December 2019 | Issue 37 ............................................................. Click Here to View Online
News You Can Use
Do you think there are too many lawyers in Ohio? Think again. According to recent statistics, only .32% of the population of Ohio are lawyers. For those of you who struggle with math, that’s less than one third of 1%. We are excited to announce that our firm has one more person who is part of that group!  

Meet Julie Helter, our newest attorney. She is a recent graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law who studied under Nancy Roberson’s direction in a capstone class on elder law. Although Julie has both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree, Julie was a non-traditional student when it came to obtaining her Juris Doctorate, having taken off many years to raise her sons before she started law school.
She always knew that she wanted to have a career, but was just waiting for the right time. Julie’s husband and sons supported her and encouraged her during her long days and nights in law school and studying for the bar exam. 
Julie brings experience in working with those with special needs and a passion for helping others. Julie also has experience working alongside the Chaplain of Hospice, which is a position that is complementary to the services provided at Roberson Law due to the grief and myriad of personal issues that many of our clients are experiencing.
Julie said, “I appreciate the opportunity to practice law in an office with attorneys and staff who have so much passion, experience, and knowledge to share and who care deeply for others as well as about the quality of their work.”            
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Julie, you may do so by calling our office at 937-643-2000. Considering the fact that Julie studied directly under Nancy Roberson, she is an economical option compared to other attorneys in our region.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Because fraud is on the rise, financial institutions are becoming increasingly finicky about General Durable Power of Attorney (GDPOA) documents. The GDPOA documents that we write at Roberson Law are usually 11 pages long in order to cover all of the bases, yet there are instances when we are still asked to provide additional substantiation to a bank that a GDPOA is valid. 

In addition, some financial institutions have their own proprietary GDPOA documents that are specifically written by their corporation’s legal department, and the financial institution won’t accept a GDPOA document prepared by anyone else. That is why we suggest that you contact your bank, credit union, investment company, or other financial institution and ask them if they have their own GDPOA document that can be used if they will not accept the GDPOA prepared by your attorney.   

In the case of GDPOAs, the best defense is a proactive approach to identifying and addressing potential issues with the document. We have encouraged our clients for several years to review and update their GDPOAs every five years to ensure that the agents named continue to be best choices for our clients and to promote third party acceptance due to the document's age. 

In addition, if your GDPOA was executed before 2012, this would be a good time for you to review and update your GDPOA to take advantage of the changes in the law that occurred in the Ohio Revised Code in March 2012 in an effort to improve the usefulness of powers of attorney and offer additional safeguards against abuse by the agent appointed in the GDPOA.

As many of our clients already know, a comprehensive GDPOA is an effective estate planning tool to authorize another person to act on one’s behalf in the event of disability or incapacity and to avoid costly and painstaking legal measures, such as a guardianship, that may be necessary without a GDPOA in place.     
The Administration for Community Living, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that in 2019 the monthly median cost for a private room in a nursing home facility is $8,571, which means that Americans who do not have long-term care insurance are annually paying over $100,000 in nursing care-costs. Because of this fact, Asset Protection Planning and Elder Law, or elder care, as many clients call it, is quickly becoming an area of law for which many people are requesting our services.

Once of the biggest misconceptions that we learn when we counsel clients about elder law issues is that they believe traditional health care insurance or Medicare will cover nursing-home or long- term care costs. On the contrary, unless a person has purchased a long-term care insurance policy in advance, which is not typical for most Americans, living in a nursing home or long term care facility is a “self-pay” expense unless the person qualifies for *Medicaid (see definition of Medicaid below). Because of that fact, the area of legal services that falls in this category is called Asset Protection, primarily because finding a way to protect assets from being depleted by nursing home costs is really the advice that people are seeking. But this type of planning needs to be done proactively in advance to be completely effective. 

So how can we help with these elder law issues? We’re glad you asked.

