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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.

How to communicate with an older person who has a hearing loss

By Carmen Potterton

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 12.15.26 PMAccording to NIDCD, about one in three people between 65 and 74 has a hearing loss and 47% of those over 75 have a hearing problem. The ability to communicate clearly with others in and of itself can be difficult but when the person you are trying to communicate with has a hearing loss, it becomes even more so.

Have you ever heard “I can hear you but I can't understand you”? The problem is that age-related hearing loss often affects the structure of the inner ear or cochlea and/or the auditory pathways to the brain. This type of hearing problem may not be a volume problem – speaking louder may not help. For these folks, hearing aids only make matters worse, particularly if there is background noise.

Here are a few tips:

  • Face the person while you speak. Visual queues and expressions help them understand what you are trying to say.

  • Speak slowly and distinctly (not necessarily louder).

  • If the person indicates that they can't understand, try to rephrase what you are saying. Repeating is usually not as helpful.

  • Try to find a quiet and well-lit place to talk.

  • If all else fails, you can write or draw on paper.

If you have a hearing loss and you or a family member is in crisis or should do some estate planning, it's a good idea to find an elder law attorney. An experienced elder law attorney deals with seniors who have hearing loss all the time. An experienced elder law attorney knows how to communicate your options so that you can determine the best plan for you and your family.

http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/older.aspx

Supporting Special Olympics…

JM Megail Gaumer

SO-LogoWhile the country is immersed in watching athletes compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, there are 7,000 more Olympic athletes preparing for the 2015 Los Angeles summer games. The Los Angeles games are held for intellectually disabled individuals as part of the ongoing global movement known as the Special Olympics.

Millions of individuals benefit by participating in the Special Olympics and they are not just the athletes. The Special Olympics organization gives intellectually disabled people the opportunity to focus on strengths and abilities they otherwise may not have known existed. Volunteers gain perspective on the abilities of those with intellectual disabilities.

So how can you help?

Thousands of people each year show their support for the Special Olympics by volunteering or donating to the cause, as we do here at Cooper, Adel & Associates. In addition to our support of the Special Olympics, we offer planning tools to allow parents and grandparents the ability to leave an inheritance for an intellectually disabled child or grandchild without the concern that they could lose any government benefit by doing so. We believe life should be easier for those you leave behind, not harder and not planning properly could cause an unintended hardship for a child or grandchild who receives government benefits. Don't let that happen to your loved ones. Call our office to schedule your complementary consultation to begin planning for an intellectually disabled loved one.

Click this link to donate to the Special Olympics https://secure.specialolympics.org/site/c.mlIYIjNZJuE/b.8455917/k.5B7D/Make_A_Gift_Change_a_Life/apps/ka/sd/donorcustom.asp

 

Does my trust protect me from nursing home costs?

By Attorney Nathan Simpson

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.46.16 AMThis is one of the most common questions we hear from new clients. Despite what many believe, the answer is almost always the following: No. The trusts that most attorneys prepare are Revocable Living Trusts. These can be powerful documents to avoid probate, guardianships, and to save on death taxes. However, they are not Nursing Home-protected trusts. In fact, if used incorrectly, these trusts can make it harder to qualify for Nursing Home benefits, and can be result in a much larger spenddown than would otherwise be required.

Only a highly specialized trust can provide Nursing Home protection. There are many types of these trusts for different assets, but the best ones will not only provide Nursing Home protection, but will allow for flexibility in the future and for preserving important tax advantages.

A Revocable Living Trust can be a valuable tool for many people, but it is not a one size fits all solution. What is needed is a Life Plan that incorporates tax, nursing home, and probate planning to create a comprehensive solution.

If you would like to see if your trust is Nursing Home protected, and beginning developing a Life Plan for you and your family, please contact the elder law attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates today.

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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.

What is a stretch IRA?

By Robin Crouch

The term “stretch” does not represent a type of IRA, it refers to a financial strategy that allows people to stretch out the benefits from an IRA as well as receive income tax advantages. By using this strategy, an IRA can be passed down from generation to generation while beneficiaries enjoy the income as well as tax deferred growth for as long as possible.

Stretched IRA Chart

Not all IRA custodial agreements allow the stretch strategy, you should check with your IRA custodian or financial institution to determine if beneficiaries will be allowed to take distributions over a life-expectancy period.  Most IRA providers would rather make such allowances than have their customer transfer his or her IRA to another financial institution.

Please note, the average inheritance, when received by a beneficiary, is completely consumed within one year.  The reasons are numerous but here are a few:  Beneficiary wants to spend it; Creditors, Predators, and Divorce; Not understanding the rules and choices. . . when the money is gone, it's gone.  With an IRA, not only would the money be gone, but there will be a huge tax bill to pay.

The good new is that the choice can be yours to make.  If you wish to remove some of the roadblocks and ensure that your beneficiaries take the stretch and provide them with asset protection to avoid losing what you have worked a lifetime to earn, please ask about our Heritage Trust.

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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.

Should I keep a copy of my Healthcare POA and Living Will on my Smart Phone?

