Roberson Law Focusing on Estate Planning, Trust, Probate and Elder Law


Amy Cary Celebrates 20 Years at Roberson Law!
by Kaitlin Webb, Legal Intern

Office Manager, Amy Cary, began her career with us on August 15, 1998. After Amy graduated from Wright State University in 1998 with a BA in Organizational Communications, she thought she wanted a job in the corporate  world--until she got one. Amy quickly realized that that wasn't the path for her, and while she was rethinking  her career goals, her mother, Nancy Roberson, needed help with billing at her law office. 

As Amy took charge of the firm's billing, the comp any started to grow and Amy took on more responsibilities. Her position here evolv ed over the ye ars until she became our office manager.
Amy loves working with her co-workers and enjoys being able to make a positive impact in their lives. Thank you for all of your hard work, Amy! 

Elder Care Corner:
The File of Life, a Real Lifesaver

All too often seniors in need of emergency medical treatment are unable to get the best possible care from first responders because first responders are often missing important medical information that could save a life. But there is a way for seniors to protect themselves in these unforeseen life-and-death situations, and that is through The File of Life. 

The File of Life is a medical information form that seniors can fill out and keep in a bright red pouch on their refrigerator in case of an emergency. The file includes medical information such as allergies, current medications, and known medical conditions. The file also has important contact information and end-of-life wishes. All fire departments and first responders in the area are aware of the File of Life, and some local fire departments are giving out File of Life materials, which are provided by the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office. 

For more information on the File of Life for you or a loved one, check out their web page
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Did you know that we have a department dedicated to senior services?
  • Preserve your savings from nursing home costs
  • Keep your home in the family
  • Know when to apply for Medicaid
  • Obtain a Personal Services Agreement for your loved one who needs to receive at-home care from another family member or friend
  • Obtain "fiduciary services" from our office when you do not have anyone who can act as your personal Power of Attorney agent. 
Check out our web page on Elder Law! 
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If this is the first time that you have seen this picture, then you must not be our fan on Facebook!
Although our newsletter goes out only once a quarter, we make posts to our Facebook page once a week.  That means liking our page gives you weekly access to what is going on at our firm.

We post everything from pictures of staff members to articles about the latest topics in our area of law. 

Become our fan today!
September/October Widows Grief Support And Resources

This is a reminder that the Young Widows' Support Group (under age 50) 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 first Friday of each month from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  (Dates may change, however, due to holiday conflicts.)  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 meeting topics are:

September 6, 7   "Invincible Summer" (a film about the seasons of grief).

October 4, 5   "It's OK to be Angry--Even at God!" (a presentation by two of our leaders). 

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
Need a Speaker For Your Next Event?

One of Nancy's passions is educating the community about the importance of planning for death and disability by sharing her presentation titled, "Are You Prepared?"  Part of her speech includes Nancy sharing her personal tragic story about the event in her life that compelled her to pursue her practice area of law.
If you would like Nancy to speak at your next event, please call 937.643.2000 or email Amy Cary at to book your event.  In addition, if you would like to know where Nancy's next speaking engagement is being held, please email Amy and she will provide the details for the upcoming event. 

As always, we do not charge a fee for our professional speaking services as long as you confirm that at least ten people will attend.  If fewer than ten people attend the event, then we request that a donation be made to the Miami Valley Widows' Support Groups.  You may also go to our speaking engagements page on our website to read some testimonials from past attendees and to obtain more information about speaking topics.

A special thank you for the opportunities to speak recently at the Alzheimer's Association, the Kettering Rotary Club, and the SEEK Conference presented by Sinclair's College of Lifelong Learning.

 Our mission is to  provide excellent, compassionate legal services to help people plan for the unexpected and prepare for the inevitable.

News You Can Use
In This Issue:  
  • Amy Cary Celebrates 20 Years at Roberson Law!
  • Aretha Franklin: What Happens When You Die Without a Will or Trust? 
  • Elder Care Corner: The File of Life, a Real Lifesaver
  • New Additions to Roberson Law
  • Montgomery County's New Tool to Protect Against Property and Mortgage Fraud
  • Tips for When End-of-Life Planning Becomes Closer Than You Thought
  • Do You Know About The Dayton Foundation?
  • September/October Widows Grief Support And Resources
  • Character Counts
  • Need A Speaker For Your Next Event?
  • Just For Laughs!
The Estate of Aretha Franklin: What Happens When You Die Without a Will or Trust?
Did you know that a huge benefit of getting a trust is to protect your family's privacy?  This reason alone has caused quite a stir with Aretha Franklin's estate because all of Aretha's assets and financial holdings will be made public since she did not have her estate planning in order when she died.  

Quite often we hear our clients say that they do not need a trust because they are not rich. However, there are many reasons why a person would get a trust regardless of the amount of money in his or her bank account. One monumental reason is protecting privacy.  

Because Ohio has a strong open public record law, the stage is set for scam artists to take advantage of unsuspecting Ohio citizens.
Privacy If probate is not avoided and there is more than one beneficiary, then an accounting of all the probate assets that the decedent owned will be made public record through the probate process. Most of the probate records dating back to the 1980's are online for anyone to view. That reason alone motivates many people to get a trust, so that their assets are not on public display.

The publication of probate records happens to anyone who dies without a will or trust, even the rich and famous. Take Aretha Franklin, for example.  When the legendary singer died on August 16, 2018, with no will or trust, all of the assets in her name alone with no beneficiary will have to go through probate and be exposed to the public.  To learn more about Aretha's estate, go to CNN's website

To avoid what will happen to Aretha's estate from happening to your estate, include a trust in your estate plan and fully fund it.  By keeping your personal and financial information out of the probate court, you are protecting your family from unnecessary risks arising from easy public access to your family's personal and financial information.  

