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Jackson & Gary Co., LPA
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An article regarding the new estate tax exemption that went into effect January 1, 2018. If you have any questions regarding this or any other questions regarding estate planning or probate in Florida or Ohio, please give us a call at (614) 221-2702 or (937) 427-2049.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/marketing/estate-tax-exemption-changes-under-new-tax-law-but-not-permanently/geb89OjRlVSHe7TmxyU0iM/
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We will be open Monday, January 15 from 9:00am-4:00pm.
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Something to keep a eye out for in Florida. Electronic Wills. Unlike the requirements for creating a traditional Last Will and Testament, electronic wills can be e-signed by the testator (person creating the Last Will and Testament) and can be witnessed and notarized by people who are " 'present', via live, secure video link."

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/money/business/2017/08/07/electronic-will-wills-ready-future/104352576/
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In my opinion, #4 is the greatest mistake people can make. Companies are now offering alternatives to traditional long term care insurance policies, such as whole life insurance that can be used for long term care. Traditional long term care insurance policies tend to be expensive and if you don't utilize the benefits of the policy (ie you never need long term care/nursing home care), then you lose the policy and all the money you paid as premiums for the policy.

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T023-C032-S014-5-mistakes-to-avoid-in-retirement.html
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The most common and detrimental mistakes that I personally see in my practice are people that have no estate plan or an outdated estate plan and people who use attorneys who don't practice primarily in the area of estate planning/probate and who may not be familiar with the federal estate tax. If you have an estate plan, and would like us to review it for you, please give us a call at (614) 221-2702 or (937) 427-2049 or send us an email to info@jacksongary.com to schedule a free consultation. If you currently do not have an estate plan, but would like to set one up, please give us a call or send us an email to schedule a free consultation.

http://www.minnesotafarmguide.com/news/four-common-mistakes-in-estate-and-succession-planning/article_a850328c-762f-11e7-ba81-c7a8800508c8.html
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When someone passes away, does their debt disappear? The simple answer to this question is no. Unless the debt is written off or forgiven (in the case of federal student loans), the Estate will be required to pay any and all creditors. The key point to note is that the ESTATE will be liable to any and all creditors, not the person representing the Estate. This means that the person representing the Estate will NOT be personally liable with their own assets and money, unless that person was a co-signer on the loan/debt. If the assets in the Estate are not enough to pay all creditors, then Estate is considered insolvent. If the Estate insolvent, the creditors will be paid according to Ohio Revised Code 2117.25 (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2117.25). If you have any questions regarding insolvency and payment of creditors in Ohio, please feel free to give us a call at (937) 427-2049 or e-mail me at jessa.m.gary@gmail.com.
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Small Estates in Florida

Probate courts in Florida have two different procedures that deal specifically with small estates.  The thinking is that if a decedent didn't leave much personal property and/or money when they passed, the beneficiaries should not have to suffer through a full administration, which could take up to 9 months and a lot of money, to receive the property of the decedent.  
In Florida, there is one type of small estate administration: summary administration.  Summary administration is governed by Florida Statute  §735.201.  F.S. §735.201(2) provides two scenarios in which summary administration is allowed: (1) if the value of the estate, less exempt property (the definition of exempt property will be explained later), is no more than $75,000 and (2) if the decedent has been dead more than 2 years.  Fla. St. §735.201(2).  
There is another process in Florida to deal with small estates that does not require an formal administration.  This process is called disposition without administration and is governed by F.S. §735.301.  If an estate consists solely of personal property that is exempt either under F.S. §732.402 or under the Florida Constitution, then disposition without administration is the route to take.  F.S. §735.301(1).  Under F.S. §732.402, only a surviving spouse or children of the decedent, if there is no surviving spouse, can claim the property listed in this section is exempt from creditors.  F.S. §732.402(1).  Exempt personal property under F.S. §732.402 consists of the following: (1) Household furniture, furnishings and appliances in the decedent's residence up to a value of $20,000; (2) two motor vehicles titled in decedent's name IF used regularly by decedent or decedent's immediate family AND IF each vehicle weighs less than 15,000 pounds; (3) qualified tuition programs under Internal Revenue Code §529; and (4) all benefits paid according to F.S. §112.1915 (death benefits for teachers and school administrators). F.S. §732.402(2)(a-d).  In addition, if an estate includes nonexempt personal property, in addition to the exempt property described above, disposition without administration is allowed ONLY IF the value of the property does not exceed the sum of preferred funeral expenses ($6,000) and the value of medical and hospital expenses of the last 60 days of decedent's last illness.  F.S. §735.301(1).  
If you have any questions regarding small estates in Florida or any probate matter in Florida, please do not hesitate to call our office today to schedule a completely free consultation.  (614) 221-2702 or (937) 427-2049.  Or if you would prefer, feel free to send me a message or e-mail to jessa.m.gary@gmail.com.
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Who gets my stuff when I pass away?
Are you comfortable letting the State decide where your real estate and personal property go when you pass away?  Very likely, the answer for many Americans is no.  Which is why it is so surprising that many people still do not have plans in place to prevent the State from dictating where their property should go upon death.

In Ohio, if you do not have a Will or Trust when you pass away your possessions will be distributed according to Ohio's Descent and Distribution Statute - Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 2105.06 (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2105.06).  To summarize, this statute is essentially a pecking order of family members, whether it be a spouse, children, siblings, parents or grandparents, that may survive you following death.  If you are not survived by any family members when you pass away, your property will be given to the State of Ohio.

An example of ORC 2105.06:  James and Barbara are happily married with 2 children.  James has one child from a previous marriage.  James dies without leaving a Will or Trust.  Because Barbara is not the mother of all of James' children, according to ORC 2105.06(D), she would only receive the first $60,000 plus 1/3 the balance of the Estate and the remainder would be divided equally between James' children.  If, however, Barbara was the mother of all of James' children, she would receive everything, according to ORC 2105.06(B).

If you do not currently have a plan in place, or are concerned about this statute, please do not hesitate to call our office today to schedule a completely free consultation.  (614) 221-2702 or (937) 427-2049.  Or if you would prefer, feel free to send a message or e-mail to jessa.m.gary@gmail.com.
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