Q: My father is sick and is no longer able to take care of himself. He moved in with his sister in Ohio. He has saved money to leave for his children but did not make a will and not understanding are willing to make one. What can we do as a family to secure his money? (Moon, Twp.)
A: With no will, his assets will pass to his spouse or spouse and/or children, depending on Ohio intestate law. If your father enters a nursing home and it turns out that he does not have sufficient funds to pay for his care, he, or his next of kin or guardian, on his behalf, may have to apply for Medicaid. If that should happen, all transfers (sales, gifts, etc.) from him to others within 5 years prior to his Medicaid application, done without consideration, may make him ineligible for Medicaid. Before you have him enter a facility, I advise you to speak with an experienced elder law or estate attorney.