On a side note, Nancy's favorite Rhythm and Blues song is Aretha's version of "Respect."  Just a little fun fact about our firm's President!
New Additions to Roberson Law
All of the way from sunny Fort Myers, Florida, we welcome our new Secretary, Penny Norvell. Penny started here in March and has been doing a great job keeping the office organized and assisting clients. Her favorite part about working at Roberson Law is interacting with clients and being able to help them.  

Penny is a loving mother of three.  Her two sons are college graduates and her daughter recently graduated high school and will attend Miami University, Middletown Branch.   

On July 20, 2018, Paralegal Kayla Helm and her husband, Jacob, welcomed their first child, a son, Myles, into the world. Congratulations, Kayla and Jacob!

On August 25, 2018, Legal Documents Assistant, Cheryl Lail, added a new family member to her tribe. Grace Lail, Cheryl's daughter and our former student employee for many years, got married to her college sweetheart, Kevin Wajert. Congratulations to both the Lail and Wajert families on the new additions to your family trees!  

Montgomery County's New Tool to Protect Against Property and Mortgage Fraud

Since 2008, the community of Montgomery County and other surrounding counties have been plagued with property and mortgage fraud. Property and mortgage fraud occurs when someone records a fraudulent document, such as a fraudulent deed, lien, or other false documents in the county recorder's office. Doing this makes it appear as though the person who recorded the false document currently owns the property.
To combat this growing crime, Montgomery County is initiating a Fraud Alert Notification System (FANS). All property owners in Montgomery County are able to and encouraged to sign up to help fight this fraudulent activity. 

We highly recommend that all Montgomery County citizens take advantage of this free opportunity and be proactive in protecting your property. For more information or to sign up for FANS go to the Montgomery County's website.

Also, along this line but not a crime are companies that contact people who have had a deed recorded as part of a real estate transaction.  These companies solicit people to purchase a copy of the recently-recorded deed for an exorbitant fee.  Don't fall for this.    
Tips for When End-of-Life Planning Becomes Closer Than You Thought  
by Kaitlin Webb, Legal Intern
It happens when you least expect it: a devastating medical diagnosis that leaves you shocked, scared, and wondering what to do next financially. We have a few tips to make the process easier on you. 

At first it might be difficult to handle and process the news, but don't be afraid to reach out for help. Your family may also struggle with the diagnosis, which could be another reason to seek help. There are many paths you can take for guidance and help, such as a mental health professional, a social worker, an RN with expertise in the area, and support groups. 

After working through the initial shock and aftermath of an overwhelming diagnosis, it's time to start getting your financial information in one place. Start with a binder to which you can easily add information; having all your information in one place will be easier on those who will need to know later. In the binder include detailed liabilities (mortgage, loans, credit card debt); insurance policies for health, home, and any vehicles; and a list of personal service agreements. Also include a contact list of personal advisers such as your lawyer, accountant, insurance agent, and financial adviser. You should write down all-important passwords and include the previous year's income tax return. You may also want to include arrangements for pets and a list of personal contacts who you want to be contacted in case of an emergency.  Finally, the binder should include any estate planning documents that you have. 

A good alternative to a notebook binder is a series of file folders in a filing cabinet.  Whatever system you use, be sure to inform the people who you want to be in charge of your affairs about where to find your binder or filing cabinet. 

If you don't have estate planning documents, don't procrastinate getting your estate in order.  Making end-of-life decisions is NOT something that should be put off until "the eleventh hour."  If you have estate planning documents that were prepared many years ago, you should contact a lawyer experienced in estate planning to make sure that laws have not changed and that your documents will still work the way you intend.  As always, if you need help with any of the issues outlined above, please give us a call.

Do you know about the Dayton Foundation?

Through the Dayton Foundation, individuals who are passionate about charitable giving can accomplish their passion for giving while minimizing taxes, paperwork, and record-keeping, thus creating a win-win situation for the charity and individual.

In Spring 2016, the Dayton Foundation included an article in its Futures newsletter explaining how to take advantage of a wonderful tax-free benefit, the IRA Charitable Rollover.  Read the entire article here.

The Dayton Foundation can also offer solutions to help reduce your federal income and estate tax liability.

Below is an excerpt from a brochure that the Dayton Foundation has published to help educate the community about its services.  We are pleased that Nancy's testimony is included.  We consider it an honor to have the endorsement of our firm's principal to be associated with such a worthy cause.

Character Counts
We know it's hard to believe, but some lawyers have character defects.  Roberson Law, however, strives to dispel the negative image of lawyers. For that reason we choose to monthly focus on a character quality with a subscription to Character Core Magazine published by Strata Leadership, LLC, a leadership company based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The character quality that was highlighted in July was Loyalty.  According to  Character Core Magazine, "Loyalty is demonstrating commitment to others."  Although many believe loyalty is measured through time, it is actually shown in all actions and behaviors that demonstrate commitment. The components of loyalty are to consistently care for others and to put others before yourself. 

Action plan for exhibiting loyalty:

1) Invest in people.
2) Anticipate difficulties.
3) Go the distance.
Just For Laughs!
(Because Nancy loves reading the comics)

All material in this newsletter is Copyright © 2018 by Nancy A. Roberson. All rights reserved.