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How To Change Ownership on Stocks

By Jon Stevenson

Transferring ownership on stocks will require the following steps:

  1. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 9.42.53 AMObtain all the information relevant to your stock.

  2. Contact the transfer agent that holds your stock. If they have a form for the transfer, request they send you one. If not, draft a letter including number of shares, current holder, account number, certificate number and any other relevant information.

  3. Take the form or letter to your local bank or credit union and obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee.

  4. Send in the transfer request form or letter (along with your stock certificate if you have one) to your transfer agent.

So that's pretty easy right? Okay good, but let me for warn you about some potential speed bumps.

First, make sure the information you have on your stock is the most recent information. If you have stock in a company that has merged with another company your stock may exist under a different name or you may have a different number or type of stock. A good rule of thumb would be information no older than a year.

Another thing to look for is that you have the right account for the transfer agent. Your stock might be in an account with a broker, in which case it might have a broker's account number as well as a transfer agent's account number. You want to be sure you are filling out the form with the transfer agent's account number.

You will also want make sure you're getting the Medallion Signature Guarantee from an institution able to cover the entire value of your stock. This stamp is a way of reducing the liability for transfer agent and protecting shareholders from unauthorized transfers and possible losses. It is not the same as a Notary Public stamp.

Lastly, I would like to emphasize the importance of attention to detail in completing a transfer of stock ownership. Stocks are an asset vulnerable to fraud so the companies that handle these assets are especially vigilant about their requirements. If the letter or form is not completed to their standards you will be asked to fill out a new form and to obtain a new Medallion Signature Guarantee. It is possible for this process, which should take only 4-8 weeks, to be stretched out over a year or longer.

To avoid such a delay, my best advice would be to ask someone who is familiar with completing such transfers to look over your transfer request. While the above includes some good tips, there is no replacement for the experience of an elder law attorney to advise your through the process.

 

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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.

February is American Heart Month

February is a great time to think about your heart. Not only is it the month in which we celebrate love and romance, it’s also American Heart Month. But sadly, many of us give the hearts in our Valentine’s Day cards more thought than we do the hearts in our bodies.

HeartHealth_Infographic_FullSize_v1.3

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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 should I keep and what should I shred?

By Kathy Cooper

Our clients often ask which records they should keep for what period of time. Some have every bill they ever paid. Some keep nothing. Most of us are somewhere in between, with documents spread in piles all around the house, on the coffee table, home office, safe and safety deposit box.

One good thing about going through the process of planning what we call your “Life Plan”, is gathering all of the important documents about your life in one place: important information about your children, copies of your military discharge papers, deeds, titles, life insurance and annuity policies, statements from bank accounts and so forth. Once you have the basic set of documents, particularly the “permanent” items, it's easier for you – and eventually for those who need them when you are ill or at your death. You can't stop at one-time organization, however, you need to revisit and refresh your records. We revisit these documents periodically when our clients come in for a review of their Life Plan.

So what should you keep? Like so many other things, the real answer is – it depends. Recently I saw an infographic that offers solid direction about how to approach the task of sorting through your piles of stuff to make sense of what to shred, scan or store. It is included below for your reference.

shred-scan-or-store

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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.

14 Money Valentines to Gift Your Sweetheart

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 8.01.55 AMby Sheryl Nance-Nash

Your typical Valentine’s Day conjures up images of flowers, candy and a candlelight dinner. Money—other than what you paid for the champagne and oysters—probably doesn’t come to mind.

But if you’re serious about making sure that your love story has a happy ending, you can use the romantic holiday to give each other gifts that say both “I love you” and “I want us to have a secure future together.”

Whether you’re in a serious relationship, engaged or already married, we’ve gathered ideas for 14 financial Valentines that you can gift your sweetie this year.

