Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Co., LPA
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October 2014 Archives

Choosing the right trustee by Steve Hoffsis

Many people understand that a living trust helps them avoid probate. This is true, to the extent that the trust is funded at the time of death. A trust can be a wonderful estate planning tool for many reasons, including the ability to avoid the time, expense, and publicity of probate. It can also be wonderful tool to support the needs of beneficiaries who are too young to receive an inheritance all at once, who may have special needs, or who may need financial oversight and guidance.

E-Wills? iWills? Or the old fashioned way? From Robert Hyland

We do almost all our financial transactions electronically today. We do our banking electronically, we buy our gifts electronically, we make our travel arrangements electronically. We talk with our children or grandchildren 600 miles away electronically. So, why can't we do our wills or our trust documents electronically? Ohio does not allow us to make electronic wills. Whether a trust document can be signed electronically is a good question, with arguments both ways. Our wills, though, must still be done on pieces of paper that we sign. Why is that? Probably because Ohio legislators still want us to be able to prove that a document is ours by our signature at the end of it. There is another reason to require that, but not a legal reason. Our wills are one of the last documents by which we tell those around us what we want to have happen after our deaths. Having us personally sign that makes that document even more personal. You may also consider leaving a separate document in which you tell your children, grandchildren, or other important people how you feel about them and what you hope for them. You may prepare that electronically, and then print out as many of those as you want, signing each one of them. When your will gets left at the Probate Court, those letters to your family stay with your family. Let us know if we can help with either your will or your Letter of Love.

Assets with beneficiary designations by Andrea Costa Laden

Effective estate planning requires revision and adjustment as a person's life, job, and investment portfolio change over time. Periodic monitoring is particularly important for assets with beneficiary designations. These assets, such as life insurance policies, bank accounts, IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and annuity contracts, can be designed to automatically pass to a beneficiary you specify upon your death pursuant to a "Transfer on Death" or "Payable on Death" designation.

Quick fix: Modifying or terminating an unproductive non-charitable irrevocable trust by Brian J. Hirsch

Often in our estate planning practice we encounter clients who long ago executed a non-charitable irrevocable trust that is no longer productive or that no longer functions as intended. This can be caused by a number of issues, such as changed circumstances in the life of the grantor, significant depletion (or negative performance) of trust assets, changes in tax laws, or the trust simply outlasting its purpose due to the prolonged life of the grantor. Perhaps the terms of the trust need to be tweaked, or perhaps the trust should be terminated altogether.

Double step up basis planning by Bob Buechner - OSBA Certified Estate Planning Specialist

Our clients' estates have always benefited from a step up in basis at the time of death. This means that assets included in client estates can receive a basis which is equal to the fair market value at date of death. This can be very beneficial for clients whose assets have appreciated significantly, such as with appreciated securities and real estate investments subject to depreciation.

Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Co., LPA

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105 East 4th Street
Suite 300
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Phone: 513-579-1500
Fax: 513-977-4361
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