Category Archives: Elder Law

Our Sidney Office

By Dolly Wilkerson

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 8.04.13 AMThe Sidney office of Cooper, Adel and Associates is conveniently located approximately 1.5 miles from I-75 (Exit 94) at 2190 Wapakoneta Rd. This office mainly services clients from the surrounding counties of Shelby, Auglaize, Allen, Champaign, Darke, Hardin, Logan, Mercer, Putnam, and VanWert. We moved to our beautiful new office in the spring of 2013 from our former location in downtown Sidney. Our new office has a spacious lobby area, ample parking and is handicap accessible.

Mitch Adel, Certified Elder Law Attorney and Managing Partner, conducts free seminars in the above-mentioned counties and is available to meet clients at the Sidney office by appointment. If perhaps you schedule your appointment around lunch time, you would enjoy visiting one of Sidney's famous restaurants, “The Spot”, located on Ohio Street in downtown Sidney (www.thespottoeat.com). Dan Vu, Senior Attorney at Cooper, Adel & Assoc. requests one of their apple pies every year for his birthday. Keith Stevens, another attorney with our firm orders their old fashion crème pies every Thanksgiving for his wife. Or perhaps, if you are meeting with Julian Guilfoyle, Financial Consultant who speaks with Mitch at his seminars and also sees clients in the Sidney office, you can ask him about the huge breakfast and hamburgers at another one of Sidney's popular restaurants, “The Alcove”, located at 134 N. Main St.

If you are interested in learning more about our firm and the Sidney office, please give us a call at 800-798-5297. Mitch and his team of attorneys, whom all specialize in elder law can assist you through the process of “getting your ducks in a row."   

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Protecting Assets of Ohio Farmers

By Jeff Bell, Staff reporter – Business First

Centerburg – population 1,773 – would seem an unlikely host for a growing law firm, but that’s what the Knox County village has become.

Cooper Adel & Associates LPA, founded in the village nearly 20 years ago by attorney Thom Cooper, recently opened its fourth Ohio office and is looking to expand into the northeast part of the state and possibly Indiana.

It’s part of the firm’s plan to get closer to small-town folks in need of elder law services. Among them are farmers, Main Street business owners and other seniors trying to minimize their taxes, avoid probate and protect their assets from potential financial losses such as those caused by a catastrophic illness. Cooper & Adel’s seven attorneys move across the firm’s four offices – Centerburg, Monroe, Sidney and the new one in Chillicothe in southwest Ohio – as their services are needed rather than working out of just one location.

“It’s important they be there to visit with the client,” Cooper said, noting the firm pulls in seniors from across much of the state.

The attorneys help clients plan for taxes and nursing-home stays, qualify for veteran’s benefits and set up trusts.

“We focus not only on estate planning,” he said, “but life planning.”

Leading an elder law firm with 35 employees and four offices wasn’t exactly the plan in the early 1980s when Cooper decided to go to Capital University Law School. At that time, he owned a business in Columbus that provided outsourcing services to state governments.

“I wanted to do something to work directly with people,” he said, “and the law seemed like a good area for that.”

After earning his law degree, Cooper started doing title work for a banker in Centerburg. His practice evolved from there as Cooper, moved by financial problems he had seen hurt older people, including his own family, decided to develop a specialty in elder law.

“For awhile,” he said, “it was about just keeping my head down. But I found there is such a need, and it just kind of happened.”

One of the developments in his firm’s growth was the hiring in 2005 of Mitch Adel, a Capital Law School graduate who was working as a criminal defense attorney in the Franklin County public defender’s office. Cooper made him a partner in 2009, and Adel now serves as the firm’s managing partner.

Adel said he decided to get into elder law in part because his grandfather told him it was an emerging field. He also was looking for a change from the work he was doing.

“I didn’t see many smiles there,” Adel said. “It was a more difficult type of law – crime and jail. I see elder law as ‘happy law.’ You’re protecting people’s farms and houses."

Adel and Cooper said their practice ranges from working with the wealthy and farmers who are “asset rich but cash poor” to middle-class seniors wanting to leave something in their estates for their children.

“One of the things that separates us from the pack,” Adel said, “is we work with family. It’s not just mom and dad, but bringing in the children so everyone knows the plan.”

