Thank you for coming. Everybody should have a blue notebook. I see you’ve got one, you ladies do, everybody back there. Everybody here has one. Great. Open up that blue notebook if you haven’t already. If I could for a minute, let me borrow this from you. You should have this yellow agenda. Pull out that yellow agenda, and then set aside the rest of the materials.
I promise you, that yellow agenda is everything we’re going to cover here tonight, and we’re going to cover everything in the order in which it’s listed there. No surprises. You know exactly what I want to cover, when I want to cover it. But set aside the rest of those materials, because that’s for you to take home and read.
We’re going to cover a lot of ground tonight. I’m going to go fairly quickly because there’s a lot I want to share with you about estate and nursing home planning. If you’re leafing through those materials as I’m doing that, you’re going to get lost and miss a lot of the presentation, because the presentation will be up here and with what I’m saying. Please set aside those materials.
I assume you’re here tonight because you have the goal of preserving wealth in your family. You’ve got more than one choice there. In fact, you have many options by which you can go about that. There are lots of ways to do that, but the right way for you we don’t know, but we’re going to find out tonight, because we’re going to explore together the various options. Hopefully, we’re going to help you get on your way to put together a plan for you and your family.
You see this right here? Please silence your cell phone. What I’m going to do, and this hurts me, is, I’ve been getting one text a day from my daughter that I just took to college. Information is given on a need‑to‑know basis, and I only need to know one time a day. What I’m going to do, even though it pains me, is I’m going to turn this off. I invite you to do the same. Please turn off your cell phone. I don’t want you to be embarrassed if it goes off on you here this evening.
Let me briefly review my credentials. I’ve been an attorney for 23 years here in Ohio. It’s hard to believe I sat for the bar exam in Columbus in the summer of 1988. Until this year it was one of the hottest summers on record. I studied for the bar exam in an apartment with no air conditioning that summer.
My office, I have two of them. My office where I’ve been for 20‑plus years is in Tipp City. I’m right off of exit 68. Lots of you are familiar with exit 69 because that’s where Dave Arbogast has his GM dealership with that huge American flag. That’s the tallest flagpole in the state of Ohio. Pretty soon we’re going to be able to see the second tallest flagpole in the state of Ohio because that’s in Ohio Stadium, where Ohio State plays football.
I also have an office at The Greene, in Beavercreek. I’ve been doing estate planning, trust, probate, nursing home work all 23 years I’ve been a lawyer. I received my undergraduate degree from Miami of Ohio and I received my masters and law degrees from Ohio State. I’m an Ohio State Bar Association certified expert in estate planning, trust and probate law.
There is roughly 47,000 lawyers in this state, but less than 150 of us have this designation. It means we’ve been peer reviewed by fellow attorneys and judges, and we’ve been found to have been the best people that practice in this area. We’ve also had to have done this for thousands of hours in our career, and we had to pass a very vigorous examination. My focus is truly on elder law, estate planning, nursing home planning.
I’ve got one request before we dive into the materials. Hopefully, I’ll do a good enough job or I spark a lot of interest, and you have a lot of questions. That’s great. I hope I do. But I want to ask that you hold your questions until the end. If you don’t have something to write with, please hold up your hand and we’ll bring you a pencil right now.
But the thought is, if you’ve got a question, please, I want you to ask it, but write it down on that yellow agenda, and then I will have a question and answer session at the very end of the presentation. My goal is to be all wrapped up and finished by 9:00. Please hold those questions. I’ll get them at the end.
Let’s review that seminar agenda so we know what we’re going to be covering here this evening. The first thing I want to discuss is, just what do I mean by the phrase “estate planning”? What’s that referring to? Next, we’re going to look at what Medicaid and long‑term care planning are. You’ll hear me refer to that as nursing home planning. I’m talking about the same thing when I mention all three of those terms.
Next, we’ll look at common estate plans that a lot of folks tend to have. Then I’m going to look at the probate process. I want to do this in some detail from start to finish so you can understand just exactly what that process entails. I’ll then look at how a living trust avoids that probate process. Next, I’ll jump into estate taxes, both Ohio and federal. There have been a lot of changes in estate taxes over the last year or so.
I’ll then look at factors you should keep in mind in selecting the best attorney to help you. What should this attorney have going for him? What type of attributes should they have? What types of questions should you be asking to make sure they’re the right attorney to help you with your situation? I’ll review that with you.
Then, so you have an idea of what’s fair and reasonable, I’m going to review with you fees that I charge in my office to do this kind of work. So that you understand exactly what I’m referring to, I’m going to do that by showing you my own estate plan. I’m going to show you every document I’ve got in my estate plan, and I’m going to review those with you so you understand what a complete estate plan not only costs, but what it looks like.
Then we’re going to discuss the next step you need to take now to preserve your assets for your family. Then we’re going to close with that question and answer session.