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Fracking and Asset Protection

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As our practice has grown and we are covering most of Ohio, we have come across a unique issue in the eastern part of Ohio, Hydraulic Fracturing Drilling or simply “fracking” for shale gas deposits.  This phenomena has created a significant amount of wealth for land owners with shale deposits under their land with a …

Ohio Medicaid Estate Recovery

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Has anyone ever told you that they lost their inheritance because Medicaid took what was left after their parents passed away? Ever wonder how something like this can happen? It just doesn’t seem fair.

In Ohio, Medicaid Estate Recovery is a program that collects on estates of those who received long-term care support.  When Medicaid recipients …

Why You Need a New Powerful Power of Attorney in 2016

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Think a spouse or child can simply step in and make financial and health decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated? Not so fast. Compliance departments at financial institutions are developing increasingly stringent policies regarding with whom they share information. If you’re incapacitated, you better have a properly drafted power of attorney. Without …

Required Premium Distribution

Time to take RMDs. Time to understand taxes.

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An IRA can be a beautiful thing.  You can contribute money to a retirement account and it grows tax deferred until you withdraw it.  Many folks leave their IRAs in place, still growing through retirement until they have to start withdrawing funds from these accounts.  If you have an IRA and you are approaching your …

Long Term Care Coverage

Will Medicare pay for my long-term care?

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Many Americans don’t consider the cost of future long-term care. Those that do, often grossly underestimate the actual costs. Long-term care consists mainly of custodial care or assistance with daily activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, walking, and using the restroom and management of medications. According to the Ohio Department of Aging, the average monthly …

Good News for Seniors and Caregivers

Some Good News for Seniors and their Caregivers

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In 1965 Congress passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) to address concerns about a lack of community based social services for older persons.  This legislation would create an authority for grants to the States for community planning and social services, research and development projects, and personnel training in the field of aging.

Today, the …

Asset protection

My Spouse is in the Nursing Home. How much of my assets can I keep?

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According to the Ohio Department of Aging, the average monthly cost for a nursing home is $6327.  This is a total of $75,924 per year.  If you’re like most people, you don’t have an extra $76,000 just laying around.  So how would you pay for care?

 

There are several options: 1. Out-of-Pocket, 2. Long-Term Care Insurance, …

What Not To Do: Common Long-term Care Mistakes

Should I do a Reverse Mortgage?

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For seniors short on cash, Reverse Mortgages have become a common consideration. It seems like a great way to tap into their home equity to create cash for use in retirement years. While the benefit is obvious, disadvantages should also be considered when pursuing a Reverse Mortgage.
To give you an overview, Reverse Mortgages are similar …

Beware of Free Advice

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Seniors who have questions about their financial health or concerns about long-term care costs and options have no shortage of people for advice. From the call-in radio shows, to an overworked nursing home employee, or just a neighbor trying to be helpful, there is a lot of advice out there that seniors may get that …

Medicaid

At Home Health Services: Medicaid Changes

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Despite federal law to the contrary, some states have required that an individual seeking to receive home health services through Medicaid be homebound before they can qualify. Such requirements have previously been ruled in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  However, not all state regulations had been changed to reflect this ruling and come …

Estate Tax

Estate Taxes and its Impact on Your Plan if Hillary Wins

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No matter if you turn on the TV, switch stations on the radio or even pick up the daily news, one thing is clear – we are in an election year. As of now, the front-runner of the Democratic Party is Hillary Clinton.  Setting our political opinions aside for a moment, what estate tax implications …

End of Life Care

End of Life Planning

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Many Ohioans think of estate planning as having a Simple Will that controls the distribution of their assets after they pass. However, this would overlook many of the issues and decisions that need to be made at the end of your life.  End-of-life decisions are based on your values and beliefs, and only you can …

Trust Planning

All in the Family

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Determined to keep the fruits of your hard work in your family forever? Then dynasty trust planning might be worth exploring.

