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A CURE FOR THE WINTERTIME BLUES

By Mary Roberts

It's wintertime and the weatherman says snow.

It's bitter cold outside so there's no place I really want to go.

I remember the fall season when I quickly said,

''I'm tired, winter sounds good, need some rest'' underlined in red.

The harvesting, canning and freezing vegetables is past.

The enjoyment of time in the sun just didn't last.

When this time of year comes, I have to stop and reflect on things that are possible for me to do to make my future more positive in the coming year. Summertime is so busy we tend to forget about personal decisions we need to make for our future and that of our family. Wintertime is a great time to think about ESTATE PLANNING and getting our affairs in order or, as our motto says, “get your ducks in a row”.

Elder Law is our specialty at Cooper, Adel & Associates. Whether it's trusts, wills, powers of attorney, Medicaid, nursing home planning or aid with VA Benefits, we are here to assist you.

Attorney Cooper always says, “Call us first when anything happens to your family.” I had the opportunity this week to speak to a lady who was in total panic mode. Attorney Cooper had prepared her parents trust and told the family members to call us first when anything happened to Mom or Dad. The parents had been visiting in Florida and were driving back to Ohio, coming through one of the southern states. Dad had a heart attack, at the wheel, and was killed instantly. Mom is in the hospital in Florida with a broken neck. The daughter called and said, “I can't even think. Can you tell me what I need to do first?” I recommended that she call the insurance company and report the accident and then get to Mother and see to her care. We will be here to help her with all the rest when her schedule permits it.

WE are also here to assist YOU when crisis comes. It is our hope that we can take the pressure off and make your stress level as minimal as possible. A caring attorney and his trained staff are what everyone need in these trying times.

If you need to get your estate planning in order, give us a call. (1-800-798-5207) We are here to assist you in any season. It's the CURE FOR THE WINTER TIME BLUES. Do something good for yourself and your family.

 

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.

 

Is there a program that will offer you or your loved one in-home care?

 

By Attorney Elizabeth Durnell

Yes, the program is called PASSPORT. The State of Ohio offers this program through Medicaid to pay for up to 20 hours a week of in-home care to a person who meets certain health and financial requirements.

To meet the health requirements for PASSPORT, a person must require assistance with two of the activities of daily living. These include getting in and out of bed, bathing, cooking, dressing, going to the restroom, and mobility, just to name a few.

The financial requirements differ based on whether the application is for a couple or a single person. For a single person, they are allowed to keep $1500 in cash assets and exempt assets such as their home, one car and an irrevocable burial contract. For a couple, the same rules apply, plus the healthy spouse may keep half of the couple's resources with a maximum of approximately $114,000 and a minimum of approximately $22,000.

However, the exempt assets are not protected from the Estate Recovery Program. This Program is run by the State Attorney General's office and was created so the State of Ohio can recoup some of the money spent for a person's care. The State has the right to place liens on the exempt property to recover some of the money paid on that person's behalf.

There is good news, however. If you have too many assets to qualify today, it is not too late to protect some of your assets through the use of trusts and other estate planning tools so that you can qualify for benefits in the future.

Also, if you were a wartime veteran or the widow of a wartime, you may qualify for a VA benefit that you can use to help pay for in-home care. But you must coordinate the applications for benefits, because the rules to qualify for VA are different than the rules to qualify for Medicaid.

To find out more about this great program, please contact the Elder Law Attorneys at Cooper, Adel and Associates, for a free consultation. 

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.

 

Is there more than one type of trust?

 

Answer:  Yes.  The reason that there is so much confusion about trusts is that there are many types of trusts for many purposes.    For example, there are court supervised trusts, irrevocable trusts for the benefit of third parties, charitable trusts, real estate trusts, supplemental needs trusts, AB trusts, disclaimer trusts, or revocable trusts created by individuals to pass assets to their heirs at their death.  The word trust is a general term used by attorneys in the same way that a person might use the general term “vehicle”.  The word “vehicle” may encompass anything from a 25 ton dump truck to a Volkswagen.  The only way that you can determine which vehicle is best for you is to determine what you are trying to do with the vehicle.  If you are hauling gravel, the dump truck would be the best while if you just need to go to the grocery store the Volkswagen would be the best.  The concept is the same with trusts.  You have to first look at what you are trying to accomplish (i.e., your estate planning goals) and then determine which type of trust, if any, you should use to accomplish your family, financial, or estate planning goals.

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 trust?

Answer: The technical answer is that a trust is a legal arrangement in which an individual (the grantor) gives fiduciary control of assets to a person or institution (the trustee) for the benefit of beneficiaries.

 

 

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.

 

Elder Law Tips & News

Money Watch recently published a list of Social Security errors that can cost your thousands. Social Security planning is important and we can help, so call us if you'd like to know more. You can read the original article here: Social Security Errors

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).

 

New Trust in Ohio

 

By Attorney Keith Stevens

One of the most common questions I get when I first talk about trusts with clients is whether a trust can keep their assets safe from their creditors. While it has long been possible to shield an inheritance you leave to a child against that child’s creditors, Ohio law made it very difficult to shelter your own assets against your own creditors. Self-settled domestic asset protection, as it is called in the financial and estate planning industries, was left to such jurisdictions as Alaska and Nevada.

