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How can we fairly distribute personal items at death?

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A few weeks ago, my colleague wrote about whether you need to include your personal belongs in your estate plan. When administering an estate, we often get the practical question, “how can we fairly distribute the personal items among the beneficiaries?”

There are several solutions to this problem.

Option 1: Give each beneficiary a different color …

Is Your Will Valid?

Is Your Will Valid?

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Making decisions ahead of time is always easier and simpler than waiting for an emergency. Unfortunately, many people scramble to get their decisions documented when faced with significant illness or only months to live. Estate planning is a process that is put on the back-burner. What happens when you delay too long and your time …

What Not To Do: Common Long-term Care Mistakes

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We’ve seen almost every mistake imaginable. Transfers of property, questionable financial products, botched applications for Medicaid or Veterans’ benefits.  From the best outcomes to the worst and everything in between. When people are confronted with a long-term care emergency, they panic. They’ll take advice from anyone and everyone and often further complicate their problem by …

How Does an ABLE Account Work?

How Does an ABLE Account Work?

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In December of 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law. The Act provides a new tool to care for disabled loved ones, relieving stress for millions of families. Caregivers often spend sleepless nights worrying how they can ensure that the disabled person is cared for after the caregiver can …

AlerStallings Greg

Greg Aler is our Featured Attorney of the Month!

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A little bit about Greg:

Greg was born and raised in Bellefontaine, Ohio, home of the oldest concrete street in America and Mad River Mountain. Greg graduated from Miami University and majored in finance, moving across Ohio after college to Case Western Law School in Cleveland.  Chicago was the next stop where he worked at two of the largest firms …

Will vs. Trust: What’s the Difference?

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Will vs. Trust: What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between a “will” and a “trust”? Both are common estate planning tools, however many Ohioans do not know the differences between the two documents.

A will is a legal record of who will receive your property at your death, who should act as a legal representative to …

Revocable Trusts vs. Irrevocable Trusts

Revocable Trusts vs. Irrevocable Trusts

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Revocable Trusts vs. Irrevocable Trusts

Many people know a Will says where your stuff goes. But far fewer understand how a trust works. Some even have a trust of some sort but don’t really know how it works. But what kind of trust is right for you? That depends largely on your goals. First, all trusts …

Living Trust

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

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Attorney Greg Aler provides a comprehensive explanation of what a Revocable Living Trust is and what it does.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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For ideas on how to become involved on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, please read a guest blog post from Forbes’ contributor Bernard Krooks.

My Life as a Caregiver

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This week we share a guest blog post by Dr. Nancy Snyderman of NBC News. In her post, Dr. Snyderman addresses an issue that many children of elderly parents are familiar with; being a caregiver.

Two Big Openings: New Offices and a Move

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We’ve packed, shuffled, painted, decorated, unpacked, and settled. Twice. Our new, larger offices have opened at 6025 Frantz Road in Dublin Ohio. We have expanded meeting spaces, classroom spaces, and more office to accommodate our expanding team. Many seminars, continuing education and relaxed get-togethers are in the works. Be sure to register for our newsletter to …

Estate Planning For New Parents Infographic

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Some Baby Boomers Say They May Never Retire

Some Baby Boomers Say They May Never Retire

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A recent Gallup Poll shows that while the average age of retirement has risen steadily, it’s the youngest of the Baby Boomers who plan to work the longest. One in 10, of these younger Boomers, say they don’t plan on ever retiring. The strongest drive to work long into the Golden Years seems to be …

The Golden Parachute : An Exit Strategy for the Business Owner

The Golden Parachute : An Exit Strategy for the Business Owner

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By: Gregory Aler
From one business owner to another, we get it.  You put your blood, sweat and tears into your company over a lifetime.  It’s your legacy.  And the thought of walking away never crosses your mind while you have your nose to the grindstone.  For many business owners, this oversight can cause a sad …

Funeral Planning as a Final Gift

Funeral Planning as a Final Gift

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We are pleased to introduce a handful of guest blogs from our professional partners at the Schoedinger Funeral & Cremation Services Blog. Several of the professionals at Schoedinger contribute regularly to their blog and we are excited to be able to share some of their insight with our readers.

Of particular interest, is a post from Julie …

Baby Boomers: “Take This Job and Shove It”

Baby Boomers: “Take This Job and Shove It”

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Retiring Baby Boomers are mucking up the Labor Department’s 2013 Jobs Report. The Labor Department estimates, about 76% of those leaving the workforce in 2013 last year represented people over age 55 who say they don’t want jobs.

