What is a TOD deed?

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By Tricia Applegate

Using a transfer-on-death deed is a lot like using a payable-on-death (POD) designation for a bank account. You name one or more beneficiaries now, who then inherit the property at your death without the need for probate court proceedings.

To name a beneficiary, you use a special kind of deed, one that’s tailored to the law of your state. The deed looks pretty much like any other real estate deed; it names the current owner, describes the property exactly, and names the person the property will be transferred to at your death. But a TOD deed contains an additional statement, making it clear that the deed does not take effect until the current owner’s death.

The beneficiary you name to inherit the property doesn’t have any legal right to it until your death—or, if you own the property with your spouse or someone else, until the last surviving owner dies. The beneficiary doesn’t have to sign, acknowledge, or even be told about the deed.

In the deed, you can also name an contingent beneficiary who will inherit the real estate if your first choice isn’t alive at your death. If you don’t name an alternate, and your first choice doesn’t survive you, state law determines who will inherit the property – usually this requires a probate proceeding.
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Hearing Aids – There’s an App for That

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By Kathy Cooper

Do you have a loved one who is suffering from a hearing loss? A recent New York Times article discusses the benefits of new hearing aids that are almost invisible and adjust to your surroundings, making your hearing even better than normal hearing. The controls are in your iPhone. They are not cheap, but they do have the benefit of keeping your or your loved one engaged in life. Thom’s grandmother suffered from a hearing loss that worsened as she aged. The problem was that she would not use her hearing aids. They were hard to use and big. She just did not like them. Unfortunately, it also meant she was more and more isolated. It is a shame to have our loved ones withdraw when there is a simple an effective way to help them rejoin the world — spread the word!


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Interesting Times at Cooper & Adel

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By Angela Hall

In my seven years of working for Cooper, Adel and Associates, I have met a variety of interesting people. I have been given the opportunity to meet and work with clients who have led very interesting lives – from the woman who was attacked by a dolphin, to the couple who travelled Ohio selling homemade ice cream. The thing I enjoy most about my job is getting to know my clients beyond the business part of what we do here. It’s always a learning experience for me as well.

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Are Veteran’s Benefits Available To Those Who Served But Not In a Combat Zone?

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JM Megail Gaumer

The answer is YES!

Few veterans take advantage of the Veteran’s Administration Aid & Attendance Benefit, often referred to as A&A benefits. This program can provide benefits to the Veteran or their surviving spouse of up to $2,085 per month to pay for expenses such as, long-term care, assisted living or even in home care. [Read more…]

Don’t Go Broke In A Nursing Home

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By Lori McBride

Over the past few months, we have been rolling out a new seminar to help educate seniors and their families throughout Ohio, workshops in April were held in Springfield, Marion, & Millersburg. Here are some of the topics: [Read more…]

Does your irrevocable trust provide capital gains savings for your heirs?

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By Attorney Ted Brown

Irrevocable trusts are commonly used to protect assets from the cost of long-term care and to reduce estate tax liability. However, without the right language, an irrevocable trust can create a potentially crippling and unanticipated capital gains tax problem for your heirs.

Capital gains tax applies to the sale of appreciated assets such as land or stocks. In general,the tax is based on the profit that one earns on the sale. The profit is determined by subtracting the value of the property when you acquired it from the sale price. For example, if you buy a piece of land for $100,000 and you sell it for $225,000, you have a capital gain of $125,000. The $100,000 figure is known as your “cost basis.” [Read more…]

What Is an Affidavit or Memorandum of Trust?

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By Chris Meyer

When you or your attorney are funding your trust, you may find that some financial institutions require a copy of your entire trust. Most of us don’t want to share the entire trust with these institutions. In order to avoid giving financial institutions the entire trust document, attorneys prepare an affidavit – also known as a memorandum – of trust. [Read more…]

You’re 70 ½ and beginning to take your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

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By Robin Crouch

All the hard work you put into saving for retirement is starting to pay off. How long will your nest egg last? Retirement planning doesn’t end when you retire.

It’s April 2014, so many of you are have had your taxes prepared for 2013. Maybe you had your taxes done by a professional tax-preparer, or maybe you’re doing it yourself – hello Turbo Tax! [Read more…]

What happens if your parents forget to pay their LTC insurance?

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By Robin Crouch

  1. The policy lapses resulting in no coverage. This may happen when they need the coverage the most!

  2. They would not qualify for a new policy if they had developed health problems since the policy was originally issued.

  3. Your parents may end up “spending down” everything they have taken a lifetime to earn before they can qualify for public assistance, or

  4. Unless you are independently wealthy and can ensure they have care when needed, they may not receive the care they need.

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Earth Day 2014

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Going green is good for the planet and good for your wallet. Here are some changes that can make a big impact.


If the average household lowers the thermostat by two degrees, from 70 degrees to 68, they could save $23-$38 a year. 


Switch all the light bulbs in your home to compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can save about $270 in one year. 


Unplug appliances and electronics that glow when you’re done using them. You could save $200 a year. 


For someone who typically buys a $1.50 bottle of water twice a week, the annual saving of drinking from a reusable BPA-free water bottle can top $150. 


Repair a leaky toilet and you can save $109 a year with water at $1.50 for every 1,000 gallons. A leaking toilet leaks up to 73,000 gallons a year. 


By upgrading the insulation in your attic, walls, and basement to R-50 standard, you can save up to $900 a year. 

$650 – $1,000

By car pooling with just one friend, you can each save about $650 a year. If four of you carpool, you can each save nearly $1,000. 

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