Changing tax laws and soaring health-care costs have increased the need for the help offered by the firm.

“Taxes are squeezing our clients,” Adel said, “and catastrophic health-care (bills) squeeze them. We help them make sure they keep their assets.”

And, the recession resulted in more liens being placed on homes and farms, Cooper said.

“That has become huge,” he said, “because it affects people at their core.”

(orginally posted in Business First, October 2011)

Cooper, Adel & Associates Answers “10 Questions for an Elder Law Attorney”

JM Megail Gaumer

Recently an article was posted on Discoveryfitandhealth.com. The article is titled “10 Questions for an Elder Law Attorney” http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/aging/elder-care/10-questions-for-elder-law-attorney1.htm. I thought the article had some great points and wanted to take the opportunity to answer them on behalf of our firm. I have listed the questions asked in the article below:

  • Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.00.33 PMWhat Web Sites Will Teach Me About Elder Law?

  • How Familiar Are You With the Medicare and Medicaid?

  • Are You One of the Few "Super Lawyers"?

  • Do You Educate Others About Elder Law Issues?

  • Are You a Member of Any Relevant Organizations?

  • How Familiar Are You With the State Laws?

  • Do You Have Experience With Similar Cases?

  • Does the Practice Focus on a Particular Niche?

  • Are You a Certified Elder Law Attorney?

  • Do I Really Need an Elder Law Attorney?

Web Sites Will Teach Me About Elder Law? There are many sites where you can find relevant Elder Law information, ours happens to be one of them. Visit www.CooperandAdel.com and search for past blogs by the topics that interest you.

How Familiar Are You With the Medicare and Medicaid? Our attorneys spend approximately 100 hours each year attending continuing education courses to stay on top of the ever-changing laws, rules and requirements affecting seniors.

Are You One of the Few "Super Lawyers"? While we feel peer recognition in an attorneys practice field is important, “Super Lawyers” happens to be only one site to offer such recognition. Our attorneys obtain not only peer recognition, but something we value more, client recognition and feedback through www.AVVO.com.

Do You Educate Others About Elder Law Issues? Our attorneys conduct 4-5 public workshops each week to educate the community regarding Elder Law issues. In addition, our attorneys conduct television and radio interviews as requested. Managing Partner Mitch Adel has been featured in USA Today, the Cincinnati Enquirer and writes a monthly column in “Our Generations magazine” as well.

Are You a Member of Any Relevant Organizations? Founding Partner, Thom L. Cooper and Managing Partner, Mitchell J. Adel, have both undergone the rigorous process of becoming Certified Elder Law Attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation. They are two of only 22 in Ohio. In addition both are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. As well as, VA accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs and admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Mitch Adel and Thom Cooper are current members of the invitation only AATEELA (American Association of Estate and Elder Law Attorneys), for which Thom served as a past president.

How Familiar Are You With the State Laws? Our practice covers thousands of Medicaid cases across Ohio and while Medicaid is a federal program, it is administered by the states through their county agencies.

Do You Have Experience With Similar Cases? The founder, Thom L. Cooper, has been exclusively in the practice of elder law for over 30 years. Managing Partner Mitch Adel has been exclusively in the practice of elder law for over 8 years.

Does the Practice Focus on a Particular Niche? Yes our focus is on public benefits, Veteran’s benefits, estate planning, estate administration and asset protection. We have a team of 7 attorneys and 25 staff members to help you and your family along the process.

Are You a Certified Elder Law Attorney? YES! Cooper, Adel & Associates is one of three firms in Ohio with more than one Certified Elder Law Attorney. That is 11% of all Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the entire state.

Do I Really Need an Elder Law Attorney? Would you go to a podiatrist for open-heart surgery? Of course not, that is how we feel about developing a life plan for you and your family. An eler law attorney can find benefits for you that you may not have known existed. We believe you should not have to lose everything you’ve spent a lifetime to earn just because you have suffered a catastrophic illness and that life should be easier for those you leave behind, not harder.

The above answers are just a sampling of what Cooper, Adel & Associates has to offer you. Please visit our website to learn more about our firm.