1)   We have a network of advisers that we know and trust who can offer options for long-term care insurance policies. Believe it or not, there are policies that can be obtained for people up to age 80, depending on your income level and health status. Call us and we will be happy to give you a referral.

2)   We have two very experienced attorneys who can offer guidance on where to begin when faced with looming decisions that need to be made about long term care for you or your loved one. This type of consultation can sometimes be done via a telephone appointment so that you can immediately start taking the necessary steps to prepare instead of waiting a month or more to get an in-office appointment with us. However, be warned that this type of advice requires a lot of data about finances, such as: how assets are titled, the value of assets, and the balance of banking and retirement accounts. When it comes to asset protection planning, the numbers and names on assets are what matters. Good legal advice cannot be given without these data, so make sure you have access to this information before you pay for a consultation that isn’t fruitful because the data given to the attorney are not sufficient to do thorough planning.

*What is Medicaid? To put it simply, Medicaid is welfare health care coverage for low-income individuals and families. Unlike Medicare, you have to be at the poverty level to qualify for Medicaid. Therefore, owning assets valued at more than the very low threshold that the government allows you to have may disqualify you from being able to receive Medicaid assistance.

For more information on this topic, go to our Elder Law page on our website.
By Darrell Geis
President & CEO, Christian Blue Network | Founder, Go Caroling 2019
1) Make caroling your outreach to the community.

2) At your church program or services.

3) Visit a nursing home and present the read-aloud Christmas story in the e-kit .

4) Register and go caroling in your neighborhood with family and friends.

5) At your family gathering, around the Christmas tree.
The title of this article is a common misconception about avoiding probate. A person will assume that just because he has been designated as his parent's Agent in his parent's Power of Attorney (POA) that he will have access to his parent's bank account after the parent dies. The person will incorrectly assume that having his name listed on his parent's account will be enough to avoid probate. The main reason why this is not true is because the Agent loses all "powers" when the Principal (the giver of the POA) dies.
The correct way to title a bank account to avoid probate is Joint Tenants With Rights Of Survivorship (JTWROS). We do not recommend, however, that an account be titled JTWROS with anyone other than your spouse or the sole beneficiary who you want to receive all of the money remaining in your bank account after your death.
Parents who have more than one child should take caution when adding the name of only one child as a JTWROS on their bank account because, by doing so, the parents are effectively excluding their remaining children or heirs from having any right to the money remaining in the bank account after death, regardless of what the Will says. Yes, having someone designated as JTWROS does avoid probate in many situations, but it can also open up a multitude of issues. 

The bottom line is that you shouldn't take your estate planning into your own hands and just make all of your accounts JTWROS without first talking to an attorney who can determine if that strategy is the best course of action for your estate planning goals.
The death of a husband is overwhelming and life-changing. The Young Widows and Widows’ Support Groups were founded by several widows who survived this shattering, painful experience and offers emotional support, guidance, friendship, and hope to women of all ages whose husbands have died.   

The death of a husband, at any age, can be an overwhelming loss, but the loss for a young widow in her twenties, thirties, and forties is different. Issues involving children, unfulfilled dreams, finances, and loneliness just aren’t the same. 
In addition, a young widow rarely knows other widowed women her age. It is for that reason why there are two different support groups: one for young widows and one for widows who are over the age of fifty.
The Young Widows' Support Group (under age 50) usually meets on the first Thursday of each month from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and the Widows' Support Group (over age 50) meets on the Friday after the first Thursday of each month from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.   However,  due to a holiday, the meetings may be one week later than usual. Both groups meet at Normandy United Methodist Church, located at 450 West Alex-Bell Road, Centerville, Ohio. There is no cost to attend.
The Upcoming Meetings are December 6, 7: Holiday Candlelight Service

The topic for January is "New Beginnings," and the topic for February is "My Valentine." Remaining meeting topics for 2020 will be announced on our firm Facebook page during the year.
For more information about the Young Widows' Support Group, visit the  website , call Pam Walker at 937.672.8810, or email  For further information about the Widows' Support Group, call Sherry Matsel at 937.878.9707 or email .
By Amy Cary, Roberson Law Business Manager
Let’s face it, people talk when the owner of a company starts to age. Questions come up about the business’s succession plan, such as the sustainability of the company if the owner retires, or even dies. These are questions that people are often hesitant to ask because they are afraid of the answer that they may receive, or they are afraid of offending the owner.

