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Ohio Legal Blog

Estate planning topics for remarried couples

Many people in Ohio find it difficult to talk about making a will or a trust in part because this means facing the reality that they will someday die. While a good estate plan can benefit anyone, it has particular benefits for remarried couples, especially when one or both spouses brings children into the marriage from their prior marriages or relationships.

As Forbes explains, once a blended family is created, an estate plan is not just about who will get what anymore. Now there may be competing concerns or interests where the children or grandchildren of the deceased spouse seek to get what they believe is their fair share of a parent's estate while the surviving spouse might be looking to retain as many assets as possible to support them during the remainder of their life.

Avoiding some estate planning mistakes

We’re all going to die some day, so that’s why it’s important to live your life the way you want to, explore the world and accomplish goals. Among those goals should be creating an estate plan. With it, you have an opportunity to protect your estate and hand down your assets to beneficiaries.

Many decisions must be made. What will happen to the family heirlooms? Will you want some of your money to go to your favorite charity or even your church? The main thing, though, is to get started on making an estate plan. If you die without a will or trust, the state and courts will decide what happens with your assets.

Coping with the stress of a trial

If you are facing criminal charges in Columbus, you are likely more than a little anxious about your future. Going to court is a stressful situation, made worse because the entire process is unfamiliar. You need help but you are not sure where to turn or who to trust. The team at The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt understands the stress you are under and the fears you are facing. We have helped many clients prepare for trial and the emotional toll it can take.

The Huffington Post offers several tips for coping with stressful situations, including taking breaks when possible. In court, your time is not your own. However, you will have regular breaks that you can use to your advantage. When possible, burn off some nervous energy with a quick stroll or just lift your face to the sun. Even a few minutes with Mother Nature can serve to revive you.

How is spousal support determined?

If you are a resident of Ohio going through a divorce, you might be wondering whether spousal support is an option. While it may have been associated in the past with financial support given to a woman, spousal support can be awarded to either party in the proceedings as long as certain criteria is met.

According to Ohio's Legislative Codes, there are 14 factors that are considered when determining whether monetary support should be paid from one spouse to the other. The length of marriage is one major consideration. For instance, support is less likely to be awarded in a marriage of only a few years than it would be for a union that has spanned decades.

Even pets have a part in estate planning

Once you die, Max the dog, Lucy the cat, and Sunny the cockatiel may wonder what will happen to them. If you’ve played your estate-planning cards just right, then you would have provided for these furry and feathered non-human members of your family through your will or a pet trust.

Many people assume that they will outlive their pets, but sometimes they don’t. This is why it’s important to provide for them in case you die. You didn’t neglect your children in the will, so why would you neglect your pets? You don’t want them to be homeless, do you?

Reviewing the rules on parental relocation

It may be next to impossible to expect that there not be some strain placed on the relationships parents in Columbus have with their children following their divorces. That strain is compounded not only by the time they spend away from their kids, but also the amount of distance that exists between them when the children are with the other parent. This is why so many are ready to fight when their ex-spouses declare in intention to move away and take their kids with them. 

Can a divorced parent do this? Per Section 3109.051(G)(1) of Ohio's Laws and Rules, the answer to that question is yes (yet only if he or she is a residential parent, and not without first following proper procedure). That procedure starts by filing a notice of intent to relocate with the court. The court may then notify the non-residential parent of this development. The non-residential parent can then protest the move, which then puts the court in position to either revise the couple's visitation schedule or modify their custody agreement altogether. 

Identifying flaws in the eyewitness lineup

Not all people who are chosen from an eyewitness lineup are guilty of committing a crime. In fact, a surprising number of people in Ohio and across the country have been erroneous selected from an eyewitness lineup and consequently convicted of a crime. How are so many people wrongfully chosen from an eyewitness lineup? Certain procedural flaws and disorganization in arranging the lineup may be to blame.

According to the American Bar Association, the lineup administrator may unintentionally lead a witness to select a certain person from the lineup. Lineup administrators should be double-blind, or have no previous knowledge of the crime. Furthermore, there should be more than one person in the lineup that matches the suspect’s identity. For example, if the perpetrator was said to have a beard and wearing a hat, there should be more than one person in the lineup that has a beard and is wearing a hat.

Heirs vs. beneficiaries

When asked if he or she is an heir or beneficiary to his or her parents assets, one would likely respond with a "Yes." Yet is that assumption correct? It depends on the context in which those terms are being used. Most in Columbus may use the words "heir" and "beneficiary" interchangeably, when in fact they have different meanings entirely. 

Per the online publication The Nest, an heir is what most commonly refer to as a "next of kin," while a beneficiary is a party (either a person or an organization) named as receiving assets from an estate. For example, a person can decide to leave his or her home and other real estate holdings to his or her children, his or her personal art collection to a local museum, and his or her monetary assets to a local charity. Each party named in this case is considered to be a beneficiary. However, these designations must be made in the benefactor's will. If he or she dies without a will, then his or her estate becomes subject to intestate succession guidelines (which have been detailed on this blog previously). Those entitled to receive his or her estate through intestate succession are said to be heirs. 

Authorities arrest Dayton firefighter on OVI charges

In this most recent incident, the man reportedly refused any field sobriety tests before being released into his wife's custody. He was later arrested at his home for allegedly stealing his sister's car (which he had been a passenger in while she stopped to pick up food from a local restaurant). 

Multiple OVI offenses can leave one facing an extended revocation of his or her license, heavy fines and even potential jail time. Yet in the case were one's behavior might be linked to emotional issues, psychiatric treatment may go further in helping to avoid future incidents. The families of those that might need it may wish to seek the services of an attorney who can fight to secure it. 

Source: MyDaytonDailyNews "Dayton firefighter in OVI arrest: 'Do you know how many lives I've saved?'" Feb. 26, 2018

How can a special-needs trust help my child?

With the arrival of a baby, parents begin a lifelong propensity to worry about their child. If yours is a special needs child, that worry is multiplied by the knowledge that your child will need extra care throughout his or her life, long after you are gone. One step you can take now to help ease your child’s path without you is to establish a special needs trust.

FindLaw explains that a special-needs trust can help ensure your child gets the care he or she needs when you’re not there to provide it yourself. This trust establishes an inheritance for your child that is not considered income but delivers your assets just the same.

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