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If I set up a living trust, is a will also required?

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Answer:  A traditional will is not required, but “pour over will” is highly recommended.  We prepare a pour over will as part of every set of trust documents.  The purpose of the pour over will is to capture any assets inadvertently omitted from the living trust and transfer them into the trust.  If your assets are in your trust, you will never use your pour over will.  Unlike the normal last will and testament, the pour over will simply directs your named executor to “pour over” any asset which you have failed to include in your trust, into your trust, for distribution under the terms of your living trust. However, the use of the pour over will to capture such assets requires a probate proceeding.  Our office tries to be very thorough to ensure that all assets are transferred into your living trust so that no probate is necessary.  You may wish to think of the pour over will as a safety net for any assets inadvertently left out of your trust.

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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.

 

Does my current will avoid probate?

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Answer:  No.  Funded living trusts avoid probate, wills do not.

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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.

 

Optional Longterm Care Options for Veterans and Their Spouses

By Steve Wright

225px-Veterans_dayAs many veterans age, they begin to think about planning for their potential long term care needs. This means looking at options to pay such as long term care insurance and Medicaid. However, for veterans who served during a period of war, another option exists. This option is known as Aid and Attendance.

Aid and Attendance is a pension paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs each month to a veteran or their surviving spouse. This pension is beginning to gain traction, however, it is still not well known, and many veterans do not even know that this pension exist. As a result, millions of dollars in funding goes unused each year, and instead veterans are spending every penny they have worked a lifetime to earn in order to receive or provide care for themselves or a loved one. Additionally, many veterans who discover that this pension exists often contact uninformed “experts” who mislead them as to whether or not they qualify.

Most of these experts inform people that they have to be at or below poverty levels in order to qualify. However, this is not true at all. While there are asset and income limits that apply, many do not realize that with proper estate planning, a veteran or their surviving spouse may be able to qualify for this pension without resorting to shopping in the cat food isle. So instead, veterans and their families should ask, not “Do I qualify”, but instead, “How do I qualify”.

With the right question asked, a veteran and their family can then begin finding answers to these questions, which gets me back to an earlier statement. That is, with the right estate planning, a veteran or their surviving spouse can qualify for this pension without spending everything that they have worked a lifetime to earn. That is why here at Cooper, Adel & Associates, we believe that veterans and their spouses deserve to receive the benefits that they are entitled to by law while maintaing their dignity. Because we believe in helping veterans and their families, we encourage you to contact our office to learn more about this valuable pension and helpful estate planning tools.

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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.

 

Running Out of Money Trumps Death

By Bob Kueppers

In a recent infograph, running out of money trumps death as the top fears about getting older. When I look at my parents and grandparents, I know that this is a fear they will never experience, mostly because they knew how to save throughout their life time and didn’t wast money on a new fancy car or exotic vacations every quarter.

However, when I look at my generation it’s the exact opposite. I see a lot of my friends living pay check to pay check and trying to outdo each other with who has the most expensive car or new gadget on the market and maxing out credit cards. Before working at Cooper, Adel and Associates, I was just like my friends. Working around estate planners has made me realize that it’s never too late to start planning. While my friends are trying to outdo each other I’ll continue working on saving for my future and setting up my estate plan to make sure death will always outweigh running out of money.

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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 Tips & News

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Remember the four Ps when considering after-death estate planning.

People – who do you want to benefit from from you estate?

Property – what are your assets?

Plans – Who gets what, or what percentage?

Planners – Review your ideas with a team of experts led by an elder law attorney.

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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.

 

Don’t Lose the Farm

By Thom Cooper & Melissa Reynard

LIEN Farm.jpgMost farmers love their farms. It is a slice of country life that most city folks can’t understand. Many times, the farm was passed down through the family and most farm families want that to continue to their children. What is unthinkable is that the farm could be lost to a catastrophic health care situation with a long nursing home stay.

