An Overview of the Purpose of a Guardianship in Ohio

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Want To Know How To Become An Effective Guardian? The Power and Duties Of A Guardianship Explained

guardianship estate probate courtThis article will briefly discuss the basics of what a guardian is, the general powers and duties of guardians, types, and how to become an effective guardian.

Let’s get to the basics:

A guardian can be an individual person, association, or a corporation who is appointed by a probate court in situations where a person is not able to care for him or herself (and no one has custody). Most commonly, guardians are individuals appointed to care for the ward, the person for whom the guardian has been appointed, when that person is a minor or an incompetent or disabled adult. A guardian may be appointed over the ward personally, or over the estate/assets of the ward or over both the person and the estate of the person.

Only a probate court  may appoint a guardian but may consider a nomination for a guardian to act for you, a minor, or adult incompetent children. This nomination must be in writing and witnessed by two disinterested individual or be notarized. Family members are given preference under Ohio law to serve as a Guardian, but … Read More... “An Overview of the Purpose of a Guardianship in Ohio”


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Will The Basic Exclusion amount Be Lowered For Estate/Gift Taxes in 2021?

President Biden Proposes Lowering The Basic Exclusion Amount For Estate/Gift Taxes – What Does This Mean For Your Wealth?

exclusion amount estate planning gift taxesWith President Biden now in office, many are expecting Congress to enact changes to gift, estate and/or income tax laws to generate revenue. What are some of those changes and what do they mean to the state planner?

President Biden has proposed lowering the basic exclusion amount for estate/gift taxes, which was almost doubled in 2017. The exclusion amount in 2017 was $5.49 million and in 2020 it was $11.58 million. For spouses, that amount is basically doubled to approximately $23 million. During his campaign, Biden proposed lowering the exclusion amount to $3.5 million and increasing the potential estate tax from 40 percent to 45 percent. Some have predicted that Congress will reduce the exemption to $5 million, which was the amount of the exclusion (adjusted for inflation) before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Either way, this could result in a tremendous tax hit for the extremely wealthy. That is why many estate planning attorneys are advising their clients with great wealth to make gifts … Read More... “ESTATE TAX CHANGES AHEAD? THE TIME TO GIFT MAY BE NOW…”

Blast From The Past: Elder Abuse – What Must You or Should You Do?

Blast from the past 13 years Ohio Family Law Blog

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This blog is as meaningful today as it was when we originally posted it on December 7, 2019. If you suspect elder abuse, please contact your local Adult Protective Services at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, toll free hotline at 1-855-644-6277.

Prevalence Of Elder Abuse On The Rise – The Signs To Look For And Contact Information

report elder abuseWith the population of senior citizens increasing at a rapid rate, so is the prevalence of elder abuse.  It is important to understand what constitutes elder abuse, looking for signs of elder abuse, who must report elder abuse and what you can do to help.

Elder abuse is knowingly or negligently causing harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.  Abuse includes neglect (where basic needs aren’t being met), exploitation (usually financial), physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.

According to the Ohio Department of Aging, signs to look for include bruises, cuts or other physical harm, sudden behavior changes such as becoming less social, a caregiver who refuses to allow visitors to see the adult alone, unsafe or unclean living conditions, overuse or under-use of prescription medicine, poor personal hygiene or dehydration … Read More... “Blast From The Past: Elder Abuse – What Must You or Should You Do?”

Have You Recently Relocated From Another State? Make Sure to Have Your Estate Planning Documents Reviewed

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Are My Estate Planning Documents Still Effective If I Move To Another State?

estate planning documents health care another stateHave you recently moved from another state or are you planning a move? One of the first things you should ask yourself is “Are my estate planning documents still valid and effective?” The first question can be answered more simply that the second question.

If you move to another state, technically if a will or trust were legally valid in the state in which they were executed, they should still be legally valid. Most state have laws that specifically state that a will is legally valid if it was legally valid in another state in which it was executed. A trust validly executed in one state should not be questioned in another state. What is controlled by those documents may differ though. Community property state and non-community states may treat what each of you and your spouse own differently. Also, states may differ in what a surviving spouse is entitled to by law and what a surviving spouse’s rights are by law regardless of one’s estate planning documents.

Power of attorney documents are even more questionable. Here in Ohio, a general durable power of attorney … Read More... “Have You Recently Relocated From Another State? Make Sure to Have Your Estate Planning Documents Reviewed”

The Importance of Ohio Health Care Documents During the Coronavirus Pandemic [UPDATED]

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Health Care Decisions During The Coronavirus (COVID-19).

PUBLISHERS NOTE: In the rush of the holidays, please do not overlook the importance of helping your family members review their estate planning and health care documents. Doctors are urging people to take this important step! This blog, first published on April 11, 2020, demystifies durable health care powers of attorneys and living wills. For the sake of your loved ones, please don’t put this off.

Coronavirus: Health Care Durable Power of Attorney Covers All Health Care Decisions

health care decisions estate planningA COVID vaccine is coming. So is the beginning of winter.  While a reason for optimism for 2021 exists, the winter of 2020-2021 will be unusually dangerous, with the coronavirus running rampant. Experts are pleading that individuals have their estate planning documents in order, especially power of attorney for health care documents and living wills (advanced directives). With many long-term care residents unable to meet personally with their loved ones, it is more important than ever that those loved ones know the wishes of an individual and can act on their behalf.


At least here in Ohio, by virtue of being a spouse or relative of someone does not give you … Read More... “The Importance of Ohio Health Care Documents During the Coronavirus Pandemic [UPDATED]”

2020 End of Year Estate Planning Thoughts

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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”

Can I Complete My Ohio Estate Planning Documents Remotely During COVID-19?

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Ohio Wills Cannot Be Completed Through Remote Technology, But What About Other Ohio Estate Planning Documents?

ohio estate planning documents covid-19More individuals are focusing on estate planning during the pandemic, but people are also more concerned about venturing out during these unusual times.  A question that is coming up often is whether one can complete their Ohio estate planning documents remotely through Zoom or some other software.  The answer is yes and no.  Some ohio estate planning documents  only need to be notarized to be valid and remote notarization is now available here in Ohio.

A general durable power of attorney in Ohio only needs a notarization to be valid.  Ohio health care documents (livings will and durable power of attorney) need either two disinterested witness signatures or a notarization to be valid.  A document related to the transfer of real estate such as a deed or transfer on death affidavit needs to be notarized.  However there is a fair amount of a technological learning curve if one wants to try to get documents notarized remotely. There is also a separate charge involved for the service.

Last Will and Testament Must Still Be Completed In Person

What about a last will and testament … Read More... “Can I Complete My Ohio Estate Planning Documents Remotely During COVID-19?”

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