1. A Couple’s Financial Consultation

Normally, telling your significant other that you both need professional help isn’t a great sign for the longevity of a relationship. But signing up for a couple’s consultation with a financial planner may be a gift that actually increases your relationship’s long-term staying power, says Jennifer S. Faherty, a Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of Redbird Partners.

That’s because fighting about money is why most married couples split up, according to a study by Kansas State University researcher Sonya Britt. She found that couples who argue over money early on in their relationships were at a greater risk of divorce—regardless of their income, debt or net worth levels.

By meeting with an adviser, you’re making sure that both of you are involved in financial decision-making, and that you are on the same page when it comes to your bigger goals and how you’ll reach them.

2. A Life Insurance Policy

Ensuring that your partner is taken care of in the event that something happens to you—and vice versa—offers the gift of peace of mind. “You never know where the road of life will take you, and planning ahead for illness or death as well as having life insurance can help couples be ready,” says Mitchell Adel, a certified elder law attorney and managing partner at Cooper, Adel & Associates, a law firm specializing in estate planning and elder law.

Life insurance is especially important if you think that your loved one might have difficulties meeting monthly living expenses and paying one-time costs in the event of your death, like funeral expenses, as well as such longer-term bills as a mortgage—not to mention just the general cost of raising children.

RELATED: Checklist: I Want to Get Life Insurance

3. A Will

Death isn’t the most romantic dinner date topic, but being proactive about crafting a will can ensure that your money and belongings are distributed to the people you love, rather than leaving it up to the law. If you haven’t put your wishes down on paper yet, you’re not alone: Some 41% of Boomers and 71% of those under 34 polled by AARP said that they didn’t have a will.

Currently, intestacy laws (those related to the succession of your assets if you don’t have a will) don’t take into consideration cohabitation or domestic partners—making wills all the more valuable if you are unmarried. And even if you are married, all assets don’t automatically go to your spouse—much of it depends on state laws, says Josh Fatoullah, founder and C.E.O. of JR Wealth Advisors LLC.

RELATED: Death Dinners: Why Dying Is a Supper Topic Du Jour

4. A “Special Occasion” Fund

One study of more than 1,200 Americans conducted by psychologists Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich found that people derived greater happiness from investing in life experiences, like travel or a concert, rather than from purchasing material goods. “So creating a special savings fund toward these types of experiences is a good idea,” Faherty says.

What’s more romantic than having an account labeled “Second Honeymoon” or “My Sweetheart’s 40th Birthday Bash”? Once you’ve set up a separate bank account for a short-term goal that you share, create a priority goal folder for it in your LearnVest Money Center, so you and your honey can watch the money grow. After all, those shared experiences could be what gets you through the challenging times.

5. A Beneficiary Designation

Even if you’ve named your sweetie in a will, you’re not off the hook with important paperwork. You still need to name your significant other as a beneficiary to your retirement savings, financial accounts, trusts—anything with a deed or title. That’s because “beneficiaries supersede what’s written in a will, and assets with named beneficiaries avoid probate,” which is the court process that administers a will, Fatoullah points out.

So it’s important to make the designation official on accounts like your IRA or pension. Your 401(k), by law, goes to your surviving spouse, unless you’ve made arrangements for another beneficiary (you can only do this with your spouse’s consent). Even so, it’s still better to have it on record, especially in the case of a domestic partnership, so you can solidify your relationship even further in the eyes of the law, whether the partnership is officially registered or not. “Show your commitment by making sure your beneficiary understands their next steps and their options when you pass away,” Adel says.

RELATED: 6 Documents Everyone Should Have to Protect Their Finances

6. A “Gift Card” Redeemable for Financial Duties

Often one partner assumes the heavy lifting when it comes to managing household finances. If your significant other is typically the one who makes sure that the bills get paid on time, Faherty suggests offering a Valentine that lets you switch roles for a period, so you can both be involved in money matters.

As an added bonus, you could pair your symbolic gift card with a real one that can be used toward an activity that replaces your partner’s bill-paying time, such as a massage or dinner with friends.

