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Money Watch recently published a list of Social Security errors that can cost your thousands. Social Security planning is important and we can help, so call us if you'd like to know more. You can read the original article here: Social Security Errors

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New Trust in Ohio

 

By Attorney Keith Stevens

One of the most common questions I get when I first talk about trusts with clients is whether a trust can keep their assets safe from their creditors. While it has long been possible to shield an inheritance you leave to a child against that child’s creditors, Ohio law made it very difficult to shelter your own assets against your own creditors. Self-settled domestic asset protection, as it is called in the financial and estate planning industries, was left to such jurisdictions as Alaska and Nevada.

Recently, however, a Ohio has taken significant steps to make it much easier. House Bill 479, the Ohio Asset Management Modernization Act, which was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 20, 2012 and which will take effect on March 27, 2013, enacts the Ohio Legacy Trust Act, which is designed to provide a means by which individuals may shelter assets from their own creditors.

An Ohio Legacy Trust creates a safe harbor against an individual’s creditors, subject to certain exceptions. For instance, while an Ohio Legacy Trust would do you no good if you created it expecting to be sued after getting in a car accident, however, it could protect your assets if you set up the trust and then got in an accident later.

With the Ohio Legacy Trust Act, Ohio has stepped to the forefront of asset protection strategies and the growing fiduciary market. The attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates are currently working to develop our own version of the Ohio Legacy Trust and will have this additional tool available for our clients when the new law takes effect.

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.

 

Ohio Legacy Trust Act

By Keith Stevens

One of the most common questions I get when I first talk about trusts with clients is whether a trust can keep their assets safe against their creditors. While it has long been possible to shield an inheritance you leave to a child against that child’s creditors, Ohio law made it very difficult to shelter your own assets against your own creditors. Self-settled domestic asset protection, as it is called in the financial and estate planning industries, was left to such jurisdictions as Alaska and Nevada.

Recently, however, a Ohio has taken significant steps to make it much easier. House Bill 479, the Ohio Asset Management Modernization Act, which was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 20, 2012 and which will take effect on March 27, 2013, enacts the Ohio Legacy Trust Act, which is designed to provide a means by which individuals may shelter assets from their own creditors.

An Ohio Legacy Trust creates a safe harbor against an individual’s creditors, subject to certain exceptions. For instance, while an Ohio Legacy Trust would do you no good if you created it expecting to be sued after getting in a car accident, it could protect your assets if you set up the trust and then got in an accident later.

With the Ohio Legacy Trust Act, Ohio has stepped to the forefront of asset protection strategies and the growing fiduciary market. The attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates are currently working to develop our own version of the Ohio Legacy Trust and will have this additional tool available for our clients when the new law takes effect.

For our existing clients — Cooper, Adel & Associates has created a type of trust for many our clients called the Legacy Trust. This has been our brand name, as it were, for a type of trust that allows our clients to control their children’s use of their inheritance or protect it from the children’s creditors. We realize that this is going to cause confusion now that “Legacy Trusts” are specifically defined under Ohio law.

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.

 

Staff Profile: Janet Fickle

 

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” -Phillipians 4:13

Janet has been an office assistant and receptionist with Cooper & Adel for seven years. Having grown up in Mount Vernon, she graduated from Mt. Vernon High School and then went on to Computer Office Technologies. Married to Loren Fickle, she has four children, sixteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who inspire her each day with their love. Working in the Cooper & Adel office, she has been inspired by how the clients are helped by the company.

Janet's most memorable experience while working at Cooper & Adel was the time she answered the phone with other things on her mind. This doesn't sound memorable, but when answering for a Law Office, the usual script is not “Good Afternoon, Kentucky Fried Chicken.” It's been a good joke at the office ever since.

In her non-work time, Janet enjoys painting, particularly landscapes and snow scenes. She also enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and her particular favorite genre of reading is The Bible and Christian novels. She's proud of her standing as a Christian and that her children are all wonderful people. Janet says that the three highlights of her life are God, her family, and the trip to the Bahamas she received on her 60th birthday. Someday, she'd like to go on a cruise to Alaska. Which is slightly contradictory with her great fear of driving on snowy and icy roads, but then again, she won't have to do the driving!

What would we be surprised to know about Janet? She's been flying in a hot air balloon!

From Mitch & Thom:

Janet is our face to the world in Centerburg. She always has a smile for you when they come in for a visit. She also helps you who call in, making sure that they get to the right person to get the help you need. She is a caring, thoughtful person with a terrific sense of humor. We value Janet for her down-to-earth, hard-working attitude!

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.

 

Common Retirement Planning Mistakes Made by Seniors

 

By: Roy Whited

This information was taken in part from a newsletter posted by Life Health Pro in November 2012. The content reminded me of certain issues that we see our clients facing almost every day.

Thinking only in terms of “me” and not “we”. At the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse will lose a social security benefit, see a possible reduction in a pension income, and likely an increase in their tax bracket when going from a joint return to an individual return. Eighty percent of all men die married, while 80% of all women die single. Additionally, 75% of all women living in poverty were not poor before they were widowed. Early income and retirement planning decisions should be made with the survivor benefits in mind to ensure that both husband and wife are protected.

