentimes, they require a joint signature of one of the children. And, you know, those bills can add up fast.
Lee Treadaway: Yeah, and that’s a good point you bring up sometimes, you know, an adult child of someone going into the nursing home, is going to be they’re going to be the person that’s going to is going to make sure the parent gets gets into the facility and will often be the person that has to sign paperwork and all that and, and those folks often think that by signing, you know, they’re just signing to have their parent admitted, but it’s not unusual for them to unknowingly be signing to also be responsible themselves as well as the parents. In the advocates right now, Our Lady I’m working with who, you know, her father passed away and, and not only is his estate liable, you know, to pay any money or assets that he had, she’s also personally responsible as well, and, you know, obviously, you know, his It was his care. So, you know, it’s fine that his assets are having to pay for that, but but hers ours? Well, they’re just so many things that, that people just don’t know. And honestly, I think that most of the time, the social workers and and the other staff people at nursing homes are trying to do as well as I can. But But these folks, they’re not able to know all of the applicable rules and laws concerning this as well. So, you know, sometimes in helping a client plan.
Lee Treadaway: You know, we also will have to help educate some of the, the staff in whatever nursing home is helping, it’s helping them as well. Not always, but sometimes, yeah, can help with that.
Jeff Kelly: So the bottom line is, if you’ve got a parent who needs to go into a nursing home, you do not want to sign anything like nothing, am I right?
Lee Treadaway: Well, you certainly, you certainly want to know what you’re signing, you know, it, it may be necessary for, for an adult child to, for instance, sign on behalf of the parent, you know, it’s not unusual for someone to have appointed their son or daughter as their agent under a power of attorney. So it’s fine to sign if you’re appointed. That person’s guardian and conservator through the court, or if you’re appointed an agent under a power of attorney, you can sign on their behalf. But you know, you really need to know what you’re doing before you’re signing personally.
Jeff Kelly: Right?
Lee Treadaway: In other words, you want to make sure you’re not personally guaranteeing someone essentially someone else’s debt.
Jeff Kelly: Right. I’ve seen a few cases where people have had to file bankruptcy because of this.
Lee Treadaway: Certainly.
Jeff Kelly: And it’s sad, because, you know, the parent never in their right mind would have intended to put their child in a situation where they would end up bankrupt for their bill from a nursing home. And you know, you can’t help but wonder, wow, maybe if they’d gone to see somebody like Lee Treadaway beforehand, years beforehand, maybe that could have been avoided.
Lee Treadaway: Right. And, you know, it’s important that folks know, and remember, too, that we have a lot more, we have a lot more options and a lot more flexibility. If planning is done before someone, you know, falls into bad health or you know, and is looking at maybe having to go into a facility in the near future.
Lee Treadaway: You know, it’s hard to we don’t our options are very limited once somebody is headed that way already in the facility. So it’s important to, to look at the opportunities for planning, you know, well, in advance of something like that happening.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah. Yeah.
Lee Treadaway: So
Jeff Kelly: yeah, I’m sure you probably see this. I know, I see it where you have an older client who’s like, Hey, I’m in great shape, I’m fine. I do not need that mess. I’m never gonna need it. That’s what everybody says, right?
Lee Treadaway: Well, you know, we all think we all know, have a sense that this could happen, but you know, it’s never gonna happen to me.
Jeff Kelly: Right?
Lee Treadaway: We all want to think that you know, and I think the biggest thing that most people have trouble with is often this planning involves placing assets in what’s called an irrevocable trust. And when you do that, you’re gonna generally need to appoint someone else. It’s usually going to be a family member doesn’t have to be they can be a trust company or an accountant or somebody like that, but you’re gonna have to appoint someone else to be the trustee.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah.
Lee Treadaway: And you know, wow. assets, you know, wow, your trust owns these assets, you can’t just go and take them back out.
Jeff Kelly: All right.
