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What is a TOD deed?

By Tricia Applegate

Using a transfer-on-death deed is a lot like using a payable-on-death (POD) designation for a bank account. You name one or more beneficiaries now, who then inherit the property at your death without the need for probate court proceedings.

To name a beneficiary, you use a special kind of deed, one that's tailored to the law of your state. The deed looks pretty much like any other real estate deed; it names the current owner, describes the property exactly, and names the person the property will be transferred to at your death. But a TOD deed contains an additional statement, making it clear that the deed does not take effect until the current owner's death.

The beneficiary you name to inherit the property doesn't have any legal right to it until your death—or, if you own the property with your spouse or someone else, until the last surviving owner dies. The beneficiary doesn't have to sign, acknowledge, or even be told about the deed.

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 12.30.44 PMIn the deed, you can also name an contingent beneficiary who will inherit the real estate if your first choice isn't alive at your death. If you don't name an alternate, and your first choice doesn't survive you, state law determines who will inherit the property – usually this requires a probate proceeding.

After you've signed the deed, you must record it with the local county land records office before your death. Otherwise, it won't be valid.

You keep complete ownership of and control over the property while you're alive. You pay the taxes on it, and it's not protected from your creditors. You can sell it, give it away, or mortgage it. Because the TOD deed does not make a gift of the property, there's no need to concern yourself with federal gift tax.

Later, if you change your mind about who you want to inherit the property, you are not locked in. You can revoke the TOD deed or simply record another TOD deed leaving the property to someone else.

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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.

Hearing Aids – There’s an App for That

By Kathy Cooper

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 3.20.40 PMDo you have a loved one who is suffering from a hearing loss? A recent New York Times article discusses the benefits of new hearing aids that are almost invisible and adjust to your surroundings, making your hearing even better than normal hearing. The controls are in your iPhone. They are not cheap, but they do have the benefit of keeping your or your loved one engaged in life.

Thom's grandmother suffered from a hearing loss that worsened as she aged. The problem was that she would not use her hearing aids. They were hard to use and big. She just did not like them. Unfortunately, it also meant she was more and more isolated. It is a shame to have our loved ones withdraw when there is a simple an effective way to help them rejoin the world — spread the word!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/personaltech/app-controlled-hearing-aid-improves-even-normal-hearing.html

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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.

Interesting Times at Cooper & Adel

By Angela Hall

In my seven years of working for Cooper, Adel and Associates, I have met a variety of interesting people. I have been given the opportunity to meet and work with clients who have led very interesting lives – from the woman who was attacked by a dolphin, to the couple who travelled Ohio selling homemade ice cream. The thing I enjoy most about my job is getting to know my clients beyond the business part of what we do here. It's always a learning experience for me as well.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 11.01.49 AMI recently met with a gentleman who had a long military career. He started out in the army during World War Two and was part of the newly formed Air Corps and flew fighter plans during the war. After WWII, he spent the rest of his career flying jets during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This year he turns 92 years old and has no plans of entering a nursing home. He is still actively involved in a fraternal organization that raises money for children's charities. He also enjoys spending the holidays with his daughter and granddaughter. But, he still realizes that his desire to spend his last days at home with his family instead of a nursing home may not be possible. I was able to explain to Thom's recommendation for him about veterans benefits that he may qualify for to help assist him if he were to need funds to help pay for care.

Contact Cooper, Adel and Associates to learn more about the veteran benefits that may be available to you or your loved ones.  

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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.

Are Veteran’s Benefits Available To Those Who Served But Not In a Combat Zone?

JM Megail Gaumer

The answer is YES!

Few veterans take advantage of the Veteran's Administration Aid & Attendance Benefit, often referred to as A&A benefits. This program can provide benefits to the Veteran or their surviving spouse of up to $2,085 per month to pay for expenses such as, long-term care, assisted living or even in home care.

