Don’t Leave Money on the Table – Adoption Tax Credit Explained

1 week ago 0 20

The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance on the revived adoption tax credit. Congress declared the tax credit permanent in 2013 and, in 2018, raised the maximum adoption credit to $13,810 for qualified expenses, including adoption fees, court costs, attorney’s fees, and travel expenses. The credit amount begins to phase out for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income over $207,140, and is unavailable to taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $247,140 or more. The adoption tax credit is non-refundable, meaning it cannot be claimed by families with no tax liability. However, adoptive families can use the credit to offset actual tax liability for that given year, and any “excess” credit that is unused can be carried forward for up to five years. When the tax credit can be claimed depends on whether the adoption was domestic or international, and if it has already been finalized. Eligible taxpayers must fill

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Go Ahead…Do It Yourself! The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning Documents

3 weeks ago 0 79

In my 30 years of private practice, I have yet to see a correctly-done do-it-yourself Will! Most people do not have a Will. Why? Because most of us are busy living and working, and the last thing we think about is mortality. Usually, “do-it-yourself” Wills are done by people who can afford to have a Will professionally done. Typical errors include improper witnessing and signatures, conflicting language, a failure to properly dispose of the assets, and (of course) estate tax avoidance language. Other errors could cause improper probate avoidance techniques and/or an unequal distribution of the estate. People can wreak havoc by drafting their own estate planning documents. In the end, loved ones will suffer the most from the chaos and legal problems that people leave behind! The cost to have a Will or Trust done professionally and correctly is a fraction of what a family can spend in legal

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Don’t Make These Estate Planning Mistakes!

3 months ago 0 184

Making a plan for end of life is hard, but necessary. Retaining an attorney is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out. There are plenty of things to bear in mind. First, never assume your estate is not valuable enough. The costs of hiring a lawyer are worth it, compared to the potential problems imposed on your heirs if planning was conducted improperly. Second, keep your will current. A will should be updated to reflect marriages, divorces, remarriages, the birth or death of family members, or the acquisition of new property like a house. Third, think carefully about who to appoint as Executor or Trustee. This should be someone you trust and is available and qualified. Just as important are decisions about who is to be Guardian of minor children. Estate administration can be an emotional process, and your loved ones may fight over “their share.” Your

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House Bill 448: The Beginning of the End of Adoptions as We Know Them?

3 months ago 0 83

House Bill 448 could mean the beginning of the end of adoptions as we know them! The Bill permits a person to bring an action to obtain visitation rights with an adoptee’s minor siblings. The Bill also extends sibling relationships beyond adoption. For more information, please go to the following:  


5 months ago 0 417

Most foster care arrangements are intended to be temporary, but a good foster parent understands a child’s welfare comes before all other concerns. As a foster parent, you may find it is in a child’s best interests to remain in your care rather than return to their natural parents. you may find yourself in a legal battle over custody with questions about your rights as a foster parent. Some states have enacted laws designed to give foster parents more rights to children in their care, including priority consideration for adoption if available. Foster parents’ rights may be limited. The best way to be certain of your rights as a foster parent is to seek independent counsel of an attorney with experience in adoption and foster care law.


10 months ago 0 517

Especially where children are concerned, the consequences of losing legal custody can be far worse than anyone is prepared to accept. In situations like these, it is to a foster parent’s advantage to have an attorney on hand, both as a spokesperson and a guide to navigating the complex and often confusing avenues of child welfare law. Perhaps you were hoping to adopt a child you had taken into your home when a long-lost relative came forward, or you are concerned about child welfare services placing your foster child into a new home against your own good judgment. Or, a minor policy violation recorded during a home inspection gets substantiated into charges of abuse. The task of pushing back against government agencies can appear impossible, but with an attorney’s help, you have a better opportunity to have your case heard, and can spare yourself the hardship of losing the ability

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Prince’s Estate: Who Gets the Jewels?

1 year ago 0 306

A Minnesota judge decided that singer Prince has six siblings as his rightful heirs, bringing them closer to collecting their shares of the singer’s $200 million estate. Since Prince’s death due to an accidental opioid overdose, more than 45 people came forward claiming to be his relative. Some were ruled out through DNA testing, while others had their claims rejected as a matter of law. The six named heirs will be unable to collect their shares of the estate until any other claimants’ appeals have been resolved. The moral of the story: if Prince had had his lawyer draw up a will, all of this uncertainty would have been avoided!

Getting Remarried? Better Update Your Estate Plan!

1 year ago 0 617

Around 40% of marriages are a remarriage for at least one of the spouses. Getting remarried can affect your estate plan. Many older adults are focused on making sure their grown children or grandchildren receive an inheritance. Without adjustments to an estate plan, a new spouse may inherit assets you intended for your children or grandchildren. Steps you can take to protect the interests of all your loved ones when remarrying: · Pre-nuptial agreement A surviving spouse is entitled to a percentage of assets, even if a Will states differently. In Ohio, this can range from 30-50%. The easiest way around is for a spouse to waive their rights in a pre-nuptial agreement. · Double check how assets are titled Who receives assets when you pass depends on how they are titled, not on what is in your Will. Assets can be titled as a joint with rights of survivorship,

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Birth Mother Adoption Expenses

1 year ago 0 654

Birth mothers are bearers and givers of the gift of life. There is no price tag on this gift. During the adoption process, the adoptive parents incur all costs so that the birth mother is economically unburdened. The adoptive couple can legally pay for a birth mother’s attorney fees and care. This can include prenatal, hospital and postpartum care, counseling, and other expenses. Under Ohio law an adoptive couple may also pay some of a birth mother’s living expenses, like rent and groceries. These expenses cannot exceed $3,000 and must be incurred during the pregnancy or up to two months after the pregnancy. Adoptive parents pay for the birth mother’s expenses and assist with living costs to assure the highest quality of care for the birth mother and the baby. If a birth mother is struggling to afford a place to live or food to eat, this will surely affect

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1 year ago 0 619

A Life-Book is your chance to give birthparents an inside look at the life their baby will have. Your Life-Book will be one of your most valuable tools in the adoption process. It is used to help birthparents make one of the hardest choices in their life. Creating a Life-Book can feel like a daunting task. A good Life-Book will be hard to create, but there are some tips to making it easier. A Life-Book should give birthparents a personal look into your life, home and family. The point of the Life-Book isn’t just to give a description of your life, it is to make birthparents feel confident and fulfilled in their choice to place with you. An effective Life-Book should include a Dear Birthparent Letter. There should be pictures that reflect your life and the book should feel warm and welcoming. In the Life-Book you and your spouse should

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