Revocable Trust or Irrevocable Trust: What is the Best Option for Me?

Trusts are great tools for you to pass assets to your heirs, whether that be to children, other family members, or charities. However, not all trusts are created equally. Sometimes, we use revocable trusts for one client, while another client established an irrevocable trust. When does it make sense to use a revocable trust compared to an irrevocable trust?

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Mental Health is Physical Health Too

As we contemplate the ambiguous term “Mental Health,” it is important to recognize that our mental health is just as important as, and even an integral part of, our physical health.  There is a cornucopia of studies that link mental health to the way we feel physically.  There is a reason why we feel better after a long walk, a hard workout, or even a day of doing yard work.  In some cases, exercise is used to supplement or even replace medication in treating mental health issues – think: runner’s high.  Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, and even Schizophrenia are all mental health diagnoses that have been successfully treated, in part, by exercise.  

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How To Use Funds From a Special Needs Trust

Special Needs Trusts are in place to protect the benefits of an adult or child with special needs and are exempt from Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A properly drafted special needs trust gives (you) the trustee, or someone you appoint, the sole discretion to use the funds for the benefit of your family member. A question I get asked often is what can I use the funds for, and are there any limitations?

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Show Me the Money! – Ohio’s Autism Scholarship Amount has Increased

Ohio’s new budget, signed by Governor DeWine this summer, includes a long-overdue increase in the Autism Scholarship amount. Currently a qualifying student can access $27,000 in scholarship dollars under the Autism Scholarship, but that amount will climb to $31,500 in October and $32,455 in 2022. It is not a huge jump, but every dollar helps.

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Caregiver Mental Health During COVID-19

AARP recently released findings of a study that analyzed over 236,000 cases of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. The study indicates that up to one-third of survivors suffer from psychiatric or neurological illnesses within six months of infection, with 34% of those further diagnosed with mental health or neurological disorders. The most common conditions were mood and anxiety disorders, but it also identified a higher rate of insomnia, dementia, and even encephalitis.

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Surrogate Decision Making in Mental Health Cases

In many respects, those who suffer from mental health issues fall through the cracks the most – whether that be cracks in the medical system, in public benefits, or in estate planning and guardianship law. People fall through because the system is largely designed to take care of those with physical needs or severe cognitive disorders, not those who look and feel just fine on the outside. Mental health issues are difficult because it isn’t clear when an individual is deemed incapacitated, and without that clarity, they have the right to be free from Probate Court jurisdiction from a Guardianship and can easily revoke or amend a power of attorney to remove someone that is irritating them in that moment. Unfortunately, it’s in those moments that they need surrogate decision makers the most.

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COVID Guidance for the 2021-2022 School Year

The Ohio Department of Health just revised its COVID Guidance for the 2021-22 School Year. Here are some of the big-ticket items stemming from this 13-page document:

  • Vaccinations for staff and students are “strongly recommended” and should be encouraged
  • Masks (indoors) for unvaccinated staff and students are “strongly recommended”
  • Masks on buses are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status (this per CDC)
  • Continued social distancing (3 feet is ok now), hand washing, sanitizing and increased ventilation is still recommended
  • Limiting non-essential visitors is recommended
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Generational Differences Call for Differences in Estate Planning

Whether you’re in your 40’s or your 80’s, it’s never too early or late to start thinking about creating an estate plan, and different generations can have specific ideas and approaches when it comes to their estate planning. Baby Boomers, those born generally between 1946 and 1964, are often characterized as having a strong work ethic and whose identities are intertwined with their job, they prefer structure, discipline and are very good team players.  Generation X, individuals born between 1965 and 1976 are known as those who “work smart, not hard,” and do a relatively good job of balancing work with family time. Millennials and Gen Y, those born between 1977 and 1994, are fiercely independent and are concerned with ethics and social responsibility. 

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Can a Student Get Suspended for a Snapchat Post?

Social media is something I did not have to worry about as a kid, but it’s a very different story today. Every silly, embarrassing or inappropriate thing that a kid posts on social media can be instantly shared with hundreds, sometimes thousands or millions, with the tap of a finger. It immediately becomes part of their permanent record that could come back to haunt them when they’re looking to get a job, get accepted into college, and it can get them into trouble at school.

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