Without proper guidance and planning, estate taxes, generation-skipping taxes and gift taxes can significantly decrease the inheritance of children and grandchildren of high net worth individuals. Instead of leaving money directly to heirs, a dynasty …

Have you gifted assets to your children?

Have you gifted assets to your children?

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If you are like the majority of my clients, you have probably given assets to your children over the past few years. This could include $1000 at Christmas, the IRS gifting exclusion of $14,000, giving them a few acres from the family farm to build a house or giving them a couple hundred dollars here …

Obergefell vs. Hodges and Estate Planning for LGBT Couples

Elder Law and Same Sex Marriage

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This summer’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation has brought changes not only to family law, but to the world of elder law as well.  Planning strategies used for an unmarried couple are not always the same strategies that would be employed when planning for a married couple.  Newly married same-sex couples …

Where is your Will?

Where is your Will?

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Where is your Will? Simple question, right? But statistics show that when someone passes away, locating the original Will is often a difficult task. Not only are family members left with the devastating loss of a loved one, but they now have to conduct a scavenger hunt, often digging through boxes in the attic, bins …

Can You Prepare Your Special Needs Child for Life after You’re Gone?

Can You Prepare Your Special Needs Child for Life after You’re Gone?

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The simple answer is, yes. Be proactive ensuring that your special needs child’s future is in order after you’ve left this Earth. Have a plan.

Contact an attorney to determine if a Special Needs Trust (SNT) would be beneficial. In its simplest form, a SNT allows government benefits that your special needs child may be receiving …

Questions Your Elder Law Attorney Should Be Asking You

Questions Your Elder Law Attorney Should Be Asking You

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It is nearing the holidays. You’re finally getting around to thinking about your estate plan. Maybe you just attended a workshop put on by an Elder Law attorney. Now your head is spinning with information. We get it. It can feel overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin. When you sit down to meet …

Where Should I Keep My Will?

Where Should I Keep My Will?

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You finally made a will. While creating a will provides guidance to what should happen once you pass away, it doesn’t help if no one can find it. In Ohio, Probate Court requires an original copy of the will. In order to ensure that your loved ones have access to the original will, it is …

Divorced? Here’s a Checklist for your Estate Plan

Divorced? Here’s a Checklist for your Estate Plan

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If you’re divorced (recently or not so recently), you may have overlooked updating your estate plan. While it’s understandable you might be tired of being in an attorney’s office, ignoring this problem would be big a mistake. Ohio law will ignore distributions to your former spouse as well as appointments of your former spouse as …

Do I need to update my estate plan?

Do I need to update my estate plan?

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You created an estate plan to protect yourself and your family from the unnecessary costs associated with Probate, Taxes and/or Long-Term Care Costs. Now what?

It is recommended that you review your estate plan either annually or bi-annually to keep it up to date, but you may also want to review your estate plan if you …

Do you have the “Special” Power of Attorney?

Do you have the “Special” Power of Attorney?

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As you may know, a Durable Financial Power of Attorney is a common and important estate planning tool. This document allows you to name someone, known as your Agent, to act in your place and handle your affairs when you can’t. Many people, however, believe that any ‘ol power of attorney will do. In fact, …

Threat of Identity Theft Doesn't Always Expire When You Do

Threat of Identity Theft Doesn’t Always Expire When You Do

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Identity theft protection services have become a big business in recent years. Many people are rightfully concerned about having their identity stolen and the resulting consequences and headaches. What many people don’t realize is that the threat of identity theft does not disappear when an individual passes away.