Couples do not lose their homes if one of them goes into a nursing home and the State pays the bill. However, if one spouse is in the nursing home and the other is at home, the state of Ohio will place a lien against the property to pay back the state’s investment in their care. The healthier spouse is allowed to live there and is not forced to sell. Nothing happens until one of them dies. But, the rules are different if your is worth over 536k. At that point, you can be forced to sell or refinance in order to cover nursing home costs, even if you are married and still living in the home place on the farm- that can mean losing the farm.

So what does this mean for Ohio farmers? You may feel that you don’t own much. Maybe you’ve got a small emergency fund in the bank and not a lot more. However, if you own a substantial amount of acreage in your name, you may need to do some planning if you intend to keep it for your family when you are gone. You may not feel the land is worth that much, but with land prices rising, you might be surprised how valuable it is today. Come talk to us at Cooper, Adel & Associates to see how you can protect your land and keep your farm in the family.

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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.

 

How does a living trust help me to avoid probate?

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Answer:  Once you have created your living trust, you can avoid probate on all of the assets that are transferred into the trust.  By transferring your assets into the trust, your assets are then held by you as trustee of your trust and upon your death, the trust operates to provide for the distribution of those assets to your beneficiaries pursuant to your instructions to your successor trustee.

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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.

 

If I create my own trust, does a bank or trust company have to be involved?

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Answer:  Absolutely not.  Most people who create their own trusts choose to be their own trustee while they are healthy and select a child as a “successor trustee” in the event that they become incapacitated or die.  However, if you create your own trust you can also name a bank or trust company to be trustee of your trust and to manage your financial affairs in accordance with the provisions of your trust.  Normally banks charge a fee for this service as a percentage of the assets in your trust.  If you have created your own trust and do elect to have a special corporate trustee, you, or your successor trustee can also remove or select a new special corporate trustee should you or your successor trustee feel that the special corporate trustee is not acting in your best interests.  Be cautious where parties such as banks or trust companies offer to “assist you” in setting up your trust since they will normally insert the bank or trust company as a present or future trustee in such a way that you or your children cannot change.

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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 Tips & News

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Kiplinger has some good advice for grandparents. There is no minimum age for contributing to an IRA. If your grandchild earns $2,000 from a summer job, that money can be put into an IRA – or you can. The only catch is that your grandchild must have earned more than they contribute. The good news is that the actual money put into the account can come from you.

10 Things You Must Know About Traditional IRAs

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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.

 

Why a Trust is Better than a Survivorship Strategy

By Attorney Ted Brown

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 8.55.22 AMClients often ask me “if they need a trust to avoid probate?” And of course the answer is “no.” There are a variety of ways to avoid the hassle and expense of probate such as survivorship deeds, rights of survivorship accounts and payable on death designations. This is commonly known as a “survivorship” or “payable on death” strategy.

However, this strategy has several major limitations and potential drawbacks. The most significant is that it only allows couples to plan for one stage, or the death of one spouse, at a time. In most cases bank policy does not allow for an account to be jointly owned between two spouses and have a payable on death designation to the children after both pass.

For example, husband and wife can own an account jointly and have it set up that it goes to the survivor without probate. But policy prevents them from also designating that the account be divided among the children at the survivor’s death. Banks will allow the survivor to make that designation only after the first spouse passes. Deed rules also provide the same limitations on real estate.

This strategy will allow a couple to avoid probate at first death, but requires the surviving spouse to take affirmative steps after the first spouse passes away to do the same type of planning. Unfortunately, this second round of planning is commonly not done and the children are faced with a complex and costly probate proceeding at the survivor’s death.

Similarly, this type of planning does not avoid probate in a situation where both spouses pass away at the same time or within a short period.

By contrast, a revocable living trust allows a couple to plan for both stages at the same time. In fact, a trust is the only type of estate planning instrument that can avoid probate at the death of both spouses without requiring any additional action by the survivor. Both spouses maintain complete control over trust assets during life.

Therefore, a trust is an incredibly powerful and cost-effective method of probate planning for a couple, even with modest assets. Of course, your specific situation will dictate the best strategy for you. It is a good idea to discuss any type of estate planning strategy with a professional Elder Law Attorney.

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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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