Ep. 1: Estate Planning Attorney Ted Gudorf's Inaugural Episode: Repair The Roof

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Attorney Ted Gudorf kicks off the inaugural episode of Repair the Roof with a bit of his own story. One of 11 children, his parents weren’t able to attend college themselves, but certainly wanted their kids to attend. This inspired Ted to motivate others, which he does through estate planning. When his dad developed Alzheimer’s after his mother’s death, he was further inspired to educate himself in elder law.

While estate planning is common, the legal profession is lacking in terms of long-term care planning and disability planning. The primary focus of Ted’s firm is to guide clients through a seven-step process called the Family Estate and Legacy Program, which does not adhere to the one size fits all approach most general practitioners use.

Far too often, we don't repair the roof when the sun is shining, Ted says. Equip yourself with the confidence and knowledge to complete a comprehensive estate plan.

Key Topics:

  • Introduction (00:05)
  • Getting to know your host (00:43)
  • Planning beyond estate planning (06:14)
  • Family Estate and Legacy Program (07:16)


Transcript: Prefer to Read — Click to Open

Hello everyone, my name is Attorney Ted Gudorf. Welcome to the repair the roof podcast. This name comes from President Kennedy’s famous quote, the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. In this show, we help individuals and families learn more about all thing’s estate planning and elder law.

Welcome to today’s show. This is episode one, and this is attorney Ted Gudorf. This podcast is called repair the roof. This podcast will deal with all thing’s estate planning and elder law.

Allow me to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about our program. Some of you may know that I was born and raised in a small Ohio farm town called Minster, one of 11 children. In fact, the youngest of 11. My parents were wonderful human beings. And I love them dearly. I want to talk a little bit of about my dad, who influenced me and really is the motivating factor that ultimately got me into estate planning, and more importantly, got me into trying to educate my clients, about the ins and outs of how to do proper estate planning and elder law planning.

You see, my father graduated from Minster High School, in 1930, in the height of the Depression, Dad was really a smart guy, but because it was the depression, he couldn’t go on to college. And in fact, truth be told, neither my mom nor my dad ever went on to college. So, what do you think they wanted their kids to do? Yeah, they wanted us to go to college. And why would that be? Well, my dad always believed and always told us that the purpose of education is to motivate us, where we might make something good of ourselves. So, the concept is, educate to motivate.

You know, after I became an estate planning attorney, it was important to me to try to find out how I could motivate my clients, get them to stop procrastinating on doing something, frankly, they really didn’t want to do. And I learned that the best way possible for me to accomplish that was to do what my dad encouraged me to do, which was to get educated. So, we’re motivated to go forward with our estate plan.

Well, with that background, let me tell you a little bit about my educational background, I had the good fortune of starting my college experience at Wright State University, where I received my bachelor’s degree from Wright State I went on to the University of Dayton School of Law, took three years of law school, and graduated in 1986. After graduating from UD and practicing law for about eight years, I decided it was time to narrow my practice and focus in on the estate planning area. Sometime thereafter, I decided to go back to law school for an additional degree called an L M, or a master of last degree in estate planning and elder law. In fact, truth be told, I ended up being the very first lawyer in the state of Ohio to get an LLM in estate planning and elder law.

Ever since 1998. My practice has been limited and focused on estate planning. Initially, it focused on estate tax planning, but it soon expanded out to other areas of concern, including making sure that my clients avoided probate, making sure that they save taxes, making sure that their assets were protected in the event they got sued or had other creditor issues, also began focusing in on long term care issues, and then developed into a planning process where we would do multi-generational planning for the benefit of my clients, children and the grandchildren.

Probably somewhere around 20 years ago, I was part of the first class here in Ohio who came board certified in estate planning, trust and probate law. Well, after I practiced estate planning for, oh, I would say probably 10 years, a number of Michael’s ants needed us to do his state administration because they had passed away. It was sometime after that, also, that a number of my clients began experiencing having to go to a nursing home. And we’re dealing with this significant increase in the cost of providing care whether it be at home, or an assisted living or in a nursing home.

Well, right around that same time, lo and behold, my father developed Alzheimer’s after my mother passed away from cancer. I was heavily involved in my father’s care while he had Alzheimer’s, any of you who have been through that process, know what I went through what my family went through. It was a difficult time period, we had to struggle with: Where does dad live? Who’s going to care for him? And how are we going to pay for this?

You know, in some small way. I think that experience was my dad, trying to teach me trying to educate me how to be a better elder law planning attorney, you see so much of what the legal community focuses on, is what happens when people pass away. And so we do death planning, we do estate planning, but not much in the legal profession has ever really focused on where it needs to be. And that’s on the area of incapacity planning, long term care planning, disability planning. We’re going to talk a lot about those kinds of issues.

During this podcast, I have a lot of information to share with you a lot of valuable insight, a lot of valuable information regarding those kinds of topics. You know, for my law firm, which is a boutique law firm that has three different offices, we have an office in Clayton, Ohio, Troy, Ohio, and Centerville, Ohio. But we’re also these days expanding our reach through zoom meetings across the country and CO counseling, sometimes with other lawyers in other states.

But our primary focus is to guide our clients through a seven-step process that we call the family estate and legacy program. That’s what our firm is really known for. That’s what we do. We help provide clarity and confidence through a systematic, seven step process, where we’re not designing a one size fits all estate plan like many general practitioners do. But more importantly, we’re trying to understand what our client’s goals are, what are their concerns, and then designing that plan around those goals. And around those concerns? Well, I look forward to sharing with you some of my insight about estate planning and elder law topics and issues. But most importantly, my goal in doing this podcast is to make sure that we are doing this process. While we still can.

Far too often we don’t repair the roof when the sun is shining. The phone call comes in from families who have just admitted a loved one to a nursing home. Or worse yet, call me after they’ve passed away. And the estate plan never quite got accomplished, it never got done. So, what we’re going to do is provide that clarity, we’re going to provide that confidence so that we have the ability to move forward to complete a comprehensive estate plan to deal with the goals and the concerns that our client has.

I look forward to spending time together in the ensuing months. It is my goal that we’re going to be issuing a podcast at least twice a month, if not more often. Well, thanks for being with us. Thanks for tuning in. I hope that you will find this to be helpful. Thanks for being with us. This is Ted Gudorf. Until our next session, just remember the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

To get started with your estate plan. You can go to Gudorf law.com. Forward slash getting started. For a free copy of our recently published book called The Ohio Estate Planning Guide. Go to Gudorflaw.com/book/

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