Serving elders and families in Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, and Lorain, Ohio Counties
Areas of Practice
Ms. Rich's primary areas of focus include;
- Medicaid Planning
- Probate, Estate Planning and Administration
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
- Wills, Legal Guardianships
- Powers of Attorney
- Living Wills
Medicaid is the United States health program for individuals and families with low incomes and resources. It is an entitlement program that is jointly funded by the states and federal government, and is managed by the states. Among the groups of people served by Medicaid are eligible low-income parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Being poor, or even very poor, does not necessarily qualify an individual for Medicaid. Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with limited income. (read more)
Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person, specifically resolving all claims and distributing the decedent's property. Generally, there are several steps to the probate process. The court appoints a person to be in charge of the decedent's estate. This person is called the personal representative. The personal representative gathers the decedent's assets; pays the decedent's appropriate bills; he or she may sell certain of the decedent's assets; files tax returns; and distributes the decedent's assets to the appropriate persons or entities. All of this is done under the court's supervision. (read more)
There are several ways to protect your estate from nursing home costs. If you plan in advance you will have more alternatives. Advance planning includes the following:
- Converting non-exempt assets into exempt assets
- Reduce permissible spending.
- The use of irrevocable trusts, gifting, and the purchase of annuities and long term care insurance
Of course, every situation is different. If you consult with our offices, we will go over your individual situation. We will also tell you the benefits and detriments (if any) of each alternative. (learn more)
A trust is an arrangement whereby money or property is managed by one person (or persons, or organizations) for the benefit of another but is owned by the 'Trust'. A trust is created by a settlor, who entrusts some or all of his or her property to people of his choice (the trustees). The trustees are the legal owners of the trust property, but they are obliged to hold the property for the benefit of one or more individuals or organizations (the beneficiary). The trust is governed by the terms of the trust document, which is usually written and in deed form. It is also governed by local law. (read more)
In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his or her property or family after death. Any person over the age of majority can draft their own will. There is no legal requirement that a will be drawn up by a lawyer, although there are pitfalls into which home-made wills can fall. The person who makes a will is not available to explain him or herself, or to correct any technical deficiency or error in expression, when it comes into effect on that person's death, and so there is little room for mistake. (read more)
A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. Usually, a person has the status of guardian because the ward is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability. Courts generally have the power to appoint a guardian for an individual in need of special protection. A guardian with responsibility for both the personal well-being and the financial interests of the ward is a general guardian. A person may also be appointed as a special guardian, having limited powers over the interests of the ward. (learn more)
A durable power of attorney for health care is a document in which a patient designates another individual, usually a family member, close friend or counselor, to make decisions if the patient is unable to do so. The patient may also give specific directions about treatments wanted. (learn more)
A living will is a document in which the individual can specify in advance his or her wishes regarding withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining medical care in the event the patient becomes terminally ill and can't express those preferences to doctors or relatives. In Ohio these decisions must be in writing, must be signed and witnessed by two people not related by blood, marriage or adoption, or must be notarized. (read more)
Linda Rich is a licensed attorney practicing in the greater Cleveland area with law offices in Euclid and Lakewood. Contact her for assistance with your elder law related issues.
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