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Cincinnati Law Blog

Looking into a health care power of attorney

There are a vast array of estate issues that people come across, whether they are having trouble naming beneficiaries or deciding which type of trust will be the most sensible. However, there are other estate matters you may have encountered, some of which may affect you while you are alive. For example, you may decide to set up a living will. Our attorneys are well aware of how beneficial it can be for people to resolve these issues appropriately, which may protect assets and also grant peace of mind. Moreover, there are other matters you may want to look into, such as a health care power of attorney.

Sometimes, people find themselves in a position where they can no longer make decisions about the medical treatment they receive and other considerations that impact their health. If you are worried about facing this hurdle, you may benefit from designating someone as your representative through a health care power of attorney. Not only will this individual be able to make key health care decisions for you should you become incapacitated, but they will also be able to access your medical history.

Which roles are assigned with revocable living trusts?

If you are in the early stages of estate planning, you could have a wide range of questions. For example, you may be unsure of which option, a trust or a will, is right for you. However, it is vital to understand some of the key aspects of an estate plan. For example, if you have decided to move forward with a revocable living trust, you should be aware of the different roles that people have and the responsibilities that are involved.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there are a few different roles that people have when it comes to revocable living trusts. First, there is the trustor, also known as the grantor or settlor. This is the individual who creates the trust. Next, there is the trustee. Trustees are in charge of making decisions about assets in the trust and may be financial institutions, people, or even the person who set up the trust. Finally, there are beneficiaries, who receive property or other assets from the trust after the grantor passes away.

Creating an estate plan the right way

For many Ohio residents, the thought of creating an estate plan for the time following their death may not be their first priority. However, neglecting the important task of putting financials in order and articulating last wishes can leave family members scrambling and confused after a loved one has died.

According to the Huffington Post, people wishing to be proactive about planning their estate can benefit from remembering three simple suggestions. These include the following:

  • Budget for post-death expenses: What many people may not realize is how much money it costs to plan and execute a funeral. Careful financial planning can enable family members to make effective decisions following a loved one’s death without experiencing the emotional stress that is the result of monetary strain.
  • Take a proactive planning approach: For a lot of people, choosing to wait on creating an estate plan may appear ideal if death does not seem too threatening. However, a proactive attitude and organized method for articulating a will is an excellent way for an individual to make the lives of family members less difficult following his or her death. Often, with less serious decisions to be made, family conflict, anger, disagreement and intensified grief can be lessened.
  • Keep directions clear: For people wishing to give specific personal possessions to designated heirs, it is imperative that their directions are clear and understandable. With their efforts to leave no decision to personal discretion or interpretation, they can be confident that after-death outcomes are just as they desire.

Handling your responsibilities as an executor

If you have been named the executor of an estate, you may be facing different challenges and you could have a number of questions about your responsibilities. At Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Co., our Ohio firm is very familiar with the hurdles that can arise during the probate process for those who have been given this responsibility in Cincinnati, and the rest of the state. During probate, it is vital to know your rights and go over the details of your circumstances if disagreements and other problems arise.

As executor, you are responsible for distributing the estate's assets among beneficiaries. Unfortunately, some may disagree with how the estate is distributed and believe that you have violated your fiduciary duties. If this occurs, it is vital for you to defend yourself appropriately and have a good understanding of your rights. However, there are many other types of hurdles that can arise during the probate process, which you should also be ready to take on.

What are revocable trusts?

When it comes to making decisions regarding your estate, you may have a number of options on the table. However, it is vital to closely assess each choice and figure out which one will work best for you, given your circumstances. For example, you may be trying to decide whether to move forward with a will or a trust. Or, you may be trying to figure out whether a revocable trust or an irrevocable trust is the way to go. In this post, revocable trusts will be covered.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, revocable trusts can be canceled or modified whenever the owner wishes while he or she is still alive. Unlike irrevocable trusts, in which grantors are not able to make changes to the trust, revocable trusts can offer more flexibility for grantors. These trusts are a wise decision for many people, but it will be important for you to take the unique aspects of your personal circumstances into consideration before determining whether or not this option is best for you.

Amazon-Whole Foods deal meets a business need on both sides

In any business deal between equals, you would assume that each side is getting something it wants and bargained for. Nevertheless, you often see a power differential that makes a deal seem lopsided.

The recent announcement that online retailer Amazon is buying Whole Foods Market Inc., "sent shock waves through the grocery industry," according to the Courthouse News Service. The move signals a dramatic shift for Amazon, which already offers some grocery items online but which has not operated brick-and-mortar grocery stores in the past.

Working through a trust dispute

When people create a trust, they typically hope that their trust will be helpful for those who are close to them, and that their assets will be split up among beneficiaries appropriately. At Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Co., our law firm knows that this does not always happen in Cincinatti, and in cities across the state of Ohio. There are a number of reasons why trust disputes arise, such as disagreeents with the way in which assets are distributed to beneficiaries or as a result of a trustee not understanding his or her duties. Regardless of the reason why a dispute comes up, working through the situation properly is paramount.

If you are involved in a trust dispute, or believe that a dispute is just around the corner, you should try to do what you can to reduce conflict. Sadly, these disputes can turn family members against one another, which can make life even harder for families who are struggling with the recent loss of their loved one. At the same time, if you believe that your rights have been violated, or that you have been falsely accused of wrongdoing, you should not be afraid to stand up for yourself.

2016 EEOC enforcement data shows an increase in workplace discrimination charges, a reduction in litigation and monetary recovery, and a focus on LGBT concerns

Every year, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides data outlining the charges of workplace discrimination that it receives, the number of suits it filed and resolved along with monetary recovery for the charge claimants, and its particular area of investigative or compliance focus for the next year. Recently, EEOC released its Fiscal Year 2016 Enforcement and Litigation Data summarizing its 2016 efforts and its 2017 focus. 

Engaged in a probate dispute? Have you considered mediation?

"Litigation rarely heals differences or promotes understanding," points out Jay Folberg, University of San Francisco School of Law professor and author of numerous books on alternative dispute resolution.

He's right. Moreover, will contests and other disputes between family members are even less likely to be healing. Yet there are often quite good reasons to dispute the disposition of an estate:

The Madeira & Indian Hill Fire Company - A message from the president

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: This is an exciting time for the Madeira and Indian Hill Fire District. The new Madeira Station at the corner of Euclid and Miami was completed in the summer of 2016
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