As the tail-end of the Boomers leave the workforce willingly Wall Street and Federal Reserve economists are forced …

Could the Controversial Digital Currency Bitcoin Fund Your Golden Years?

Could the Controversial Digital Currency Bitcoin Fund Your Golden Years?

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You may have heard news stories about Bitcoin, but they may have been difficult to believe. Since its invention, as open source software in 2009 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin has been shaking up the worlds of international bankers, global hackers, and multi-national crime loads. It’s the stuff of movies–almost too strange to be …

5 Things Baby Boomers Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act

5 Things Baby Boomers Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act

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Do you love it or hate it?  Do you call it Obama Care or the Affordable Care Act?  Regardless of your thoughts, Baby Boomers need to understand this monumental program.  Most importantly, as with all government funded programs, it costs money.  In order to raise the funds necessary to pay for the Act, numerous taxes …

What it REALLY Means to be Named as Executor

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You might feel honored at first when Aunt Betty tells you that she would like to name you as executor of her will.  After all, you are responsible and trustworthy.  Before saying yes, be sure that you know what is involved with serving as executor of someone’s will.  It is not an impossible job, but …

Baby Boomers: Protecting Assets for a Peaceful Retirement.

Baby Boomers: Protecting Assets for a Peaceful Retirement.

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Between 1945 and 1964, approximately 79 million babies were born in the United States.  Those born during this era are referred to as “Baby Boomers”.  The dramatic increase in births during the Baby Boom led to rises in demand for consumer products, suburban homes, automobiles and roads. The demands of the baby boomers …

NEW STUDY: THE REAL COSTS OF ALZHEIMER'S & DEMENTIA CARE

NEW STUDY: THE REAL COSTS OF ALZHEIMER’S & DEMENTIA CARE

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An extensive study regarding the costs of caring for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease was recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study which was led by the RAND Corporation produced findings that cannot be ignored by current and future generations. The number of new patients coupled with their …

Attorneys Offer Free Consultations to Seniors at Dublin Senior Citizens Day

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AlerStallings took part in the Senior Citizens Day event yesterday at the Dublin Recreational Center.  Marketing Coordinator Nelly Sell and attorney Geoff Kunkler were in attendance at the event to talk with seniors and answer questions about Estate Planning and Elder Law.

The event, which was hosted by the Dublin Community Senior Citizens group, featured …

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home Medicaid Process – What is the difference?

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home Medicaid Process – What is the difference?

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As many as 70 percent of people age 65 and older will need some form of a long-term care at some point in their lives.  With the costs of long-term care constantly increasing, it is important to understand some of the major differences between Assisted Living Waiver Medicaid and Nursing Home Medicaid.  This …

Tough Mudders of AlerStallings, LLC

Tough Mudders of AlerStallings, LLC

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Perhaps the most challenging, and certainly the muddiest event that team AlerStallings has ever been through took place last Saturday when the world-renowned race, Tough Mudder, hosted their first ever event in the state of Ohio.

The site of the race was Mansfield Lahm Airport, where the hosts of the event rolled out a …

2013 Estate Planning Checklist: Fact & Fiction When Planning For Your Future

2013 Estate Planning Checklist: Fact & Fiction When Planning For Your Future

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Estate Planning isn’t just about tax savings or drafting trusts.  It’s about getting to know a family, understanding their goals, organizing their assets, helping them through the tough times, being an available resource and looking over their shoulder throughout their lifetime.  I don’t know about you, but a checklist helps me stay organized so here is your 2013 …

Last Minute Tax Strategies for 2012

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Tick Tock. Tick Tock.  

Summer is almost over and the 2010 Tax Act is scheduled to sunset at the end of this year.   The result is the end of the extremely favorable estate, gift and generation skipping (GST) lifetime tax exemption (currently at $5,120,000 per individual or $10,240,000 per couple).  As it currently stands, the rates will drop …

Top of the List: Estate Planning/Family Law Firms in Columbus

Top of the List: Estate Planning/Family Law Firms in Columbus

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Great news!  The team at AlerStallings is proud to announce that Columbus Business First ranked us as the #3 Estate Planning/Family Law firm in Columbus in their May 18, 2012 edition.  We are  humbled to receive this honor and look forward to continued success.   We also want to give a special thanks to our clients …

Attention Business Owners: How to avoid a visit from the Department of Labor

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The Department of Labor (DOL) has increased its workforce considerably.  What does that mean?  More investigators equals more investigations.  When you consider that 96 people were indicted in 2010 for violation of laws regarding company benefit plans and that nearly 75% of all investigations result in some sort of fiduciary, reporting, or disclosure violation, it’s …

Unauthorized Practice of Law – Financial Professionals & Medicaid Planning

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The Supreme Court of Ohio issued an advisory opinion at the end of 2011 pertaining to the unauthorized practice of law as it relates to Medicaid Planning.  The Court outlines what financial professionals (non-attorneys) CAN and CAN NOT do when it comes to creating Medicaid plans for their clients.

