Roberson Law Specializing in Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Law

Quarterly News

NEWS ALERT:
Ohio Veterans Get Property Tax Relief Due To New Bill Signed Into Law

Thanks to House Bill 85 just signed into law by Governor John Kasich, the homestead exemption for military veterans who are 100 percent disabled from a service-related disability has just been increased from $25,000 to $50,000.  This means a disabled veteran who qualifies would have to pay taxes on only $100,000 of a home valued at $150,000.

Jerry Kerr, commander of Tri-Community VFW Post 4719 in Gahanna and Senior Vice Commander of District 11 said, "The bill will be a huge financial benefit for a lot of disabled veterans."

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that about 8,000 permanently disabled veterans in Ohio meet the service-related disability requirement for tax exemption under the bill.

Elderly Woman

 

Elder Law Update: Beating a Dead Horse

 

As a reminder, we suggest that you schedule an appointment with us to assist you in developing a game plan to address long term care expenses.  We

do not recommend attempting the Medicaid application process before having "all of your ducks in a row."  Don't do it alone; one wrong transfer may disqualify the recipient from receiving Medicaid.  

 

In addition, we want to remind everyone again about another Medicaid planning strategy that we have mentioned in the past two newsletters.

 

Why are we "beating a dead horse" by continuing to bring up this topic? It is because we are still meeting with clients who are not doing the following action: we recommend that married couples transfer their home into the name of the Community Spouse (the one living at home) and out of the name of the Institutionalized Spouse (the one living in a nursing home) or Revocable Living Trust (RLT) for the following reasons:  An Ohio court case held that a home titled in a RLT is a countable resource for Medicaid qualification purposes.  (Contrast this to the home being an exempt asset if titled in the name of either spouse alone or Husband and Wife jointly.)  Also, if the name of the Institutionalized Spouse remains on the home and Medicaid benefits are provided to the Institutionalized Spouse, Medicaid may put a lien on the home to the extent of the share of the Institutionalized Spouse.  

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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 web page on Elder Law! 

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Widows' Support Groups

This is a reminder that 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. and 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.  Both groups meet at Normandy United Methodist Church, located at 450 West Alex-Bell Road, Centerville, Ohio.  Dates may change, however, due to holiday conflicts.
 
For more information about the Young Widows' Support Group, visit the website, call Pam Walker at 937.672.8810, or email DaytonYWSG@aol.com.
 

For further information about the Widows' Support Group, call or email Sherry Matsel at 937.878.9707 or imboo25@yahoo.com.

Coming Soon: Revising Your Health Care Directives When The New Forms Are Published Later This Year. Stay Tuned.

News You Can Use
In This Issue: 
  • NEWS ALERT: Ohio Veterans Get Property Tax Relief Due To New Bill Signed Into Law
  • Dangers of Executing Your Own Will
  • Additions To The Roberson Law Family
  • Elder Law Update: Beating A Dead Horse
  • My Name Is "On" Mom's Account, So Won't It Avoid Probate?
  • Walk to End Alzheimer's
  • Helpful Hints: How To Obtain Your SSA Statement
  • Owners Of Florida Real Estate Must Pay Real Estate Taxes By 11/30/14 To Get 4% Discount!
  • Widows' Support Groups
  • Need A Speaker For Your Next Event?
  • Coming Soon: Revising Your Health Care Directives When The New Forms Are Published Later This Year. Stay Tuned.
Dangers of Executing Your Own Will    mistake

 

The employees of our firm are big proponents of saving money and being good stewards of your assets.  However, many people confuse being cheap with being wise managers of their money.  There is definitely a difference between the two actions.  That is why we are reminding you to take caution when not seeking a qualified, state-specific lawyer to draft your estate planning documents in an effort to save money.

 

In one Florida case, the "do it yourself" Will of a women had so many discrepancies and omissions that the woman's estate was taken all of the way to the Florida Supreme Court to determine how the property was going to be distributed to the woman's heirs after the woman died.  The attorney fees incurred for the case cost substantially more than what the fees would have been for the woman to have had her Will prepared properly by a qualified attorney before her death.

 

Many attorneys who choose to practice in this area of law have some advanced certification or accreditation in the field because of how difficult this area of law can be to practice.  That is even more reason why a person who tries to draft his or her own Will, Trust, etc. should read the article that was posted on the Sydney Morning Herald website about the dangers of "do it yourself" documents.  Sometimes not having any estate planning documents at all can be better than having documents that are self-prepared due to the problems that can occur with documents that don't comport with state law and are ambiguous. 

Additions To The Roberson Law Family

The Spring edition of our newsletter announced the exciting news that our Associate Attorney Kim Estess was pregnant with a baby girl due this month.  Little did we know when we wrote the newsletter that two months later Kim's baby would decide to come into the world seven weeks early!    

