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Brian C. Cook

Assisting clients with estate planning, essential documents (POA, Last Will and Testament), special needs trusts, probate, and Medicaid eligibility for nursing home residency.
Brian Cook Law
(1 Attorneys)

Probate, Estate and Elder Law

5000 Arlington Centre Blvd.
Upper Arlington, OH 43220
Upper Arlington

31 years

(614) 400-0893


Why did you become an attorney?

I have always had a passion for seeking justice for the underdog. Because I was extremely scrawny as a child and teenager, I didn't have the physical stamina or courage to stand up for others who were bullied or otherwise mistreated.  Becoming an attorney has given me the opportunity to make a living by seeking justice for the underdog through the rules and laws of our government.  Early in my career, I focused on advocating for crime victims, both as a prosecutor and an Assistant Ohio Attorney General.  Since that time, my career has evolved to allow me to advocate for consumers, the environment, taxpayers, elder adults and the disabled.

What experiences (work and personal) help you to be a better attorney?

Growing up in a close-knit family in a small Ohio town (Washington Court House) during the sixties and seventies, I was not exposed to many of the problems that face society today.  Each day that I practice as an attorney enhances my worldview and gives me reason to be more grateful for the blessings in my life, more patient with my own challenges, and more compassionate and empathetic toward others.  

What made you choose your primary specialty focus of law?

My interest in elder law was triggered by my dad's 10-year struggle with Alzheimer's and the probate proceedings resulting from his death in 2010.  This experience helped me to realize how ill-equipped the average citizen is in understanding the basics of Medicaid, Medicare and disability law, and how this lack of knowledge can result in tragic consequences.  

My interest in special needs trusts resulted from my disabled first cousin's legal battles with Ohio Medicaid that started when her discretionary third party trust was ruled non-compliant with Ohio Medicaid law in 2014.  

What makes your law firm unique?

When a client decides to engage me to handle a particular matter, that client will quickly notice that I personally handle each and every aspect of the matter through to its conclusion.  I strive to explain the legal steps in laymen's terms and I provide regular updates so that the client knows what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done.  I am a no-nonsense, play by the rules attorney with a 30-year unbleminished record that I am committed to maintain.  If a potential client is looking for an attorney to be creative in meandering near the line that separates appropriate and inappropriate, that client would be better served elsewhere.

Describe your personal interest and hobbies.

My primary personal interest is my immediate family which consists of my wife, Susan, and daughter Ella (born in 2012).  We spend as much time outdoors as possible, hiking, riding bikes, reading or playing tennis.  

Describe your charitable activities.

I belong to the Upper Arlington Rotary Club that provides many opportunities to perform charitable work.  I am also a founding member of the Tri-Village Mentor League where I currently serve as legal advisor.  We belong to Mountview Christian Church and are involved in many activities there.  

Probate, Estate and Elder Law
  • Asset Protection
  • Disability Rights
  • Elder Law
  • Guardianships
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Joint Survivorship
  • Living Wills
  • Power of Attorney
  • Probate
  • Trusts
  • Wills

The Ohio State University
Bachelor of Arts, 1979

The Ohio State University
Masters of Public Administration, 1981

Capital University Law School
Juris Doctor (JD), 1987

Bar Association Membership

Columbus Bar Association
Ohio State Bar Association


I have more than 29 years of experience as an attorney, with a focus on protecting Ohio's most vulnerable citzens including consumers, children, victims of crime and the persons living with a disability.  My career has included 10 years as an assistant Ohio Attorney General, 9 years as a prosecuting attorney, experience in private practice, and five years as legal counsel to the Ohio Auditor of State and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.  After assisting my family during my dad's 10-year affliction with Alzheimer's, I shifted my career in 2014 to focus on matters impacting Ohio's elder citizens, utilizing my extensive legal experience and knowledge of the inner-workings of government to solve a wide array of issues presented by clients.  I was twice elected to the Grandview Heights Board of Education and have served as a magistrate for the City of Upper Arlington's Juvenile Diversion Court since 1995.  After co-founding the Tri-Village Mentor League, I now serve as the charity's legal advisor.  I am also a member of Upper Arlington Rotary.  My wife, Susan, is a teacher in Hilliard City Schools and we have one daughter, Ella, at home and two adult sons, Justin and Alec. In my spare time I enjoy biking, tennis, music and reading.

