Roberson Law Focusing on Estate Planning, Trust, Probate and Elder Law

Newsletter

NEWS ALERT:
Roberson Law Wins Award

On May 8, 2015, our firm will be recognized
2013 Staff Picture
as the
 "Business of The Year." The award is being given to us by Good Shepherd Ministries and will be presented to us at the annual banquet held at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Centerville.  The event is being emceed by WHIO news anchor Cheryl McHenry and the keynote speaker will be Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman.
  
We are very honored to receive this award from such a respectable organization.  Good Shepherd Ministries Founding Director Dale Nieberding stated that our firm was chosen to receive the award due to the integrity and Christian values that our firm exhibits in our business practices.

Good Shepherd Ministries is a non-profit that works with ex-offenders to help restore their lives with mentoring, housing, and spiritual support after incarceration or chemical rehabilitation. The non-profit's annual partnership banquet and fundraiser is Friday, May 8th at Epiphany Lutheran Church from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  For tickets to the event, please call 938-5781.

 

Elderly Woman

 

Elder Law Update: Legal Issues Affecting People With Alzheimer's Disease

 

According to the Alzheimer's Association statistics, in 2014, an estimated 5.2 million Americans of all
ages have Alzheimer's disease. One in nine people age 65 and older (11 percent)

has Alzheimer's disease, and of those with Alzheimer's disease, the vast majority
(82 percent) are age 75 or older.  These startling statistics mean that there are millions of Americans who are in danger of not having the mental capacity to sign legal documents.  

 

Because a large portion of our client base consists of people who are age 65 and older, we see a lot of families affected by this horrible disease.  When doing planning for a client with Alzheimer's Disease, we have to take into consideration the client's mental capacity to understand the documents being signed.  Remember that it is the client with the disease who must sign the estate planning documents; the person caring for the client may not sign the legal document on behalf of the client.  

 

The two Powers of Attorney (POA)  for financial and health care matters are some the most important documents that we recommend to a person with Alzheimer's Disease.  This is because people with the disease have a diminished capacity to make sound financial and health decisions for themselves.  Without a POA in place, a guardianship may be necessary, which is a costly probate court procedure that should be avoided.  It is for these reasons why we suggest that the financial and health care POA be executed as soon as one receives the Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis. 

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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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News You Can Use
In This Issue: 
  • NEWS ALERT: Roberson Law Wins Award
  • Don't Make These 6 Estate Planning Mistakes!
  • Elder Law Update: Legal Issues Affecting Alzheimer's Disease
  • Problems On The Horizon For Veteran's Pensions
  • Obama's Proposed Tax Changes Regarding Inherited Property
  • Helpful Hints: Determine How Your Online Presence Will Be Handled After You Die
  • All States Are Not Created Equal When It Comes To Death And Disability Planning
  • Grief Support And Resources
  • Need A Speaker For Your Next Event?
Don't Make These 6 Estate Planning Mistakes! mistake

We are in the business of helping people prepare and plan for the inevitable, so every year we write an article advising our clients about what not to do when it comes to death and disability planning.  The mistakes we have seen people make throughout the past 25 years we have been in practice have caused a lot heartache, stress, and money for our clients to correct.  

We realize that understanding what to do and what not to do when it comes to estate planning can be very confusing to a person who isn't familiar with the probate and trust laws (Side note: That's why you don't hire an attorney who is not a specialist in this area of law).  It is for the reasons above why we are encouraging our clients to read an article recently published by the law firm Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. titled, "The 6 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes." 

The article sums up in non-legalize why you need to listen to the advice of your estate planning attorney or suffer serious consequences.  Some of the mistakes people make include burying their head in the sand and not planning at all, not funding a trust, incorrectly designating beneficiaries on bank accounts, retirement funds, etc. or going online for "do-it-yourself" estate planning forms, which is a "doozy" mistake due to the vast differences in each state's laws.  

One "size" does not fit all when it comes to death and disability planning in the United States.  For that reason, attorneys are required to be licensed to practice law in each state where they are giving advice, so that is why going to a site that is not state specific (like Legal Zoom) is not wise.
All States Are Not Created Equal When It Comes To Death And Disability Planning            

A common misconception is that a Will, Trust, or Power of Attorney that is prepared in one state will have the same effectiveness and powers in a different state.  This is simply not true.  It is for that reason why we advise clients who are moving to or from another state to have their estate planning documents reviewed by an attorney who specializes in estate planning in the state where legal residence will occur. 

Are you a "snow bird" who lives in a warm climate state in the winter and are not 100% certain about where you have legal residence?  A non-official guide is that you should have your estate planning documents prepared in the state where you vote.

To further prove that all states are not created equal, we have included a state death tax chart that was created by McGuireWoods LLP for you to see the difference in each state's tax guideline for a decedent's estate.