By Chris Meyer

elder law planningThe continuing advancements in cell phone technology have made life more and more convenient for people. One question that we are often asked is “should I keep a copy of my Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will on my smart phone?”

The first response to that question is that not everyone chooses to establish a Living Will. In your legal healthcare documents, you actually have the ability to choose whether or not you want a Living Will. One common misconception is that without a Living Will, the physicians will keep you on life support if you are in a permanently unconscious state with no hope of recovery. In reality, as part of your Health Care Power of Attorney documents, you can actually designate that you want your current acting Health Care Power of Attorney to make the final decision about whether or not life support should be removed. Establishing a Living Will gives a direct command to the hospital to remove life support if you are in a permanently unconscious state. Every person's situation is different, and there are pros and cons to either decision. This is something that should be discussed in advance and not a decision that should be taken lightly.

In terms of whether or not your Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will on your smart phone, the answer to that question is yes – just make sure that the person who will act as your Healthcare Power of Attorney knows how to get to it. Having a copy of your Health Care Power of attorney and Living Will on your smart phone will provide you quick and easy access to them if your hospital would need to see them. Not only will these documents alert the hospital as to whether or not you wish to have life support removed if you are in a permanently unconscious state, but it will also provide information about who your current Health Care Power of Attorney is and how to contact them. Your Health Care Power of Attorney has the ability to make any health care related decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and are unable to make these decisions on your own.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-798-5297. Also, be sure to Like us on Facebook. Follow us to keep up to date with a wide variety of Trust, Medicaid, VA, and other Elder Law related topics.

 

I am over the age of 60 and getting remarried. Do I need a prenup?

By Attorney Dan Vu

ohio-elder-law-attorneysIf you are considering remarriage after the age of 60, a prenup might not be the only thing you need to consider. A remarriage at this age has profound estate planning implications, both on your plan and your soon to be spouse's plan. Many people at this age already have an estate plan in play, perhaps it is just a will or a revocable trust. These documents will need to be revisited to match any new prenup.

More importantly are the unforeseen consequences that many attorneys forget to consider. For example, did you know that if you remarry, with or without a prenup, your new spouse must spend YOUR money to pay for health expenses, like a nursing home, before he or she will qualify for benefits? In others words, government benefits like Medicaid ignore prenuptial agreements, wills, and revocable trusts and will count both spouses' assets against the one spouse who is in a nursing home. So a remarriage where one spouse's assets or health is very different from the other spouse can become very complicated. It can cause ill will in the family, especially when catastrophic medical costs are incurred.

Does this mean you should avoid getting remarried? Absolutely not! There are, of course, benefits, namely tax benefits to being married. For some of you, the greatest motivation for remarriage is professing your love to each other and the world.. So get married, but right before, see a good elder law attorney to talk about what you can do to avoid the negative consequences of remarriage.

What Are The First Steps To Take When A Loved One Dies?

By Steve Wright

When a loved one passes away, it is an emotional time that you should spend with family and friends. Unfortunately, here are a few tasks that will require your attention soon after the death if you are the estate representative.

An important first step you must take as the estate representative is to locate any legal estate documents that the deceased may have had created, particularly any trusts and/or wills. These documents will play a fundamental role in disseminating the estate. Also, you will need at least one certified death certificate. It's a good idea to have at least three. Most financial institutions will require documentation that you are the estate representative and a copy of the certified death certificate in order to release information to you.

Next, you will want to begin compiling the assets and liabilities the decedent left behind. A good starting point is to check their mail.

ohio-estate-planning-attorneys

The mail will usually contain updated bank statements and statements from other financial institutions such as mutual funds, stocks and bonds. These statements will start you on the right path of determining what assets there are and what to you will need to do with them. In addition to gathering financial statements for each account that the decedent had, you will also want to seek information on other assets such as real estate, insurance, and titled vehicles.

Another good step to take is to contact each institution that the decedent received any type of income from, such as Social Security, STRS, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is important so that you can avoid future repayment requests and it will also inform you of any funds or other benefits that may be due the estate.

Finally, contact the decedent's estate planning attorney if they had one. Often, the law office who prepared the estate plan can provide you, as the estate representative, with invaluable guidance during this process.  

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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.

A new understanding

By Jessica LoPiccolo

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 10.04.21 AMThe elderly are not the only ones who fall and break their bones. Last April, I fell down stairs and broke my left ankle in three places and severely sprained my right ankle. I was bedridden for what seemed like an eternity. I had to teach myself to walk again at the age of 25. I went from being completely independent to being completely dependent on my family and friends. I had to be waited on hand and foot for everything. It is a terrible feeling to be dependent, to rely on loved ones for even your most basic needs. It is not something that young people think about, but, in a way, it has given me a new understanding and appreciation for the trials and frustrations of our clients.

As you age, you may not be able to do all the things you once did independently. It is a hard thing to accept. Most of our clients do not want to be a burden to their children. I can better relate now because I really did not want to be a burden to my family and friends. I can tell you that I try even harder to make it easier for our clients these days after my experience.

Here at Cooper, Adel & Associates, we specialize in elder law. If you or you know of a loved one who might need guidance with pre planning or nursing home planning, please give us a call for 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.



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