I began my Elder Law journey long before I went to law school and became an attorney. In fact, I grew up in a household fishing alongside my grandfather, cooking alongside my grandmother, laughing with my uncle and aunt, and being disciplined by my father and mother. My earliest memories are of these times spent listening to stories of how my grandparents lost their home during the depression and how my grandmother walked along the railroad tracks collecting coal to heat the house where my mother was raised. My family lived knowing what it is to work for something, only to lose it when financial times are tough. It was our struggle that inspired me to focus my law practice on Elder Law as a way to help families like mine and the people I know.
Even after I got married and had children of my own, I kept up the tradition of living in an extended family, but this time, I was the one responsible. Caring for older family members meant seeing more and more problems that demanded attention as they got older: dealing with my mother’s desire to leave a financial legacy; facing a potential catastrophic healthcare situation with my mother-in-law; and attempting to help my grandmother as her hearing and her memory slowly faded, making it impossible for her to effectively communicate.
For so many of us, aging means coming face-to-face with challenges that are frightening to us and to our families – our friends die, our health begins to fail, our memory slowly seems to fade… As we age, we realize that our families may be forced to place us in a care facility and we grasp at a way to maintain our dignity. For the first time, we are facing our own mortality and we feel the need to make sense of our lives and to leave some type of legacy. This is where an experienced, thoughtful Elder Law attorney can help. It is where I can help and it is my passion and commitment to do so everyday.
I started Thom L. Cooper Company, LPA with the goal of representing my clients in a way that maximizes their independence and minimizes the stress and burden placed on loved ones. For the past twenty years, I’ve been doing just that and time has seen my practice grow to a multi-attorney firm representing clients all across the state of Ohio. Our clients come to us from all walks of life. We have some wealthy clients and some not-so-wealthy clients, but most are somewhere in the middle. We have clients in crisis and some who are just approaching retirement; however, all of our clients have one thing in common: each and every one of them was smart enough to develop a plan to preserve and protect their wealth… “to get their ducks in a row.”
Our firm’s goal today is to find public benefits that may be available to help our clients, and we devote part of our practice to educating Veterans about the benefits that may help them remain independent longer. We are ever aware of conflicts that arise because one benefit program has different rules and qualifications than another, and we help our clients explore options to reduce the risk of outliving their money. We help clients to protect their homes, to protect their assets, and to ensure that their estate will pass to their heirs without the hassles and delays of probate. We keep our eyes open for opportunities to reduce or eliminate death taxes that diminish their legacy.
Getting your ducks in a row is more important now than ever for the millions of individuals who today can expect to live well into and beyond their 80s. It is our mission and our fortune to serve the elderly clients with whom we work and we are committed to serving this community today, tomorrow, and into the future. Thank you for reading our story.
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Certified Elder Law Attorney||National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Ohio chapter||2014|
|CELA||National Elder Law Foundation||1995|
|Founder||Thom L. Cooper Company||1983 - Present|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|American Association of Estate & Elder Law Attorneys||Past President||2007 - Present|
|National Elder Law Foundation||Charter Member||1995 - Present|
|National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys||N/A||1990 - Present|
|Ohio State University, Columbus||PhD||1985|
|Allegheny College||BS - Bachelor of Science||N/A|
|American Association of Trust, Estate and Elder Law Attorneys||Practice Management||2012|
|American Association of Trust, Estate and Elder Law Attorneys||Practice Management||2011|
|Rorick v. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services||The Court ruled that a spouse of a Medicaid recipient can turn a portion of their assets into income without creating a penalty.|
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