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

What Retirees Should Know About Elder Law

By Roy Whited

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.39.22 AMThis information was taken in part from a newsletter published by the First Knox National Bank and the Farmers Bank, and Farmers & Savings Bank, a division of the Park National Bank.

A new specialty in legal practice, “elder law”, has emerged over the past few decades, in part in response to the needs of older people and their families. Retirees and senior citizens have some special laws and programs that apply only to them, and the laws that apply to us all may take on a new aspect when applied in the unique circumstances that the elderly face. The core areas for which elder law attorneys provide advice include:

  • Health and long-term care planning

  • Access to public benefits, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security

  • Surrogate decision-making, including both medical and property management decisions

  • Older persons' legal capacity

  • Wills, trusts, and estates

Although any attorney may include elder law advice in his or her practice, some are now becoming specialists in this field, and national organizations have been created for specialist certification. To achieve a specialist designation, an attorney must be able to help with insurance, housing, long-term care, employment, and retirement issues.

Cooper, Adel & Associates, LPA, a law firm working exclusively in the area of elder law have two such specialists – Thom L. Cooper, Certified Elder Law Attorney, founder of the firm, and Mitch J. Adel, Certified Elder Law Attorney and managing partner. Attorney Cooper was among the first group of attorneys to become certified as an elder law specialist and attorney Adel just recently received his certification.

The National Elder Law Foundation is approved by the American Bar Association and the National Elder Law Foundation. It is also approved by The Ohio Commission on Certification of attorneys as specialists.

Both Attorney Cooper and Attorney Adel offer a complementary one-hour consultation to those individuals who have an interest in learning more about elder law and what they can do to protect their families assets. Call 1-800-798-5297 today to schedule a free consultation.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Adel becomes Certified Elder Law Attorney

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 1.00.26 PMMitch Adel, Managing Partner of Cooper, Adel & Associates recently completed the rigorous process to become one of only 21 attorneys in Ohio certified as elder law attorneys (CELAs) by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF).

Mitch joins a rich tradition of elder law attorneys who have been certified by NELF. In 1993, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys assisted in forming NELF, the only national certifying program for elder law and special needs attorneys. NELF is approved by the Ohio Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists and by the American Bar Association. The certification process includes a rigorous examination as well as peer endorsements and demonstration of on-going involvement in the practice of elder law. Once certified, CELAs are required to apply for recertification every five years, demonstrating that their practice is primarily elder law and that they have completed continuing education specifically targeted to advanced practitioners.

In 2013, there were 37,745 practicing attorneys in Ohio, only 21 are CELAs. Of law firms in Ohio with CELAs, only two have more than one CELA. Cooper, Adel & Associates is proud to be one of those two firms. Congratulations, Mitch!

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you. No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.  

Get the Kids Involved

By Attorney Keith Stevens

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 10.27.19 AMIt’s not unusual for clients to want to do their estate planning in a vacuum, that is, without their children. They want to get everything set up to provide for their family if they pass away, or so that the family can provide for them, but they don’t want to get the family involved until that dramatic moment. They may want to create a power of attorney naming their son as their agent, but they don’t want the son to know about it.

Of course, every situation is different. There are situations where children have taken advantage of the powers that their parents have granted them. But by and large, your estate plan will work better if the family knows what’s going on.

Estate plans often include a complex collection of documents and arrangements designed to allow easy, cost-effective proxy representation and private transfer of assets. A modern estate plan often uses family members as helpers, in roles such as attorneys-in-fact, executors, or trustees. Surprising a helper by keeping them in the dark until the moment they are needed usually slows things down significantly, as we have to take time to get the helper up to speed.

Some people seem to have it in their heads that it is improper to discuss their assets with their children. But the advantages of making sure that everyone is on-board and on the same page will outweigh the perceived awkwardness.