To qualify the veteran did not have to serve in a combat zone rather, serve a minimum of 90 days of active duty with one day being during one of the following wartime windows:

  • World War II: December 7th, 1941, through December 31st, 1946

  • Korean War: June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955

  • Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 (February 28, 1961, for veterans who served "in country" before August 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975

  • Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through a date to be set by Presidential Proclamation or Law.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.53.55 PMThe second requirement for qualification is the veteran or their surviving spouse must have a medical need for the “aid and attendance” of another. The veteran's family doctor can make that determination, it does not have to be made by a Veteran's Administration doctor. Further, the program is not limited to wounded veterans.

The third requirement is based on financial need, income and assets. That is not to say that if the veteran has too much income or assets they will be disqualified. Medical expenses play a part in the determination. For example if the veteran has recurring expenses like in-home care costs, that will reduce the amount of income that is counted.

A&A benefits are just one of many benefits that may be available to help cover the costs of long term care. The problem is that what you do to qualify for one program, could disqualify you from other programs you might need down the road. We can help. Contact us today to scheduled a complimentary consultation for advise on benefits available to you like A&A.

 

 

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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 Go Broke In A Nursing Home

By Lori McBride

Over the past few months, we have been rolling out a new seminar to help educate seniors and their families throughout Ohio, workshops in April were held in Springfield, Marion, & Millersburg. Here are some of the topics:

  • In a Nursing Home NOW? …. You may still protect your assets

  • Hidden Medical Taxes

  • New Rules for Assisted Living Waiver

  • Can You Give Away $14,000/Year Without a Medicaid Penalty?

  • Veteran's Benefits to Cover Healthcare Costs

  • Medicaid Planning for Home Care Coverage

  • Will you lose your home to Estate Recovery?

Certified Elder Law Specialists Thom Cooper and Mitch Adel will be holding a series of workshops informing Seniors that it's never too late to preserve and protect your assets. For a list of upcoming workshops in your area, please call me, Lori McBride, at 1-877-401-2175 for more information.

 

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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 your irrevocable trust provide capital gains savings for your heirs?

By Attorney Ted Brown

Irrevocable trusts are commonly used to protect assets from the cost of long-term care and to reduce estate tax liability. However, without the right language, an irrevocable trust can create a potentially crippling and unanticipated capital gains tax problem for your heirs.

Capital gains tax applies to the sale of appreciated assets such as land or stocks. In general, the tax is based on the profit that one earns on the sale. The profit is determined by subtracting the value of the property when you acquired it from the sale price. For example, if you buy a piece of land for $100,000 and you sell it for $225,000, you have a capital gain of $125,000. The $100,000 figure is known as your “cost basis.”

A gift or transfer of property during the owner's lifetime to an irrevocable trust will results in a carry-over in the cost basis to the trust, This means that when the beneficiaries eventually sell the assets given to the trust, they will owe capital gains tax on the difference between the sale price and the price that you paid. Depending on how much the property has appreciated over time, this could result in a stifling capital gains tax problem for the beneficiaries years down the road. In order to avoid this, the trust must contain special language that will pull the value of the trust back into the creator's estate and achieving something known as a step-up in basis.

An irrevocable trust is a very complex estate planning tool. It is very important to understand the many nuances of these trusts and of gifting assets before embarking on such a plan. Call us today to learn about how we can develop a customized plan to protect your assets while still preserving tax benefits for your heirs.  

 

 

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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 Is an Affidavit or Memorandum of Trust?

By Chris Meyer

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 12.12.18 PMWhen you or your attorney are funding your trust, you may find that some financial institutions require a copy of your entire trust. Most of us don't want to share the entire trust with these institutions. In order to avoid giving financial institutions the entire trust document, attorneys prepare an affidavit – also known as a memorandum – of trust.

