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Step-Parent Adoption in Ohio: What You Need to Know

Making a Difference: Step Parent Adoption of a Child The adoption process of a child is a somewhat unique legal process that ultimately aims to place the child in a safe and loving home. No matter the circumstances the ultimate goal is to ensure the child is happy and healthy. With step-parent adoption, a child...
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How Often Should I Review And Update My Estate Plan?

Your estate plan is a crucial aspect of your financial and personal affairs, outlining how your assets, estate, and belongings will be handled and distributed according to your wishes. However, simply creating an estate plan is not enough; it's equally important to regularly review it in order to ensure that it reflects your current wishes...
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Why Is Estate Planning Essential for Everyone, Regardless of Age or Wealth?

What is Estate Planning? Estate planning is a roadmap for your financial and physical assets and what will happen to them after your death. It is typically implemented with the assistance of a lawyer and often includes documents like a will, a trust, or durable power of attorney. Why is estate planning important? Estate planning...
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Incorporating Digital Assets into Your Estate Plan

As the world becomes increasingly digital, technology becomes more and more part of our lives. From online bank and investment accounts to social media profiles to cryptocurrency holdings and more, these digital assets are crucial components of our daily existence. However, many individuals often overlook these assets when creating their estate plans. It’s important to...
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What Are Tax-Efficient Estate Planning Strategies?

Tax-Efficient Estate Planning: A Comprehensive Guide Planning for the future disposition of your assets and funds after death is an essential first step in securing your financial legacy through wealth management and ensuring your spouse and loved ones are well taken care of. In this guide, we will share a wide range of strategies and...
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Why Is Estate Planning Important For Family Business?

Family businesses hold a unique place in our economy, with entrepreneurial endeavors passed down within families through generations. Your business not only embodies your hard work and significant dedication, but also carries your hopes and dreams for the future of your family. However, without proper planning, those dreams can be jeopardized. That's where estate planning...
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Great News for Ohio’s Adoptive Parents

If you finalized an adoption in Ohio since January 1, 2023, you may now apply for money under Ohio’s new Ohio Adoption Grant Program.  Applicants are eligible to receive a one-time payment of: $10,000 for a child. This excludes a step-parent. $15,000 for a foster child or kinship caregiver. $20,000 if the child has “special...
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SHOULD YOU HAVE A LIVING TRUST?

Tragedy can interfere with life and the good intention of meaning to get around to it.  The result…conflict, damage, lawsuits.  There are many advantages to having a Living Trust.  Privacy, control, tax avoidance. Keeping your financial affairs private by avoiding probate is a fundamental benefit. Otherwise financial information may become public information. A Living Trust,...
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GROWN UP KIDS NEED ESTATE PLANNING TOO!

So now your kid has turned 18. You think they may not need any estate planning because they don’t have any assets, are not married, or do not have any children? Think again! Once kids turn 18, they are considered legal adults and parents may not be able to act on their behalf. Adult kids...
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What Should Be In A Death Folder?

Talking about death may feel uncomfortable but preparing for the future is important to ensure your estate is handled according to your wishes. In the event of your death, your loved ones will need access to your estate planning documents and other important information. Struggling to find this information can be an extra burden during...
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What Do You Mean I’m Not Covered By The Insurance!? The Hidden Danger of Transfer on Death Deeds

A transfer on death (TOD) deed is a common method of transferring real estate. Upon death of the homeowner, the deed instantly transfers the property to the named beneficiary. A recent case brings to light a lurking danger of using TOD deeds, and serves as a cautionary tale. New precedent On February 5, 2021, the...
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What is the Difference Between Will and Estate Planning?

What will happen to your belongings after you pass? Who will care for your children? Planning for the future is crucial. That’s where wills, trusts and estate planning come in. A will and other estate planning documents ensure there’s a plan in place for your care, assets and dependents in the event of incapacitation or...
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“I NEVER KNEW I COULD ADOPT AN ADULT”

A while back, I was contacted by an old client who unfortunately told me he was terminally ill with cancer. Mr. Smith, (as we'll refer to him and obviously this is not his real name), my old client, contacted me to tell me that he wanted to get his Will updated. So we proceeded with...
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The “Do It Yourself” Will

Ahhhh… You think you’re gonna save money by using a do-it-yourself online Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, or just write something up yourself. We love it! Instead of avoiding one lawyer, in many cases it can guarantee work for one, two, or even three lawyers. So, on behalf of the Lawyer Relief Act… we thank...
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ESTATE PLANNING SCREW-UPS!

ESTATE PLANNING SCREW-UPS!

I DON’T HAVE MUCH. So what?! You can still decide who gets your stuff! You may not need a complex Trust, but a basic Will can direct where you want assets to go. Who gets the family Bible? Or your mother’s jewelry? Save your loved ones from fighting over who gets what. And keep your...
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COMMON MISTAKES AFTER SETTING UP A TRUST

After you set up a Trust, look at asset transfers and beneficiary designations.  Failure to do so can preclude maximizing benefits and causing extra costs and inconvenience. Typical Trust Mistakes Include: Asset Transfers:   Creating a trust is just the beginning.  Afterwards, you have to fund your Trust by transferring assets for maximum benefit.  Assets not...
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Choosing A Guardian For Your Kids! Or, Choosing The Least Worst Person You Trust!

If something happened to you, who raises your kids?   If you don’t take care of this, don’t worry . . . the courts will decide.   You don’t like this idea?   Then, do something about it.   Think about who would be the best choice . . . or the least worst choice!   Have a Will correctly...
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Over 49,000 Adoptees in US Left Without Citizenship

To learn more about this concerning issue of adoptees who do not have US citizenship, click here!
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Adoption Tax Credit May Increase With H.B. 206!

House Bill 206 would increase the amount and change the refundability of an existing tax credit for adoption. Under current law, this credit equals the greater of $1,500 or a taxpayer's adoption expenses, up to $10,000. The Bill increases the minimum credit that may be claimed from $1,500 to $5,000. The Bill also converts the...
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OHIO HOUSE BILL 188 BLINDNESS BARRED AS A FACTOR FOR ADOPTION

Ohio House Bill 188 prohibits a court, public children services agency, private child placing agency, or private noncustodial agency from using a person's blindness as a reason to deny or limit that person's adoption/care for a minor, except when necessary to serve the best interests of the minor. The Bill provides that a "detrimental impact...
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