Recently, however, a Ohio has taken significant steps to make it much easier. House Bill 479, the Ohio Asset Management Modernization Act, which was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 20, 2012 and which will take effect on March 27, 2013, enacts the Ohio Legacy Trust Act, which is designed to provide a means by which individuals may shelter assets from their own creditors.

An Ohio Legacy Trust creates a safe harbor against an individual’s creditors, subject to certain exceptions. For instance, while an Ohio Legacy Trust would do you no good if you created it expecting to be sued after getting in a car accident, however, it could protect your assets if you set up the trust and then got in an accident later.

With the Ohio Legacy Trust Act, Ohio has stepped to the forefront of asset protection strategies and the growing fiduciary market. The attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates are currently working to develop our own version of the Ohio Legacy Trust and will have this additional tool available for our clients when the new law takes effect.

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.

 

Ohio Legacy Trust Act

By Keith Stevens

One of the most common questions I get when I first talk about trusts with clients is whether a trust can keep their assets safe against their creditors. While it has long been possible to shield an inheritance you leave to a child against that child’s creditors, Ohio law made it very difficult to shelter your own assets against your own creditors. Self-settled domestic asset protection, as it is called in the financial and estate planning industries, was left to such jurisdictions as Alaska and Nevada.

Recently, however, a Ohio has taken significant steps to make it much easier. House Bill 479, the Ohio Asset Management Modernization Act, which was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 20, 2012 and which will take effect on March 27, 2013, enacts the Ohio Legacy Trust Act, which is designed to provide a means by which individuals may shelter assets from their own creditors.

An Ohio Legacy Trust creates a safe harbor against an individual’s creditors, subject to certain exceptions. For instance, while an Ohio Legacy Trust would do you no good if you created it expecting to be sued after getting in a car accident, it could protect your assets if you set up the trust and then got in an accident later.

With the Ohio Legacy Trust Act, Ohio has stepped to the forefront of asset protection strategies and the growing fiduciary market. The attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates are currently working to develop our own version of the Ohio Legacy Trust and will have this additional tool available for our clients when the new law takes effect.

For our existing clients — Cooper, Adel & Associates has created a type of trust for many our clients called the Legacy Trust. This has been our brand name, as it were, for a type of trust that allows our clients to control their children’s use of their inheritance or protect it from the children’s creditors. We realize that this is going to cause confusion now that “Legacy Trusts” are specifically defined under Ohio law.

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.

 

Staff Profile: Janet Fickle

 

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” -Phillipians 4:13

Janet has been an office assistant and receptionist with Cooper & Adel for seven years. Having grown up in Mount Vernon, she graduated from Mt. Vernon High School and then went on to Computer Office Technologies. Married to Loren Fickle, she has four children, sixteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who inspire her each day with their love. Working in the Cooper & Adel office, she has been inspired by how the clients are helped by the company.

Janet's most memorable experience while working at Cooper & Adel was the time she answered the phone with other things on her mind. This doesn't sound memorable, but when answering for a Law Office, the usual script is not “Good Afternoon, Kentucky Fried Chicken.” It's been a good joke at the office ever since.

In her non-work time, Janet enjoys painting, particularly landscapes and snow scenes. She also enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and her particular favorite genre of reading is The Bible and Christian novels. She's proud of her standing as a Christian and that her children are all wonderful people. Janet says that the three highlights of her life are God, her family, and the trip to the Bahamas she received on her 60th birthday. Someday, she'd like to go on a cruise to Alaska. Which is slightly contradictory with her great fear of driving on snowy and icy roads, but then again, she won't have to do the driving!

What would we be surprised to know about Janet? She's been flying in a hot air balloon!

From Mitch & Thom:

Janet is our face to the world in Centerburg. She always has a smile for you when they come in for a visit. She also helps you who call in, making sure that they get to the right person to get the help you need. She is a caring, thoughtful person with a terrific sense of humor. We value Janet for her down-to-earth, hard-working attitude!

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.

 

Common Retirement Planning Mistakes Made by Seniors

 

By: Roy Whited

This information was taken in part from a newsletter posted by Life Health Pro in November 2012. The content reminded me of certain issues that we see our clients facing almost every day.

Thinking only in terms of “me” and not “we”. At the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse will lose a social security benefit, see a possible reduction in a pension income, and likely an increase in their tax bracket when going from a joint return to an individual return. Eighty percent of all men die married, while 80% of all women die single. Additionally, 75% of all women living in poverty were not poor before they were widowed. Early income and retirement planning decisions should be made with the survivor benefits in mind to ensure that both husband and wife are protected.

Not protecting your home. In addition to making the correct choice for income planning it is also very important to protect other assets such as the home. The home is many times one of the largest assets owned by a couple and can be used to create additional income if needed.

Remember, not all trusts are created equal. Not all trusts are designed to protect your home. In fact most are not designed to protect your home from being lost to the cost of your poor health.

Call the Cooper and Adel law firm and take advantage of a one hour free consultation to learn about how you can protect your home and other assets. 1-800-798-5297

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.

 

If I have an estate plan, will I have to change it?

 

Answer:  Yes, most certainly.  You will need to change your plan including the various documents involved in the plan, such as a living trust, due to changes in your family, health, or finances.  Our firm’s mission is to work with clients on a continuing basis to continue to have their plan meet their needs.  This process of keeping current is usually not difficult, but it is extremely important.  The old adage a stitch in time saves nine certainly applies here.

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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