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Adding Someone To A Bank Account - Another Option

Posted on 5/13/2014 by David Cusack in Estate planning

Part 2: Is there another option through the bank? In my previous blog post I discussed the unintended consequence of adding someone to a bank account. The natural question that follows is whether one can authorize someone to help conduct business on a bank account without making that person a co-owner. The answer is yes. My view is the front line banking representatives (tellers, assistant branch managers, etc.) simply are not trained to ask the appropriate follow-up questions.

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Wait! Think About It Before You Add Someone To Your Bank Account

Posted on 5/1/2014 by David Cusack in Financial Advice

Part 1: What could go wrong? On a regular basis we see clients in the office who have added a person to their bank account. The typical client will mention it almost in passing as we discuss what things the client has in place in case of some illness or loss of mental capabilities. The description is usually something like this: “I took my son into the bank and had them add him on my bank account so he can take care of my bills if I go into the hospital or something.” At first glance that seems like a solid plan. Is it?

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I Always Hear You Should Avoid Probate. Why Is That?

Posted on 9/25/2013 by David Cusack in wills Probate

The first part of answering this question involves understanding what “probate” actually is. When people refer to “probate” they are actually referring to the court-supervised process of administering certain parts of the estate of a deceased (“the probate estate”). The probate process involves many possible elements.

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DIY (Do it Yourself) Wills

Posted on 7/23/2013 by David Cusack in wills

You hear these things advertised on the radio all the time. The DIY or Do-it-yourself wills. It would appear by listening to these ads that the Will is little more than form filling. As opposed to doing nothing, perhaps this is the better option. But there are many things you need to consider when writing a Will that just does not show up as a list of options on a form that you fill in.

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Don’t forward that mail to YOUR house!!!

Posted on 10/12/2011 by David Cusack in Uncategorized Estate planning

We often have clients who need access to another’s mail. That applies to with the mail of a deceased loved one through the estate administration process. It also applies when the client is assisting a person who is not able to manage his or her own affairs. The latter may involve a guardianship, conservatorship or simply the use of a power of attorney. In any event, we see some of those clients make the common mistake of quickly getting that mail forwarded to the client’s own, home address.
If you choose to forward someone else’s mail to your own address, understand you are likely to receive junk mail in that person’s name forever. Unless you are interested in getting offers and solicitations in that person’s name forever (or maybe it will only seem like forever), take a different approach. We have our clients establish a Post Office Box to which the mail gets forwarded. That way, when the forwarding is no longer needed, the box may be closed and there is a “dead end” created for the mail that prevents the client from receiving that junk mail into the future. It may be a small step but it is one you will be glad you took.

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Ohio Estate Tax Really Gone?

Posted on 6/29/2011 by David Cusack in Estate Taxes

It appears the Ohio Estate Tax is really going to become a thing of the past. That tax was repealed for estates of individuals who die on or after January 1, 2013. You may refer to House Bill 153 of the 129th general Assembly for the legislation. Many outlets were actively reporting the repeal of the Ohio Estate Tax was almost a certainty for some time. Some prognosticators outside the media believed the lack of public awareness of the tax and the number of communities that benefited from the revenue would prevent repeal.

Many people are not aware 80% of the tax revenue from the Ohio Estate Tax goes to the local government where the decedent resided. It will be interesting to see how the more affluent communities that quietly received huge amounts of estate tax revenue deal with the absence of that revenue stream. The State of Ohio receives the other 20%. For a basic description of the Ohio Estate Tax in its current form, please see the news post on this site from February.

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Do I need to update my estate plan?

Posted on 6/6/2011 by David Cusack in Estate planning

The short answer to this question is almost always “not necessarily.”

I have reviewed Wills, Trusts and other estate planning documents that required no changes despite the fact that they are “old” by most definitions of the word. It is smart to review your estate planning documents on occasion to make sure they still represent your wishes. They should also be checked to make sure they account for any changes you may have in your life since the time when the documents were executed. An estate planning “checkup” with the attorney of your choice is not a bad idea when it has been a while since you executed your documents. While you know the changes that have taken place in your life, the estate planning attorney may alert you to changes in the law that can impact your estate planning choices as well. When you do have estate planning documents executed for the first time or when you make changes, you should receive some type of letter from your estate planning attorney that reviews the things you discussed and the decisions you made. The letter should describe the thought process behind the decisions you made. If your attorney does not provide that type of service automatically, you should request such a letter. The letter may be kept with your documents so it can serve as a guide when you review the documents.

So, do you need to update your estate plan? Not necessarily. However, it doesn’t hurt to review it.

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Spring Cleaning

Posted on 3/7/2011 by David Cusack in Trust

As we start to think about the coming Spring, we may also begin thinking about Spring cleaning. Consider cleaning up your estate plan. Do you have a Will? Do you need to learn about Trusts? Do you have a Living Will? Do you have a Health Care Power of Attorney? Do you have a General Durable Power of Attorney? If you have these documents, are they still current? Do you recall why you made the choices you did when executing the documents?
We invite you to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation to review your estate plan. We will discuss all the relevant choices and tools available to you. We will follow-up that meeting with a review letter. There is no fee for the initial consultation. There is no fee for the review letter. Even if there is nothing that needs to be changed in your estate plan, wouldn’t it be more comforting to have reviewed things thoroughly?
Have a great day!

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Ohio Estate Tax

Posted on 2/8/2011 by David Cusack in Estate Taxes

If you have heard recent news stories about proposed legislation to end the Ohio estate tax and wondered what all that means, you are not alone. Many people probably do not really know about Ohio estate tax. I will give a basic (and NOT comprehensive) description here. Ohio estate tax is basically a transfer tax. It is a tax imposed on the transfer of wealth that occurs due to a person’s death. If we take all the property we own (and in some situations control) that will pass to others by our death, we have our Gross Taxable Estate. We can often reduce the Gross Taxable Estate by taking deductions such as the costs of funeral and burial, the cost of administration of the estate, any outstanding debts, gifts to charity, etc. One important thing to note is all property that is passing to a surviving spouse is 100% deductable. After deductions are applied, the remainder is known as our Net Taxable Estate. The Net Taxable Estate determines if we pay estate taxes and how much.
Our Ohio estate tax system allows a credit to every estate against estate tax. For any date of death from 2002 through the present, that credit is $13,900.00. By virtue of that credit, there is no Ohio estate tax obligation for estates that do not exceed $338,333.00. Estates greater than that face a 6% tax on the value of the estate from $338,333.00 to $500,000.00. The value of the estate over $500,000.00 is taxed at 7%.

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Ready to Help

Posted on 2/1/2011 by David Cusack in Estate plan

We are up and running in Beavercreek! We invite continuing clients and potential new clients to make an appointment and review their estate plans. We look forward to helping people out of our great new setting. The location is so convenient!

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