Talk to us now

614.319.3306

Visit our offices

5123 Norwich St - Hilliard

We are open all day

8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily

Painter and Associates Blog

Blog

Don’t Neglect Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

 

If you do anything online, you probably have digital assets. Digital assets are records that you own or control. If you do not make arrangements for those assets in your estate plan, it can cause unnecessary costs and additional stress to those you leave behind.

Online assets don’t leave a paper trail making it difficult for your loved ones to determine all your assets and accounts. In the past, your loved ones probably could have figured out what you owned and owed by going through your filing cabinets and your paper bills.  But now with the movement to go paperless and do banking online, it is harder to track should you pass away. 

All the items that we store online could be affected such as precious photos and video collections. Heirs could also be locked out of electronic records some of which could have monetary consequences. Cryptocurrency and frequent flyer miles could be lost.  Emails and social media accounts could be hacked, and you would have no way to remedy it.  Even simple tasks such as online bill pay or canceling online subscriptions could blossom into a bigger problem if arrangements have not been made.

Adding a digital assets plan to your will can be as easy as giving some additional instructions to your executor on how to access all of your accounts. The first step in creating a plan is to make a list of all of your online accounts. Your lawyer should be able to help you with this and help you make sure you have not forgotten any. Don’t forget to include access to your devices such as your cell phone, especially if you have two-factor authentication set up to verify access to certain accounts. Another option is to keep your login credentials in a password manager. A password manager is a computer program that allows users to store, generate, and manage their passwords for local applications and online services.

You will also need to include in your estate plan instructions telling your executor what to do with various assets such as what to delete, what to archive and what to transfer to heirs.  Revisit this plan annually, so that it stays up to date with all the changing technologies and apps you might use. Talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer at Painter & Associates to help you and your family with your future needs should the unfortunate happen.

Read more...

Estate Taxes Could Have A Big Change Under Proposed Tax Law Changes

If you have  a reasonable  amount of wealth that you’d like to pass on to your heirs without taxes taking a significant amount of that wealth from them , then you should be aware of potential changes to the tax laws under the new administration.

Trusts could provide a vehicle to shelter your wealth and easily transfer that wealth to your heirs. Moreover, if you hold your property in a living trust, then your survivors won’t have to go through probate court, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

For the 2021 tax year, the exemption is $11.7 million for individuals and $23.4 million for couples. As long as your estate is valued at under the exemption amount, it will not pay any federal estate taxes. 

The new administration has expressed an interest in lowering the estate tax exemption. It could be lowered to $5 million or even reduced to the previous exemption of $3.5 million for individuals. Wealthy families still have time to revisit their estate plans as these changes are predicted to take place in 2022.

Moreover, states such as Ohio may be inclined to follow federal law and increase estate taxes taking even more money from your heirs. 

You can read more at CNBC with their recent article here>.

If you are concerned about these rules changing, a trust may be a good way to protect your estate. Property in a trust passes outside of probate, and there are specific types of trusts that are designed to protect assets against estate taxes and capital gains.

Nobody enjoys estate planning, but it is necessary. The first step is to make a list of all of your assets and goals before talking to an attorney. Your assets include investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, business interests, real estate and more. 

Talk to an experienced, central Ohio lawyer at Painter & Associates about what type of estate planning and trust is right for you and your family.

Read more...

Use Caution When Looking at Do-It-Yourself Wills

Be careful! With the COVID19 pandemic, we are seeing many entities advertise do-it-yourself wills and other estate planning to be done at home and without an attorney. This is nothing more than advertisers trying to make a quick buck while setting you up to have your estate planning frustrated by poorly and incorrectly worded documents and improperly executed wills and other estate planning documents.


What you need to know to properly execute your Last Will and Testament in Ohio is that a handwritten or typed will must be signed by the testator and by at least two disinterested witnesses. A testator is the person whose will is being signed. If the testator is unable to sign the will but is competent, the testator may expressly direct another person to sign the will in the testator’s conscious presence.


Oral wills are permitted in Ohio when made in the last sickness. They are only valid with respect to personal property and the will must be reduced to writing and signed by two disinterested witnesses within 10 days of the testator speaking the testamentary words.

A holographic will is a will that is entirely written and signed by the testator. A self-proving or self-authenticating will is a will with a notarized statement that states the will is true and authentic. These types of wills are not valid in Ohio because they are not signed by at least two disinterested witnesses.


Contact us at (614) 319-3306 to ensure you have a properly executed estate plan.

Read more...

Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families

Today’s families are not the “traditional” families like we have had in the past. Only about 35% of American families are comprised of a traditional heterosexual married couple with children.  Adult households today are comprised of:

  • Blended families
  • Divorced families
  • Cohabiting couples
  • Same sex couples
  • Intentionally single parents
  • Single persons
  • Polyamory relationships
  • Families with non-marital children

All of these categories are growing and changing. This change in the make-up of today’s families creates additional need and urgency to have an updated estate plan and will.  Don’t assume that just because you are cohabitating as a family unit that current laws and definitions are sufficient to cover everyone you want treated as a beneficiary.

