LAW ALERT: Estate & Gift Tax Opportunities Are Almost
Only four more months remain before the estate and gift tax rate goes from 35% to 55%.
According to the Trust & Estates Law Alert posted by the New York law firm, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek,
"Those who can participate in significant gift planning must
act now if they plan to take advantage of the historic opportunities presented by
the high gift tax exemption amount before the close of 2012..."
Read the full article here.
If you need advice about how to take advantage of these historically low gift and estate tax rates before they expire, please call our office at 937.643.2000 and schedule a telephone conference with one of our attorneys.
Blog on Estate Planning for Unmarried
In most states, the estate laws are not written to protect the interests of couples who are not married, but who cohabitate and share assets. It is for that reason why estate planning for unmarried couples has been a hot topic recently in the world of estate law. To learn more, read Chris Cooper's blog entry.
Who doesn't love a free dinner on the town?
At the end of September, we will randomly select one lucky person who "likes" Roberson Law on Facebook to win a $50.00 gift card to a restaurant of choice. "Like" us now and don't miss this easy chance to win!
Elder Law Services
Did you know that we have a department dedicated to senior services?
- Preserve your savings from nursing home costs
- Keep your home in the family
- Know when to apply for Medicaid
- Receive help finding the right nursing home
Check out our blog and our newest web page on Elder Law!
Read an informative article titled, Will Adult Children Have To Pay Mom's Nursing Home Costs? by Howard Gleckman of Forbes magazine.
Click here to view our website and video on YouTube!
Our mission is to provide excellent, compassionate legal services to help people plan for the unexpected and prepare for the inevitable.
|Two Weddings and a Trip to Africa!|
The past few months have been busy for the staff at Roberson Law! The first eventful day occurred when our resident law student and legal assistant, Kim (Cullman) Estess, married Adam Estess on May 19, 2012, at Incarnation Church in Centerville. The second special event occurred when our Associate Attorney, Kristina Rainer, married Joe Wolmeldorf on June 9, 2012, at St. Bonaface Church in Cincinnati.
The majority of the Roberson Law staff attended the weddings and enjoyed spending the day together celebrating the nuptials of their fellow staff members. Adam and Kim followed their wedding ceremony by travelling to St. Lucia for their honeymoon, and Kristina and Joe spent their honeymoon in Quebec.
After all of the excitement over the two weddings died down, our other Associate Attorney, Amanda White, left the U.S.A. for two weeks to go on a mission's trip to Zambia, Africa. Amanda and her husband, David, took a group of 16 teenagers from Emmanual Lutheran Church in Kettering to the town of Mongu, Zambia. There they worked with an organization called Kids Alive Zambia to direct a Vacation Bible School, work on a school construction project, and love on about 100-200 orphans. They also had the opportunity to see Victoria Falls (one of the seven natural wonders of the world) and numerous elephants, rhinos, giraffes, and zebras, among other things. If you want to hear more, just call or email Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask!
|News You Can Use|
In This Issue:
- LAW ALERT: Estate & Gift Tax Opportunities Are Almost Gone!
- The Little Things That Can Cause Big Fights When A Relative Dies
- "Did You Know?" A discussion about the new POA laws by Attorney Kristina Rainer
- Blog on Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples: "It's Complicated"
- Protecting Your Privacy: Getting a Trust Isn't Always About Protecting Your Assets
- Elder Law Services: Helping Elderly Parents with Their Finances and Estate Plans
- Nancy Roberson's Published Article, "Dying Well"
- Does an 18 Year Old Really Need an Estate Plan?
- Two Weddings and a Trip to Africa
- Need a Free Speaker?
- Widows' Support Groups
The Little Things That Can Cause Big Fights When A Relative Dies
Believe it or not, arguments over money are not what cause the most contention among family members after a loved one's death. In our office, we have seen families fight over inexpensive items such as photos, costume jewelry, books, ice skates, dishes and silverware. That is why we incorporate a document called a "Specific Gifts List" into many of our clients' wills and trusts.
An interesting article about this topic was recently published online in Forbes magazine by attorney and author Deborah L. Jacobs. Click here to read the article.
"Did You Know?" by Kristina Rainer, Esquire
On March 22, 2012, a new law went into effect that impacts General Durable Powers of Attorney (GDPOA), the written documents that authorize another person, who is called your agent or attorney in fact, to perform personal and financial transactions on your behalf during your life.
1) What are the most significant changes in the law that pertain to the GDPOA?
Answer: There are four significant changes:
A. Multiple agents are presumed to have independent authority to act unless the principal (the person who is granting authority to the agents) includes special instructions that the agents are required to act together. For example: if you name both your son and your daughter as co-agents in your GDPOA, your son can make decisions for you without getting permission from your daughter unless you have stated that your son and daughter must make decisions and act together on your behalf.
B. The GDPOA is presumed durable (and therefore effective immediately) unless stated otherwise.
C. A subsequent agent no longer has an affirmative duty to seek out and investigate the prior wrongdoing of a prior agent unless the agent has actual knowledge of the prior wrongdoing.