Lee Treadaway: And so there’s some there are ways to undo to undo that if if something unexpected happens, but you know, people don’t want to give up or lose control. And sometimes that means we strike a balance between protecting certain assets that we know we want to protect and keeping some assets out of a trust, that we think we might either want to be able to have direct control on us or need, say,
Jeff Kelly: yeah,
Lee Treadaway: some of it is we just don’t want to give up, you know, turn over control to somebody. And unfortunately, what often happens is, if we don’t plan for it, then a family member or somebody like that has to go through the court system, a much more complicated process, to get appointed to take care of things,
Jeff Kelly: and more expensive too right?
Lee Treadaway: is more expensive, and it’s, you know, there, you’ve got a court proceeding, there’s going to be oversight for that appointed person, you know, from the court. So it gets a little more complicated, and, and a lot more expensive.
Jeff Kelly: I’ll bet so I mean, it’s just so important to plan plan plan. Let me ask you something. Do you ever have clients come in and meet with you? I mean, other than not planning, but do you ever meet with a client and you say to yourself, dang, I wish this person had come met with me sooner, I would have told them to do blank. And we could have avoided this huge giant mess. Like, for example, I meet with clients all the time, and they’ll tell me, yeah, I’ve been, you know, making the minimum payments on my credit card out of my 401k money for the last five years, and it’s just like, no, 401k, it’s a protected asset, don’t touch it, you do run into that, you run into that with elder Elder Law planning.
Lee Treadaway: you know, all the time. You know, it’s fairly typical that I’ll get a call, usually from a family member, sometimes from the person themselves, you know, they’ve got a debilitating illness, they can’t stay at home. Most common thing that I see now, and really, during my time, in this practice, have been things like dementia and Alzheimer’s, and so it just gets to the point where it’s no longer safe for them to be at the home, the family can’t, he is not able to be there, you know, around the clock.
Lee Treadaway: And somebody calls and you know, their mom or dad or, you know, have just been admitted to a nursing home, or they’re gonna have to go into a nursing home or long term care facility and, and highway, you know, somebody said, we might need to get talked to a lawyer about this. To try to do some, some planning or minimize, the amount of money is going to have to be spent down before they can get some assistance. And at that point, there are things we can do, but our options are much more limited. And we just can’t protect the amount of assets we can, but it happens all the time that people come in and, you know, inevitably the conversation, usually, they’ll end up saying, you know, wow, we should have come in five years ago or 10 years ago.
Jeff Kelly: Right. All right. And yes, some planning is key.
Lee Treadaway: It is it is key. And you know, I can just tell you there there’s just so much and not just in my area but really any practice area. There’s so much we we don’t know if we don’t talk to an attorney or someone else who who knows that area but there’s there’s also so much we don’t know we don’t know.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah,
Lee Treadaway: if that makes sense. You know, I’ve I’ve learned about so many like I told somebody the other day I you know doing this, I’ve learned about so many things that I didn’t even I didn’t even know were a thing.
Jeff Kelly: Sure. Yeah. So, Lee as an attorney, you know, if I’m telling my clients Hey, you you need to go see Lee Treadaway. Yeah, get your elder elder care planning done. What as an attorney, what do you think your greatest strength is?
Lee Treadaway: Yeah, so, you know, I really tried to listen to my client’s concerns and try to, you know, make a recommendation for a plan and try to explain it to them, you know, in a way that I’d want somebody to explain it to my father or my mother.
Jeff Kelly: Sure,
Lee Treadaway: if they were in this situation. So, you know, I think, I don’t know if it’s a strength, but it certainly is,
Jeff Kelly: absolutely.
Lee Treadaway: is a goal of mine. You know, I, I want to create a, you know, good rapport with my clients, and, and, you know, make sure I meet their needs as best I can. But also, I want them to feel comfortable that that being done.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah. Yeah, you know, I can testify having worked with you for years that you are easy to talk to. And that is definitely a huge strength, because there are some lawyers out there, but let’s face it, they’re just not nice, no bedside manner at all. And that is definitely not the case with you. clients have always loved you. And I think I think you’re in a great area to do that. So I’m
Lee Treadaway: so you’re saying that Thank you.
