Maple Knoll Village


Maple Knoll Outreach Services for Seniors, Let’s Do Lunch: Volunteer with Meals on Wheels

More than 10 million seniors in the United States (that’s 1 in 6) currently face the threat of hunger and 15 million seniors are living alone in isolation. And, each and every day, Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver one million meals to those who need them the most.

Many people know Meals on Wheels as a food delivery service for the homebound. However, what they don’t know is how impactful the moments of contact between the volunteer and the recipient can be. For many seniors, the volunteer who drops off their meal is the only person they will see that day. The delivery isn’t just about nourishment; it’s about a valuable moment of human connection. And in turn, it’s those moments of human connection that make volunteering so rewarding.

We know firsthand that Meals on Wheels clients are some of the country’s most inspirational and interesting people, full of wisdom and stories. Our volunteers have noted time and again that these experiences are what keeps them coming back to Meals on Wheels, and deepens their connection beyond food delivery.

With the senior population projected to double by 2050, Meals on Wheels needs to recruit a whole new wave of volunteers to serve the growing need. Meals on Wheels, which consists of more than 5,000 local programs in virtually every community in America, relies on an army of two million volunteers who deliver meals to seniors in need every day between 11am-1pm. These volunteers are crucial to the well-being of seniors across the country. With the majority of the current volunteer base over the age of 55, there is a real need to encourage and recruit people of all ages to get involved, donate their lunch break and volunteer.

What can you do? You can experience these special moments of human connection right here in Cincinnati by volunteering with Maple Knoll Outreach Services for Seniors. If you can’t stray too far from the office, donate your lunch break and participate in meal delivery close to your work. We have opportunities for volunteers to help by driving a meal to a deserving member of the community. Maple Knoll Outreach Services for Seniors delivers meals on 20 routes a day so drivers are always welcome to join our mission of providing meals to the elderly in our area.

Sign up to volunteer with Maple Knoll Outreach Services for Seniors and start making a difference right here in our local community today. Feel free to visit our website or Facebook page as well as contact Joshua Howard with Maple Knoll Communities at 513-984-1234 with any questions or concerns.

A Maple Knoll Outreach Services volunteer delivers a meal to a client.

A Maple Knoll Outreach Services volunteer delivers a meal to a client.

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Estate and Income Tax Planning – Gift Tax Exclusions

If you’re like most people, you don’t like to think about planning your estate. But it’s an important part of ensuring the financial security of your loved ones. One of the most common tools used in estate planning – and one that everyone should at least give careful consideration to – is a program of giving gifts. A carefully planned gift-giving program can reduce the amount of your estate that is subject to tax while still passing on wealth. Our friends over at Mowry, Marty and Bain have shared this article with us to help all of us prepare.

Congress has not made estate planning easy over the past several years. There has been a general indecisiveness among legislators over the minimum amounts that should be excluded from gift and estate taxes and the tax rates that should apply to amounts not excluded. As a result, taxpayers have only temporary amounts with which to plan, making long-range strategies more difficult.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), passed by Congress on January 1, 2013 and signed into law by President Obama the next day, brings some much-needed certainty. ATRA sets the unified gift and estate tax exclusion at $5 million (indexed for inflation) for 2013 and subsequent years. The inflation adjusted exclusion for 2014 is $5,340,000. The maximum estate and gift tax rate is 40 percent for 2013 and subsequent years.

Absent the immediate financial needs of a gift recipient, the main motivation for making large gifts during your lifetime rather than waiting to pass on your wealth at death is to remove the future appreciation from your eventual taxable estate. There is a certain degree of risk in this strategy since your donee receives a tax basis equal to what you paid for the asset while your heirs will receive a stepped-up tax basis equal to the assets value at death, As a result, the loss of stepped up basis and higher future tax rates on capital gains may diminish the benefits of current gift giving. Nevertheless, the consensus planning purposes is that getting future appreciation out of a taxable estate still trumps worries about any more remote tax issues for your donees if and when they eventually were to sell the gifted assets.

While large gifts can be subject to rules with a multitude of variable, you can give away up to an “annual exclusion amount” per recipient per year free of gift tax and free of any future offset against any exemption amount used to lower future gift or estate taxes. For 2014, that annual exclusion amount is $14,000 (unchanged from 2013).

There is a great deal of flexibility in the types of property that can be transferred. Gifts that qualify for the $14,000 annual exclusion can be made in money, property such as stocks or bonds, or even a life insurance policy, as long as the recipient gets the present right to possess or use the property. The gift may be in trust if the terms of the trust give the recipient the immediate right to the property or income from the property.

