Roberson Law Focusing on Estate Planning, Trust, Probate and Elder Law

Newsletter

NEWS ALERT:
Governor Kasich Vetoes Trust-Related Legislation 

Estate planning and elder law attorneys in Ohio have been on pins and needles the past year to hear the decision about the fate of legislation pertaining to titling a home in the name of a Revocable Living Trust (RLT).  The legislation was proposed by the Ohio State Bar Association to fix the problem of counting a house titled in the name of a RLT as a resource that would be included for determining if a person would qualify for Medicaid.  This problem was created several years ago by an Ohio appellate court decision.
  
Governor Kasich supports his veto of the Medicaid "fix" by saying, "This item would allow an individual to hold certain resources in a revocable trust, without penalty, that might otherwise be used to pay for his or her long-term care costs before entering the Medicaid program. Additionally, it

allows an individual to receive an income stream from the home without

making a corresponding contribution toward his or her long-term care costs.  This ability to shelter income is currently the subject of litigation pending before the Ohio Supreme Court. Vetoing this item is necessary to maintain the fiscal and programmatic integrity and stability the Administration has established for the Ohio Medicaid program. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest."

 

The main point to take away from this veto is that if you foresee that you or your family member will have to qualify for Medicaid (not Medicare) to pay for long-term care, and your home is titled in the name of a RLT, you should call an estate planning or elder law attorney ASAP.

 

Elderly Woman

 

Elder Law Update: Ten Reasons Families Fight About Senior Care

 

We see a lot of dissension in our office among family members who have differing opinions about the type of long term care that mom or dad should receive and how the parent's money should be spent to pay for the care.

 

Not to "beat a dead horse," but many of the issues that family members fight about could have been resolved if mom and dad had made the decisions in advance by doing their estate planning and developing a long-term care plan years in advance.

 

Due to the vast amount of people who fail to plan, we believe the article published online titled, "10 Reasons Families Fight About Senior Care" is a good call to action for families who are facing difficult end-of-life and health care issues. 

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Did you know that we have a department dedicated to senior services?

  • Preserve your savings from nursing home costs
  • Keep your home in the family
  • Know when to apply for Medicaid
  • Receive help finding the right nursing home

Check out our web page on Elder Law! 

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ELDER LAW TIP OF THE QUARTER:

 

If you live in a facility, such as a continuing care community, for which you have paid an entrance fee to move into the facility, you should complete a beneficiary designation form for the entrance fee. Each facility has its own set of forms to accomplish this task, so be sure to ask the administrative office at the facility about what is required to designate a beneficiary of your entrance fee. Without this form in place, a probate estate may have to be opened in order to obtain the refund of the entrance fee after you die.


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Our mission is to  provide excellent, compassionate legal services to help people plan for the unexpected and prepare for the inevitable.
 
News You Can Use
In This Issue: 
  • NEWS ALERT: Governor Kasich Vetoes Trust-Related Legislation
  • Estate Planning During Divorce
  • Elder Law Update: Ten Reasons Families Fight About Senior Care
  • Say Hello To Our New "Staff"
  • Aid For Children With Disabilities Of Military Families Passed By Congress
  • Helpful Hints: How To Obtain Emergency Medical Information From A Password-Locked iPhone
  • Five Estate Planning Documents Every Young Professional Should Have
  • Grief Support And Resources
Estate Planning During Divorce

A married couple's end-of-life choices during their marriage will most likely change upon the event of a divorce, including the time before the divorce is finalized.  That is why you should not wait until your divorce is finalized to make changes to your estate planning documents.

Changing the beneficiaries in your will, the beneficiary designations of your payable-on-death and transfer-on-death assets, and the agents in your powers of attorney is imperative when a divorce is in process.  Waiting until the divorce is finalized could result in a situation where your soon-to-be ex-spouse is given the authority to make health care and financial decisions that you no longer trust him or her to make.

Another mistake that we see quite often is that real estate obtained by the ex-spouse through the divorce settlement is not properly transferred to the person who is entitled to the property through the settlement.  Often, after a divorce is finalized, a new deed is not prepared to transfer the real estate solely to one person's name.  In this situation, if either the ex-husband or ex-wife dies before the new deed is prepared, the real estate will have to subsequently funnel through the probate court to get distributed to the person for whom the property was entitled in the divorce settlement.  To read more about this topic, read an article published online by the National Law Review.     
Say Hello To Our New "Staff"             

If you have been to our office any time in the past six months, you have witnessed first hand the "hustle and bustle" going on with our staff.  Due to an unexpected medical leave, our beloved staff member Judy Williams had to step away from being our office secretary after almost 10 years of service to our firm.  Judy's sudden leave required us to shift around some of our administrative staff so that we could cover the very important role of office secretary, an integral role that serves as the hub for clients who call and walk in our front door.  Our administrative legal assistant, Kayla Helm, has moved into the office secretary role while she is finishing her last year in college to obtain a degree in Paralegal Studies. 