This opinion should serve as …

BUSINESS PLANNING MISTAKES – 10 PART SERIES

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America.  Where anyone, from anywhere, with any background, can start their own business and be the next billionaire tycoon.  The reality is that most start-ups aren’t born in a boardroom, but around some friends at a bar or maybe in a garage or basement.  And while these great ideas gain momentum and the businesses that result begin …

TOD & POD Designation Downfalls

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We see it every day.  A couple walks in and tells us that they already have an estate plan and they want us to give it a quick review and stamp of approval.  They bought an “I Love You Will” on-line or had their neighborhood Jack-of-All-Trades attorney fill out a couple page Will for a …

Julie Mills’ Estate Planning Blog

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Selecting a Trustee

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In choosing an executor (named in a will), that person’s responsibilities typically end within 13 months of their appointment by the court.  In choosing a trustee of a trust, that person’s responsibilities can last for years.  What characteristics do you look for in someone when you are considering designating him or her as trustee of …

Second Marriages and Estate Planning

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I have seen many couples who had prior marriages and children from prior marriages with the typical mirror wills:  everything to my spouse, then to my children.  This is a huge mistake.  Bob and Jane–second marriage for both–have one child each from their previous marriages.  Bob dies and all his assets go to Jane; Jane …

When Your Relative Dies with Debt

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Typically you are only responsible for the debts of your spouse if he or she dies.  I liked this post in the Wills, Trusts & Estate blog regarding what you should know, and do, if you have a relative (parent, usually) who dies with debt:  http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2010/09/what-to-do-when-your-relative-dies-with-debt.html.

Financial Planning for a Special Needs Child

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Financial planning is essential to estate planning for a special needs child.  Local financial planning expert Judd Clark wrote an excellent post for the Autism Puzzle blog.  Click here to read his article.

Estate Planning with Limited Liability Companies

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Thank you to Powell, Ohio attorney Matthew W. Gibson for today’s guest post:

Limited
liability companies (LLCs) are typically thought of in the context of business
formation, but they can also be a valuable tool in estate planning.  To understand how the use of an LLC might
work in estate planning, consider the following hypothetical:

      A 55-year-old
individual, who we …

What to Take to the Hospital

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Going to the hospital is usually stressful, and when we are stressed, we often do not think clearly.  This is why I really like–and want to share–this blog post from Massachusetts attorney Leanna Hamill. 

How to Choose a Guardian for your Children

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No parent wants to think of not being around for his or her
children.  But, dare I say, that being a
responsible parent means planning for your child’s future if you die or become
incapacitated.

Every parent of a minor child should designate, preferably
in a Last Will …

What Every College Student Should Have

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A smartphone?  An
ipod?  A laptop?  No!  A
HIPAA authorization form!

It does not sound fun but it is necessary.  Every year a college student gets hurt and
every year a parent is refused any information about their hurt child because
the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act …

Clarifying Donor Intent

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Leona Helmsley left money in her trust for the care of her
dog.  She apparently also wanted her trust to
provide for the welfare of dogs.  If, in her will and, or, trust, she
did not leave money to a specific dog welfare charity, then a court could
determine her intent based on …

Five Estate Tax Myths

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Liz Pulliam Weston from MSN Money lists these five estate
tax myths that won’t die:

    Myth #1:    Lots of people face the federal estate tax.

    Myth #2:    Average families are taxed twice.

    Myth #3:    The tax can be …

What is Special Needs Planning?

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Parents or grandparents often leave money to their child or
grandchild, perhaps in a will or trust, or they set up an account payable to
the child once he or she reaches the age of majority.  Many times, well-meaning parents or
grandparents are particularly interested in leaving money to their child or
grandchild …

Your “Online Estate Plan”?

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The following Wall Street Journal article raises a great
issue—if you were to die or become incapacitated, how would your executor or
attorney-in-fact access your on-line accounts?
Would you want your Facebook page updated?  It might be time to review your estate plan,
and bring your instructions for your executor up to date, …

Letter of Intent–Memorializing Your Hopes and Desires

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We don’t like to think about our own death, or becoming
incapacitated, much less the impact that would have on our children.  But, if that should happen, it would be so
much more difficult for a child with special needs if his or her daily life and
routine was thrown into upheaval.  …