Bloomington, Indiana Estate & Elder Law Blog

Friday, July 8, 2016

Genworth Study on Long-term Care Costs

Genworth, an insurance and financial services company, has released its annual report on long term care costs.
Read more . . .

Friday, June 24, 2016

Beware of Non-Lawyers Offering Medicaid Planning Advice

Medicaid is a complicated and sometimes confusing program. However, when a family is faced with a loved one needing nursing home care, and faced with the prospect of paying $7,000 to $8,000 (or more) per month in nursing home bills, they often do not know where to turn. We help families plan for and protect much of their life savings using planning techniques permitted under the Medicaid rules.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bloomington’s Favorite Law Office

The Like Law Group was recently voted Bloomington’s Favorite Law Office by the readers of the Herald-Times newspaper. From all of us at the office we are honored that so many of our clients as well as other professional advisors took the time to vote. We will continue to strive to be worthy of your future votes as well. Thank you!  A link to the entire Readers’ Choice Awards can be found here:

 2016 Readers Choice Awards

Read more . . .

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Biggest Mistakes Executors Make

If you think it is an honor to be named the executor of someone's estate you might want to think again. As this article point out there are legal traps for the executor who does not get proper advice. This article does a good job of highlighting some of the mistakes executors make which could open up the executor to personal liability.

 The Biggest Mistakes Executors Make

Friday, February 5, 2016

New, full-time veterans service officer in Monroe County

Mary Elftman will be Monroe County's veterans service officer. According to an article in the Herald Times she began work on February 1, 2016 taking over for long-time service officer Larry Catt. Ms. Elftman is a retired U.S. Army veteran and a Bloomington native.  I hope to be able to meet her soon and discuss the work that she does and educate her on the legal work that is critical for our clients, including veterans, to undertake. Here is a link to that article.

HT Article about Veterans Service Officer

Monday, August 20, 2012

Update on Virtual Dementia Tour

Just a couple of days ago I wrote about the virtual dementia tour and the resulting blog post by attorney John Roberts.  This "tour" is designed to replicate what a person with dimenished capacity may experience.  Now, there is an ABC News video aobut this experience.  You can find it here:

I hope this helps you get a sense for what some of our elderly loved ones with some form of dementia may be experiencing.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Virtual Dementia

The following post has been copied, with permission, from attorney, John Roberts, who practice in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.  His original post is located here.

When I read this I thought that this was a great idea that would allow others to experience the sensations and emotions experienced by a person with diminished capacity, perhaps even Alzheimbers' disease.  This type of "tour" might allow more empathy from loved ones and caregivers.  Here is Mr. Roberts post:

Read more . . .

Monday, July 16, 2012

Joe Paterno's Will

After Joe Paterno's death, in an unusual move, the probate court entered an order sealing his Will from being released to the public. This was very unusual because when a Will is filed with the probate court it generally becomes part of the public record. Anyone who wants could march down to the court and review the Will and even make a copy. However, the court later rescinded its order and opened it up for public inspection.  See an article on this here.

From this article is appears that Mr. Paterno did his planinng around a revocable trust. The Will provided his wife was to receive all tangible personal property such as furnishings, artwork, and similar items. However, the Will provided that all other assets were to pass to his revocable trust which remains private. A trust typically does not have to be filed with the probate court and thus will not be made public. We do not know who the beneficairies are of the trust but we can surmise Mr. Paterno set up a plan to reduce estate taxes and provide for his wife and children.

If you value keeping your affairs private consider using a revocable trust as part of your planning. Trusts are not necessarily for everyone and you should seek competent legal counsel to decide if a trust would benefit you and your loved ones.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Estate Planning for Zombies!

Estate Planning for Savvy Zombies.  Has the title caught your attention?  Check out this New York Times article for a fun look at estate planning for the undead. There may be creative tax planning tips buried deep in this article as well.  Forward this to any of your zombie friends. Here is the link.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Indiana Inheritance Tax Repeal (Actually a Phase Out)

On March 20, 2012, Governor Daniels signed into law a phase out of the Indiana inheritance tax.  First, a little background may be helpful.  For many, many years Indiana has had an independent inheritance tax. This tax is technically a tax on the heir/beneficiary when that person receives an inheritance. The actual amount of tax depends upon the relationship of the heir/beneficiary to the decedent.  Hopefully you will recall that there is no tax on any amounts passing to a spouse.  For lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, step-children, step-grandchildren, etc.) and for lineal ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.) there was a $100,000 exemption. Amounts inherited above $100,000 would be taxed at rates ranging from 1% to 10%.  These lineal descendants and ancestors were called “Class A” beneficiaries by the Indiana Department of Revenue.

The new law does a few things.  First, it add a spouse, widow, or widower of a child or step-child as a Class A beneficiary.  Second, it increases the exemption for Class A beneficiaries to $250,000.  This change was made retroactive to decedents dying after December 31, 2011.  The third change is the gradual repeal of the inheritance tax.  This was done through a credit to the actual tax owed which credit increases by 10% each year beginning in 2013 through 2021.  Beginning in 2022 the inheritance tax would cease to exist.  As an example, if a parent dies in 2013 with a $1,000,000 estate which is divided equally between two children. Each inherits $500,000. The first $250,000 for each child would be exempt.  The other $250,000 inherited by each child would incur a tax of $7,250.  In 2013 there would be a 10% credit against this tax (which is $725) and thus the actual tax owing for each child would be $6,525.  If the person died in 2014 the law applies a 20% credit against the tax ($1,450) and thus the actual tax on each child would be $5,800.

Unfortunately this new law does not increase the paltry exemptions available to Class B beneficiaries (brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, etc.) which is only $500 nor does it increase the exemption for Class C beneficiaries (everyone who is not a Class A or Class B beneficiary – such as a friend) which is only $100.

The fact that this legislation got passed is somewhat of a surprise. There have been proposals to repeal our state’s inheritance tax many times in the past and it never got anywhere.  This time was different although the full repeal will take many years to materialize.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

George Clooney Makes Estate Planning Sexy

Estate planning sexy?  Could that ever really happen?  Well, regardless of whether you have seen the movie "The Descendants," you might be interested in a recent Forbes article about the movie and the "estate planning" subplot within the movie.  This article, and the movie, helps illustrate how estate planning may play a very important role in the lives of many people.  Click here to read the Forbes article.

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