Middletown Elder Law & Probate Attorneys Help Safeguard Seniors
Understanding counselors provide personalized legal services
At Combs, Schaefer, Ball & Little, we often meet with seniors or their adult children who have concerns about the future. How can they protect their savings so they will be prepared for retirement? How can they protect their assets if they suffer a prolonged illness or lose the capacity to manage for themselves? What is the best way to leave a bequest to their loved ones? Sometimes, a loved one has already passed on, but the next of kin may have questions about settling the estate. In all of these circumstances, we can provide answers based on our clients’ specific circumstances. Drawing on our experience in elder law, estate planning, and probate law, we can help resolve your most pressing issues so you can have peace of mind.
Experienced lawyers with helpful strategies for Ohio seniors
As estate planning and elder law attorneys, we most often address the following issues for our Middletown clients:
- Wills — Our attorneys draft wills for testators. We also review existing wills and amend them to reflect the testator’s current circumstances and intentions.
- Trust planning and asset protection — We design trusts to hold your assets during your lifetime so they can be passed to your beneficiaries according to your wishes. Trusts are flexible instruments that allow you to make special provisions or place conditions on gifts. Trusts protect your assets from liability, help you avoid the delay and expense of probate, and may also help you avoid estate taxes.
- Living wills — Also known as advance directives, these documents allow you to state which forms of life-saving intervention you find acceptable.
- Powers of attorney — Seniors who are concerned about forgetfulness or a decline in health can name a trusted person to handle their finances and/or make decisions affecting their health and welfare. A power of attorney document can transfer legal authority at the moment you execute it, or it can record your intention that authority should transfer in the event you become incapacitated.
- Guardianships — Often, older adults are unwilling to concede they have lost the capacity to manage their day-to-day affairs. When this happens, an adult child of the elder, or another concerned individual, can petition the court to be made guardian, with the authority to manage the elder’s finances and make decisions affecting their health and welfare.
- Medicaid planning — Many seniors cannot afford a prolonged stay in a nursing facility. But with proper planning, they can shelter certain assets so they can become eligible for Medicaid benefits without becoming insolvent.
Our knowledgeable attorneys manage these and other issues with the utmost professionalism and discretion.
Probate and estate administration services in Middletown
If your loved one has a will, you must take it to the probate court for validation. If the court rules the will is valid, the executor named in the will must undertake the tasks of settling the estate. Our attorneys advise executors on their probate duties and can stand in when an executor is unavailable.
When a loved one passes away without a will, he or she is said to have died intestate. When that happens, the next of kin are often at a loss as to how they should proceed. There’s so much to be done:
- A personal representative must take control of the estate.
- Debts and taxes must be paid.
- Amounts owed the estate must be collected.
- Assets must be identified and located.
- Beneficiaries must be identified and located.
- Assets must be transferred to beneficiaries in accordance with state law.
This is the process of estate administration. Our knowledgeable attorneys are available to act as administrators for your loved one’s estate or to guide you through the process.
Contact a capable and concerned elder law attorney in Middletown, OH
At Combs, Schaefer, Ball & Little, our elder law attorneys care about the safety and security of the seniors we serve. For reliable estate planning, elder care and probate advice, call us at 513-393-8872 or contact our Middletown office online. We offer free consultations to new clients.