On the morning of Monday, June 16th, while working at her desk at our office, Kim's water unexpectedly broke.  Kim was admitted to Kettering Memorial Hospital later that day and then two days later at 7:44 a.m.on June 18th Kim gave birth to Cecilia "CeCe" Jean Estess.  CeCe was a tiny 5 pounds, 1 ounce and 18 inches long at birth, but today CeCe is almost 9 pounds and healthy.  Kim is also doing great and resumed working from home on August 13th.  Kim will officially return to the office on September 2nd.
The same day that Kim's water broke, college intern Kayla Helm started for her first day of her summer internship; what an exciting day it was for Kayla to start at our office!  Kayla is a graduate of Carroll High School and a student enrolled in Sinclair's Paralegal program.  Although Kayla was originally hired as a temporary employee for the summer, Kayla's skills have proven to be so useful that we have hired her as a permanent staff member at Roberson Law.  Kayla is specifically interested in working in the probate area of law, which is an area of our practice that is constantly busy.  Welcome, Kayla!

Walk To End Alzheimer's    

Nancy Roberson has a special connection to the Alzheimer's Association: her father-in-law died as a result of his dementia, and many of Nancy's dear clients have or have had this horrible disease.

 

Nancy has also served for many years as a volunteer for the Alzheimer's Association Speaker's Bureau, speaking around the community about various issues pertaining to people and families affected by Alzheimer's Disease.  Nancy's special connection to the organization has made her an advocate for the cause of finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.

 

Saturday, October 11, 2014, Nancy and her staff along with the team of Professionals Helping Seniors will participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's in Miami County.  The Walk is a fundraiser to help fund programs and research to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.  If you would like to make a donation to support Nancy's team or to participate in the Walk To End Alzheimer's with Nancy and her staff, please go to the website that has a link to Nancy's page.

Helpful Hints: How to Obtain Your SSA Statement

As of February 2014, the Social Security Administration stopped providing paper copies of Social Security number printouts and benefit verification letters at the local field offices such as the office located in downtown Dayton.  However, you may obtain the information immediately by registering for account access online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount or by calling Social Security's national toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 and requesting that the information be mailed to you.

Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, Theresa Busher, from the Dayton office states, "We are making these changes to meet the increasing demands for our services at the same time that our agency budget has been significantly cut by over $1B in each of the last three years.  During this same time period, we have invested in technology that offers more convenient, cost-effective, and secure options for our customers to obtain certain services - including an instant, online benefit verification letter -- without visiting a local office."

My Name Is "On" Mom's Account, So Won't It Avoid Probate?


The title of this article is a common misconception that people have about avoiding probate.  A person will assume that just because he has been designated as his parent's Agent in his parent's Power of Attorney (POA) that he will have access to his parent's bank account after the parent dies.  The person will incorrectly assume that having his name listed on his parent's account will be enough to avoid probate.  The main reason why this is not true is because a POA is void and the Agent loses all "powers" when the Principal (the giver of the POA) dies.
Probate Court

 

The correct way to title a bank account to avoid probate is Joint Tenants With Rights Of Survivorship (JTWROS).  We do not recommend, however, that an account be titled JTWROS with anyone other than your spouse or the sole heir who you want to receive all of the money remaining in your bank account after your death.
 

Parents who have more than one child should take caution when putting one child alone on their bank account as JTWROS because by doing so, you are effectively excluding your remaining children or heirs from having any right to the money remaining in your bank account after you die, regardless of what your Will says.  Yes, having someone designated as JTWROS does avoid probate in many situations, but it can also open up a multitude of issues. 

The bottom line is that you shouldn't take your estate planning into your own hands and just make all of your accounts JTWROS without first talking to an attorney who can determine if that strategy is the best course of action for your estate planning goals.
Owners of Florida Real Estate Must Pay Real Estate Taxes By 11/30/14 To Get 4% Discount!
Why is an Ohio law firm reporting news on Florida real estate you ask? The answer is because nearly 20% of our client base either owns a timeshare or real estate located in Florida, making many of our clients official "snowbirds" as they like to call themselves.

To obtain more information about this discount, go to the Florida Department of Revenue page on property taxes.

 

Roberson Law Dayton Ohio


Need a Speaker For Your Next Event?

  

Nancy Roberson has a busy speaking schedule this summer with five speaking engagements scheduled for August alone.

 

If you would like Nancy to speak at your next event, please call 937.643.2000 or email Amy Cary at acary@dayton-attorney.com to book your event.  Nancy has an inspiring story that captivates and motivates audiences to get their personal and legal affairs in order. 

 

As always, we do not charge a fee for our professional speaking services as long as you confirm that at least ten people will attend.  If fewer than ten people attend the event, then we just request that a donation be made to the Young Widows or Widows Support Group.  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 topics. 

Office picture     

  
Our mission is to  provide excellent, compassionate legal services to help people plan for the unexpected and prepare for the inevitable.
 
All material in this newsletter is Copyright 2014 by Nancy A. Roberson. All rights reserved.