LEGAL ALERT: Need Money? The CARES Act Changed the Rules about 401(k) Withdrawals through Year End

LEGAL ALERT: Need Money? The CARES Act Changed the Rules about 401(k) Withdrawals through Year End

New CARES Act Provision Allows Early Retirement Money Withdrawl From Retirement Account Without Penality During COVID-19 Pandemic

covid-19 money retirement cares act

Are you aware that the CARES Act  made significant changes to the rules about withdrawing money from accounts? If COVID-19 and the pandemic has created an extreme hardship on your financial situation, you MAY have an option that you have not yet considered – but only through the end of 2020. Not many Americans have taken advantage of this new provision thus far.

As you may know, the general rule was that, you couldn’t take money out of your retirement accounts before you were 59 1/2 without incurring an “early withdrawal” charge or penalty. That 10% tax penalty was included by the IRS to discourage folks from taking money  out of their retirements early.

CARES Act Changes:

  1. If you meet the criteria, you may withdraw up to $100,000 per person from certain qualifying retirement  accounts without owing the 10% penalty. NOTE: This does NOT waive income tax owed on the withdrawal amount.
  2. You may ONLY withdraw the amount needed to overcome a specific group of defined hardships such as defending a foreclosure action, home repairs from a disaster, or medical
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2020 End of Year Estate Planning Thoughts

2020 End of Year Estate Planning Thoughts

End Of Year: Don’t Forget To Review Your Estate Planning Documents! [REMINDER]

estate planning tax law changes assets gift tax exemptionThe end of the year is soon approaching. As with any election year and a change in presidency, there is some uncertainty as to what the near future holds in terms of estate planning and tax law changes. There are also things that should be reviewed on a regular basis regardless of the political climate.

In every calendar year, one can gift up to $15,000 to any other individual without having to file a gift tax return or use any of one’s estate tax/gift tax exemption. A married couple can gift up to $30,000. Should one wish to reduce his or her taxable estate or begin passing on wealth to the next generation, it would be wise to make gifts before the year has ended and this year’s annual exclusion is wasted.

Now is also a good time to review one’s estate planning  documents and how one’s assets are titled. Are beneficiary designation still appropriate? The SECURE Act which was recently passed has reduced the time period for non-spouses to take designations from an inherited IRA. Also, distributions are taxable on traditional IRAs but not … Read More... “2020 End of Year Estate Planning Thoughts”

If You Owe Support, You May be Denied a Passport!

If You Owe Support, You May be Denied a Passport!

What Can I Do If I Am Ineligible For A U.S. Passport Due To Unpaid Child Support?

passport denial program child supportThe Passport Denial Program  is a federal enforcement tool, codified in Ohio law, which is designed to bring obligors who are in legal default on their support obligations back into compliance.

If you owe $2,500 or more in child support, spousal support for the parent with whom the child is living, or medical support, then you will not be eligible to receive a U.S. passport and will be placed on the Passport Denial list .

What do I do if I have already applied for my passport and my passport application has been denied?

If you have already attempted to apply for a passport, you will need to make arrangements to pay your support arrears. Once you make arrangements to pay your support arrears, then the state agency in which you paid the arrears to will report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) that you have made acceptable payment arrangements.

HHS will then remove your name from their list and report this information to the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”), which is a process that may take … Read More... “If You Owe Support, You May be Denied a Passport!”

The Value and Benefits of Signing a Consent Agreement in an Ohio Domestic Violence Case

The Value and Benefits of Signing a Consent Agreement in an Ohio Domestic Violence Case

What is a Consent Agreement in a Civil Protection Order (CPO)?

consent agreement domestic violence protection orderA Consent agreement in a civil protection order occurs when the parties agree upon the terms of the protection order. If the parties are able to agree upon the terms of the protection order , then there is no need for a finding of domestic violence nor is there a place in the Consent Agreement form to include a finding of facts. In a Consent Agreement , the accused is not admitting or denying that an act of violence ever occurred. The accused is simply agreeing to follow the terms of the civil protection order. Typically, one of those terms is that the respondent agrees to stay away from the petitioner.

What are the advantages of signing a Consent Agreement?

There are many benefits to signing a Consent Agreement.

For the Respondent, signing a Consent Agreement could be extremely appealing because then the Respondent does not have to admit or deny the allegations. The Respondent can avoid having to testify and can avoid having his or her character attacked at a hearing. Further, the Respondent can have a voice as to which terms and restrictions should or should … Read More... “The Value and Benefits of Signing a Consent Agreement in an Ohio Domestic Violence Case”

Blast From The Past: What and How to Tell Your Children About Your Divorce

Blast From The Past: What and How to Tell Your Children About Your Divorce

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: What is the best way to tell children about their parents divorcing? This is a frequent question I am asked. I can’t tell you how many times over the years that I have sent clients a link to this 2010 article from Connecticut Psychotherapist Donna F. Ferber. Surely sage advice for all times!

divorce children parents

One of the most difficult things you will ever have to do as a parent is tell your children that their parents are breaking up. It is important that you shift your focus from your loss to your children’s loss. Divorce is about the dissolution  of a husband-wife relationship. It marks a change  in the parent-child relationship. Staying aware of this difference will help you effectively support your children. In talking with your children, stay focused on their feelings about this experience. If you focus on the spousal relationship, your own feelings may get in the way of good parenting.

Here are some tips for explaining the divorce to your children:

  • If possible, both parents should be present. This illustrates to the children  that you will still be able to co-parent.
  • Tell them close to the time that one of the
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