So, what should you be thinking about?

  • Blended families. Over 50% of families are now comprised of adults who are remarried or re-coupled. Are your stepchildren covered sufficiently in your new family plan? Do you want them to be treated equally in your plan as your biological children?  If they are not, have you thought of the emotional and financial consequences that can cause in the future?
  • Unmarried partners. Some laws might not cover your partner should you not have your wishes clearly documented. Imagine your sibling having rights to your estate instead of your partner for the last 10 years because you did not express your wishes in a legal format.
  • Divorced families. Are you concerned that your ex-spouse will be able to adequately take care of your children should you pass? Have you set up your estate plan to efficiently protect your assets from your ex yet still provide for your children and their futures?

There are many additional scenarios to think about when creating your will and estate plan. The lawyers at Painter & Associates have extensive experience helping non-traditional families in creating the best estate plans that work for them.

 

Read more...

Clients Use Us For Multiple Legal Needs

Many of our clients start as an estate planning client, but then come to us for additional help as issues arise.  One of our long-term clients was hit by a semi-truck. The client had to be removed from her car with the jaws of life and life flighted to the local hospital. She suffered significant injuries to her back and neck. Painter & Associates was able to recover the policy limits from both the at-fault party's insurance and the client's uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage for a total settlement of $225,000.   

 

No one ever wants to get in a car accident, but if you do, we can assist you in the recovery process. We can help you recover lost wages, as well as help pay for medical expenses. We will be there for you every step of the way for your legal needs. Contact Painter & Associates today if you have been injured in a car or truck accident.

Read more...

Have an Open Discussion About Your Death Plan

Planning for the future can be hard for many, but it's so important to speak up about your wishes after your death.  We found this great TEDxColumbus talk by an expert in hospice care. Cathe explains most simply that talking about death will ease your relatives from the pain that occurs at death, but actually planning it will not kill you. 

Your estate plan and will can spell out exactly what you expect after your death, so that you can feel peace that your wishes are carried out the way you want. Planning in advance lifts the burden from your loved ones during a difficult time.

Read more...

1031 Exchange

Under Section 1031 of the United State Tax Code when property held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment is exchanged for the same kind of property, the capital gains can be deferred. This transaction is called an exchange because one property is being exchanged for another.

Taxes are allowed to be deferred because legislators reasoned that when a property owner has reinvested the proceeds from one sale into another property, no funds have been generated on which to levy taxes: The taxpayer's investment is still the same, only the form has changed.

As with many tax questions, claiming a 1031 exchange can be complicated, and you must properly comply with several requirements. Section 1031 requires that a qualified intermediary (QI) facilitate the property exchange. The QI cannot be the taxpayer or anyone the taxpayer has a business or family relationship with previous to the exchange. However, an attorney and/or law firm may qualify.


To ensure you are deferring taxes lawfully and not evading taxes, which is against the law, consult with an attorney at Painter & Associates. Our attorneys can help with the following issues with 1031 exchanges:

  • Which types of property qualify for a “like-kind” exchange
  • Which types of business can make the exchange
  • If the purpose of the exchange is valid
  • The time limits on how many days a property can be relinquished before the replacement property must be purchased
  • What happens when you sell the relinquished property before buying the replacement property, and vice versa
  • The kinds of exchanges that are allowed: simultaneous exchange; delayed exchange; reverse exchange; and personal property exchange

Again a 1031 Exchange defers the payment of taxes; it is not a tax-free transaction; however, there may be substantial tax advantages and estate planning advantages to using a 1031 exchange. Our attorneys can advise you on the tax consequences of exchanging property versus selling it and realizing capital gains immediately.

Read more...

Estate Planning Myths

  We are always trying to educate people on why estate planning is so important for anyone regardless or age, wealth and family status. However, there are still some common myths out there about estate planning. 

A recent article in Forbes does a nice job of debunking all the myths. Read it here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rcarson/2019/05/05/4-estate-planning-myths-that-refuse-to-die/#1a912fc24646  

Contact the experienced lawyers at Painter & Associates to start your estate planning. 

Read more...

Celebrities Teach Us About Estate Planning

We have mentioned before that even celebrities fail to have their estate plans organized and updated, even though they arguably have the most to lose. The recent passing of Arethra Franklin saddens us all, and unfortunately she serves as an example of how this failure to plan an estate can lead to serious complications.


Franklin was very successful throughout her career, and this success translated into financial gains and assets, which, according to Rolling Stone, could be valued at $80 million and rising (https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/aretha-franklin-will-what-happens-718930/). Because Franklin passed without a will her estate will be divided amongst her four sons.