Jeff Kelly: You’re welcome. So you’re, you’re from Rome, right? You went to Model Model high schools.
Lee Treadaway: I grew up I grew up in Rome, went to model High School. Yeah. And of course, still, obviously, still live here. My wife also grew up in Rome. Interestingly, we went to the same schools, but she was about four years younger than me. So we were not in high school. At the same time. I did not meet my wife until, you know, years after we graduated. But she was in my sister’s graduating class, and they knew each other growing up.
Jeff Kelly: So how about that?
Lee Treadaway: It so that’s interesting. And we’ve got four children, ranging in age from the youngest is five, and then our oldest is 12. So
Jeff Kelly: that’s wonderful.
Lee Treadaway: That we’re you know how that is having a house full of kids Jeff.
Jeff Kelly: I know how that is. I’ve got you know. Yeah, I’ve had five total now. Yeah, so I
Lee Treadaway: That’s right.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah. And it goes quick, man. Golly, it goes so quick. I mean, a lot of those years just blow by so fast. And, and you grew up in North broad Baptist. Is that right?
Lee Treadaway: Right. Yeah. Gosh, I think my family joined Northbrook Baptist. You know, when I was about eight, we left the church we were going to and I’vebeen there ever since. That’s,
Jeff Kelly: how about that. That’s where you guys still go now?
Lee Treadaway: Yep. I’ve seen I gathered down and one of my folks do still get there as well.
Jeff Kelly: Wonderful.
Lee Treadaway: I haven’t actually gotten go there in several months, just like everybody else.
Jeff Kelly: But I know this covered forward
Lee Treadaway: to being able to do that again.
Jeff Kelly: This covered mess. It stinks. It stinks. Are they? Are they gonna do the live nativity scene this year? Maybe not?
Lee Treadaway: gonna, Yeah, we, we stopped doing that. I think about a year or so ago. Now. It was just a lot of work, done it for many years. And people enjoyed it. But you know, we just made a decision that we were going to kind of focus on doing some, some other things and
Jeff Kelly: yeah,
Lee Treadaway: you know, I think there’s a time for everything. And unfortunately, or I won’t say unfortunately, but you know, it was just time to do something to do something different.
Jeff Kelly: Sure. Sure. So Lee when you’re not working, what do you do for fun? I know you like to fish. What else?
Lee Treadaway: Oh, I do like to fish. I haven’t fished it a long time. You know, normally we’re honestly if we’re if we’re not at work, usually. We’re taking kids somewhere or spending time with them. My my nine year old son, he played football for the first time this year and
Jeff Kelly: all right,
Lee Treadaway: yeah hits his season. Their last game was last night into that app and he’s had a lot of fun with that. And it’s it’s been really fun. You know, watching him learn to play learn the game and
Jeff Kelly: yeah,
Lee Treadaway: practice and stuff. So that’s good enough. That’s been great. I’ve got a got a five year old girl coming up. I think she’s gonna she seems to be really interested in basketball in soccer and seems like she’s gonna have some ability there and wonder can a ballet dancer we enjoy watching her when when she has her recitals. Well,
Jeff Kelly: that’s good stuff man. That’s awesome.
Lee Treadaway: Yeah.
Jeff Kelly: Well Lee I appreciate you coming on the show I look forward to taking your message and send it out to all my clients that have if they’ve got anybody that needs a will or estate planning or any type of elder law in the room area to give you a shout, buddy.
Lee Treadaway: Well Jeff, thank you so much for having me on. I’m glad to hear you’re doing this. It’s a it’s a good service you’re doing for the community just you know, letting people know who’s out there that can help in in different areas. So appreciate that.
Jeff Kelly: All right, brother. You have a great evening and you you enjoy those beautiful kids. All right.
Lee Treadaway: You as well. Jeff always good socci Thank you, sir. Have a good one.
Outro Speaker: You been listening to KellyCanHelp with Jeff Kelly reached out to the law office of Jeffrey B. Kelly today by phone 706-295-0030 in Rome or visit Kellycanhelp.com.