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If my mom is making really bad financial decisions, should I have her declared incompetent?

By: Attorney Nathan Simpson

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.48.41 PMThis is a questions that comes up routinely in the course of my practice. Many children feel that the best course of action is to have a parent placed under guardianship. While in many situations this is necessary, it is a drastic step that should not be taken lightly. Guardianship proceedings place your parent under the care of a court, which means that even if you are appointed as guardian, a judge will look over every decision that you make. Additionally, court records open you and your family up to public scrutiny.

Often, the best course of action is to talk to your parent. Through use of a power of attorney, you can manage your parent's finances without court intervention. A properly written power of attorney will allow you to do everything that your parent can do with regard to property and bank accounts, while keeping your parent's finances private.

While there may be times when a guardianship is necessary, talked to an experienced elder law attorney before making any decisions.

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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.

Why Does the VA Sometime Require A Fiduciary and What Does This Mean?

By Steve Wright

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.45.30 PMWhenever the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) approves a claim for pension benefits, they send a letter called an award letter. Occasionally, in this letter, the VA will also propose to appoint a fiduciary for the pension funds. This usually occurs when medical evidence submitted with the application indicates or suggest that the applicant has some form of diminished mental capacity.

But, what exactly is a fiduciary? A fiduciary is someone the VA appoints to receive and use the VA pension funds on your behalf. The VA will give you the opportunity to choose who this person will be. You can even choose to appoint your spouse. However, the VA does not make it very clear to you that you may choose who this person will be, and if you do not indicate your wishes to the VA in a reasonable time, than the VA will appoint a third-party as your fiduciary. Usually this third party is a person employed by the VA.

If a third party is appointed, then you could face hardships such as unreasonable delays in receiving your much needed pension funds. That is why in all matters relating to your VA claim and overall estate plan, it is critical that you seek professional help before you unknowingly give up a valuable right.

The attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates are VA accredited attorneys who believe in helping Ohio's veterans navigate through the complex and difficult VA process. We invite you to call our office for your 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.

Who Can Represent Mom in a Nursing Home Situation?

By Jess LoPiccolo

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.42.47 PMThere are a few different answers to this commonly-asked question. When it comes to admitting a loved one into a nursing home, the power of attorney normally has the authority to do that. You must read the actual document to make sure that the power of attorney is authorized to do so, however. Further, it is important that the power of attorney sign any documents as power of attorney. Signing under your name, rather than as power of attorney for Mom, can make you responsible for Mom's bill!

When it comes to applying for Medicaid for an individual that is in the nursing home, you can represent your loved one, but you may find it best to go with a professional who has experience in making these applications. Consider working with an experienced elder law attorney to represent your loved one. Here at Cooper and Adel, we have a team dedicated to nursing home planning and Medicaid. Please give us a call for a free consultation to learn more about what we do.

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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.

Little-Known Benefit for Veterans

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(Columbus, Oh.)-veterans with long-term disabilities can receive up to $2,000 a month, widows of veterans more than $1,000 a month through the "aid and attendance" benefit.

The benefit is available to veterans and their spouses who served 90 days of active duty during World War II, Korea or Vietnam, even if they didn't go overseas.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 8.00.18 AMMitch Adel an Attorney with Ohio-based Cooper, Adel and Associates -specializes in veterans affairs.

He says you must have a "health need"–something that requires the regular assistance of another person for completing basic everyday tasks, like eating, bathing and getting dressed.

Adel says while the individual can apply for the benefit themselves, it helps to use an attorney.  Approval can take 6 to 8 months.  If you're denied and want to re-apply, you have to start the process all over again.  If you're approved, though, you're eligible for benefits retroactive to the day you applied.

More information can be found at

http://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp

Read more: http://www.700wlw.com/articles/local-news-119585/littleknown-benefit-for-veterans-12391512#ixzz33ZogidqP

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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 History of Memorial Day

By Attorney Ted Brown

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 10.22.34 AMToday Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season and a long weekend to relax or travel with friends and family. However, as you are enjoying your family road trip or backyard cook-out, I urge you to take a moment to remember the original meaning of Memorial Day.

Originally known as “Decoration Day”, the first observance was held on May 5, 1868 to honor the hundreds of thousand of soldiers who fought and died to preserve the Union. The holiday was first established the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union Veterans, to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers. The month of May was chosen since flowers were in bloom across the country and would remain for the remainder of the summer.

Decoration Day was became known as Memorial Day in 1882 but was not made an official government holiday until 1967. In 1968, Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May, creating the three-day weekend we know today.

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is working to get our veterans the VA benefits they rightfully deserve.  

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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 happens to you if something happens to your attorney?

By Kathy Cooper

How many attorneys work in your attorney's law firm?

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 12.35.40 PMWe see many clients who are left in the lurch when their attorney gets out of the law business due to death, disability or retirement. Your attorney may have a plan to sell their business to another attorney. How do you know if you will click with this new attorney? Do they have the experience you expect? Worse yet, your attorney may have no plan at all. Where does that leave you?

At Cooper, Adel & Associates, we have had a succession plan for several years. We believe that it is your right to have the peace of mind that comes with a firm that has a plan to support you in the future. We know – and you have the opportunity to know – who you will be dealing with in the future. You can meet them now – it won't be a surprise if something happens to Thom or Mitch so that they are unable to continue working on your case.