Unfortunately, as we have seen before, in the instance of Prince, what actually proceeds is much more complicated. Various friends and family members may come out of the woodwork demanding a part of the estate. Tax collectors and other creditors will come forth for debts owed as well.


The lesson here is that estate planning is essential for everyone, to ensure that your assets are distributed in the most efficient manner according to your wishes. This keeps the decisions out of the court, allows your family to focus on the grieving process, and protects your assets after you are gone.


It is difficult to think about death, but estate planning can provide you and your family with peace of mind, and allow you to enjoy your time together now.


For more in-depth information about estate planning, contact one of our experienced attorneys.


https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2018/08/22/aretha-franklin-estate-fortune/1063513002/

Read more...

Estate Planning and Celebrities

Estate Planning Lessons Learned From Celebrities

One would think that celebrities would have all of their estate plans organized and updated, but even the rich and famous make mistakes.  We recently enjoyed reading the multiple examples of how even celebritites make legal errors on the blog Trials & Heirs. Authors, Danielle and Andy Mayoras, have explored this topic extensively and have even written a book.  It doesn't matter what types of assets you have as no one wants their family fighting after their death. Check out their latest post and let us know what you think:

Oscar Winners Teach Five Lessons on Estate Planning

Read more...

Start Your Estate Planning

Still don’t have an estate plan?

With the new year, it’s time to begin planning for your loved ones should something happen to you. We have reviewed why estate plans are for everyone in an earlier post

As a reminder, an estate plan may include one or all of the following depending on your needs:

- A will

In a will, you state who you want to inherit your property and name a guardian for your young children should something happen to both parents.

- Assignment of power of attorney

With a power of attorney, you can give a trust person authority to handle your finances and property if you become incapacitated and unable to handle your own affairs. 

- A living will or health-care proxy (medical power of attorney)

Writing out your wishes for health care can protect you if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. 

- A trust

If you hold your property in a living trust, then your survivors won’t have to go through probate court, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Nobody enjoys estate planning, but it is necessary.  The first step is to make a list of all of your assets and goals before talking to an attorney.  Your assets include investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, business interests, real estate and more. 

Next decide what you want to achieve with those assets and who should inherit them.  This is also a great time to think about the person that would the best to handle your business affairs should something happen to you. Many people assign this duty to a spouse or an outside financial or legal advisor who can act as a neutral third party. 

Then it is time to meet with a trusted estate lawyer who can prepare all the necessary legal documents and help you think through the best scenarios for all of your assets including protecting you and your heirs from heavy tax fees. 

The most important step is to discuss your plans with your heirs. This is the best way for everyone to understand your goals and intentions so there will be less chance for confusion and arguing when you are gone. 

Finally, don’t forget to have your estate plan updated should there be a change in your financial situation, marital status, addition of children, etc.  Your lawyer will act as your legal partner to make sure all documents needed are also up to date with the latest state and federal laws. 

For more in-depth information about estate planning, contact one of our experienced attorneys.

Read more...

Estate Planning is for Everyone

Estate Planning is for Everyone

Do you think that estate planning is only for the extremely wealthy?

Do you think you are not old enough to worry about what happens after you are gone?

Are you comfortable with the court managing the distribution of your assets?

You may not have given it much thought or are avoiding the topic altogether because it seems overwhelming, but - Estate planning is for everyone.

Basically, estate planning is making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own after you die. No matter what your net worth, it is important to have a basic estate plan in place.

An estate plan contains:

  • A will

    In a will, you state who you want to inherit your property and name a guardian for your young children should something happen to both parents.
  • Assignment of power of attorney

    With a power of attorney, you can give a trust person authority to handle your finances and property if you become incapacitated and unable to handle your own affairs.
  • A living will or health-care proxy (medical power of attorney)

    Writing out your wishes for health care can protect you if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself.
  • A trust

    If you hold your property in a living trust, then your survivors won’t have to go through probate court, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Discussing your estate plans with your family may also help prevent disputes or confusions. Inheritances can be a loaded issue. By being clear about your intentions, you help dispel potential conflicts after you are gone. The best benefit to the process is your peace of mind. Making sure you have a properly prepared plan in place will give you and your family piece of mind.

This is one of the best things you can do for those you love. For more in-depth information about estate planning, contact one of our experienced attorneys. You can also learn more at estateplanning.com.

Read more...

What our clients say


  • Gary Long Nathan had the confidence, the education and the experience we were looking for. He listens and communicates with a personal touch we just didn’t find before, and he’s tough as nails - he won’t back down. We trust him.

    Holly Consumer

We are

Experienced. Approachable. Dedicated. Passionate.

Nathan D. Painter founded Painter & Associates to provide legal services he believes every client deserves: access to large-firm experience and talent with a highly personalized approach that keeps each client’s individual legal needs top of mind.


Learn more

The only law firm you'll ever need.

copyright © painter & associates 2016