7. A College Fund

Maybe you already have small children … or maybe you just have babies on the brain. In either case, as soon as you both know that kids are part of the picture, it’s smart to start saving for their college education. Although it will be years until they hit campus, planning early will help save you and your sweetheart some financial worry in the future: Inflation in college tuition has historically outpaced regular inflation—sometimes as much as 2 to 1.

So explore the various vehicles together, and be sure to get professional advice before you pick an investment route. “Especially if children are not yet in the picture,” Adel says, “work with financial and legal professionals to ensure you’re setting up an account that takes advantage of tax incentives.”

RELATED: 9 Mistakes Not to Make With 529 Savings Plans

8. A Monthly ‘Money Date’ Night

It’s not pillow talk, but it’s just as necessary. Smart financial planning between couples is all about communication, after all. And Valentine’s Day can serve as the perfect opportunity to launch a monthly financial meeting of the minds, so to speak. It doesn’t have to be formal, either—it can be a once-a-month “date night with purpose”. “To keep the mood light, open a bottle of wine, play music and order takeout,” Faherty says.

What’s important is that you devote the time to discuss whatever financial issues are on your mind. You could plan to tackle one financial to-do each month, such as investigating how to reduce your cable bill, shopping around for cheaper car insurance or even just seeing how well you’re both sticking to your monthly budget.

9. A Joint Charitable Gift

Love begets love, and giving back can be a gift that warms both of your hearts. Have a heart-to-heart about the societal ills that concern you both, and then research charities that are working to address those problems.

To check that a charity is worthy of your money, go to reputable sites like charitynavigator.org and guidestar.org. And remember that the organization must be recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS in order to get a tax credit for your donation.

10. An Investment Account for Your Future

Now, for a Valentine that represents your long-term goals. There’s nothing that says commitment more than saving up for a future home or the globetrotting you’ll do in retirement. Whatever the ultimate objective, starting an extra nest egg outside of your retirement savings helps you to both picture a future together.

As with your special-occasion fund, connect the account to a specific, future goal and determine when you want to accomplish it. This will not only remind you of the goal, says Faherty, but it will also help determine the best investment vehicle and asset allocation to fund it. Use this checklist to learn how to get started.

RELATED: 3 People, 3 Portfolios: What the Ups and Downs of the Stock Market Have Taught Me

11. A Plan to Pay Off Student Loans Together

In 2013, student loan borrowers owed the federal government more than $1 trillion. That’s a hefty debt—and what you owe as a couple could be keeping you both from other financial rites of passage, such as buying a first home.

Although student loans are better debt to carry than, say, credit card debt, it’s still ideal to have a plan to steadily pay them off together, says Faherty. “When my spouse and I got married, we had about $15,000 in combined student loans, and we put the money we received as wedding gifts toward paying them off,” she says. “We wanted to begin our lives together fresh. With this burden off our shoulders as soon as possible, we would be able to focus on and work toward other financial goals.”

RELATED: I Want to Pay Off My Student Loans

12. An Emergency Savings Fund

Every couple gets hit with the unexpected at some point, whether it’s a job loss, illness or even natural-disaster-related repairs. An emergency situation can put even more stress on a relationship if there isn’t a cushion of money to get you through the ordeal.

And don’t think it can’t happen to you: In a poll conducted by Bankrate.com, only 24% of those surveyed said they had enough to cover six months of expenses. Spare yourselves the future drama, and commit to building at least six months’ worth of expenses for those “just in case” moments. Figure out how much you can sock away each month, and then contribute together.

13. A Long-Term-Care Insurance Policy

Picture yourself growing old together. Now picture yourself growing old together without stressing over home- or health-related costs. Sounds better, right? Long-term-care insurance can help cover costs associated with assisted living or nursing homes, as well as expenses tied to receiving care at home, so the grayer versions of you and your sweetie can have peace of mind.

