Legal-Ease: Nursing homes and the five-year lookback

The government healthcare program that pays for nursing home care for those who can’t afford it is commonly called “institutional Medicaid.” Poverty is defined by both federal and Ohio law. 

While there are many requirements surrounding eligibility for institutional Medicaid, the most challenging one is typically that the applicant must have a financial net worth of less than $2,000. The applicant also could not have given anything away in the five years before applying in order to qualify. Lee explains the application of the five-year lookback rule and how it can be applied when attempting to become Medicaid-eligible. 

Legal-Ease: How to administer a loved one’s estate

Even when well-planned, estate administration is not entirely automatic. Technically, when someone dies, ownership of their assets is automatically transferred to one or more people. However, until the paperwork memorializing the transfers is finished, the new owner cannot exercise the attributes of ownership. 

Legal-Ease: Four estate planning structures to consider

Estate planning can be difficult since it involves looking ahead and deciding where we want our assets to go when we die. While every situation in estate planning is different, there are four main structures to consider. 

First, some people use an “everybody equal” structure. Second, some people use a structure called “equal opportunity.” Third, others use a “who needs it most” structure when estate planning. Finally, some people use a “this one helped me most” structure. 

Legal-Ease: Alternative energy leases

Lee asks people to consider seven different aspects when considering a potential alternative energy lease. 

First, recognize that these leases can be confusing, so it’s important to seek help from a professional. Second, be sure that the lease specifies the geographic scope. Third, understand the periods of time that are included in the lease. 

Legal-Ease: What exactly is a reverse mortgage?

To understand how reverse mortgages work, it’s important to understand traditional mortgages. Traditional mortgages create a legal right to possess real estate if the promise to pay for the real estate is not fulfilled. The written permission to acquire a home if the lender is not repaid is a traditional mortgage. 

A reverse mortgage is an agreement in which the lender agrees to pay a borrower a certain lump sum of money or a certain amount of money every month. In the meantime, the borrower can continue to live in his or her home. 

Legal-Ease: Ohio bicycle laws

While many of Ohio’s laws concerning roadways apply to bicycles, there are some laws interpreted differently for bicycles and some laws that are specific to bicycles only. Bicycles aren’t allowed on all Ohio roadways, including freeways. Bicycles must be operated at safe speeds based on the context of the road and other traffic. There are several other laws that bicyclists should keep in mind while on Ohio’s roadways. 

Legal-Ease: What to do when the plan fails

Successful people both plan for success and for less-than-ideal circumstances. When a plan fails, it’s important to engage in three big steps. First, don’t just bury your head in the sand. Second, be proactive and gets plans in place early. Finally, be open-minded and be willing to accept help from others. 

Legal-Ease: Grass clippings on roadways

Property owners often blow their grass clippings on roadways, and a problem may arise if the grass clippings cause an accident. Some research suggests that grass clippings can be as slippery as grease is on roads, and clippings can be especially dangerous for motorcycles. Ohio does not have laws that explicitly prohibit property owners from blowing grass clippings onto roadways. An Ohio law makes it illegal to place injurious materials onto roads. But this law doesn’t cover glass clippings. 

Legal-Ease: Buying or selling over time

Businesses and individuals often want to buy or sell something over time. There are four items to consider when entering into a sale or purchase “over time.” First, if the sale includes a house or land with a house, it may be referred to as a “land contract,” which requires numerous legal requirements. Second, if the subject of the purchase is real estate that isn’t a house, the buyer and seller can agree to almost any terms they want. Third, if the subject of the purchase isn’t real estate, and it’s personal property, the buyer and seller can be flexible in terms as long as the personal property isn’t a retail item. Finally, every installment sale should be reviewed by the buyer and seller’s tax advisers. 

Legal-Ease: What to do when facing a nursing home decision

When the time arises to make a decision about long-term healthcare, three steps should be taken. First, be sure that the family member facing care has an updated power of attorney and living will. Second, develop a financial plan with an attorney. Finally, work closely with the attorney regarding bills and asset transfers.