Hickman & Lowder Weblog

Labor Omnia Vincit. (Virgil – Latin for “Hard Work Conquers All”)

Tuesday, 02 August 2011 10:36

beachWhen I was last between jobs, back when we were between decades (heck, between millennia!) in 2000, I remember people asking me, "What’s the hurry? Why don’t you take a break? Forget the paycheck issue. Forget the health insurance issue."

All I know, all I’ve ever known, is that there are a lot of people who need help, the kind of help I know how to give, and time’s a-wastin’.

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Ohio Trust Law News

Wednesday, 13 July 2011 14:47

dollar_signOlder adults caught a break when a controversial amendment to Ohio’s trust law was removed at the last moment from the State budget bill.  The amendment would have deprived widows or widowers over 65 of the chance to set aside a little money to help take care of themselves if they needed Medicaid.  If one is in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, qualifying for Medicaid  means having less than $1,500 in assets, and only $40 - $50/month “spending money.”  Hardly enough to pay for TV or phone service, get one’s hair done, and buy a box of candy.  We look for the proposal to be introduced again, but at least it will not be buried in a 5,000-page piece of legislation.


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What is a Certified Elder Law Attorney and Why Does it Matter?

Thursday, 26 May 2011 11:38

attorney_with_coupleOnly 25 lawyers in Ohio are Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELAs) and one of them are here at Hickman & Lowder.  But what does that certification mean?  Aren’t certifications as common as plaques on the wall?

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Is Preparing Your Will Worse Than a Root Canal?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 06:55

dentist_toolsA recent survey conducted by Rocket Lawyer indicates that 57% of adults do not have a Last Will and Testament.  The same survey determined that 32% of Americans would rather prepare their taxes, get a root canal, or give up sex for a month than create or update their Will.  Is preparing your Will that bad?

We don’t like to think so, especially if you consider the alternatives.  In Ohio, if you pass away without a Will, the State essentially prepares one for you by enforcing the intestacy statute.  The law will distribute your assets equally to your children at your death if you do not have a living spouse.  This is especially troublesome if you have a child dependent on public benefits (the inheritance could jeopardize their Medicaid, Waiver, or SSI eligibility) or if your child is not capable of managing assets.  If you are survived by your spouse, and that spouse is also the parent of all of your children, then the spouse receives your entire estate.  If your surviving spouse is not the adoptive or natural parent of one or more of your children, then a formula is imposed to divide the estate among your spouse and eligible children.  The state will continue to go up and down the family tree to find an heir, and in rare cases where there is not an heir, the estate will “escheat,” or be distributed, to the state.

Sometimes a spouse doesn’t want to leave all of their assets to their surviving spouse or children, especially if their surviving spouse or child is in a nursing home, disabled, or unable to manage the assets.  We work with the elderly and people of any age with disabilities, and their loved ones, to help determine how assets can be distributed at the owner’s death.  This is accomplished by a Will, beneficiary designations, and other estate planning documents.

So cancel that voluntary root canal appointment and make time to review your estate plans today!

- Posted by Amanda Buzo

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