An Affidavit of Trust is a legal document that provides critical information to these institutions such as the legal name of the trust, who set up the trust, who has the authority to act on behalf of the trust (the trustee) and what they can (and can't) do on behalf of the trust. Common elements that are included in an Affidavit of Trust are: the settlors of the trust, the name of the trust, the date the Trust was established, and Trustees of the Trust. An Affidavit of trust generally contains a list of trustee powers.

In addition to funding, there are other times that an Affidavit of Trust is needed. An Affidavit of Trust is prepared to update information when one or more Trustees of the Trust has changed. The trustee may change due to incapacity or death or the trustee may choose not to continue in that role. In this sense, the Affidavit of Trust provides a history of what has happened to those important to the trust.

If you have any further questions about an Affidavit or Memorandum of Trust or would like to learn more about any and all aspects of estate planning, please give our office a call at 1-800-798-5297. Also, be sure to Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest blogs related to Trusts and other Elder Law associated topics.

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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.

You’re 70 ½ and beginning to take your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

By Robin Crouch

All the hard work you put into saving for retirement is starting to pay off. How long will your nest egg last? Retirement planning doesn't end when you retire. . .

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 3.09.46 PMIt's April 2014, so many of you are have had your taxes prepared for 2013. Maybe you had your taxes done by a professional tax-preparer, or maybe you’re doing it yourself – hello Turbo Tax!

Either way, if you were age 70 ½ or older in 2013, you had to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA or other Qualifed Plans for 2013. Your RMD is the minimum amount you must withdraw from your qualified account(s) each year. You can withdraw more than the minimum amount but all is taxable and must be reported on your federal income tax return. You are ultimately responsible for calculating and withdrawing the amount of your RMD although your IRA custodian or retirement plan administrator may help you with the calculations.

A 2010 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 41 percent of Americans in the lowest pre-retirement income level will run short of money after 10 years of retirement. After 20 years, 29 percent of people in the second-highest income level will run out, as will 13 percent in the highest income level.

Think you won't reach 90 years of age? You don't want to make that mistake! Estate planning is an ongoing process and our financial team at Cooper and Adel can assist you with income planning, minimizing income tax, charting your social security benefits for maximum income as well as stretching and protecting your retirement dollars.  

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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 happens if your parents forget to pay their LTC insurance?

By Robin Crouch

  1. The policy lapses resulting in no coverage. This may happen when they need the coverage the most!

  2. They would not qualify for a new policy if they had developed health problems since the policy was originally issued.

  3. Your parents may end up “spending down” everything they have taken a lifetime to earn before they can qualify for public assistance, or

    Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 10.53.37 AM

  4. Unless you are independently wealthy and can ensure they have care when needed, they may not receive the care they need.

The good news is this may all be avoided by purchasing asset based long term care insurance. A one time premium can provide long-term care benefits if care is needed. If you never need care, your asset passes to the next generation and becomes part of your legacy — making asset-based long-term care an innovative alternative to traditional long-term care insurance.

For answers to specific questions and before making any decisions, please consult a qualified attorney at Cooper, Adel & Associates.

 

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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.

Earth Day 2014

Going green is good for the planet and good for your wallet. Here are some changes that can make a big impact.

 

$23-38

If the average household lowers the thermostat by two degrees, from 70 degrees to 68, they could save $23-$38 a year. 

 

$270

Switch all the light bulbs in your home to compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can save about $270 in one year. 

 

$200

Unplug appliances and electronics that glow when you’re done using them. You could save $200 a year. 

 

$150

For someone who typically buys a $1.50 bottle of water twice a week, the annual saving of drinking from a reusable BPA-free water bottle can top $150. 

 

$109

Repair a leaky toilet and you can save $109 a year with water at $1.50 for every 1,000 gallons. A leaking toilet leaks up to 73,000 gallons a year. 

 

$900

By upgrading the insulation in your attic, walls, and basement to R-50 standard, you can save up to $900 a year. 

 

$650 – $1,000

By car pooling with just one friend, you can each save about $650 a year. If four of you carpool, you can each save nearly $1,000. 

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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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