Publications


The New Congress and Future of the Federal Estate Tax

by Timothy Stallings

The uncertainty and complexity of the federal and state estate taxes have many people scratching their heads in 2011. The only constant regarding estate taxes is the fact that they change on an almost annual basis. For this reason, it is vital to be proacative and begin your estate planning process to ensure …

Asset Protection Guide

Which Path Will You Choose?

Your path in life can take many twists and turns and you will encounter many obstacles in your journey. Some are obvious, such as income tax, living costs, car and house payments, insurance and other daily expenses. Other expenses sneak up and reach into your backpack without warning. If you are not properly protected, …

Coordinating Colors: Top Five Estate Planning Tools for Same-Sex Partners

By Stephen Barardino

Federal law in the US allows for the systematic rejection and non-recognition of the legal relationship desired between same-sex partners. With these five essential estate planning devices, it is possible for same-sex partners to create legally enforceable relationships with regard to: healthcare and financial decision-making authority, creditor-protection, privacy rights, and even guardianship preferences …

Life Planning for the Beneficiary with Special Needs

By creating a special kind of trust, you can ensure the financial security, health, well-being and safety of your disabled beneficiary after you are no longer able to physically provide for their care.

Individuals who have children with special needs, whether as the result of a genetic disorder, injury, or mental or physical illness, face several …

The Vault – The Unparalleled Protection of Dynasty Trusts

by Gregory Aler

One of the main goals of every effective estate plan is to afford maximum protection to your assets and beneficiaries. It makes very little sense to spend an entire lifetime accumulating wealth unless you are going to take the appropriate measures to ensure that it is protected after you are …

The Journey Home: Three Steps to Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility

The Family Caregiver Alliance reports that the likelihood of individuals over age 65 becoming cognitively impaired or needing some type of Long-Term Care Long-Term Care is 68%. Oftentimes, the choice of a Long-Term Care facility in which to place a loved one is made in response to an emergency situation. Whether an individual is entering …

Long-Term Care Hourglass: Why Every Second Counts When Planning For Your Future Care

by Gregory Aler

Will you need long-term care? Most likely YES. Recent statistics have shown that over 70% of adults over the age of 65 will need some form of Long-Term Care (this includes in-home, assisted living or nursing home care). So you know you’ll likely need it. Now you’re thinking, how much is this Long-Term …

Estate Planning Mouse Traps: The Most Common Mistakes Made In Estate Planning

by Timothy Stallings

Everyone knows there will come a time when they will need to cross the proverbially Estate Planning bridge. A huge informational gap exists which is reflected by the fact that 65% of the country has done NO estate planning. This results in many people falling into some very common Estate Planning “Mouse Traps”. …

Buckeyes and Bulldogs: Tips on Donating to Your Favorite School

by Timothy Stallings

As you know, giving back to your favorite school is a wonderful way to create a legacy and ensure that your school continues to thrive. Despite their best intentions, many donors fail to maximize their gift by failing to properly structure it. While you may not have the means to make a $100 …

Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Benefits – Dispelling The $80,000 Asset Myth

by Tim Stallings

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers many beneficial options, including the Aid & Attendance program. The VA designed the program to provide a monthly benefit for veterans or their surviving spouses whose assets are being drained by high medical costs. This program is based on need. To test need, the VA evaluates the claimant’s …

The Red Flags of Estate Planning – How to Select The Right Estate Planning Attorney

For any number of reasons, individuals and families come to a point in their life when they are either advised to put an estate plan in place or are recommended to consult with a lawyer on the matter. Many people simply go to whatever attorney or firm they are referred without doing any research on …

Gifting Do’s & Don’ts: The Issues & Tax Consequences of Unplanned Lifetime Gifting

by Gregory Aler

After talking to their next neighbor, Mom and Dad decide to transfer their home to their Son in an effort to save on probate and estate taxes and to protect their house from future nursing home care costs. Unfortunately, Mom and Dad didn’t talk to an Estate Planning Attorney or CPA and now …

How to Avoid a Court-Supervised Gaurdianship

By Maureen Duffy

Joan’s husband, Henry, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a few years ago. His condition has deteriorated to the point where he cannot read, write or speak very well. Henry can no longer handle his financial affairs. Joan needs access to Henry’s brokerage account in order to secure funds to do some urgent home …

How an Irrevocable Trust Can Protect Your Assets

By Tim Stallings

What if I told you there was a way you could protect one of your biggest assets from the nursing home and the Medicaid “spend-down.” For many seniors, learning that there is a way to shield their house or their family farm from the cost of long-term care is some of the best news …

Don’t Bet the Farm – Using an LLC to Protect Your Family

by Tim Stallings & Geoff Kunkler

Estate planning attorneys have practically resorted to using a crystal ball due to recent uncertainty surrounding estate and gift tax regulations. Federal estate and gift tax provisions expired at the end of 2012, reverting the estate and gift tax amounts back to the $1 million exemption and a 55 percent …

Estate and Gift Tax for 2013

by Stephen Berardino

Estate planning attorneys have practically resorted to using a crystal ball due to recent uncertainty surrounding estate and gift tax regulations. Federal estate and gift tax provisions expired at the end of 2012, reverting the estate and gift tax amounts back to the $1 million exemption and a 55 percent tax rate. Shortly …

Young & Unprotected: The Importance of Estate Planning for Millennials

by Tim Stallings & Geoff Kunkler
“Estate planning.” The very name carries with it the implication, if not assumption, that one has an estate. For many young people the idea that they have assets worth protecting is just as preposterous as spending to protect an estate that in their mind does not exist. However, traditional financial …

The Rich Cry Too or Another Estate (Un) Planning Lesson

by Maureen Duffy

Just because you have a complicated family situation, doesn’t mean that you need a complicated estate plan. But if you have a complicated family situation and you die without an estate plan, you will be leaving your family in a bad way.

Consider the case of Sonny Bono. Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident …

Understanding the Important Differences Between Medicaid and Assisted Living Facilities

By Tim Stallings
When an elderly person needs additional help and is looking for a facility, or a catastrophic incident occurs and a loved one can no longer stay at home, most people begin to research long- term care facilities. Many people do not realize there is a difference between that Medicaid views assisted living facilities …

Ohio Legacy Trusts: A Guide to the Ohio’s Newest Asset Protection

by Tim Stallings & Geoff Kunkler
Ohio recently joined the ranks of a number of other states in allowing individuals to create a Domestic Asset Protection Trust. The Ohio Legacy Trust Act became effective as of March 27, 2013. This act allows individuals to create an asset protection trust here in Ohio. Previously, in order to …

Life Estate and Medicaid Planning – A Bad Idea for Ohio Farmers

by Timothy Stallings

In the past, attorneys commonly used the life estate approach to for purposes of obtaining Medicaid benefits. Although there were better approaches available, the life estate method continued to be the most common. Many people (including attorneys) fail to comprehend how a life estate is treated when it comes to the Medicaid recipient’s …

What is Estate Planning & Do I Need it?

by Gregory Aler

So what is Estate Planning? Well, let’s start off by stating what it is not. It’s not just about taxes. It’s not just for the rich. It’s not just about fancy trust documents. It’s not about savings (although a nice benefit). For the majority of Ohioans, estate planning boils down to guidance, protection, …