Banks, brokerage firms, and investment companies are cracking down on the policies pertaining to a person's use of a General Durable Power of Attorney (GDPOA) to conduct account changes or transactions on behalf of the account holder. Changing beneficiary designations can be an integral part of estate planning, and the task of doing so is sometimes executed by a person other than the actual account holder.
Jennifer Burkitt, Paralegal, of Roberson Law received the award for 2016 Paralegal of the Year! The ceremony was hosted by Sinclair College where the Dayton legal community celebrated Paralegal Day and honored Jennifer with the award. Jennifer has worked at Roberson Law for 15 years as the lead paralegal in charge of the firm’s probate and trust administration department.
A recent testimonial received from one of Jennifer's clients sums up the impact that Jennifer has on those whom she serves:
We get a good amount of calls in our office about elder abuse or elder neglect. Many times the call comes from a professional who calls about a client of his or hers who appears to be in distress and has no family or friends to assist. When we get these calls, we almost always refer the person to Adult Protective Services (APS).
Our office works with a lot of accountants. Accountants are often on the front line of the planning issues that we handle for clients. Nine times out of ten the accountants are a tremendous help to our clients, especially to those who are business owners. However, it is always prudent to know what to expect out of your accountant to ensure that he or she is being more of a help than a hindrance to your long term planning needs.
As many of our clients already know, a comprehensive general durable power of attorney is an effective estate planning tool to authorize another person to act on one’s behalf in the event of disability or incapacity. In an effort to improve the usefulness of a power of attorney (“POA”), the laws regarding powers of attorney under the Ohio Revised Code were revised in March of 2012, in order to offer additional safeguards against abuse by the agent appointed in the POA and encourage third party acceptance.
As critical as funding your trust is, you may need to transfer your home out of your trust as a result of Estate of Atkinson v. Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Servs., 144 Ohio St.3d 70, 2015-Ohio-3397, an Ohio Supreme Court case decided August 26, 2015. This case held that your home will be a countable resource for Medicaid qualification purposes if your home is owned by your revocable living trust. Yikes!
The information in this article is news that was reported last year, 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 this 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.
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.
Roberson Law President Nancy Roberson has received a BV Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubbell for receiving very high ratings from her peers and clients for both Nancy's legal ability and ethical standards. This is a prestigious rating by a well respected company in the legal industry.
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.