 

The recently deceased are a prime target for …

A Layman’s Summary: The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015

A Layman’s Summary: The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015

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Special needs trusts are popular planning tools that are designed to hold and manage assets for a person with special needs. These trusts allows a person to retain eligibility for certain government programs, most notably Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a government program designed to assist those with special needs that are …

Donor Advised Funds Simplify Charitable Giving

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By: Guest Author, J. Bradley Britton, J.D., LL.M., Director of Planned Giving and General Counsel, The Columbus Foundation

Does the following sound like you?  You are a generous donor to charity, and each year, your accountant or financial planner tells you what you can afford to give away, and how much of a charitable income tax deduction you …

Obergefell vs. Hodges and Estate Planning for LGBT Couples

Obergefell vs. Hodges and Estate Planning for LGBT Couples

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With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the federal government’s discrimination of LGBT marriage is a thing of the past. Same-sex couples are now afforded equal benefits. What does that mean for same-sex couples and estate planning in Ohio, and why does it matter?

It means terms such as “significant other”, “friend” or “acquaintance” are no longer …

What is the difference between a Guardianship and a Conservatorship?

What is the difference between a Guardianship and a Conservatorship?

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People often wonder what the difference is between a Guardianship and a Conservatorship, and for good reason. These terms are very similar and both pertain to an individual being appointed by the local probate court to help assist someone else with something they cannot manage for themselves. The difference between the two boils down to …

Digging Deep into Mineral Rights

Digging Deep Into Mineral Rights

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With an oil and gas boom happening in eastern Ohio, everyone has questions. We have seen incredible amounts of money flow into Ohio from the drilling industry. Ordinary people are now facing complicated legal and financial planning needs. When a property owner stops by our office with mineral rights issues, we handle with extreme caution.

When …

Estate Plan

Four Vital Estate Planning Questions for Business Owners

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Far too often successful business owners never take the time to put a succession plan in place.   If something happens to you, is everything in place?

Who can access your company accounts to carry on the day-to-day transactions?

Many business owners handle operations by themselves. Imagine the problem for your company if you became incapacitated. Even worse, …

Do I need a power of attorney if I have a trust?

Do I need a power of attorney if I have a trust?

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A comprehensive estate plan includes not only documents designating your wishes at death, but also documents appointing people to manage your affairs while you’re alive (but incapacitated). So why do many estate plans will include both a durable financial power of attorney and a trust? Both documents allow for someone to manage and control your …

Pet Planning

Pet Planning

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Our clients come to us for Estate Planning help because they want to make sure their loved ones are taken care of.  But what if your loved ones don’t walk upright on two feet – some loved ones are furry and walk on four paws or hooves!  According to the Humane Society, up to 500,000 …

Alex Carr AlerStallings

Asset Protection 101

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There are three kinds of people.  Those that watch things happen.  Those that make things happen.  And those that wonder what happened.

 

If you find yourself thinking, “We don’t have enough to protect”, “We thought only rich people did Asset Protection Planning”, “We’re too young to begin protecting our assets”, or worse yet, “We’re too old …

Estate Plan

You have an estate plan, now what?

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You have spent hours working with your estate planning attorney to personalize your estate plan and make sure that your future is on the right path. You’ve crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s and all of your estate planning documents are officially in place… now what?

For a lot of folks, privacy is most important, …

Medicare vs. Medicaid

Medicare vs. Medicaid

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As Elder Law Attorneys, we are asked, “What the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?”

Simply put, Medicare is health insurance for Americans over the age of 65 and Medicaid is the government assistance program available to pay nursing home, assisted living or in-home care costs for Americans over the age of 60.

Medicare pays for doctor visits, …

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples and Non-Traditional Families

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Think of the “average” American family.  Mom, Dad, and two and a half children, right?  Well, according to the most recent census data, that’s not the case.  In fact, less than half of American families are in this situation. What does this mean?  When it comes to planning, a lot.  As Americans shift from the …

Don’t Lose it All: How Planning While You’re at Home Can Save Your Nestegg from the Nursing Home

Don’t Lose it All: How Planning While You’re at Home Can Save Your Nestegg from the Nursing Home

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Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away – The Beatles’ classic song about regret rings all too true among those in a nursing home crisis. What seemed like a good idea at the time becomes a huge problem when people give gifts or make transfers just before they go to a nursing home. We …

NAELA Conference

AlerStallings Celebrates Elder Law Month

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It’s that time of year again! The Annual National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Conference is taking place in Orlando, Florida. AlerStallings will be well represented, as Greg Aler and Tim Stallings are in attendance. They will listen to insightful speakers, engage in dialogues with Elder Law professionals from all over the country, and …

ALERSTALLINGS LLC is proud to celebrate National Elder Law Month this May.

