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What is trust funding?

Screen-Shot-2013-01-30-at-8.55.45-AM8-300x2576By Carmen Potterton

People create trusts for a variety of reasons; to avoid probate, to protect a home from a nursing home spend down, to protect a child's inheritance from creditors/predators, etc. For a trust to fulfill its intended purpose, it has to be funded. Funding is the processing of changing ownership of assets (anything with a deed, title or account number) so that the rules of a trust apply to those assets.

To fund a financial account, such as a checking account, brokerage account or insurance policy to a trust, your financial institutions must be informed that you created a trust and that it is your desire to change the owner and/or beneficiary of the account/policy at that institution. This is accomplished by preparing a letter of instruction or completing company-specific forms that are sent the institution indicating the changes to be made. For example, you may indicate that the ownership of your bank account is to be changed from you personally to you as trustee of your trust. Along with the letter of instruction, most institutions also require specific pages from your trust that show the names of the creators of the trust, the date it was created, names of the current trustees and the successor trustees. In addition, a trust memorandum is also sent to show that the current trustee has the power to make the requested change of ownership or beneficiary.

Funding can be complex and, for most of us, should not be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure that your attorney includes funding all of your assets to your trust(s) as part of your fee. The attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates fund the trusts we prepare for our clients. We would be happy to do the same for you. Give us a call if we can assist.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

A Dream… A Belief…

JM Megail Gaumer

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 9.15.57 AMJanuary 20, 2014 is Martin Luther King day which recognizes the birthdate of a celebrated leader of nonviolent activism during the civil rights movement. Dr. King dreamed of a multiracial nation living in peace. After his assassination in 1968, President Ronald Reagan signed the federal holiday into law.

King was well known for his ability to communicate a message of hope and inclusiveness. Here are just a few:

Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

The King Center remembers Dr. King in this way:

We commemorate Dr. King’s inspiring words, because his voice and his vision filled a great void in our nation, and answered our collective longing to become a country that truly lived by its noblest principles. Yet, Dr. King knew that it wasn’t enough just to talk the talk, that he had to walk the walk for his words to be credible. And so we commemorate on this holiday the man of action, who put his life on the line for freedom and justice every day, the man who braved threats and jail and beatings and who ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a reality for all Americans.”

As you go about your day, take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of Dr. King.  

VA Benefits for Desert Storm Veterans

by Attorney Ted Brown

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 9.11.00 AMThis week will mark the 23rd anniversary of the beginning of Operation Desert Storm on January 17, 1991. This marked the beginning of the Persian Gulf War and the subsequent liberation of Kuwait by coalition forces. Iraq, under the leadership of Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait in August of 1990 sparking global outrage. The United States, together with over 30 other nations, formed a multinational coalition to free Kuwait from Iraqi control.

Operation Desert Storm began with one of the most vigorous air campaigns in military history, spanning nearly 5 weeks of 24 hour-a-day operations including air-to-air dogfights with Iraqi aircraft and strategic and systematic strikes against Iraqi command and control sites on the ground. The air campaign was the first to use many of the state of the art precision guided weapons, stealth aircraft and other modern military technology still in use today. The air war was followed by the now famous “100-hour” ground invasion driving the Iraqi Army from Kuwait and entirely defeating what was then the 4th largest army in the world in just under 4 days. Offensive operations in the Persian Gulf concluded on February 28th, 1991.

Over 650,000 Americans served in the Persian Gulf War and the VA offers many benefits for those who served. Many Gulf War veterans are not aware of these benefits which include disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial. (Click on any of these links for information directly from the VA website)

Additionally, there are a variety of illnesses and conditions that are linked to service in the Persian Gulf that can entitle veterans to special pension benefits.

See the link below for more details:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/persona/veteran-gulfwar.asp

(Image by Bryan Dorrough)

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

What was your world like in 1964 – Could you imagine how it would look today?

By Kathy Cooper

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 2.25.48 PMIn college, I loved science fiction and one of my favorite authors was Arthur C. Clark – Childhood's End, 2001 a Space Odyssey, and many more. He is and was a visionary. In 1964, Sir Arthur C. Clarke predicted how we would communicate and work with one another in the year 2000:

We could be in instant contact with each other, wherever we may be, where we can contact our friends anywhere on earth, even if we don’t know their actual physical location. It will be possible in that age, perhaps only 50 years from now, for a man to conduct his business from Tahiti or Bali just as well as he could from London…. Almost any executive skill, any administrative skill, even any physical skill, could be made independent of distance. I am perfectly serious when I suggest that one day we may have brain surgeons in Edinburgh operating on patients in New Zealand”

We still had dial phones in 1964 (every young girl wanted a princess phone then)– and there were no cordless or cellular phones. The first cellular phone was introduced in 1973 but not commercially available until 1983. Today, as Clarke suggested, we are always in touch no matter where we are, no cords required.

Interestingly, doctors began virtual surgery in 2001 and it is pretty popular today, particularly considering the advances in robotic surgery. Clarke got that right.

Thomas Friedman wrote a ground-breaking book in 2005 that talked about the ability of businesses to operate globally in a “flat” world, very much as Clarke predicted.

