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Cincinnati Family Law Blog

What are the benefits of an irrevocable living trust?

If you count yourself among the many people across Ohio who are making plans for their futures, you may be giving some thought to how you might best protect your assets and preserve them for future generations. You may, too, have heard the term “irrevocable living trust” tossed around during your estate planning process, but you may not completely understand what it is or what it can do.

Per the Motley Fool, an irrevocable living trust differs from a revocable trust in that it is permanent and binding in nature, meaning you cannot change or modify it after its creation. This type of trust does, however, grant you considerable protection in certain areas as well as numerous other benefits. Arguably one of the biggest benefits an irrevocable living trust provides is asset protection with regard to creditors. Because the assets you place in this type of trust no longer belong directly to you, you can effectively safeguard them in the event that someone sues or otherwise comes to collect money from you.

Do your parents have enough saved for retirement?

As the adult child of elderly parents, you may have wondered whether their meager savings will be enough to cover their needs for their lifetimes or if you will need to offer them financial assistance.

Certainly, you don't want your mom or dad living as paupers, skipping meals or medication to have enough to cover the utilities each month. But you and your family also have your share of expenses, and soon the kids will be in college. What can you do when your parents' nest egg runs out?

Dealing with various complications in military divorce

At King, Koligian & Associates, LLC, we realize that every divorce is complicated. However, we also know that some divorces are more complicated than others. For example, in the case of military divorce, our clients must typically deal with not only Ohio, but also the federal regulations that regulate military partnerships.

While some of the most complex military divorce cases we handle involve situations in which one partner is deployed overseas, there are many other categories of marriage law that intersect with the military. One situation we find more often recently is senior military officers near the end of their career seeking divorces due to lifestyle changes and irreconcilable differences. This scenario is often likely to involve complicating factors, such as significant investments and business interests. 

Do Ohio grandparents have visitation rights?

As an Ohio grandparent, you may wish to gain legal visitation with your grandchild for any number of reasons. Maybe the relationship between the child’s parents has soured, and you have fears about it impacting your relationship with your grandchild. Maybe your grandchild’s parents were never in a formal relationship at all, but you want to maintain ties to your grandchild. Regardless of your reasoning for wanting formal grandparent visitation, know that Ohio courts may grant it if your situation meets some specific criteria.

Per the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, grandparents can request visitation rights during or following an Ohio domestic relations proceeding. You may do so when your grandchild’s parents separate or divorce, when one of your grandchild’s parents passes away, or when your grandchild’s mother is an unmarried woman.

Estate planning strategies beyond a will

While standard wills and trusts might work for many Ohio residents, these generic tools might not be the cheapest or most efficient way to deal with inheritance. In terms of estate planning, effort and attention to detail often pay off with lower stress, reduced probate costs and peace of mind.

Wills are easily contested and tend to enter probate court. This is especially costly for individuals with a higher net worth. Trusts might reduce the size of an estate, and personal gifts could provide a tax-free windfall for beneficiaries while a grantor is alive. Some assets are more difficult to handle with these tools than others, requiring alternate methods.

Using the right techniques to tell children about divorce

For divorcing couples in Ohio, the important decisions to be made regarding their future may seem to be coming endlessly and at lightning speed. For couples who have had children together, this could be even more the case as they negotiate child custody and try to help their children understand why they have made the decision to separate. Because every child is different, some couples may find they have to approach the topic of divorce differently with each child and in a way that is complementary to his or her age and comprehension. 

According to Today's Parent, people who are going through a divorce can create a solid foundation for their children to cope in ways that are healthy and effective by doing three things:

  • Focusing on parenting techniques that are positive, consistent and effective. 
  • Building their relationship with each child and encouraging each child to maintain a relationship with his or her other parent too.
  • Minimizing all conflict and avoid gossiping or complaining about their ex and his or her behavior. 

Can I see my grandchildren if their parents are divorced?

Ohio grandparents, you may feel left out when your children start having children and building their own families. Ideally, they will keep you an active part of their lives, but what happens when one of the children divorces or succumbs to a serious illness?

Questions about how involved you can continue to remain in your grandchildren's lives will likely surface in the wake of either event; however, you can stay relatively confident of your role if you have already established a relationship with them. 

Carefully drafting an effective healthcare proxy

Creating a healthcare proxy is a sensible step for many Ohio residents preparing for the possibility they may lose the capacity to make their own healthcare decisions. However, like any similar document, a health proxy should usually be drafted with care. Similarly, the choice of attorney in fact— the one who makes decisions on behalf of an incapacitated individual— typically requires significant consideration.

Those unfamiliar with health proxies often mistake them for general powers of attorney. FindLaw makes the distinction that, in contrast to a health proxy, the text of a power of attorney often explicitly removes the power to make health care decisions from the document's scope. Therefore, it might benefit those considering their estate in detail to create both documents.

Are you facing a 'Gray Divorce?'

While overall the divorce rate in America is dropping, one segment of the population is bucking this trend — senior citizens. In the past three decades, the divorce rate for those 51 and older has doubled. For senior citizens older than 65, the rates are even higher.

What is behind this surge in so-called "gray divorces"? Let's examine some of the factors.

Go easy on yourself by starting out with collaborative divorce

Do you feel like there's no reconciling the differences between yourself and your spouse? It is one thing if you never want to see your current partner again, but we find that couples with any common ground at all often benefit from a collaborative process. At King, Koligian & Associates, LLC., one of the most important points we reinforce for our clients is that starting your divorce with an attempt at collaborative law does not mean that you have to finish it that way.

In fact, even if you do not expect success in a collaborative process, it might be a good idea to try it if recommended. The suggestion-- assuming it originates from your lawyer-- probably means that, from a legal perspective, you have a chance of saving yourself some stress by collaborating with your spouse. 

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