Not protecting your home. In addition to making the correct choice for income planning it is also very important to protect other assets such as the home. The home is many times one of the largest assets owned by a couple and can be used to create additional income if needed.

Remember, not all trusts are created equal. Not all trusts are designed to protect your home. In fact most are not designed to protect your home from being lost to the cost of your poor health.

Call the Cooper and Adel law firm and take advantage of a one hour free consultation to learn about how you can protect your home and other assets. 1-800-798-5297

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 have an estate plan, will I have to change it?

 

Answer:  Yes, most certainly.  You will need to change your plan including the various documents involved in the plan, such as a living trust, due to changes in your family, health, or finances.  Our firm’s mission is to work with clients on a continuing basis to continue to have their plan meet their needs.  This process of keeping current is usually not difficult, but it is extremely important.  The old adage a stitch in time saves nine certainly applies here.

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.

 

Should everyone have nursing home insurance as part of their estate plan?

 

Answer:  That depends.  As an elder law attorney, I am an advocate of nursing home insurance as an important tool to cover the cost of long term nursing home care.  Furthermore, most long-term care insurance policies today are excellent products for seniors irrespective of the company.  However, I find of the people who come to our office, nursing home insurance only works as an appropriate tool for a limited number of clients for the following reasons: 1) the individual is not able to qualify for health reasons, 2) the individual’s income is not adequate to support the insurance payment, 3) they don’t need it because they would qualify for government payment of nursing home benefits irrespective of the insurance, 4) the income trap (i.e. the surviving spouse could not continue to make the payment if the spouse dies), and last, some individuals simply dislike insurance and won’t buy it.  In short, whether or not an individual should have nursing home insurance can only be determined after a comprehensive review of the family, financial and health situations.

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.

 

Super Foods for Seniors

By Bob Kueppers

I visited my grandfather a few days ago, and like each time I visit, I'm constantly being forced to eat whatever snack he's currently munching on, only to be washed down with super strong homemade red wine. My grandfather is 92 and in great health. He drinks red wine every day and is always eating walnuts, beans and pomegranates when in season. I came across an article on the 10 super foods for seniors and wasn't too surprised to see my grandfathers favorites on there. 

 

Antioxidants protect the body from dangerous substances called free radicals that can lead to many chronic diseases. Antioxidants work by slowing or preventing the oxidative – or damage from oxygen – process caused by free radicals that can lead to cell dysfunction and the onset of problems like heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes and cancer. For seniors, an antioxidant-rich diet in the following foods and drinks can help boost the immune system and provide major health benefits.

 

Beans - Beans are close to the perfect food. They are chock full of protein, vitamins, calcium, fiber, and more. Red beans have more antioxidants per serving than any other fruit or vegetable. Small red beans and kidney, pinto and black beans are all choices rich in antioxidants.

 

Pomegranates – In addition to increasing antioxidants in the blood, pomegranates also decreases LDL (bad cholesterol) and cholesterol plaque build-up. The major health benefit of pomegranates seems to be their role in reduction of heart disease. It is better to drink the juice rather than eating the fruit, since most of the strong antioxidants found in pomegranate are found in the skin which we don’t consume. 

 

Cinnamon - Taken daily, cinnamon’s ability to reduce total cholesterol, bad cholesterol and triglycerides is comparable with statin drugs. Cinnamon seems to help the body use insulin more efficiently. Cinnamon also cuts blood sugar levels by 20 to 30 percent.

 

Blueberries - A great source of antioxidants and dietary fiber, blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. The powerful compounds in blueberries belong to the flavonoid family. These combat free radical damage linked to heart disease and cancer. Studies show blueberries may boost your brainpower also. Blueberries, like cranberries, also fight off urinary tract infections.

 

Tomatoes - Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Tomatoes cooked in soups, sauces or ketchups reduce the risk of prostate cancer and other cancers of the digestive tract. 

 

Black Tea - Black tea may help protect against various forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers say drinking 20 oz. of tea every day for two weeks doubles or triples the immune system's output of an infection fighting substance called interferon gamma.

 

Green Tea - Green tea is another antioxidant-rich choice. Green tea contains a unique antioxidant called EGCG, which stands for epigallocatchin-gallate. These antioxidants are only found in green tea, which help eradicate free radicals and slow the aging process.

 

Red Wine - Red wine is the only alcoholic beverage that makes the list. Red wine contains bioflavonoids, phenols, resveratrol, and tannins, which have antioxidant and anticlotting properties, and raises HDL count – the good cholesterol.

 

Nuts - Walnuts, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds are some of the top nuts for antioxidant content.

 

Dark chocolate - And for dessert, don’t forget that a piece of dark chocolate. It ranks as high as or higher than most fruits and vegetables in terms of antioxidant content.

 

Check with your doctor before starting any diet regimen.

 

(from agingcare.com)

 
 

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.

