What is a “Like Kind” Exchange?

like kind exchangeA tax deferred exchange or “like kind” exchange is a method of disposing of and reinvesting funds from investment or business-use assets while deferring capital gains and recapture taxes. To successfully complete a like kind exchange, timing is extremely important and the assistance of experienced counsel is highly recommended.

The like kind exchange benefits are created by Internal Revenue Code Section 1031. So the process is often called a “1031 Exchange”. Before discussing the basics of the transaction, it is important to understand the nomenclature. The “Exchanger” is the person or entity that is selling and buying like kind property. The property being sold is called the “Relinquished Property” and the property being purchased is the “Replacement Property”. Continue reading

Do I Need to be Concerned About Taxes as Part of My Estate Planning?

estate_taxFor estate tax planning, the federal tax law change a few years back brought good news for most regular folks. At the end of 2012, the federal transfer tax (which includes the estate tax and gift tax) rules were updated. Specifically, the law increased the amount of the available (gift and estate tax) exemptions, lowered the top rate, indexed the exemptions for inflation, and made the estate tax exemption “portable” to a surviving spouse. In addition, for Ohio residents, the Ohio estate tax was repealed beginning on January 1, 2013.

With the federal estate tax exemption now over $5 million per person (and increasing every year), the vast majority of people no longer need to worry about leakage in their estate plans due to federal estate (or gift) taxes. Similarly, Ohio residents need not worry about the impact of Ohio estate tax anymore. This is all very good news for taxpayers, but it raises a few related points. Continue reading

How Does a Debtor Qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

bankruptcyIn order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor must pass a means test. Simply put, the means test calculates a debtor’s monthly disposable income. This hypothetical monthly disposable income will determine whether a debtor is able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or whether a debtor must file under Chapter 13. The calculation also aids in determining how much a debtor will pay creditors under a Chapter 13 if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not available. Accordingly, it is very important to understand how the means test works. Continue reading

Nicholas Andersen Named to 2015 Columbus CEO Top Lawyers List

Nicholas Andersen

Congratulations to Attorney Nicholas I. Andersen for being named to the 2015 Columbus CEO’s Top Lawyers List. Nicholas is a Shareholder at the Dublin, Ohio based law firm of Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA.

According to Columbus CEO, attorneys on the list are among an elite group of Columbus lawyers recognized for their legal abilities and professional ethical standards. This year’s list was compiled by Avvo, a Seattle based company, that rates and profiles attorneys nationwide. Avvo uses a proprietary algorithm to rate attorneys on a 10-point scale, factoring in peer endorsements as well as experience, education, training, speaking, publishing and awards. This is Columbus CEO’s seventh annual Top Lawyers feature. See the full list HERE. Continue reading

Procedures for Selling Real Estate through Ohio Probate Estates (Part 2 – Land Sale)

land_saleClick here to read Part 1 – Testate & Intestate

Our firm is regularly asked by our clients to assist with the sale of real estate in Ohio probate court. This article provides a brief overview of the sale real estate in a probate estate through a land sale. Having experienced legal counsel to assist with the sale of real estate through estates is important for making sure that the transaction proceeds smoothly and properly.

When a person dies owning Ohio real estate that is either titled in the name of the decedent only, or is titled as tenants in common (as opposed to being titled as joint tenants with rights of survivorship), the title to the decedent’s real estate immediately vests by operation of law in beneficiaries who are entitled to inherit the real estate under the decedent’s Last Will and Testament (a testate estate). If there is no Will, the title to the decedent’s real estate immediately vests in the decedent’s heirs at law (an intestate estate). The rights of the beneficiaries or heirs to the decedent’s real estate are subject to divestment if the real estate needs to be sold to pay the decedent’s debts, or if the real estate is otherwise sold pursuant to a procedure below. Continue reading

Procedures for Selling Real Estate through Ohio Probate Estates (Part 1 – Testate & Intestate)

real_estateOur firm is regularly asked by our clients to assist with the sale of real estate in Ohio probate court. This article provides a brief overview of the ways real estate can be sold through a probate estate in a testate or intestate estate. Having experienced legal counsel to assist with the sale of real estate through estates is important for making sure that the transaction proceeds smoothly and properly.

When a person dies owning Ohio real estate that is either titled in the name of the decedent only, or is titled as tenants in common (as opposed to being titled as joint tenants with rights of survivorship), the title to the decedent’s real estate immediately vests by operation of law in beneficiaries who are entitled to inherit the real estate under the decedent’s Last Will and Testament (a testate estate). If there is no Will, the title to the decedent’s real estate immediately vests in the decedent’s heirs at law (an intestate estate). The rights of the beneficiaries or heirs to the decedent’s real estate are subject to divestment if the real estate needs to be sold to pay the decedent’s debts, or if the real estate is otherwise sold pursuant to a procedure below. Continue reading

What Types of Employees Are Governed Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

FLSA employeeMaking the decision on how to compensate employees is a critical step for every business. Often, this decision can be extremely complicated due to various factors unique to the employee or to the business. Having experienced legal counsel to guide your business through the decision making process is essential to making sure you get it right.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)
prescribes basic minimum wage and overtime pay for employees. Assuming that an employer is subject to the FLSA or similar state law, every employee is covered under the FLSA unless they are otherwise deemed exempt. These exemptions are where most employers make mistakes in compensating their employees. Continue reading

Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA Attorneys Eric R. McLoughlin and John C. Gerboth Selected as 2015 Ohio Rising Stars

superlawyers rising starsDublin, Ohio based law firm Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA announced that Attorneys Eric R. McLoughlin and John C. Gerboth have been selected to the 2015 Ohio Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Continue reading

The Homestead Exemption Explained

homestead_exemptionOne of the most common questions people have when discussing bankruptcy is “will I be able to keep my house?”

In most cases, the answer is “yes.”

When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all your assets and property are subject to being taken and sold by the trustee for the benefit of your creditors. However, the law provides for a number of exemptions that will, as the name implies, exempt your assets and property from the bankruptcy estate meaning the trustee cannot touch them. These exemptions cover such things as vehicles, retirement accounts, bank accounts, personal property and homesteads. Continue reading

What is a Dower Right?

deedFor lack of a better word, dower is an “automatic” right in and to certain property provided to a spouse in the property of the other spouse, especially in death. Property includes real property and money, choses in action [a right to sue], evidences of debt [a right to repayment, like under a promissory note], and other personal property. In Ohio, dower is statutory and is found under Ohio Revised Code Section 2103.01 through 2103.09. Continue reading