That time of life may seem far off, so why look into a policy now? Because the earlier you sign up for it, the better value you can expect for your premium dollar. And often, when you sign up together, says Fatoullah, you get a discount.

So be sure to start looking into long-term care insurance for you and your partner once you hit 50, and if you’re under 40, you may want to consider coverage for your parents. Almost nothing is less romantic than having your mother-in-law move in with you because she didn’t have a proper plan in place for her own long-term care!

RELATED: Long-Term Care Insurance 101

14. A Financial Filing System

According to Faherty, much of your personal financial success depends on one major factor: organization. Paying bills, rebalancing accounts, updating beneficiaries and locating documents for filing taxes are all less likely to fall through the cracks if you’ve nailed down a system for keeping them in one place.

A user-friendly, soup-to-nuts system, such as File Solutions’ Home Filing System, can give you the boost you need to start early on a couple’s spring-cleaning project. There are also digital options, like these apps, which can help you get virtually organized. Or you can use something as low-key as color-coordinated binders and folders to organize paperwork, adds Faherty.

Organization lessens stress. And the less stress you have, the more you’ll be in the mood for romance.

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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 spouse automatically inherit my car when I die?

By: Jon Stevenson

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 9.23.38 AMThe short answer in Ohio is yes. According to Ohio's BMV website, bmv.ohio.gov, your spouse will be entitled to up to two vehicles in your name under the surviving spouse law. To transfer the vehicles, your spouse will have to make a trip to the Title Office and apply for a surviving spouse certificate of title. The BMV warns that some Title Offices will require a certified copy of the death certificate so it's a good idea to call ahead for requirements.

While the above will apply to most Ohioans vehicles, there are some vehicles to which this law does not apply. The following is a list of qualification for a vehicle covered under the surviving spouse law:

  • The vehicle/vehicles cannot exceed $40,000 in value.
  • The vehicle/vehicles must be passenger vehicle, ¾ ton truck or smaller, or a motorcycle.
  • Commercial vehicles do not qualify
  • Motor Homes do not qualify
  • Recreational vehicles do not qualify

So whether you finally got that “arrest-me-red” sports car after the last kid left the nest, a pick up truck capable of towing Mt. Everest or the latest and greatest in RV technology (complete with home theater and 5 lane bowling alley) you're going to want to do some planning to insure your spouse won't be lost in the limbo of probate.

The question we have not answered here is what happens to the vehicles when your spouse dies? That can take more planning, particularly if you have a classic car you wish to keep within your family. Call us to discuss a strategy.

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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.

Will Your Death Cause Your Family Distress?

By Jill Besl

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 9.15.04 AMHeiress Huguetta Clark's death in 2011 at the age of 104 spawned numerous lawsuits that have dragged on for years. At her death, Clark's estate totaled more than $307 million and included an original Renoir, a Stradivarius violin and an original edition of Paradise Lost. She had no husband, children or siblings; only distant relatives with whom she had little contact.

At her passing, two wills were found. The first will, signed March 7, 2005, left everything to her distant relatives but this will had the word “revoked” handwritten and a line drawn through the first page. The second will, signed just a few weeks later on April 5, 2005, cut out the relatives, stating: I intentionally make no provision in this my last will and testament for any members of my family, whether on my maternal or paternal side, having had minimal contacts with them over the years.” Instead, the new will left $1 million to the hospital where she spent the last 20 years of her life after a serious bout of skin cancer, $100,000 to her personal physician, gifts to the caretakers of her various properties as well as gifts to her lawyers and accountants. Her California property went to a foundation that was to be established to promote the arts and her long-time daytime nurse received Clark's $1.7 million doll collection and 60% of the estate.

It's certainly not difficult to figure out what came next. The relatives contested the April 2005 will, claiming that Clark had been coerced into excluding them from her estate. After years of legal back-and-forth, a tentative settlement was reached in September 2013. Under the terms, the relatives would divide $34.5 million among themselves and many of the other bequests from the second will would not be honored. Then, to complicate matters further, in January 2014, Geraldine Coffey, Clarks night-duty nurse for 20 years would not agree to the settlement. The attorneys for the estate argue that Coffey caused Clark distress by pressuring her for money.

