Our Blog

A Bit About Deeds Part Two

 

By Attorney Keith Stevens

Here's my second piece advice about dealing with deeds and transfers of property.

  1. You may need a survey

This is much more common for people who have farmland than residential property. Let me give you the example of some clients I recently met with. They had purchased 140 acres back in the early 1960s. Since that time, they've given away or sold land about nine times until now that 140-acre parcel is down to about 70 acres.

This can be a headache for people who prepare your deeds (like putting them into trust) if you never update the legal description. The legal description is how the tax map office and the county engineer know which exact parcel you're talking about. If you look on the back of the deed, you'll probably see either a description of a numbered lot (if you're in a development) or a staggering list of coordinates and angular measurements (if you're in the country). You may even learn some new vocabulary, because in a legal description a chain isn't a bit of interconnected metal, a perch isn't a fish, and a rod doesn't attract lightning. These are all means of measuring the dimensions of land.

If you have sold off a bunch of little pieces of land, all these pieces have to be reported in the legal description as a “save and except.” (Think “the forty acres described here, save and except the two acres described below”). If we have too many of those, the tax map office is going to want a whole new description. That's when you need a new survey.

How can you escape this fate? If you are giving away or selling a part of your land and having that chunk surveyed off anyway, get the surveyor to stick around a bit later and survey the remainder. It will cost a little it more, but it can save a headache and confusion in the long run.

Besides this, you may also need a survey to get a new legal description if your old one is too archaic. Modern legal descriptions are written in feet and use surveyor's pins to mark boundaries. Old legal descriptions were not standard. My favorite old-style legal description I dealt with was drafted in the 1920s and used as its point of references stones and oak trees of specific diameters. You can also hear title agents gripe about finding deeds that use the middle of a creek as the boundary. If you have an old family deed that looks like this, be aware that you may need a new survey to update and standardize the legal description next time you transfer property.

Surveys are sometimes a necessary evil. It makes the county happy, keeps your tax bill accurate, and my have to be done now (during estate planning) or later (after you've passed away, before the land can go anywhere).   

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

 

Tax Documents You Need Now for 2013

 

Sometimes there's a must-read article. "Tax Documents to Have on Hand Before 2013", originally published on the Dimespring.com website, is one of those must-reads. Our very own Senior Partner, Attorney Mitch Adel, is a contributor to the article. Who says it's a must-read?

Dayton Daily News

WHIO TV Dayton

WSOC TV Charlotte

Austin American Statesman

Springfield News-Sun

WSBT TV Atlanta

 

Click on any of the links above to read the article. Have questions or want to discuss your personal situation? Give us a call.

 

 

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

 

7 signs that our parents may need help managing their money

By Angie Hall

As the holidays approach and you spend time with your aging parents, it may give you the opportunity look for some warning signs that your parents may need your help in managing their finances. You may not have noticed any issues if you are only speaking to your parents over the phone. So spending a few days with them over the next few weeks, gives you the ability to really evaluate whether or not their memory and ability to manage their finances is in trouble. According to an article, titled “7 Signs Your Parent May Need Help with Money Tasks”, Author Cameron Huddleston, Contributing Editor at Kiplinger.com, suggests seven things to look for if you are visiting your parents over the holidays.

  1. Organization of important financial documents are in disarray. Important papers are scattered throughout the house.

  2. Their mail is full of solicitations asking for donations. Especially from groups and organizations that they had never been involved with before.

  3. The next one could be difficult: mistakes in their checkbooks. Maybe they are having difficulty writing checks. For example, they can't remember where the date goes or how to write out the amount.

  4. Piles of unpaid bills or mail that hasn't been open. Disconnect notices for unpaid utility bills.

  5. The refrigerator has a lot of expired food. Or, looking in the pantry, you might notice multiple packages of the same items.

  6. A once spotless house is no longer clean. You can tell it hasn't been dusted or the vacuum hasn't been used in a while.

  7. Reminder notes. Information written on backs of envelopes or scraps of paper throughout the house.

If you notice any of the seven signs, this may be a good opportunity to have a discussion with your parents and suggest some measures that they could take to get them the help that they may need. A meeting with the doctor would be one of the first steps and then the next step could be, scheduling a meeting with a certified elder law attorney who could assist with establishing power or attorney documents that would make it possible for the child to help their parent manage their financial affairs.

http://www.kiplinger.com/colums/kiptips/archives/7-signs-your-parents-may-need-help-with-money.html

 

 

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

 

Even After 71 Years, December 7th, 1941 is Still Important

 

By Steven Wright

As December 7th approaches, it reminds me to be thankful for the brave men and women who went to work defending our way of life, as a result of the Japanese bombing at Pearl Harbor. So that we never lose sight of their sacrifices, lets remind ourselves of what occurred that day.

