Based on 4 reviews
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Painless and probate are not words easily paired by any means, Ben deForest made it that way for me. I had two deaths in my family a month apart who lived in one building, two duplexes. He spent an endless amount of time, always keeping me informed of the situation. I had recent experience with a lawyer who was overpriced, rude, and impossible to reach. Ben was a complete opposite in every way possible, always so kind and patient. He was able to finish before the holiday season last year, so very appreciated!
I am so glad that my husband and I chose Ben DeForest to help with my mother's care after she had a debilitating stroke and needed to be placed in a Care Center. She was 87 and lived alone up until the time of the stroke. We lived in another state and had to make the difficult decisions of what to do when she was released from the hospital. The hospital will not care for a stroke patient once they are stabilized so we needed to find a place quickly. We chose a Care Center that we thought provided the best treatment and learned that Medicare would handle the initial first one hundred days. After that we were told the costs of her treatment and knew that we would have to sell her house and land. What a difficult decision to sell her house when we knew that she would be devastated to know that she could never go back to her farm! We tried Social Services and Medicaid approval and were denied because she had too much money in an annuity. She lived on her Social Security and a very tiny Pension (under $50 a month) and the annuity (under $15,00). So we decided to seek the help of a lawyer and since we lived in another state we went on the computer and looked at Elder Law Lawyers. I liked the website of the law firm that employed Ben DeForest and we made an appointment to talk with him. We again went to Ohio and approved of his coarse of action which was to again apply for Medicaid. We hired him for a set fee and he would handle obtaining Medicaid for my mother and she would be able to keep her house at least for a year or more before a settlement would be made. Did I mention that over this year we have made 29 trips to Ohio and during this time we could stay in my mother's house. This saved us the cost of staying in hotels and motels and we could go more often to visit Mom. Even though Mom had a Trust it was "revocable" and therefore we had to have a way to postpone the sale of her house. I am 71 and my husband is 81 so it was not easy making so many trips to Ohio and taking care of details there. Ben handled every question by email or phone. We had some problems when Mom inherited some money while she was on Medicaid but Ben recommended a Pooled Trust which allowed us to spend the money solely on her. My mother was fully aware that she had had a stroke and she did like knowing that if she recovered that she could still go home. The inheritance would have been a nightmare had Ben not intervened with the Pooled Trust. Ben continually kept us informed through the paperwork and legalities. After my mother's death Ben guided us through the sale of the house. He advised having an appraiser rather than a real estate agent give us an appraisal of the farm. During this year we were able to ready the house for sale and we had the use when staying there. Ben guided us through the "spend down" to receive Medicaid and he alone met with Social Services when seeking Medicaid approval. It was comforting to know that Mom's house would be there when she was alive and that once she was gone that we could settle the amount owed to the State of Ohio. I would highly recommend Ben and found him to be very compassionate and totally committed to seeking the best care for his clients.
Our father had a devastating stroke that has completely changed all of our lives. Ben has been instrumental in helping our family prepare for Medicaid, creating trusts and providing advice in all of the various legal issues we have faced. We have found that he genuinely cares about helping us solve complicated family problems and there is no doubt in our minds that we hired the exact person that will protect our father's interests. During troubling family times, Ben has been there every step of the way providing us peace of mind, he has been invaluable. He is a true professional and we would not hesitate to hire him again. We see why he was so highly recommended to us.
I am the POA for the client Ben represented and I always felt he had her best interests, as well as mine, in all his endeavors. He kept me very well informed ("in the loop") as he called it and was always quick to respond to my emails or phone messages. He has very good verbal & people skills as was demonstrated when we visited the client at the nursing home.