So bring your kids along when you meet with your estate planning attorney. They may pick up something that you miss or they may remember some fine detail that fades with time. At the very least, they won’t be lost if you become incapacitated or pass away and have to figure everything out from scratch.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

The Ohio Legacy Trust Act

By Attorney Dan Vu

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 3.33.03 PMThe Ohio Legacy Trust Act is a new Ohio law that gives Ohioans unprecedented creditor protection. Effective just weeks ago on March 27th, 2013, the law allows Ohioans to reorganize their assets in a way that will protect their assets from a future potential creditor. Before this law, Ohioans would have to either look offshore in the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, or Switzerland. Stateside, Ohioans would have had to go to Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, or Delaware. Now Ohio joins them as a leader in domestic asset protection. Many attorneys did not think the bill would pass. However, it was pitched as a jobs bill. The idea behind the law was to keep Ohioans and their assets in Ohio. The law may in fact attract citizens from neighboring states to bring their businesses and assets to Ohio. Contact our office if you are interested in discussing the new Ohio Legacy Trust and how you might benefit.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

Buying Happiness…

 

By JM Megail Gaumer

I recently read an article on ways to buy happiness. A vacation is one way. Vacations give you experiences you may not had otherwise and build memories that will last a lifetime. A second way listed was to buy time, hire someone to do yard maintenance or house cleaning, giving you more free time to enjoy.

Of all the techniques suggested in the article, “buy a system” the one that made me most curious. The article referred to calendar software etc., buying a system to become more organized, giving you a sense of accomplishment. This hit a chord with me as it relates to estate planning. I couldn’t think of a better way to buy happiness. By working with an attorney to establish a plan to preserve your wealth as you age, you have one less thing to worry about. Systematic planning also leads to a second recommendation in the article, donating to a local charity or association. Whether you plan for your family or you plan to donate to a charity, planning your estate may allow for you to leave a legacy. $10,000 or $100,000, family or charity – regardless – find happiness in knowing you have planned.

 

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

 

WHEN YOU NEED AN ELDER LAW ATTORNEY WHO SHOULD YOU CALL?

 

By Mary Roberts

 

The most stressful times in our lives are those when we are sick or a loved one is seriously ill or they pass away.  The first thoughts are: Who can I call?  Where can I turn for help?  This is the time when anyone who is prepared will know how blessed they are to have gotten their affairs in order and have the security of knowing someone who can and will assist them in this time of need.

 

Elder law attorneys are like doctors.  We need someone that is not a stranger but has talked to us and counseled with us to prepare for this time in our life. It makes the hard times more stressful when we suddenly realize that the time has come when the services are needed and we are not sure where to turn for help and worst of all we realize nothing has been done to prepare.  When we have an attorney we have spoken to, who understands our financial situation and who has prepared, with us and for us, we can calmly face the tasks at hand. 

 

The words of Thom Cooper to every client are:  When something happens with your loved ones, call our office.  We will be there to help you.  It is comforting to know who to call and have that card in your purse or billfold.  There is a sense of peace in knowing that someone cares and wants to help when we are suddenly traumatized by the loss or sudden illness of someone we care for so deeply.

 

Peace and comfort in the hard times is what we all strive for.  If you haven't planned for this time in your life, it is my hope that this writing will inspire you to do so.  Remember, we make the best decisions when we are well and thinking clearly.

If Privacy Laws Confound The Government, Where Do You Begin?

By Attorney Keith Stevens

Health record privacy is a major issue and it’s one that the government takes very seriously.  The state and federal governments have passed multiple laws protecting your privacy.  However, the laws are complex and often drafted with confusing language.  The area has become so complicated that several federal agencies were actually taken to the Supreme Court recently for sharing peoples’ medical information between agencies in a way that the government admits was illegal.   That case is Federal Aviation Association v. Cooper.

 

If the government can’t get its own laws straight, you can bet that it causes problems for ordinary folks.  We’ve seen cases where a husband can’t get his wife’s medical information when she’s in the hospital or where a daughter with an otherwise valid healthcare power of attorney has all the rights to make decisions for her father, but isn’t allowed access to his medical records to make an informed decision.  Hospitals are less willing to make exceptions because they can be fined as much as $25,000 per violation and the government is ramping up enforcement.

 

These privacy laws were done with good intentions, of course, but they can still be major roadblocks during a medical emergency—the worst possible time.  That’s why Cooper, Adel & Associates stays abreast of the ever-changing laws and ensures that any documents it prepares has the necessary language to ensure that your designated loved ones have full access in times of crisis.



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