At 7:51 a.m. On Sunday, December 7th, 1941, Japanese planes launched from six different Japanese carriers struck U.S. military installations in and around Pearl Harbor. While the planes attacked, U.S. service men and women were asleep in their barracks and on their ships. As soon as the attack started, these brave soldiers, sailors, and marines went to work attempting to fend off this stealthy surprise attack by the Japanese.

However, the surprise attack was a success for the Japanese, with 2,402 American lives lost, 188 Aircraft destroyed, and several battleships, cruisers and destroyers were either sunk or damaged. Among the severe loss, was the battleship U.S.S. Arizona. The Arizona with 1,177 of her crew still aboard sank to the bottom of Pearl Harbor after a Japanese bomb exploded its forward magazine causing a massive explosion.

The Japanese has hoped to cripple the U.S. Pacific fleet so that the Japanese would be able to carryout their plans to attack different possessions throughout the Pacific. However, through sheer determination and spirit, the U.S. Pacific fleet recovered, and relentlessly pursued the Japanese Navy until the Japanese Navy was driven to extinction.

Because of their determination, I find great pride in not only calling myself an American, but also being fortunate enough to help these veterans in my career. As part of my job at Cooper, Adel & Associates, I help these veterans seek out benefits available to them through the Department of Veterans Affairs. These benefits often mean the world to the veterans and their surviving spouses as it allows them to maintain dignity that they so long ago earned.

 

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

 

Languages and Alzheimer’s

By Melissa Reynard

There's plenty of good reasons to learn another language. Travel, education, literature; and it's time to add another reason. Research shows that learning another language could also help to prevent Alzheimer's.

Linguists have long debated over the “critical period hypothesis” which says that the ability to acquire language is linked to a person's age or biology. Further debated is the window in which there is this optimal opportunity. The most popular theory for this range of time is early childhood, before puberty. But this isn't to say that older people can't learn languages. They may not develop the fluency in which a child can speak a language, but they can certainly learn another language.

And if learning that language staves off Alzheimer's, it is something that probably should be thought about. When learning a language, the brain creates new neural pathways which helps with brain function and memory. It's a way of “exercising” the brain and keeping it from that dormancy that seems to accompany Alzheimer's.

It should be noted that learning a new language will not prevent Alzheimer's in all cases. But at the very least, it could delay the progress of Alzheimer's. A study of 450 Alzheimer's patients showed that those who were bilingual for most of their lives had a delay in onset of Alzheimer's by about 4-5 years compared to those people who only spoke one language. And that doesn't take into account the learning of a new language at an older age either, as it was for already established bilingual users. And even better, another study shows that people who spoke four or more languages were five times less likely to have memory problems than even the bilingual speakers.

So what are you waiting for? There are so many languages out there to learn (6,800 different languages at last estimated count) and there's no longer the excuse that you are too old to learn another language. You don't have to develop fluency, but give your brain a better shot and pick up that English to whatever dictionary. Because health is important in any language:

 

Salud

בריאות

Salute

健康

Santé

स्वास्थ्य

Здоровье

Heilsa

الصحة

Gesundheit

Υγεία

Sláinte

Veselības

สุขภาพ

Sức khỏe

健康

 

 

Sources:

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/how-to-prevent-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-by-learning-another-language/

 

http://healthland.time.com/2011/02/22/why-speaking-more-than-one-language-may-delay-alzheimers/

 

 

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

 

Succession Planning: Estate Planning for Your Business

 

By Attorney Ted Brown

Perhaps one of the most important questions for any business owner, whether they own an international conglomerate or a corner hot dog cart is who would take over if something happened to them. However, the unfortunate truth is that many business owners do not develop an effective succession plan until it is too late.

