Erica A. Skerl

Erica A. Skerl

Vice President | Shareholder
Certified Elder Law Attorney

Erica A. Skerl has been an attorney with Phillips & Mille since 2011. Erica is a Certified Elder Law Attorney through the National Elder Law Foundation. Of the approximately 34,000 attorneys in Ohio, only 25 are Certified Elder Law Attorneys. Erica is very experienced with the unique needs of our seniors as they age. This includes everything from developing an estate plan to planning for long-term care and helping families with the death of a loved one. Erica is experienced in the following areas: estate planning, power of attorneys, health power of attorneys, living wills, wills, trusts, advance long-term care planning, Medicaid, guardianships, probate, and estates.

Erica has lived in Copley with her husband since 2004. She currently has one very energetic toddler son and five dogs.

I enjoy helping the elderly population and the unique needs that go with the population as they age. I am able to translate the complexities of the field into an understandable language for my clients.

  • J.D., summa cum laude, University of Akron, Akron OH, 2007
  • B.A. in Political Science, summa cum laude, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 2003
  • Certified Elder Law Attorney, National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) 2015

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  • Adjunct Professor at University of Akron School of Law, Legal Writing and Research (2009-2011)
  • Frequent presenter on elder law topics within the greater Cleveland community

Memberships

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 2011 – present
  • Ohio State Bar Association, 2007 – present
  • American Bar Association, 2007 – present
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, 2011 – present

Community Involvement

  • Certified Elder Law Attorney, National Elder Law Foundation, 2015 – present
  • Vice President of Board, Choices, A Community Center, 2010 – present
  • Adjunct Professor, Legal Writing and Research, University of Akron School of Law

“I discovered Erica Skerl while searching online for an Elder Care attorney. I wanted guidance in applying for Medicaid for my mother, whose onset of dementia forced us to move her into a nursing home.”

“Erica has been such a blessing to work with during this stressful time. She is very knowledgeable, personable, compassionate, respectful of my time, and most importantly, responsive.”

“She is excellent at responding to my emails quickly, and if she was tied up at a hearing, would send me a quick email letting me know she received my email and would respond in greater detail once back at her office.”

“I would highly recommend Erica Skerl as an Elder Care attorney!”

“Ms. Skerl is a compassionate and intelligent lawyer who came to our aid in dealing with an insurance company trying to deny benefits. Additionally, she developed our wills and healthcare power of attorney documents. Ms. Skerl was responsive to our needs. She is respectful and caring. We highly recommend her services.”

Client Type: Elder Law – Medicaid
Service Performed:  Represented individual who had made $200,000 worth of gifts in look back period and family members were not able to reconvey
Client’s Issue: Client had about $300,000 in resources left and wanted to preserve what she could, protect the gifts, and qualify for Medicaid.
Our Approach: Worked with family (specifically the power of attorney) to make an additional gift of about $50,000 to the family with money being set aside in case client needed any supplementals.  
Result: Protected the previous $200,000 in gifts made along with the additional $50,000.  Used the remaining $250,000 to pay for nursing home during restricted coverage period caused by the gifts.


Client Type: Elder Law – Medicaid
Service Performed:  Represented husband and wife in getting husband approved for Medicaid.   Used a Medicaid qualified annuity with a payout period less than the life expectancy tables (doing this was being challenged at that time).  The county initially denied the application and alleged that the annuity was an improper transfer.  I filed for a state hearing and argued the legal merits of the term “actuarially sound” and won, meaning that the husband was approved for Medicaid.
Client’s Issue: Husband and wife wanted Medicaid for the husband while preserving all of the assets for the wife.
Our Approach:  Discussed with family that we could take the riskier approach of doing the annuity the way that would benefit the wife the most but would probably be challenged by Medicaid or we could take a safer approach which would bring fewer benefits to the wife.  Family chose the riskier approach knowing I would fight for them.  When I got denied at the county level, I filed a state hearing and wrote a very well researched brief.  
Result: I won at the state hearing level and husband received Medicaid.


Client Type:  Probate – federal estate tax threshold was met (decedent had more than 5 million dollars at death)
Service Performed:  Represented wife as executor of husband’s estate and trustee of husband’s trust.  Filed the federal estate tax return which included shares of many privately held family companies. Worked with accountant on valuations of companies.  
Client’s Issue: Needed estate probated, trust work completed, and FET filed.  
Our Approach: Constant communication with family on the different corporations, filing dates, accounts, etc.  Family was difficult to work with so had to remain calm and composed when working with them.