The drama that has persisted for the past three years since Huguetta Clark's death and has signs of continuing. It could have easily been avoided with the proper estate planning documents. As Florida Certified Elder Law Attorney Joseph S. Karp so aptly summed it up: “Multi-millionaires or not, all of us should take steps to ensure that in death, our wishes are carried out and those we care about most are protected.” Seek counsel from an experienced elder law attorney to make sure your family – or those who you wish to receive your assets – understand what you want at your death.

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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 will take care of my funeral?

By Managing Attorney Mitch Adel

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 8.57.16 AMSince starting my career in Elder Law and Estate Planning almost a decade ago, I have heard a ton of stories about the disagreements about what happens when someone passes away, from the families that argue about what music mom wants played at her funeral to the families that squabble over what photographs should be presented at the calling hours. These stories result in the second biggest fear we have for our clients, (after losing everything they worked a lifetime to earn), that families leave a hassle for those they leave behind.

As I tell all my clients, “Everyone in your family and their spouses or significant others have heard one way or another about how you want to be treated at death, make sure you put your wishes in writing.” By creating a Designation of Funeral Trustee your family can resolve and hopefully avoid the arguments over petty things when you pass away.

Why bother putting it in writing? The worry we have is that these arguments and ill feelings resonate for years after the parents are deceased and regrettably the family who was close for years, never talks again for the rest of their lives. Planning your funeral can be an uneasy process, but using a Designation of Funeral Trustee, you can list all your specific wishes regarding your funeral, hopefully clear up the uncertainties and provide guidance to those left behind. Those specific wishes can be as small as what dress mom wants, what church or synagogue dad wants to the remarkable complexities that might accompany a funeral like the one in Mechanicsburg, Ohio this past week.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/01/31/buried-on-motorcycle.html

From the article you can see that Mr. Standley had been planning his funeral for over 18 years. At one point, he was even required to go before the Champaign County Board of Health to obtain permission for the unique burial he wanted, posed on his Harley!

If you have specific wishes regarding your funeral, you would like to discuss options for payment of your funeral or you would simply like put down in writing some basic notes and avoid future conflict, please contact us and allow us to create a Designation of Funeral Trustee on your behalf.

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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 a Trust Review?

By Bethany Smith

Columbus Estate planningAt Cooper, Adel & Associates we believe in forming life long relationships with our clients. This is why our clients are always more than welcome to come in and meet with an associate at our firm with any questions or concerns that they may have concerning work we have prepared for them. We encourage our clients to come back – even if nothing has changed in their lives – every three or four years to complete a review of their Life Plan.

The purpose of the review is to make sure (1) your plan is updated with any changes in the your health, financial or family situation (2) your assets are funded properly to avoid probate and reduce taxes when possible, including any new assets you have acquired since you originally set up your plan, and (3) you have the time to ask any questions you have.

When working with Cooper, Adel & Associates we want you to understand the work we have done for you and more importantly why and how it works for your situation, to benefit you and your heirs. If you are an existing client of Cooper, Adel & Associates please call in to schedule your no-charge review with an associate of our firm. If you have never done with work with Cooper, Adel & Associates please call in to schedule a no charge initial consultation at 1-800-798-5297 to begin getting your ducks in a row.

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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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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.  

The Top 5 Misconceptions regarding Irrevocable Trusts

By Attorney Dan Vu

 

Ohio estate planning attorneys1) All irrevocable trusts are basically the same and do basically the same thing.

There are a many different types of irrevocable trusts that are used to deal with a wide variety of different issues. For example, some irrevocable trusts are created to save millionaires from having to pay the federal estate tax when they die. Some are created to protect the assets of doctors, landlords, and other business owners from potential lawsuits. What many don't realize is that some are built specifically to protect the assets of middle class americans from the devastating cost of a nursing home.