See a copy of the letter that I wrote and sent to 80 different advisers about this exact season of life issue that our President, Attorney Nancy Roberson, is experiencing right now. Because Nancy is also my mother, I felt that it was only appropriate that I address the "elephant in the room."

Read the letter here .
This article is a reboot from an article we wrote in 2017 that was very popular with our readers. The information still applies today, so we thought all of our new subscribers since the date that article was published might enjoy reading the article, and our veteran readers might need a reminder. 

1) If your spouse died this year or you got divorced, you should update your estate planning documents in order to remove your former spouse's name as a beneficiary, agent, executor, and trustee.  

2) December is the most popular month to get engaged. We encourage all of our clients who are getting married or re-married to consult with an estate planning attorney and make an informed decision about getting a Premarital Agreement (Prenup). The motivation for obtaining a Prenup is not because the marriage may not last. Without a Prenup, the inheritance that you intended to leave to your heirs could instead go to your new spouse upon your death. You probably don't want to disinherit your children.  
3) If anyone who is listed in your Health Care Power of Attorney or Living Will has moved or changed phone numbers, you should update these forms with current information so that your health care providers can connect with your contacts in case of an emergency. (We have complimentary blank forms in our office that we will give you for this purpose, but remember that you will need to get them witnessed and notarized.) 
4) Review your will and trust to make sure that they still reflect your current wishes about whom will serve as your executor or trustee and how your assets will be distributed after your death. Because people die, babies are born, and relationships change, you should annually review your documents.
As always, if any of your estate planning documents are more than ten years old or you have moved to a different state, you should have your documents reviewed and updated to ensure that your estate plan still reflects your wishes and the current laws where you reside.
Change is good, right? When we purchased and renovated our building in 2006 we never imagined that we'd have so much traffic that all of our original, brand new flooring would have to be replaced 13 years later. Talk about a major overhaul. Look at two of our attorneys still smiling amidst all of the mayhem!

On top of getting new flooring, we're having our computers and phones replaced, too. And as if that wasn't enough chaos, we threw in a pest control treatment and an internet upgrade. 
At 7:00 a.m. today, our awesome staff member Julie Helter JD received her Bar results and......she passed! Let the party begin! This long journey for us started back in January when we hired Julie while she was Nancy Roberson's student in the class Nancy teaches at UD School of Law.

We hired Julie as an intern, prayed a lot, and then brought Julie on to our team as a permanent employee, taking a leap of faith in hopes that Julie would pass the Bar. Fast forward ten months and now we have a new Associate Attorney at our firm! Julie has been such a blessing to us and we are so excited for what the future holds for Roberson Law! 
The big day is here...Attorney Kristina Rainer is getting ready to leave for the biggest speaking engagement she has ever had! The popular annual SEEK conference at Sinclair College that draws over 500 senior adults is happening right now, and we have a booth set up with a bunch of goodies, so stop by and see us. Kristina will speak at 10:00 a.m. (Facebook secret: past clients of Roberson Law will also see an old cheery face that graced our office for many years when they visit our booth.) For everyone who is at the conference today, have fun learning and meeting friends, old and new!
If you have not seen any of these posts, then you must not be our friend on Facebook! We usually post to Facebook at least twice a week so that everyone knows what is going on at our office more frequently. If you would like to keep up with the happenings at our office every week instead of every three or four months when this newsletter is delivered, then click on any of the post pictures above, or on the icon below, and become our fan today!