D. An agent must attempt to preserve the principal's estate plan if the agent knows the estate plan, and preserving the estate plan is consistent with the principal's best interest.
2) Do the changes in the law require that everyone update their GDPOA to comport with the new law?
Answer: No, but we recommend that you update your GDPOA, especially if your GDPOA is five years old or you want your agent to make gifts for you that exceed the annual Federal gift tax exclusion amount.
3) What has Roberson Law done to ensure that its clients have the most up-to-date version of the new GDPOA?
Answer: We are recommending that all of our past clients get a new GDPOA. We are updating the GDPOA of all our current active clients before we return their documents to them, and we are incorporating a new GDPOA into the estate plans of new clients if they had a GDPOA previously prepared before March 22, 2012.
4) What is the cost of getting a new GDPOA?
Answer: If you are a current client and have had your estate plan reviewed by us in the last five years, the cost would be $100.00. However, if we haven't reviewed your file in more than five years, the cost would be $100.00 plus the cost of a consultation to review your estate plan.
Protecting Your Privacy: Getting a Trust Isn't Always About Protecting Your Assets
You've probably heard that one of the main reasons why people decide to get a revocable living trust as part of their estate plan is to avoid probate. Did you know that a huge benefit of avoiding probate is protecting your family's privacy?
In his article "Addressing Client Privacy," attorney George H. Lovett points to statistics from the Federal Trade Commission showing that in 2011, agencies registered 1.8 million scam complaints, costing the victims over $1.5 billion. Consider these numbers along with the fact that Ohio has one of the strongest open public records laws in the country, and the stage is set for scam artists to take advantage of unsuspecting Ohio citizens.
When a trust is used as part of an estate plan, the probate process can often be bypassed if the trust is fully funded. By keeping your personal and financial information out of probate court, you are protecting your family from unnecessary risks arising from easy access to public information.
|Nancy Roberson's Published Article, "Dying Well"
Nancy's latest article for her column "You Don't Know What You Don't Know," was just published in Living With Loss magazine.
Nancy writes, "Have you thought about your death? How will you die? What about your loved ones? How will they die? These are morbid but realistic thoughts, because..."
Read the article here
Does an 18 Year Old Really Need An Estate Plan?
In Ohio, having the legal authority to make financial or health decisions for your child ends when your child turns 18. Your child's moving out shouldn't mean that your child is left without someone to legally have the authority to help your child if a financial or health emergency arises. Because of that uncertainty, more clients are requesting documents for their adult children before their children head off to college.
Attorney Robert L. Firth writes, "When your child reaches maturity, HIPAA laws prevent parents from obtaining confidential medical information unless your child has communicated that he wishes for you to be involved..." Read the article that Attorney Robert L. Firth wrote about this topic here.
Most 18 year olds do not need the Ohio specific, lengthy wills that we prepare in our office. Therefore, we have an abbreviated version of our customized will that is appropriate for unmarried, young adults who do not have children or sizeable assets. Through the end of September, we are offering a package for college-age children to receive a General Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, HIPAA form, and Will for $149.00. If you are interested in getting these documents for your adult child, please call or email Kim Estess at 937.643.2000 or email@example.com.
Need a Free Speaker?
Nancy Roberson has been very busy these past few months speaking for churches, non-profit organizations, support groups, financial institutions, and civic groups. There are too many organizations to name, but thank you to all of you who invited Nancy to speak for your special events!
As we mentioned in our previous newsletter, Nancy was honored with an award from Toastmasters International District 40 in part for her service as a professional speaker for non-profit, civic, and religious groups. If you would like Nancy to speak at your next event, please call or email Amy Cary to book your event. Nancy has an inspiring story that captivates and motivates audiences to get their affairs in order.
As always, we never charge a fee for our professional speaking services, and we require a minimum of only ten people to attend in order to book an event. You may also go to our speaking engagements page on our website to read some testimonials from past attendees and to obtain more information about speaking engagement opportunities.
Widows' Support Groups
This is a reminder that two widows' support groups are now serving the Miami Valley.
The Young Widows' Support Group (under age 50) meets on the first Thursday of each month from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Normandy United Methodist Church, located at 450 West Alex-Bell Road, Centerville, Ohio.
The Widows' Support Group (over age 50) meets on the first Friday of each month from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Normandy United Methodist Church, located at 450 West Alex-Bell Road, Centerville, Ohio.
For more information about the Young Widows' Support Group, visit the website, call Pam Walker at 937.434.7981, or email DaytonYWSG@aol.com.
For further information about the Widows' Support Group, call or email Sherry Matsel at 937.878.9707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Nancy
Roberson for receiving the
Five Star Wealth Manager Award, which will be published in the next Cincinnati Magazine!
|All material in this newsletter is Copyright © 2012 by Nancy A. Roberson. All rights reserved.|