With over 104 years of combined experience and expertise, our firm has the ability to offer excellent legal services to each and every one of our clients.

Here are our primary areas of expertise:

Asset Protection and Medicaid Law

PREPLANNING

Our suggested method involves one or more of the children and the use of a limited liability company. The children form a limited liability company in which they are the members and the owners. The parents then transfer a portion of their assets into the limited liability company. In regards to any real estate, including but not limited to their home, rental houses, or farmland, the parent or parents retain a life estate which allows them to use the property during their lifetime, including receiving all income and paying all expenses.

The advantages to this type of planning are that it affords creditor protection, protects the assets after 5 years in case a person goes into a nursing home, and allows the parents to set up any assets held in their name so that upon the death of both parents all assets funnel into the limited liability company, negating any probate court intervention.

This planning also affords a lot of flexibility in the future. Although the parents place certain assets in the limited liability company, we make sure that there are safeguards in place that afford the parent or parents a lot of control over the assets in the limited liability company.

IN A NURSING HOME

When a person files for Medicaid, the Medicaid caseworkers look back at all the financial transactions of the person applying for a period of 5 years to see if there have been any gifts made. If there have been gifts made during that time period, Medicaid will not pay for room and board in a nursing facility for a certain period of time called a penalty period. However, when a person must enter a nursing home or assisted living and has assets, there is still an option available in which assets can be protected. In this case, we suggest using a limited liability company where one or more of the children are the members. These assets that we are able to protect are done so that the parent or parents have assets even though they are confined in a nursing home and are receiving Medicaid. Upon the parent or parents death, the assets that are still in the LLC would be distributed according to the wishes of the parents.

Traditional Estate Planning

In addition to the Medicaid Estate planning, we offer the following:

Revocable Living Trust
This is a written agreement in which you generally establish yourself as a trust to manage and administer your property. You also name successor trustees to take over after you die. It is revocable, meaning it can be changed. It is also called a living trust because you establish it during your lifetime.

Irrevocable Trust
This is a written agreement that establishes a trustee that manages property that you transfer to the trust. This trust cannot be changed.

Traditional Will, with or without testamentary trust provisions
This is filed with the probate court after you die, and is administered through the laws established by the Ohio Revised Code for probate proceedings.

Ohio Durable Power of Attorney
No one likes to consider that one day you won’t be able to manage their own finances or make their own decision about medical card. Through accidents, injuries or disease, however, people of any age can suddenly find themselves dependent on others for assistance. Wouldn’t you like to select who those people are?

At LWSW, our attorneys help clients prepare for a potential crisis or respond to an immediate one.

Our team will work with out to create the legal documents that designate financial powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and guardianship.

Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a document that authorizes another person to handle your day-to-day financial affairs. These powers include:

  • Managing bank accounts, investments, and real estate
  • Investing assets
  • Selling personal property and real estate
  • Dealing with the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service
  • Settling claims and debts
  • Making gifts of assets
  • Filing tax returns and other documents

A power of attorney can also include a provision in which you name a guardian in the event you become incompetent. A power of attorney can be revoked at any time.

Health Care Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney is a written document signed by you that authorized the person you name to make all of your health care decisions. It only goes into effect after your attending physician determines that you are incapacitated so as to be unable to make health care decisions for yourself.

Living Wills
Living will declarations are used to express your wishes regarding your health care if you should be in a terminal condition or a permanently unconscious state. This document is effective only when you are incapacitated and only if two physicians agree that you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious.

Guardianship
A guardianship is an estate overseen by the probate court for management of the personal care, the estate or both of a minor child, or “incompetent” adult – one who, by reason of mental or physical disability, is incapable of making sound decisions in taking care of themselves or their property.

Non-probate Estate planning
This is a document we prepare and provide to you showing how you can eliminate a probate asset without a Revocable Living Trust.

As with any estate planning document, a durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney and living will declaration should be reviewed on a routine basis to make sure they still reflect your wishes.

Probate

Probate is a court proceeding in which a decedent’s assets are distributed to his or her intended beneficiaries.  As probate attorneys, we will handle all court filings, paperwork, research, and appearances to make the administration of your loved one’s estate, as easy as possible.

Income Tax Preparation

Our team of legal assistants and lawyers prepare income tax returns for farmers, business owners, retirees, dual income families, and single parents. We will help you with tax strategies to minimize the amount of tax you are required to pay. Our lawyers meet with our clients, either in person or by telephone, and prepare their federal, state, city, and school tax returns, at very competitive rates. If you are in need of a new tax preparer, please call for an appointment. Please be aware that our schedule fills up quickly.

Family Law

DIVORCE AND DISSOLUTION

In Ohio, a marriage can be ended through a divorce or a dissolution. For parties to end their marriage through a dissolution, it is necessary for them to reach agreement on every aspect of their case. including property division, child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support. The agreement is then formalized in writing-usually in the fonn of a “Separation Agreement.” The Separation Agreement and related documents must be filed with the court, and a judge must affirm the terms. When parties are able to reach such agreements, this is the simplest, most efficient, and respectful way to end a marriage because it can be accomplished quickly, cost-effectively and with confidentiality.

If parties are unable to agree on each and every subject, whether it is the custody of their children, the ful l division of their assets, child support, spousal support, or other related subjects, then a divorce is the appropriate means to bring finality to the marriage. Although this can sometimes be a time consuming and expensive process, it is often possible to work out mutually amicable solutions without such extensive litigation. With decades of experience and a unique understanding of the entire process, both legal and emotional, the attorneys at Leopold, Wildenhaus, Sahloff and Welch are well equipped to maximize your results with the most efficient and respectful legal approaches.