 

Turning a Negative into a Positive – Limiting Life Insurance Losses

 

By Julian Guilfoyle, Cooper& Adel Financial

Universal life insurance policies can be an excellent tool to accomplish a wide variety of objectives. Some people are intrigued by the large death benefit that generally accompanies these policies. They may purchase the life insurance to transfer wealth down to their children or replace income lost at first death for the surviving spouse. Others like the flexibility of being able to use the cash value of the policy to pay premiums if they are unable. Most, however, inevitably run into a very difficult conundrum, pay astronomical premiums, or have their policies lapse and lose the death benefit.

The possibility of universal life policies lapsing increases as people age. It occurs because insurance companies credit interest and deduct expenses. From an interest-crediting standpoint, interest can be added to the cash value of a policy through a fixed, indexed, or variable rate.

A fixed rate is determined by the insurance company and generally will have some minimum rate that is always credited to the cash value of the policy.

An indexed crediting option is based upon an index (for example the S&P 500) and its’ returns. These policies can get very complicated because policies differ on how they credit interest to the cash value. For instance, a popular choice is to have the policy compare the S&P 500 to the previous year. If the index has gained in value, interest credited to the cash value will reflect the gain (beware there are often “caps”, or maximums, on the amount the insurer will credit). If the index has reduced in value, generally the insurer will credit no interest to the cash value, however the “loss” in the index will not reduce the cash value.

A variable crediting method will track subaccounts (stocks and/or bonds) that the investor chooses. This method carries a higher risk than fixed or indexed methods because the investor can lose principal due to market losses.

The second half of this equation is determined by how the insurer deducts expenses. Each policy and company treats these costs different, so anyone contemplating the purchase of a universal life policy should consult with a licensed professional. However, as a general rule, the investor should expect a cost of insurance charge (which rises as you age), and other charges (such as maintenance) and fees.

One can start to see the problem that can arise. If the combined charges, expenses, or cost of insurance exceed the interest credited, the investor sees a loss in cash value. Should this cash value ever reach zero, the policy lapses and the client loses their death benefit. This usually occurs when people have aged considerably (as compared to when they began the policy) and to make matters worse, they may, at that time, be considered uninsurable and unable to purchase another policy.

I believe the best way to view a universal life policy is term insurance with a cash value that the investor can access. That way, should a policy lapse, the investor is not dependent upon their death benefit to solve major problems (i.e. a substantial loss in income at first death). The only available alternatives are either paying increasing premiums or surrendering the policy for the cash value. However, as Ellen E. Schultz recently wrote in a Wall Street Journal titled “Insurance Can Cut Your Taxes”, investors have a fourth option. Should the investor decide to complete a no-tax transfer (1035 exchange) into an annuity, all of the growth up to the original premium will be tax-free. For example, I invest $50,000 into a universal life policy with a death benefit of $250,000. After ten years, the cash value of the policy is only $25,000 and I realize most likely this policy will lapse during my lifetime or I have a change in financial goals (maybe my kids are no longer in college or the mortgage is satisfied). Should I transfer this life insurance policy into an annuity, the first $25,000 in growth can be withdrawn or will pay to my beneficiaries income-tax-free. This is because investors can write off the losses in an annuity, however the same tax treatment does not apply for life insurance.

While this strategy can certainly be beneficial to investors, it is imperative that the investor’s entire legal and financial plans are reviewed and taken into account when making any recommendations. If you have any questions or concerns regarding an existing life insurance or annuity policy, or would like to discuss the recent law changes in Ohio or the federal government, please contact our office for a free consultation.

To see the full article, click the link below.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324784404578145362537922992.html

 

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.

 

Staff Interview: Attorney Keith Stevens

 

Keith Stevens

Per aspera ad astara”

Keith Stevens has been many places. While growing up, he lived in Iowa, Minnesota, and Texas. He went to college at Robert E. Look Honors College and at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. For some summers, he spent some time in Haskol Iceland. He received his Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School.

At Cooper & Adel, Keith works as an attorney in the Trust department where he explains and delivers trust and estate plans. He helps troubleshot and provide support to the clients. And he also helps find and develop new strategies for estate planning. He's been with Cooper & Adel since Halloween of 2011. Keith has a strong urge and need to do right by his clients, and it's his inspiration when he is at work.

One of Keith's favorite moments at work was for the Staff Holiday party in 2012. The staff was broken down into different teams to play Jeopardy. Up against two other powerhouse attorneys, Liz Durnell and Nathan Simpson, Keith emerged victorious.

Keith enjoys many things, as evidenced by the fact that he is a walking dictionary. But specifically, he likes cycling, running, cooking cajun food, esoterica, and chinese horror-comedy martial arts movies. His hope is to one day eat his way through New Orleans. The top highlights of his life have been marrying his wife Sarah, the birth of their daughter Charlotte, and the two summers he spent in Iceland. One thing he would like people to know about him is that his name is Keith; for some reason people always call him Steve.

What would we be surprised to know about Keith? He was in two garage bands and he can name all 29 Godzilla films in chronological order. His fear of aphasia probably stems from the thought of not being able to name all of those movies in order.

 

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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