Legal-Ease: Four planning frameworks

A good lawyer’s advice is important for good outcomes in life, business and death. There are four primary frameworks to begin to prepare for life changes. 

First, identify the special financial gifts you want to give upon your death. Second, percentages can be used to distribute assets. Third, specific assets can be earmarked for certain people. Finally, many people will mix and match the frameworks, so good organization is key. 

Legal-Ease: Magic and miracles of Christmas

For Christians, celebrating Christmas can be a time to recognize the magic of the season. For example, people who have items on layaway for the Christmas season may discover that a stranger has anonymously paid their bill. They might feel like they experienced a miracle.

But to the person who paid the bill, it was just something they do every day. Magic or a miracle to one person might be a simple act to another person.

Similarly, we can make magic or miracles happen in our own lives by making the good decision to plan ahead.

Legal-Ease: How are my life systems?

Similar to how many people have mechanics regularly check their vehicles to make sure everything is working properly, people should regularly check their own life systems. Like mechanics, attorneys are qualified to help ensure these life systems are in place. First, be sure to have a guardian lined up for minor children in the event […]

Legal-Ease: Extra checklist before heading south for the winter

Many people in northwest Ohio head south for the winter. In addition to the regular packing and planning, here are four more items that Lee suggests adding to your checklist before heading south. 

First, make sure that your general/financial power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney documents have been updated since May 2017. Make sure your living will is updated and that you’ve given copies to family and friends. Be sure that your will is in the hands of someone you really trust before you leave town. Finally, work with your attorney to be sure you’ve identified every bank, investment, savings, retirement and other account in your name. 

Legal-Ease: Analyzing estate planning documents together and separately

Everyone should evaluate their estate plans in two different ways: All documents should be read and analyzed both together and separately. 

It’s important to know that estate planning documents will get the job done both together and separately, which is why it’s important to analyze them through several different lenses. 

Legal-Ease: Four items of legal maintenance

When it comes to legal maintenance for our lives, Lee suggests checking in on four broad categories. 

First, he suggests making sure everyone has advanced directives in place, including powers of attorney. Second, he suggests making sure that an up to date will is in place. Third, he suggests making sure it will be easy for surviving friends and family to get the assets that are promised to them. Finally, he suggests checking into any liability concerns. 

Legal-Ease: What happens to the car?

Many people in northwest Ohio own motor vehicles, which means that many people pass away while owning a motor vehicles. 

Just like bank accounts, motor vehicles can be co-owned in survivorship. However, government-required forms may need to be signed by both vehicle owners at multiple times. 

Legal-Ease: Nursing homes and assets other than real estate

Being eligible for Medicaid is often a key component to a person’s long-term care plan if the individual wants to protect assets from being used for long-term care. The two primary requirements to be eligible for Medicaid, which we touched upon in this blog post, are as follows: The applicant must have a financial net worth of less than $2,000, and the applicant must not have given anything away in the previous five years to be at that financial level. 

For assets that could incur capital gains taxes when sold, giving the asset away before it’s time to consider needing long-term care can miss a chance to avoid capital gains taxes. 

Legal-Ease: Estate planning can be an amazing gift to others

Estate planning can be one of the best gifts you leave behind for friends and family. Not only can you decide what gifts you will leave your loved ones through estate planning, but having an estate plan in place usually saves family or friends time and money. 

From a practical standpoint, here are the four estate planning documents that should be prepared before death: Last Will and Testament, a power of attorney for finances, a power of attorney for healthcare, and a living will. 

Generally, the best estate plans are prepared by local attorneys. Documents that are prepared based upon information found online often cause more difficulties for friends and family post-death.