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Ohio Legal Blog

Having a productive conversation about your estate plan

While you may not find the topic of death and planning your estate to be the most exciting, being proactive about creating a plan that you feel good about is crucial to guaranteeing that things end up where you want them if you ever become incapacitated. At The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt Inc., we have helped many people in Ohio to develop an estate plan that meets their unique situation. 

One of the first parts of creating an estate plan is to have a productive conversation with your family. You may look to them for suggestions regarding important aspects of your plan. You will also need to disclose details to them so they are aware of your wishes and the implementation of your desires in the form of a will. According to Fidelity, having a productive conversation with your family is important to verify that everyone is on an equal level of understanding regarding your life's inheritance. With healthy discussions about where you desire for certain assets to end up and how you wish to be cared for, your family can be confident that they understand your intentions fully. Productive conversation can also reduce the chance of unnecessary tension and disputes from occurring in your family following your death. 

What does an insanity defense really mean?

The insanity defense has long been identified as a complicated term. After all, this type of defense can be rare and complex -- not to mention that the depths of the human brain are largely unknown. When a suspect wishes a jury to find them not guilty by reason of insanity, there are many factors that tie into this process. Each state, including Ohio, contains its own laws involving insanity pleas. It is important to understand these laws, as they can make all the difference in one's future opportunities.

Psychology Today is quick to point out that a legal insanity defense is incongruent with the medical or psychiatric terms of "insanity." Instead, this legal definition can overlap with medical terminology but can vary depending on the state. Psychology Today shares three rules that most states choose from when defining insanity:

  • Model Penal Code Rule
  • Durham Rule
  • M'Naghten Rule  

Roadblocks to a happy Thanksgiving weekend

Driving home from time spent with friends and family during the Thanksgiving weekend, people likely faced heavier than usual traffic on the Ohio streets, and may also have found themselves facing a DUI checkpoint.

According to the Ohio State Bar Association, these legal traffic stops allow law enforcement to stop vehicles and ask drivers whether they have been drinking or using drugs. During that brief interaction, if an officer develops a reasonable suspicion that the driver may be impaired, he or she can require a field sobriety test and/or breath test. These tests are often effective at identifying those with a blood alcohol content near or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. If the signifiers are there, the driver may be charged with Operating a Vehicle under the Influence. It is not against the law for a driver who becomes aware of a DUI roadblock to perform a legal maneuver to avoid being stopped and questioned. However, an illegal U-turn may lead to an additional traffic ticket.

Court disagrees with claim that couple had a common law marriage

Cohabitation and common law marriages have become more common in Columbus in recent years. Those participating in such relationships may believe that they do not need any formal record or documentation to prove their commitment to their partners. While they certainly may be within their rights to carry on such relationships, by doing so they may be forfeiting several of the protections that people who are married may enjoy should the relationship end. 

A Pennsylvania woman is currently learning this lesson the hard way as she attempts to secure alimony benefits from the man she identifies as her common law husband. She pointed out to court officials that the couple claimed that they were married on a recent tax return, and that the man listed her as his spouse when he was applying for health insurance.  

How do I defend a failure to disperse charge?

When you receive notice of an Ohio criminal charge of failing to disperse, typically the charging authority is alleging that you disobeyed a law enforcement officer’s command that you leave the area where you were. However, as noted by the Ohio Revised Code, there are several elements that the state must be prove in order to convict you of this misdemeanor charge. As such, you will want to review the evidence to see if the proof is lacking as to any one or more elements of that charge.

Must be with a group of people

If I plead guilty to a crime, can that cause deportation?

Yes, it is possible. Sometime non-citizens of the United States who are lawfully visiting or living in Ohio experience the unfortunate event of being the subject of criminal charges. If this has happened to you, there are things you need to know about the effect of pleading guilty to a charge. As noted by the Ohio Revised Code, there are times when pleading guilty to a particular charge may cause deportation under the U.S. immigration rules.

Evaluate the crime level before pleading

Saia & Piatt Sets Up Breathalyzer Station at Taste CLE's Tequila Fest

On September 24th, 2017, The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt sponsored Taste CLE's Event "Tequila Fest Willoughby 2017" located in Downtown Willoughby, Ohio, a small town suburb on the east side of Cleveland. The five hour event featured over 20 tequila brands and a total of 45 different types of tequila to sample. Attendees toured the town and its restaurants, sipping tequila in the shade and listening to live music.

Saia & Piatt Sets Up Breathalyzer Station at Taste CLE's Tequila Fest

On September 24th, 2017, The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt sponsored Taste CLE's Event "Tequila Fest Willoughby 2017" located in Downtown Willoughby, Ohio, a small town suburb on the east side of Cleveland. The five hour event featured over 20 tequila brands and a total of 45 different types of tequila to sample. Attendees toured the town and its restaurants, sipping tequila in the shade and listening to live music.

Women have unique needs in estate planning

Women in Ohio and throughout the U.S. live longer than men in general, which means they have unique needs when it comes to estate planning. An article in Forbes magazine puts the average life expectancy of women at nearly five years longer than men, with some living well beyond those five years.

Additional factors that make estate planning for women unique is their work and salary history. Some women take time off from work to raise children, returning after several years away. Others work part-time for several years. Either way affects their retirement savings.

Explaining Ohio's intestate succession guidelines

People in Columbus have been telling you for years that even if you think you do not have time to delve deep into your estate planning, you should at the very least write out a will. Why? The answer is the same as the one we here at The Law Offices of Saia and Piatt Inc. have given past clients who came to us after discovering that their loved ones died without wills: Control. You spend the majority of your life working to acquire assets; imagine how frustrating you would feel if the control over who received them once you are gone is taken away from you and your family. 

If you die intestate (without a will), that is what will happen. Rather than allowing your presumed heirs to fight over what they feel entitled to, the state has established its own guidelines regarding intestate succession. While you may agree with many of them, they will not allow considerations to be given to parties not directly related to you, such as friends, civic groups or charitable organizations. 

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