Elder Law / Guardianship
Experienced Elder Law Attorneys in Ohio
Elder law is an area of law that caters to the needs of older adults and is defined by the clients served rather than the areas of law that are practiced.
As our population ages, the need for more specialized services for our senior generation has increased. The elder law attorneys at Fliehman Law Group provide education and counseling on the options that are available to seniors and their families and guide them through the process of putting a plan in place to protect themselves and their hard-earned assets.
Fliehman Law Group acts as an advocate for elders and their loved ones. Our skilled attorneys handle a wide range of legal matters including those related to healthcare, long term care planning, late life financing, family dynamics, guardianship, end-of-life-decisions, asset protection, estate planning and other important matters.
Our elder law attorneys can assist you in putting a comprehensive plan in place, ensuring that you and your family have protection and peace of mind, no matter what the future may bring.
When a person is no longer able to manage his or her own personal or financial affairs, a court can appoint a guardian. The guardian acts on behalf of the ward (the person who is unable to care for themselves or their property). The guardianship may be for the "person only" or the "estate only". A guardianship may also be established for both the person and the estate. The two roles are described below.
Guardian of the Person
A guardian of the person is responsible for ensuring the personal, day-to-day needs of a child or incapacitated adult. This typically includes non-monetary decisions. In the case of a child, often the guardian is the primary caregiver, living with the child and fulfilling a parental role. In the case of an incapacitated adult, the guardian is often in charge of making sure that the ward gets adequate medical treatment and that the ward’s caregivers are doing an adequate job of meeting his or her personal needs.
Guardian of the Estate
A guardian of the estate is responsible for managing the property and financial affairs of a child or an incapacitated adult. In this case, the guardian takes care of real estate, manages bank accounts, and handles investments. His or her duties can range from paying bills to buying and selling stocks and bonds to managing rental property on behalf of the ward.
Role of the Attorney
The attorneys at Fliehman Law Group can act as a trusted advisor, assisting the guardian with their role, such as establishing the guardianship, setting up investments, handling special actions such as the sale of household goods or real estate, preparing an inventory of the assets and preparing and filing required paperwork, reports and accounts to the probate court.
We can also assist in directing the agent to the appropriate professionals for purposes of healthcare decisions and investment advice. This might entail establishing a plan of care for nursing, housekeeping, food services, health and safety devices, long term care and other financial services.
Alternatives to Guardianship
The primary benefit of having a guardian is that they are subject to court supervision in fulfilling his or her duties. The primary disadvantage to this arrangement is that the probate court must approve all actions, which can be an expensive and time-consuming process.
Having a well-made estate plan that includes incapacity planning documents like a revocable living trust, a living will, and a healthcare power of attorney can ensure that you have agents in place to take care of your personal and financial needs without resorting to court intervention if you should become mentally or physically incapacitated due to circumstances such as illness, injury or disability.
Medicaid Planning / Asset Protection
Most individuals have an interest in protecting some of their assets for their spouse or children. Many times, it is possible to implement a plan to protect those assets so they do not have to be exhausted on long-term care or costly medical expenditures.
The attorneys at Fliehman Law Group can discuss Medicaid planning options that are available to you. Because Medicaid is government-provided insurance coverage available to people with low income and limited means, those who have assets cannot typically qualify, unless most of their money and property are spent down to reduce their net worth. This can be devastating if you have worked to amass a nest egg and face the prospect of losing it.
Medicaid planning makes it possible to structure asset ownership strategically. Our attorneys can help you protect a significant amount of your assets so long term care and medical expenditures are not financially devastating for you and your loved ones.
Contact Fliehman Law Group to schedule a consultation to speak with an experienced elder law attorney today.