So, don't worry, we won't leave you in the lurch. We have a plan to be here for your future.

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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 TOD deed?

By Tricia Applegate

Using a transfer-on-death deed is a lot like using a payable-on-death (POD) designation for a bank account. You name one or more beneficiaries now, who then inherit the property at your death without the need for probate court proceedings.

To name a beneficiary, you use a special kind of deed, one that's tailored to the law of your state. The deed looks pretty much like any other real estate deed; it names the current owner, describes the property exactly, and names the person the property will be transferred to at your death. But a TOD deed contains an additional statement, making it clear that the deed does not take effect until the current owner's death.

The beneficiary you name to inherit the property doesn't have any legal right to it until your death—or, if you own the property with your spouse or someone else, until the last surviving owner dies. The beneficiary doesn't have to sign, acknowledge, or even be told about the deed.

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 12.30.44 PMIn the deed, you can also name an contingent beneficiary who will inherit the real estate if your first choice isn't alive at your death. If you don't name an alternate, and your first choice doesn't survive you, state law determines who will inherit the property – usually this requires a probate proceeding.

After you've signed the deed, you must record it with the local county land records office before your death. Otherwise, it won't be valid.

You keep complete ownership of and control over the property while you're alive. You pay the taxes on it, and it's not protected from your creditors. You can sell it, give it away, or mortgage it. Because the TOD deed does not make a gift of the property, there's no need to concern yourself with federal gift tax.

Later, if you change your mind about who you want to inherit the property, you are not locked in. You can revoke the TOD deed or simply record another TOD deed leaving the property to someone else.

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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.

Hearing Aids – There’s an App for That

By Kathy Cooper

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 3.20.40 PMDo you have a loved one who is suffering from a hearing loss? A recent New York Times article discusses the benefits of new hearing aids that are almost invisible and adjust to your surroundings, making your hearing even better than normal hearing. The controls are in your iPhone. They are not cheap, but they do have the benefit of keeping your or your loved one engaged in life.

Thom's grandmother suffered from a hearing loss that worsened as she aged. The problem was that she would not use her hearing aids. They were hard to use and big. She just did not like them. Unfortunately, it also meant she was more and more isolated. It is a shame to have our loved ones withdraw when there is a simple an effective way to help them rejoin the world — spread the word!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/personaltech/app-controlled-hearing-aid-improves-even-normal-hearing.html

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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.

Interesting Times at Cooper & Adel

By Angela Hall

In my seven years of working for Cooper, Adel and Associates, I have met a variety of interesting people. I have been given the opportunity to meet and work with clients who have led very interesting lives – from the woman who was attacked by a dolphin, to the couple who travelled Ohio selling homemade ice cream. The thing I enjoy most about my job is getting to know my clients beyond the business part of what we do here. It's always a learning experience for me as well.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 11.01.49 AMI recently met with a gentleman who had a long military career. He started out in the army during World War Two and was part of the newly formed Air Corps and flew fighter plans during the war. After WWII, he spent the rest of his career flying jets during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This year he turns 92 years old and has no plans of entering a nursing home. He is still actively involved in a fraternal organization that raises money for children's charities. He also enjoys spending the holidays with his daughter and granddaughter. But, he still realizes that his desire to spend his last days at home with his family instead of a nursing home may not be possible. I was able to explain to Thom's recommendation for him about veterans benefits that he may qualify for to help assist him if he were to need funds to help pay for care.

Contact Cooper, Adel and Associates to learn more about the veteran benefits that may be available to you or your loved ones.  

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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.

Are Veteran’s Benefits Available To Those Who Served But Not In a Combat Zone?

JM Megail Gaumer

The answer is YES!

Few veterans take advantage of the Veteran's Administration Aid & Attendance Benefit, often referred to as A&A benefits. This program can provide benefits to the Veteran or their surviving spouse of up to $2,085 per month to pay for expenses such as, long-term care, assisted living or even in home care.

To qualify the veteran did not have to serve in a combat zone rather, serve a minimum of 90 days of active duty with one day being during one of the following wartime windows:

  • World War II: December 7th, 1941, through December 31st, 1946

  • Korean War: June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955

  • Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 (February 28, 1961, for veterans who served "in country" before August 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975

  • Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through a date to be set by Presidential Proclamation or Law.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.53.55 PMThe second requirement for qualification is the veteran or their surviving spouse must have a medical need for the “aid and attendance” of another. The veteran's family doctor can make that determination, it does not have to be made by a Veteran's Administration doctor. Further, the program is not limited to wounded veterans.

The third requirement is based on financial need, income and assets. That is not to say that if the veteran has too much income or assets they will be disqualified. Medical expenses play a part in the determination. For example if the veteran has recurring expenses like in-home care costs, that will reduce the amount of income that is counted.

A&A benefits are just one of many benefits that may be available to help cover the costs of long term care. The problem is that what you do to qualify for one program, could disqualify you from other programs you might need down the road. We can help. Contact us today to scheduled a complimentary consultation for advise on benefits available to you like A&A.

 

 

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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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