You can give up to $28,000 in 2014 per recipient per year if you are married and your spouse consents to “split” your gifts. This is useful for spouses who do not own an equal amount of property. The spouse with less property can consent to gifts made by the wealthier spouse, thereby effectively doubling the amount that the wealthier spouse can give away tax-free. To take advantage of “gift splitting,” both spouses must be U.S. citizens or residents. The consent must be given on a gift tax return, so a return must be filed even if no gift tax is due. However, a short form gift tax return is available. Don’t underestimate how an annual gift-giving plan using the $28,000 split gift exclusion per donee alone can facilitate the tax-efficient transfer of family wealth.

As emphasized in discussing large gifts, above, but equally applicable to smaller gifts, it is important to remember when you make a gift that the recipient must take your basis in the property. This means that if the recipient sells the property, any gain on the sale will be measured using what you paid for the property, not what the property was worth when he or she received it. In contrast, if property is transferred to another through your estate and whether or not estate tax is owed, the recipient can use the value of the property at that time in measuring any gain on the sale of the property. Consequently, choosing the right property to achieve your goals is an important aspect of any gift-giving program.

Another way to further the financial security of others without incurring gift tax is by payment of medical and educational expenses. You can pay an unlimited amount for these expenses tax-free as long as the payments are made directly to the medical services provider or educational institution. The person you benefit does not need to qualify as a dependent for tax purposes. Any medical expenses, however, must not be reimbursed by insurance, to either you or to the beneficiary.

If used properly, a program of gift-giving can benefit everyone involved. Passage of ATRA makes it all the more important for you to consider how a gift giving plan can be advantageous now. If you have any questions about the best way of using gifts as part of your overall financial plan, please call us.



Maple Knoll celebrates annual fund success!
September 13, 2013, 6:17 pm
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Maple Knoll Communities Inc. a non-profit, continuum of services provider in Springdale, is dedicated to supporting older adults so they can live happy, healthy and active lives so they can live life the way they want to in retirement.

Maple Knoll Communities Inc. includes the retirement communities of Maple Knoll Village and the Knolls of Oxford, Sycamore Senior Center, three affordable HUD Residences, Maple Knoll Home Health Services, WMKV 89.3 FM Radio Station, a Montessori Child Center, and the Hemsworth Wellness Center.

In 1989, Maple Knoll Communities started an Annual Fund Drive to support their Future Care Fund. The Future Care Fund, a benevolent care program, was the solution for some of Maple Knoll’s residents who were experiencing financial worries. No resident has ever been asked to leave if she/he has depleted their financial resources. The Future Care Fund gives residents the security of knowing they will always have a home. Throughout the years fundraising efforts have expanded to include programming support for Sycamore Senior Center, WMKV 89.3FM Radio and The Maple Knoll Montessori Program.

Each year a campaign theme and goal are set to raise money for The Future Care Fund. With a theme of “Stepping Up” the goal was set at $1,000,000 for the 2013 campaign. John Bloomstrom, Maple Knoll Board Member and Annual Fund Chair lead staff and 22 resident, community and board member volunteers in a tireless effort to make the goal. Maple Knoll Communities is proud to announce that over 2,100 donors making 5,800 gifts helped reach over $1 million in contributions.

On Sept. 9, Maple Knoll recognized donors and volunteers with an ice cream social and program announcing the campaign results. With ice cream sponsored by Cincinnati Eye Institute and music provided by WMKV 89.3FM, a great evening was had by all.ice cream social 005



Help Our Elderly Campaign Kickoff Draws a Crowd

Vote for the Elderly Services Levy!More than 100 supporters turned out for the campaign kickoff Thursday at Sycamore Senior Center. Ohio Senator Eric Kearney got the event off to a rousing start and other speakers, including Suzanne Burke, Tracey Collins, and Joshua Howard, encouraged people to get involved by spreading the word on social media, displaying yard signs, working the polls and speaking to community groups. All 500 yard signs were gone by the end of the evening! If you didn’t get a sign, don’t worry. We will have lots more available beginning early next week. Thank you to everyone who helped make the kick off a success! Please continue to help us spread the word to friends and colleagues. Thank you for supporting our elderly and voting for the elderly services levy on November 6, 2012. For more information about the campaign go to www.helpourelderly.com or check it out on facebook and twitter.