At the beginning of the month, we hired Jeni Gillespie, who comes to us with years of experience as an office administrator, to help fill the need to assist our growing firm.  Jeni refers to herself as a "Jack of All Trades," which we have found to be very true and helpful.  Our office is fortunate to have Jeni's full-time assistance as our firm expands 
and serves our growing client base.  We welcome Jeni to our Roberson Law family!

Finally, on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, our senior associate attorney, Kristina Rainer, and her husband, Joe Womeldorff, welcomed into this world their baby boy, Elijah Holland Womeldorff! Elijah weighed 6 pounds and 14 ounces and is "perfect," according to Kristina.  This picture is our document legal assistant, Cheryl Lail, and Elijah when some of our staff recently went to Cincinnati to meet Elijah.  Both Elijah and Kristina are healthy and doing well, and Kristina will return to the office on September 30.
Aid For Children With Disabilities Of Military Families Passed By Congress

The information in this article is news that was reported at the end of 2014, but we believe that it bears repeating due to the impact that the legislation has on the hundreds of thousands of people in the military who have children with disabilities.  With the new legislation passed through the National Defense Authorization Act, a special needs trust can now be put in place to protect a disabled child's benefits from being discontinued due to an inheritance that the child receives from a parent.  

In the past, the Medicaid benefits of a disabled child would be jeopardized if the child received a survivor benefit from a deceased parent who received military benefits.  However, with the new legislation, children with disabilities can continue to receive the government benefits upon which they rely through the protection of a special needs trust after the death of their parent who received military benefits.  According to a web article posted on www.prweb.com, "Special needs trusts make it possible for persons with disabilities to receive assistance through Medicaid, a means-tested program, to pay for the high costs of long-term care and to still afford basic expenses such as personal care items, books, and clothing."

Please note that special needs trusts are an estate planning tool not just for families who are in the military, but for any person receiving Medicaid who could potentially receive an inheritance.  Our office prepares many special needs trusts each year to help protect the benefits of disabled persons, so please contact our office if you need assistance with this important asset protection measure.
Five Estate Planning Documents Every Young Professional Should Have

As the saying goes, obtaining estate planning documents is one notch above getting a colonoscopy on people's "to do" lists.  This statement proves to be even more true for young people who are trying to build their careers while focusing on paying off student loans and starting their families.

An article recently published online by the National Law Review lists the five documents that should be part of a young professional's estate plan, especially if the young professional has minor children.  Read the entire article here

Do not use the excuse that you're "worth more dead than alive" to justify not getting your estate planning documents prepared.  If you have a minor child and are going into the hospital for any reason, you need to make sure to have, at a minimum, a will, power of attorney, and heath care directives. 

The idea that you have to be rich or old to do estate planning couldn't be farther from the truth.  Death does not discriminate due to age or financial status.  That being the case, you should take seriously the importance of planning for death and disability because these life events will eventually happen to you regardless of whether or not you have your affairs in order.

 

Roberson Law Dayton Ohio


Helpful Hints: How To Obtain Emergency Medical Information From A Password-Locked iPhone

Since the mantra of our office is to always be prepared for an emergency, we encourage all of our clients to enter their emergency contact numbers (aka ICE numbers) into their cell phones.  This step is important so that first responders will know who to notify on  your behalf in the event of an emergency.  

 

Apple is taking this process one step further.

 

iPhone has a feature built into the Health app on its phones called a Medical ID that allows iPhone users to enter important health information such as blood type, allergies, medical conditions, etc. that can be important information to a paramedic in a medical emergency.  There is even a feature built into iPhones that allows a person to access the Medical ID information in the event that the phone is locked with a password. Read the entire article to obtain the step by step instructions about how to set up the Medical ID on your iPhone.

Grief Support And Resources

This is a reminder that the Young Widows' Support Group (under age 50) meets on the first Thursday of each month from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and the Widows' Support Group (over age 50) meets on the first Friday of each month from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  (Dates may change, however, due to holiday conflicts.)  Both groups meet at Normandy United Methodist Church, located at 450 West Alex-Bell Road, Centerville, Ohio.  Following is the schedule of topics through the end of 2015:

September 3,4:  "Invincible Summer" film
See how grief has a natural progression like the seasons.

October 1,2:  "Growing Through Grief: Review of My Progress" 
Attendees will complete a questionnaire to discuss in small groups.

November 5,6:  "Honoring Your Grief During the Holidays"
Hear a speaker offer timely tips on facing the holidays.

December 3,4:  "Holiday Candlelight"
Share a Holiday memory and experience a poignant candlelight service.
 
For more information about the Young Widows' Support Group, visit the website, call Pam Walker at 937.672.8810, or email DaytonYWSG@aol.com.
 
For further information about the Widows' Support Group, call Sherry Matsel at 937.878.9707 or email imboo25@yahoo.com.

If you need a grief resource besides a support group, Nancy's new favorite publication is  "I Will Trust God...Meditations for Recovery from Loss and Grief," a booklet containing sixty meditations to guide you during your journey through grief and loss.  The booklet is not death-specific and relates to many kinds of loss.  We have a supply of the booklet available in our office for $2.00 each if you want one.
All material in this newsletter is Copyright 2015 by Nancy Roberson. All rights reserved. 937.643.2000.