Court Admissions

The Supreme Court of Ohio
United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Board/Committee Membership

Probate Law and Trusts

Bar Admission Date


Licensed In

Ohio (2018), #0039001

Significant Cases

Guardianship of Edema Cardine Carpenter, Third Appellate District, Marion County, 2016-Ohio-3389. The Court overturned the lower probate court by ruling that even though a person has been determined incompetent and a guardian appointed over him or her, the Ward retains certain rights, including those to have their personal opinions considered, to be represented by an attorney of the ward's choosing, and to attend hearings related to the guardianship. When award is denied due process to have his or her interest represented in a guardianship proceeding, it is a violation of due process warranting reversal of a probate judge's decision in such a matter.

Summary of Previous Employment

Brian Cook Law (2015 – present)

            Provides legal services pertaining to elder issues such as estate and retirement planning, probate, essential documents preparation, special needs trusts, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid eligibility and long-term care issues.


Associate Director for Central Ohio, Community Fund Management Foundation (CFMF) (June 2017 – present)

            Promotes the benefits of several types of trusts that benefit individuals who are disabled and are available through this non-profit, tax-exempt foundation.  The purpose of these trusts is to use private funds to enhance the beneficiary’s quality of life while safeguarding eligibility for government benefits.


Chief Legal Counsel, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (2011 – 2013)

            Managed the civil and criminal enforcement of state and federal environmental laws, managed the Legal Division and Special Investigation Unit, served as the agency’s liaison to the Ohio Attorney General’s Environmental Enforcement Section and provided legal counsel to the Director, his deputies and department heads.  


Deputy Chief Legal Counsel, Auditor of State Mary Taylor (2009 – 2011)

            Managed the legal division which reviewed and approved all Findings for Recovery issued pursuant to audits of the state and its political subdivisions, and provided legal counsel to the Auditor of State and her department heads.


Mac Murray, Cook, Petersen & Shuster LLP (2007 – 2009)

Founding partner of Columbus-based law firm focused on representing businesses in matters relating to consumer protection and government and regulatory affairs from a local, state and national perspective.


Magistrate, Upper Arlington Juvenile Diversion Court (1995 - present)

            Preside over misdemeanor criminal offenses committed by first-time juvenile offenders, providing an alternative to the county juvenile court.


Chief Deputy Attorney General, Public Protection Division (2005 – 2007)

            Responsible for the operations of the Consumer Protection, Environmental Enforcement, Civil Rights, Charitable Law and Public Utilities sections of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, including directing litigation and managing the division’s 200 employees, reporting directly to Attorney General Jim Petro. 


Section Chief, Charitable Law Section, Ohio Attorney General (2003 – 2005)

Managed this section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office which enforces the Ohio Charitable Solicitations Act, maintains financial records on 24,000 charities, and licenses and regulates charitable gambling.  Rendered decisions regarding the use of civil enforcement to address violations of Ohio’s charitable solicitation and gambling laws. 


Section Chief, Crime Victims Section, Ohio Attorney General (1996 - 2003)

            Managed this 90-employee section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office which administers the Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program, defends the State in all related legal appeals to the Ohio Court of Claims, and disburses and monitors federal and state grant dollars to more than 300 victim assistance programs.  The section also includes the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse.


Grandview Heights City Attorney and Prosecutor (1989 - 1996)

            Prosecuted or defended on behalf of the city all complaints, suits and controversies in which the city was a party. 


Columbus Assistant City Prosecutor/Assistant City Attorney (1987 - 1989)

            Briefed and argued cases to the 10th District Court of Appeals and prosecuted criminal offenses in the Franklin County Municipal Court.

Free Initial Consultation?


Typical Retainer Fees

Retainer fees are usually not collected.  In most circumstances, I provide the client an invoice when work is completed.

Fixed-Price Services and Fees

Packet of four Essential Documents (Financial Durable Power of Attorney; Health Care Power of Attorney; Living Will; Last Will and Testament) for $500, including legal explanation of each document and available options, collection of information, drafting of documents, execution of documents and one free revision within three years of execution date.  Spouse receives a 50% cost reduction if the additional set of Essential Documents is part of the engagement.

Fees by Hourly Rate

Depends upon nature and scope of project.


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