Depending on the size and scope of the business, a succession plan should answer (at least) one of the following questions:

  1. Who will take over the operation of the business at the owner's death?

  2. Who will have access to business assets at the owner's death?

If you think your business is “too small” to worry about, think again. Even the smallest of businesses can pose large problems for the owner's family if there is no plan in place. For example, many people have, or had at one point a sole-proprietor type business that did business under a certain name. To make things easier, or lend credibility to this business, the owner established a bank account in the name of the business. At the owner's death, without any planning, that account will be subject to a probate proceeding before even the spouse can access the funds.

The same applies to any other assets titled in the name of the business, such as vehicles, real estate or other items. Unless the structure of your business names a person who will have the legal authority to access and control these assets at the owner's death, the business is a ticking time-bomb for the owner's family.

Even if the owner intends for the business to expire when they do, planning is still needed to ensure that the assets of the business can avoid the hassles of probate and the legal system.

Creating an effective succession plan goes hand-in-hand with creating an effective estate plan. In many cases, the principals and concepts are the same. The trick is making the time to sit down with an Elder Law Attorney and discuss what is needed.  

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

 

New Gifting Rules for 2013

 

By Attorney Ted Brown

The IRS recently announced that the annual gift exclusion amount will increase to $14,000 per person in 2013. This means that an individual can gift up to $14,000 per person without having to file a Federal Gift Tax return.

Gifting in excess of $14,000 does not necessarily mean that gift tax will be owed, it only means that the gift must be reported. Only when an individual exceeds the lifetime exclusion amount will gift tax be imposed. In 2013, the lifetime exclusion amount will decrease to $1 million dollars.

It is important to remember that gift tax rules only apply to the GIVER. The recipient of the gift is never taxed on the value of the gift they receive, regardless of the amount. They do not need report the gift as income on their taxes because it is not considered “income” within the meaning of I.R.C. Section 61.

 

A Bit About Deeds Part 1

 

By Keith Stevens

As an estate planning attorney, I deal with deeds on a pretty regular basis. I run into a couple issues on a fairly regular basis, so I thought I would share some of the information I find myself telling people on a regular basis. Here's the first part below:

  1. I don't have a copy of my deed!

I don't know what's going on, but I have a large number of clients who have never seen a copy of their deed. Maybe the title company never gave it to them after closing or maybe the bank never released it after the mortgage was paid, but whatever the reason it is surprising that such an important document is often a mystery to a property's owner.

If you want to see proof that you own your land, there are two potential solutions. Some counties in Ohio provide scanned versions of deeds through their auditor's or recorder's websites. While this is neat for some folks, the majority of counties in Ohio do not allow you to view deeds online. If you want a copy, you can instead go down to the county recorder's office in person and pay between 50¢ and $5 to get a photocopy of your deed. Don't worry about it not being an original, a photocopy is just as valid.

Because deeds are part of the public record, you can even ask to see deeds for properties that aren't yours, but remember that this is a truth that cuts both ways.

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

 

Veterans Day, Honoring All Who Served

Veterans Day honors all American veterans who served our country, a day when we recognize their sacrifices to keep our country free. We thank each and every one of you and extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation for your dedicated and loyal service.

 

Slideshow Honoring our Veterans (Military.com)

 

Thom Cooper, Mitch Adel, Attorneys and Staff

of Cooper, Adel & Associates

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

 

Ohio’s Fracking Tax May be Changing

 

By Attorney Ted Brown

With the recent boom of oil and natural gas production in Ohio, it should be no surprise that the government is looking for its share of the action.

With the use of a new technique called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and new methods of horizontal drilling, oil companies have been able to reach previously unreachable pockets of oil and gas. For farmers and landowners alike this has created a new source of revenue in both lease income and higher per-acre value.

However, with higher income means higher taxes. Governor Kasich recently unveiled a plan to relieve the tax burden on farmers and pass it on to the oil companies. The Governor's plan calls for the increase in what is known as the “fracking tax,” or tax on the amount of oil or gas recovered from Ohio lands. This tax is paid by the driller, not the land owner, and would amount to between 1.5% to 4 % of the gross income the oil company generates from the sale of “liquids” extracted in Ohio.

In conjunction with this increase, Kasich will cut income taxes by around 5%, thereby allowing the average landowner to keep more of the lease income they receive.

The plan awaits the endorsement of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation which is seeking additional information on the impact the plan will have on oil companies before giving its support. The fear is that the companies will merely pass the additional tax burden onto the consumer through higher prices or the landowner through lower lease rates.  



Related Posts with Thumbnails

Blog Subscribe via Email

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Twitter