Occasionally there are circumstances where a legal separation is the best resolution to the marital relationship. A legal separation is identical to a divorce in that all matters including child custody, division of property, child support, and spousal support are resolved. Instead of ordering a divorce, the court simply issues a Decree of Legal Separation. Technically, the parties are still married but have legal protection for their financial and custodial arrangement.

CHILD CUSTODY

Good parents always seek to provide the best possible outcome for their children, which includes considering the children’s needs and wishes. Parents facing a divorce, dissolution, or custody dispute should find a family law attorney who offers solutions personalized for each individual family. At Leopold, Wildenhaus, Sahloff and Welch, we have decades of experience in handling all aspects of family law cases and are especially well-equipped to assist clients with custody issues.

Parents are frequently confronted with emotional and deeply personal issues when a divorce or dissolution is looming. Unfortunately the children are often experiencing their own serious and traumatic reactions, as well. These reactions manifest themselves in various ways, sometimes observable during the legal process, but other times not apparent until much later. Our attorneys understand how difficult divorce can be on you, but we can help you focus on the needs of your children.

Our attorneys fully understand how to analyze your particular situation and to weigh the pros and cons of shared parenting or sole custody. While domestic relations courts are trending towards shared parenting (Joint custody), multiple factors influence the final custody decision.

We will find and advocate for the most suitable parenting time strategies based on your children’s needs; taking into consideration: children of different ages, personality disorders and other psychological disorders, specific medical or learning needs, or any other circumstance which requires a more specialized custody arrangement.

Ideally, both parties will agree on a custody arrangement. Details include where the children will live, who will make the parenting decisions, and the holiday schedule, among others. When both parents cannot come to a consensus on child custody, the domestic relations court will make a decision for you. Factors affecting the court decision include which parent has been the primary caregiver, the parents’ work schedules, and more.

If you and your family are facing child custody and parenting time issues, you can rely on Leopold, Wildenhaus, Sahloff and Welch to help you and your children transition to a happy and positive future.

ADOPTION

Our office considers it a privilege to assist you with your adoption-related needs. In the realm of adoption, we represent those such as: birth parents in the context of an adoption plan for child; adoptive parent(s) welcoming a new child into a family with or without the assistance of an adoption agency; step-parents seeking to adopt a spouse’s biological child; guardians, grandparents, and others seeking to convert such relationship to a permanent adoption; and those mshing to adopt adults when Ohio law permits. We respect each member of the adoption process and understand the confidentiality and sensitivity involved in each journey toward adoption. We will advise you of your rights in the sometimes complex process and work with all necessary parties to meet your individual needs, as each adoption journey is special and unique.

Criminal Law

Sometimes even good people have criminal charges filed against them. Due to the fears of jail time, fines and legal fees, potential loss of employment, and embarrassment, this is a frightening event. If you have been arrested or believe that you are a suspect in a criminal matter, you should consult with an experienced lawyer. Our team of lawyers and legal assistants have experience navigating the frightening process of the criminal justice system. We have represented good people faced with traffic and OVI charges; misdemeanors like shoplifting and domestic violence; and felony charges like receiving stolen property.

If you need to consult with one of our lawyers, please call for an appointment immediately.

Business Law

Non Profit Organizations, Formation and Governance

Establishing a nonprofit organization involves two steps: state incorporation and obtaining federal tax-exemption. Incorporation generally involves preparation of two key documents: the Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws. An application for federal tax-exemption must include information about the organization and its proposed activities, including a three-year budget. At Leopold Law, LLC, we assist new organizations in the incorporation and tax-exemption processes to ensure that they establish the right structure from the beginning, putting them into a strong position to carry out their missions.

Real Estate

The attorneys at Leopold Law, LLC apply their extensive knowledge and many years of experience in property rights, real estate issues, annexations, finance, and business matters to handle all areas of real estate law. Leopold Law, LLC attorneys can help you with residential real estate transactions, commercial real estate transactions, assisting families with selling land by sealed bids, landlord-tenant disputes, real estate contracts, farm lease agreements, zoning and annexations, easements, and boundary and title disputes.

From offer to sale, Leopold Law, LLC handles all aspects of buying and selling real estate so that you can feel confident with your transaction. In furtherance of your real estate transaction, our attorneys can draft or review your sales contract, negotiate real estate agreements, review your lending documents, search and clear titles, and conduct your real estate closing. We also provide title insurance services through our title company LWSW Title Co, LLC.

Payroll Accounting

At Leopold Law, LLC, we specialize in serving the needs of the small business and individual. We are a unique law firm in that we provide small businesses with affordable, one stop services ranging from accounting, bookkeeping and payroll, to business consulting, tax planning and tax preparation.

Federal and state laws have made the payroll system very time consuming for the small business owner. There seems to be an endless amount of special reports both state and federal government agencies require. Services can include:

  • Worker’s Compensation Audits
  • Unemployment Claims
  • Social Security Audits
  • W-2 and W-3 processing
  • 1099 and 1096 processing
  • Weekly payroll processing
  • Monthly reports
  • Quarterly reports
  • Sales tax reports

We offer custom payroll processing options so that can decide what services your company needs. Let us service your payroll functions so you can spend more time doing what you do best- running your company.