On December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into legislation the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Of importance, the bill repealed and/or limited many deductions for individuals, such as implementing a $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes, which includes property tax. This cap, however, does not apply to state and local taxes paid while carrying on a real estate trade or business. The change has led to a spell of homeowners hurrying to prepay their property taxes in order to take the deduction when filing their taxes in April of 2018. Outside of the many changes which will affect individuals at a personal level, there are also many changes, as well as preservations, which will affect the commercial real estate industry.
When my son, Sam, celebrated his 18th birthday, I gave him (surprise!) his very own set of estate planning documents. They were not as popular as, say, a Land Rover, but they were definitely at the top of "my" list. Why? Because he was now an adult and I was now persona non grata.
In Being Mortal, an incredibly rich and revealing book about what people care about as they age, Dr. Atul Gawande described how impressed he was by the importance people placed on maintaining control of their lives.
As is often the case, sometimes it takes a while for the law to catch up with society's technological advances. Since the Internet is invisible, most people forget that their intangible digital assets are just as real as their tangible personal property. Currently, there are an estimated thirty million Facebook accounts that belong to people who are deceased. According to McAfee, in 2011 American consumers valued their digital assets, including online gaming, photos, music, client lists, bank accounts and bill-paying accounts at an average of $55,000 per person. And yet, few people plan for what will happen to those digital accounts when they die. Only a handful of states have addressed the ability of fiduciaries to handle and/or close down a decedent's or incapacitated person's accounts.
With a legacy of more than 160 years of service to clients in Dayton, throughout Ohio, and beyond, we understand the importance of time. You should know the right time to create or sell a business, the right time to grow your assets and the right time to decide where those assets should go when you are no longer able to take care of them yourself.
HISTORY LESSON: Back in days of yore (2/9/72 - 4/4/85) in Ohio, a form of property ownership known as Tenancy By the Entirety (TBE) was recognized. The TBE form of property ownership harkens back to times when women had much less control over their affairs and needed to be protected from their husband's debts. It is useful now to protect assets from creditors.