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Estate Planning Lawyers In Southern Ohio

As we have all learned from the national news within the last few years, dividing your property after your passing can cause some of the most painful and complicated moments of anyone’s life. But planning and managing your estate’s assets does not have to be like that. For close to 30 years, our firm has provided sound legal guidance to our clients with respect to their estate issues, minimizing their aggravation and maximizing their options. The Law Firm of Richard M. Lewis helps clients manage their assets no matter how complexly those assets may be held or how highly they may be valued.

Probate Attorneys In Jackson, Athens And Chillicothe And Throughout Southern Ohio

Our firm assists clients with their wills and trusts and the settlement of their estates. The Ohio Trust Act, enacted in March 2013, introduced new considerations on trusts. Whether your estate involves the assets commonly held by most people or your estate involves unusual and high-value assets, the attorneys at The Law Firm of Richard M. Lewis can help you.

We serve clients throughout southern Ohio, including the towns of Jackson, Wellston, Vinton, Gallipolis, Chillicothe and beyond.

Without a specific set of rules for people to follow after your passing, even well-intentioned relatives can mismanage your estate or divide property in ways that you would not have wanted. Particularly if you feel overwhelmed at the thought of preparing for and managing these difficult issues, we can manage the estate planning process on your behalf. We work with you to craft the estate planning solution that achieves your legal goals with respect to your estate. A well-crafted will or trust, for instance, can ensure that your wishes are implemented even if strong-willed family members wish to handle your estate differently.

Contact An Estate Planning Attorney

Call The Law Firm of Richard M. Lewis to make an appointment for an initial consultation about your estate planning questions at 740-688-2164. You can also reach a lawyer by contacting us online. We are located in Jackson, Ohio, and serve clients throughout southern Ohio and beyond.

Ohio’s New Legacy Trust Act

The Ohio Legacy Trust, enacted in March of 2013, allows entities to place trust assets beyond the reach of creditors. This helps people to avoid or reduce federal estate taxes.

A Legacy Trust is an irrevocable trust and it must be in writing. It must comply with the Ohio Legacy Trust Act. It is subject to a spendthrift provision.

  • A person, the trust maker, can create an Ohio Legacy Trust, fund the trust with his or her own assets, and be a beneficiary of the trust.
  • Future creditors cannot access the trust maker’s trust assets if the trust is properly formed.
  • Any adult, business, or corporation can form an Ohio Legacy Trust. Investment or financial accounts, mutual funds, investment real estate, shares of stock, LLC membership interests, artwork or personal property can be put into an Ohio Legacy Trust.
  • IRAs and retirements cannot be put into an Ohio Legacy Trust.
  • The assets must be titled in the name of the Ohio Legacy Trust.
  • The purpose of the trust is to hold assets to provide for family education expenses or income to a beneficiary and bar claims of creditors against those who are received qualifying this position from the trust.

Transferors’ Rights

  • A transferor who transfers assets to a legacy trust may benefit from the assets.
  • A transferor cannot revoke the trust or transfer an interest in that trust.
  • A transferor may retain the power to 1) terminate the transfers rights to mandatory income or principal upon the happening of a specified condition, 2) veto a distribution from the trust, 3) receive trust income, 4) consumer or appropriate up to 5% of the trust principal, 5) remove and appoint trustees and advisors, 6) reside in real property or used tangible personal property held by the trust, 7) require or permit the trust to pay income taxes due on the income of the trust, 8) pour back trust property to the transferor’s estate or any trust.
  • A transferor may not be a qualified trustee.
  • A transferor may act as an advisor but only in connection with investment decisions.

Ohio also increased the homestead exemption which exempts $125,000 of a home’s value from execution, garnishment, attachment or sale to satisfy a judgment or order. Ohio also recently exempted 529 plans for future education from creditors claims. Ohio eliminated the estate tax for all persons dying after Jan. 1, 2013.

For more information about setting up an Ohio Legacy Trust, or for any other questions or concerns related to estate planning or probate law, contact The Law Firm of Richard M. Lewis today.