ESTATE TAX CHANGES AHEAD? THE TIME TO GIFT MAY BE NOW…

ESTATE TAX CHANGES AHEAD? THE TIME TO GIFT MAY BE NOW…

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…”

How To Be Able To Look Back And Say, “My Life Got Better After Divorce”

How To Be Able To Look Back And Say, “My Life Got Better After Divorce”

PUBLISHERS’S NOTE: Last week I introduced the concept of a “Divorce Coach” to our readers. Here is an interesting article written by Divorce Coach Dr. Karen Finn. She has a terrific website at www.drkarenfinn.com. Let me know your thoughts about her insights! I am hoping you want to read more as she has graciously agreed to be a regular guest contributor to the Ohio Family Law Blog.

Rebuilding Your Life After A Painful Dissolution – Must Read Tips On How To Make Life Better After Divorce!

better after divorce karen finn life coachThe process of divorce — the lead-up, the decision, the legal circus — is often more about getting out of unhappiness than stepping into happiness. Being able to say, “My life got better after divorce”  may be a long time coming. But holding onto that vision can fuel your healing and progress.

If you’re the one initiating the split, you may be driven by the hope of a happier life after the divorce. You may be making plans in your daydream hours, if only to give yourself energy through a difficult and draining process.

Whether or not you want the divorce, you may also be plagued by the fear that your life … Read More... “How To Be Able To Look Back And Say, “My Life Got Better After Divorce””

Thinking About a Divorce? Have You Considered a Divorce Coach?

Thinking About a Divorce? Have You Considered a Divorce Coach?

A Divorce Coach Can Help Both Pre-Divorce, During The Divorce, And Afterwards

Divorce Coach Vs. Traditional Therapists, Which One Is Right For You?

divorce coach processI have been a strong supporter my entire career of encouraging clients to obtain counseling as they go through the divorce process. Over the years, I have worked with various psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors and therapists.  I like the positives that these professionals bring to the case and it is usually quite beneficial collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team. As their divorce lawyer, I will guide them through the maze of legal issues and “traps” as they journey through the divorce process. Depending upon the case, I will admit that the “emotional side” requires a different type of support.  Recently, I have worked with several Client’s who have had “divorce coaches” assist them instead of receiving help from traditional therapists. In light of this available option, I thought I would share more about “divorce coaching”.

WHAT IS A DIVORCE COACH?

According to the American Bar Association, Divorce coaching is a “flexible, goal-oriented process designed to support, motivate, and guide people going through divorce to help them make the best possible decisions for their future, based on … Read More... “Thinking About a Divorce? Have You Considered a Divorce Coach?”

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

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

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?”

New Ohio Law – Mandatory Reporting of Animal Abuse

New Ohio Law – Mandatory Reporting of Animal Abuse

New Ohio Law Protects Social Workers And Veterinarians From Criminal Or Civil Liability If They Report Suspected Animal Abuse

animal abuse domestic violence petsSadly social workers who have seen signs of what they suspect might be animal abuse, are reluctant to report it out of fear of retaliation from their client or perhaps violating their client’s privacy. Fortunately Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine has signed a bill that will attempt to change that. On April 6, 2021, Ohio House Bill 33 will take effect. It is a bill that makes it a requirement that a veterinarian or a social worker who suspects animal abuse  must report it to authorities.

This law is also attempting to create a system of cross-reporting. If dog wardens or animal control officers witness animal, child or elder abuse they are mandated to report that to social services professionals. If the people that are reporting these incidents are doing so in a manner of “good faith”, they will be protected by the law making them immune from criminal or civil liability.

New Bill Would Make Animal Abuse A Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor

The bill was introduced in February of 2019 by two Republican representatives, Laura Lanese from Grove City, and Sara … Read More... “New Ohio Law – Mandatory Reporting of Animal Abuse”

Should Parenting Time for Divorcing Parents in Ohio be 50/50? What Should be Done About Parental Alienation?

Should Parenting Time for Divorcing Parents in Ohio be 50/50? What Should be Done About Parental Alienation?

Parental Alienation in Ohio: Thoughts from a a divorce lawyer for 40+ years

An End To Parental Alienation With Proposed Parenting Equality Law? Ohio Representative Rodney Creech And Podcaster Kindra Beck Asks For Your Help And Testimonials

parental alienation divorceAccording to Kindra Beck, the founder of Speak Life In Stride Podcast, and a parent who had gone through a “high conflict” divorce, “There are over 22 million American adults that feel they are being alienated from their children. However, this is a global problem.” Ms. Beck is joining forces with Ohio Representative Rodney Creech (R), from the Preble County area, to try to make sure there are legislative changes enforcing parenting equality both during and after a divorce. Creech is proposing legislation that gives Mother and Father equal 50/50 parenting time “out of the gate” in a divorce.

In Ohio, by contrast, the primary custody statute states that the Court’s primary consideration in determining custody is the “best interests” of the child(ren). Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.04 states:

” (1) In determining the best interest of a child pursuant to this section, whether on an original decree allocating parental rights and responsibilities for the care of children or a modification … Read More... “Should Parenting Time for Divorcing Parents in Ohio be 50/50? What Should be Done About Parental Alienation?”

Do You Have Stimulus Questions? Wonder How Much You Will Receive This Time?

Do You Have Stimulus Questions? Wonder How Much You Will Receive This Time?

No Economic Impact Payment in 2020? You May be Eligible to Claim the Recovery Credit Rebate

Will Child Support And Delinquint Federal Debt Offset My Coronavirus Stimulus Check?

economic impact payment stimulus child supportThe U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget reconciliation bill that contains President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-relief package on February 27th. That bill would authorize another round of $1,400 stimulus checks for each eligible person, $2,800 for eligible couples, plus an additional $1,400 for each dependent. The bill was sent to the Senate for their approval. The initial House Bill provisions are being changed as this article is posted, including tightening up the income eligibility amounts. The Democrats HOPE to have a final COVID-19 Relief bill passed by BOTH chambers no later than mid-March.

FREQUENT QUESTIONS WE RECEIVE ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE and RELIEF SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF 2021 AT HOLZFASTER, CECIL, McKNIGHT & MUES

Here are some Q and A’s from the various IRS Websites which we found that we thought might be helpful. TOP, which collects delinquent federal and state debts, has prepared the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address debtor inquiries regarding whether and to what extent the advance payments of the Recovery Rebate Credit (i.e., the Economic Read More... “Do You Have Stimulus Questions? Wonder How Much You Will Receive This Time?”

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