ALERSTALLINGS LLC is proud to celebrate National Elder Law Month this May.

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AlerStallings is an Elder Law Firm with 12 attorneys practicing throughout central and northern Ohio.  Founding partners Greg Aler and Tim Stallings are both members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and of the Ohio State Bar Association.

 

With a growing population of Americans age 65 years or older, the importance of planning …

What Not To Do: Common Long-term Care Mistakes

Guardianship: Appointing the Right Person

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What do you do when a loved one becomes incapacitated? It can be difficult to decide.  Who will make decisions?  Who will help accomplish all of their daily tasks?  Many families have to deal with these difficult issues.

One way to proactively deal with a future problem like this is to put in place Powers of …

Controlling the Uncontrollable Situation

Controlling the Uncontrollable Situation

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“My dream is that every terminally ill American has access to the choice to die on their own terms with dignity.” That is Brittany Maynard, who you probably heard a lot about last year.

In the spring of 2014, Brittany Maynard, age 29, was given startling news.  She had terminal brain cancer. Instead of feeling helpless, …

My Spouse Went to a Nursing Home – Can I keep his income?

My Spouse Went to a Nursing Home – Can I keep his income?

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I get this question at almost every consult for a nursing home emergency and from many other professionals I work with when I do nursing home planning. This question is common because it’s difficult to answer. Here’s the good news: You get to keep all of your income no matter the amount!

Now to answer the …

Are the Aid and Attendance Rules Changing?

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At AlerStallings, our office has been buzzing the last few weeks about a proposed rule change by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (the “VA”). The VA wants to impose a look-back period for applications for its Aid and Attendance pension, much like the Medicaid look-back already in place. The move is meant to leapfrog Congress, …

Do I need a trust?

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As an Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney, I get asked regularly if the person really needs a trust. First, you need to know there are lots of different types of trusts. So the answer depends on your problem. A trust may be the right solution, but we first have to determine your problem.

 

What if …

Advanced Planning Trusts: Does It Make Sense For You?

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Advanced Planning Trusts: Does It Make Sense For You?

Okay, so you finally decided to look into estate planning. You researched wills and trusts, and read a lot about the differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts. But I have bad news for you. While revocable and irrevocable trusts are the two “main flavors,” there are several …

Do you have a plan for long-term care?

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Isn’t medical technology amazing? New medications and devices have helped extend life expectancies significantly, allowing us to care for our aging parents and grandparents for years to come. Yet for many people, a discussion of our family member’s wishes or planning for our long-term care (LTC) doesn’t happen until it’s an emergency. Long-term care of …

Autism Law Summit 2014

Autism Law Summit 2014

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We are proud to announce that AlerStalling’s Attorney, Julie Mills, will be speaking at this important event on November 15 and 16th. To learn more and to reserve your seat please go to: http://www.autismspeaks.org/node/276131

Understanding Power of Attorney

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What Is a Power of Attorney?

If you were unable to make your own decisions because of an injury or a debilitating illness, then who would make them for you? It’s a simple question, but far too many people walk into our office without an answer. Health is a fickle thing, and without a power of …

10 Tips for Choosing The Right Nursing Home

10 Tips for Choosing The Right Nursing Home

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Does your loved one need assisted living? Here are 10 tips for choosing the right nursing home.

Two Secrets of Living Trusts That You Need to Know

Two Secrets of Living Trusts That You Need to Know

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There are a couple mistakes that many people make when it comes to a living will. Find out how you can avoid them here.

Columbus CEO Magazine Best in Business Winner!

Columbus CEO Magazine Best in Business Winner!

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AlerStallings wins readers’ verdict for top honors!