Are you as visionary as Sir Clarke? Do you know how your future will look and are you prepared for it? It's worth thinking about as we begin a new year.

http://www.openculture.com/2011/09/arthur_c_clarke_looks_into_the_future_1964.html

Credit for picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_DynaTAC

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Elder Law Workshop provides help for seniors

By Portia Williams
 

PDT Staff Writer
 

AR-301089965WEST PORTSMOUTH — Senior Financial Survival in 2014 was the theme of a workshop offered to senior citizens Wednesday at Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center.
 

Cooper and Adel Financial Agency LLC offered information in a workshop designed to enlighten senior citizens to vital information about laws. Attorneys Tom Cooper and Mitchell Adel, are both certified Elder Law Specialists who facilitate the workshops.
 

Lori McBride, seminar coordinator for Cooper and Adel Financial Agency LLC, said the information being shared at the workshop is critical for many senior citizens.
 

“We are having a Elder Law workshop which is geared toward senior citizens in trying to help them, and give them planning strategies with regards to nursing homes, to protect their assets,” McBride said.
 

McBride said the information shared in the workshop is critical to the senior citizen population.
 

“It is critical because I think that a lot of people don’t think there is anything that they can do preserve their assets. I have seen people that have had farms in their family for generations, and if mom or dad gets sick and has to go into a nursing home, then they had to sell off the farm in order to help pay for that,” McBride said.
 

McBride said the workshop helps the public within the law to avoid conflict and to maintain their assets.
 

The workshop also deals with veteran benefits, and the benefits available to veterans.
 

Workshop topics include:

  • Pros and Cons of the Revocable Living Trust,
  • How to lower your income taxes and avoid Capital Gains Tax,
  • How to protect your assets from catastrophic illness and nursing home cost without purchasing nursing home insurance,
  • How to avoid tax traps when transferring assets to children,
  • Expanded Estate Recovery Law – Government liens placed on senior’s real estate,
  • How to avoid probate; and,
  • Emerging trends where children are becoming responsible for their parent’s health care.

 

“Basically, the workshop covers anything pertaining to senior citizens and the protection of their assets and how they can structure those assets should any type of catastrophe should occur in their lives,” McBride said.
 

The workshops are free, and open to the public.
 

Cooper and Adel Financial, Agency LLC has four offices in central Ohio, including Centerburg, Monroe, Sidney, and their newest location in Chillicothe. For more information regarding the Elder Law Workshops, call 1-877-401-2175.

2014 Federal Gift and Estate Tax Update

By Attorney Ted Brown

TaxCredits_Flickr_TaxJarEffective January 1, 2014, the unified federal gift and estate tax exemption was increased to $5.34 million dollars. This change reflects an adjustment for inflation from last year's 5.25 million exemption amount. In January 2013 as part of the “fiscal cliff “ negotiations, Congress established the limit at $5.25 million to be adjusted annually for inflation.

What this change means is that an individual can now give up to $5.34 million during their lifetime, or pass away with an estate valued up to $5.34 million dollars, without paying any Federal gift or estate tax.

The annual gift reporting limit remains at $14,000 per person. Total annual gifts less than this amount do not need to be reported and are not subject to gift tax. Total annual gifts in excess of this amount count against the donor's $5.34 million lifetime gift exemption.  

Photo by: Tax Credits on Flickr

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

A Life Well Lived: In Memory of Bob Pruitt

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 8.31.16 AMBob Pruitt passed away shortly before New Year's day. Bob was a personal friend and a colleague and we will sorely miss him.

On the business side, Bob and his wife, Mabel, have helped our firm over the past few years by delivering deed work to counties all over the state. This was a retirement job for them but they understood the importance of it and approached it with persistence, enthusiasm and diligence. He and Mabel enjoyed working with the county personnel they met on their trips around the state. Our staff enjoyed Bob's sense of humor and caring personality. Even when Bob was so ill that he could barely walk up the stairs, he continued to work. He had a work ethic that is rare.

You could always expect a story when he arrived – he was a character. He was generous and caring and always had time for friends and family. The time ahead will be difficult for Mabel and our hearts go out to her and their family.

MEN: Start the New Year Right!

This infographic tells about the top killers men face during their lives and some positive steps to take to avoid them.  This New Year, start with a firm resolve to improve your health.

MSN-IG-Celebrate-Mens-Health-Month-Final-FINAL-596

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Who is turning 65 in December?!

December 3 … Ozzy Osborn – the Godfather of Heavy Metal

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December 13 … Ted Nugent, guitarist and singer 

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December 21 -Samuel Jackson, actor, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Patriot Games

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December 25 – Barbara Mandrell, country music singer, I was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool

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Simple Facts About Obamacare

By Attorney Nathan Simpson

Forbes has recently published an article outlining 6 facts about health insurance reform.

Forbes found the following:

  1. Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 3.26.19 PMThat the majority of Americans will pay more in health insurance premiums over their life than they will use in health care services

  2. That under Obamacare, it will be easier for the sick to find health coverage, and the healthy will see higher costs

  3. Younger people will pay higher premiums under Obamacare

  4. Men and women will see similar costs for health insurance

  5. The cost of health care will continue to rise in the short-term

  6. People who previously had minimal health insurance will see their costs increase

As Obamacare is implemented, we expect to learn more and more about its effects on America's healthcare system. If you would like to discuss a plan to make sure you are protected from a catastrophic health crisis, please contact the Elder Law Attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertpearl/2013/11/28/6-simple-facts-about-health-insurance-reform/2/

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.



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