Obama's Proposed Tax Changes Regarding Inherited Property Taxes

 

Many Estate Planning Attorneys, Financial Planners, and Accountants took note of the tax changes that President Obama recently proposed regarding capital gains taxes.  If these changes took place, people inheriting real estate could suffer great tax consequences for the property they inherit.  

 

This tax change would be most detrimental to people who are in the middle-income to high-income range, but that income range represents a lot of people in America.  That being the case, the proposed tax increase could potentially cost millions of dollars to tax payers who are the beneficiaries of real estate or other property, which is something that planners will have to take into consideration when advising their clients.

 

Because the tax changes that Obama proposed have to go through a majority Republican Congress before they are approved, we most likely won't see these changes implemented in this presidential term.  However, Obama's tax proposals have made us all more aware that there may be serious changes in the future for heirs of inherited property.

 

Problems On The Horizon For Veteran's Pensions 

The Veterans Administration (VA) has received a lot of backlash in the media lately from the recent report of Veterans experiencing long delays in getting health benefits.

These long wait times have resulted in Veterans not only receiving delayed health care, but in some cases no care at all, which have resulted in the subsequent deaths of Veterans waiting for care. Another issue on the horizon for the Veterans is that the VA has issued statements indicating that they may adopt a new rule that will seriously restrict the benefits that Veterans can receive from their pensions for long term care and nursing home costs. 

According to an article written by Attorney Victoria Collier that was published on the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys website, "The proposed rule imposes a three-year "look-back" period on gifts and other transfers and creates a maximum 10-year penalty waiting period for making those transfers. The rule also imposes myriad other new restrictions that includes capping the amount of home health expenses a Veteran can deduct to qualify. As a result, fewer Veterans and their surviving spouses will be able to access these benefits to pay for the high costs of long-term care."

There are also new proposed restrictions regarding "gifts" that can be made to others from the Veteran.  These monetary gifts are often made by the Veteran in order to initiate the spend-down process to qualify for long term care benefits.  The VA is putting serious restrictions on monetary gifts made by Veterans and unapproved transfers of money could cause the Veteran to permanently get denied certain pension benefits.  It is for this reason why we encourage people to contact us before they "move around money" for spend-down purposes.  One wrong move could cause serious consequences in the future that cannot be undone.

If you are a veteran, we suggest that you consult with a Veterans Services Officer in your county and review the benefits to which you may be entitled.  The telephone numbers for several of the county offices are as follows:  Montgomery: 937.225.4801; Greene: 937.562.6020; Warren: 513.695.2717; Miami: 937.440.8126; Preble: 937.456.6111.  Call us if you need the telephone number in a different county.  In addition, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has a Mobile Service Office (MSO) program that makes multiple stops in our area.  For information about the MSO stops and free DAV services, call Steven Strodtbeck, DAV NSO, at 216.522.3507.

Helpful Hints: Determine What Will Happen To Your Facebook Account After You Die

 

Facebook Logo Last month, Facebook released its policy regarding what happens to a person's account after he or she dies. The new features effectively allow you to determine how your online presence will be handled after you die, which is a hot topic right now in the field of estate planning law.

 

The new policy involves you naming a person as a "legacy contact" on your account.  The legacy contact will have as much or as little access to your account that you allow.  You can even apply security settings that prohibit your legacy contact from accessing certain content in your Facebook account after you die.  For more information about this topic, read an article that was published by the law firm Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.

 

Roberson Law Dayton Ohio


Need A Speaker For Your Next Event? Speaking

                                                                       
2014 was a busy year for Nancy Roberson as she gave speeches every month to various non-profits, clubs, civic organizations, and businesses on the importance of planning for death and disability, which often includes her heartfelt, personal story of the tragedy in her life that propelled her to pursue her practice area of law.                                                                                                                                               

Rob Moyer, President and CEO of Rexarc, a business where Nancy spoke last Fall, wrote the following testimonial about Nancy's speech:

 

"As a committed community contributor, Nancy Roberson has spoken to the Rexarc organization to communicate the importance of thinking ahead and planning for the inevitable.  Through her insightful presentations, many individuals have shared that Nancy's thoughts have stimulated their review or proactive development of their estate planning.  Through the support of personal and professional development by Rexarc, driven by Nancy's presentations and encouragement, the Rexarc workforce has become more prepared through awareness of the need to have a personal estate plan."

                                                                                                                            

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. 

Grief Support And Resources

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.

If you need a grief resource besides a support group, Nancy's new favorite publication is  "I Will Trust God...Meditations for Recovery from Loss and Grief," a booklet containing sixty meditations to guide you during your journey through grief and loss.  The booklet is not death-specific and relates to many kinds of loss.  We have a supply of the booklet available in our office for $2.00 each if you want one.
 
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.

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 2015 by Nancy Roberson. All rights reserved. 937.643.2000.