 

2) Revocable trusts are always better than irrevocable trusts.

Not always true – Irrevocable trusts can achieve goals that revocable trusts simply can never accomplish. For example a revocable trust cannot achieve the creditor protection and nursing home protection that was mentioned above.

 

3) I will lose all control over an irrevocable trust.

Not necessarily true – Depending on the goal of the trust, an irrevocable trust can actually reserve certain powers that ensure that you will still control the trust. The word irrevocable just means that the terms of the trust cannot be changed, but if the terms of the trust give you certain powers then you get to keep those powers.

 

4) An irrevocable trust must always be issued a separate tax ID number.

Although your banker, accountant, and tax preparer might say otherwise, they are technically incorrect. Some irrevocable trusts are called “Irrevocable Grantor Trusts.” These trusts are irrevocable trusts where the Grantor (creator of the trust) has retained enough power within the trust that the IRS has determined that the trust is still really the Grantor's trust for tax purposes. Since it is really still the Grantor's trust, the IRS allows the trust to run under the Grantor's personal social security number and therefore no separate tax id number is needed.

 

5) I can never be a beneficiary of my irrevocable trust.

Depending on the purpose of the trust, you could even be the beneficiary of your own irrevocable trust. For example, the new Ohio Legacy Trust is an irrevocable trust that provides creditor protection. Ohio law allows for you to create the trust and even name yourself as one of the beneficiaries of the trust, without losing the creditor protection.

 

Irrevocable trusts are not as scary as they might seem at first. In fact, a well crafted irrevocable trust can play the most important role in your estate and asset protection plan. Call us if you need help on your estate and asset protection planning.

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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.

When Should I Apply for Medicare?

By Chris Meyer

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.45.26 AMMany of our clients are unsure about when they should apply for Medicare. With the ever-changing rules and regulations of the healthcare world, it is difficult to keep up to date on the suggested age of applying for Medicare as well as the standard procedure as how to apply. It is important to know, assuming that you are not covered by an employer-sponsored program that you can and should apply three months before you turn age 65, including the month you turn 65. You can also apply three months after you turn age 65. If you do not sign up during this time period, you may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in Part B!

According to ssa.gov, “most people age 65 or older who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States are eligible for free Medicare hospital insurance.” You are eligible at the age of 65 if one you meet one of the following requirements:

  1. You receive or are eligible to receive Social Security benefits

  2. You receive or are eligible to receive railroad retirement benefits

  3. Your spouse receives or is eligible to receive Social Security or railroad retirement benefits

  4. You or your spouse (living or deceased, including divorced spouses) worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid

  5. You are the dependent parent of a fully insured deceased child.
     

However, you are also eligible for Medicare before the age of 65 if one of the following requirements are met:

  1. You have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months

  2. You receive a disability pension from the railroad retirement board and meet certain conditions

  3. You receive Social Security disability benefits because you have Lou Gehrig's disease (amyorophic lateral sclerosis)

  4. You worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid and you have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months

  5. You are the child or widow(er) age 50 or older, including a divorced widow(er), of someone who has worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid and you meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program

  6. You have permanent kidney failure and you receive maintenance dialysis or a kidney transplant and:

    - You are eligible for or receive monthly benefits under Social Security or the railroad retirement system; or

    - You have worked long enough in a Medicare-covered government job; or

    -You are the child of spouse (including a divorced spouse) of a worker (living or deceased who has worked long enough under Social Security or in a Medicare-covered government job.

All of this information and more can be found on the website ssa.gov. You or a loved one may also apply for Medicare through this website as well.

Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-798-5297 with any questions you may have regarding Medicare. Also, be sure to Like us on Facebook for up-to-date topics in regards to Medicare and a wide variety of other Elder Law related topics.

(pic via Flickr)

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