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Brunswick Estate Planning LawyerA crucial part of the estate planning process involves the management of money and assets to ensure that a person will be able to provide for both themselves and their family members. Trusts can be one of the most useful tools for doing so. Assets that are held in a trust will be owned by the trust itself, and a trustee will manage the trust and distribute the assets according to specific instructions. Passing assets to beneficiaries through a trust can often be done much more quickly, efficiently, and privately than by leaving property to loved ones in a will. There are multiple types of trusts available, and understanding the best ways to use these tools can ensure that a person’s and family’s needs will be met.

Common Types of Trusts

  • Revocable living trusts - With these trusts, the settlor who creates the trust will be able to change the terms of the trust if need be, and they may also act as the trustee, ensuring that the assets will be managed and distributed correctly. The settlor may also be a beneficiary, allowing them to make use of certain assets to meet their own needs while they are still alive, while ensuring that a successor trustee will distribute the remaining assets to other beneficiaries after their death.

  • Irrevocable trusts - In some cases, it may be beneficial to completely remove assets from the settlor’s control, while providing instructions for how assets will be used. This may ensure that assets will not be subject to estate taxes, and it can also protect assets from claims by creditors.

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Brunswick Divorce AttorneyDuring the divorce process, a couple will need to address ownership of multiple types of marital assets. The equitable division of marital property will provide both spouses with a fair share of the money and assets they acquired during their marriage. While the division of some types of assets may be straightforward, other types of property can present complications, and spouses may encounter contentious disputes as they address these issues. Family businesses are one type of asset that can sometimes be difficult to address, but by understanding their rights and options, spouses can make decisions that will provide them with the financial resources they need going forward.

Is a Business Considered Marital or Separate Property?

A family business will be part of the marital estate if it was founded or acquired while a couple was married. In these cases, business assets will need to be considered alongside other marital assets and debts. If a business was owned by one spouse before the couple was married, it will usually be considered separate property, and that spouse will be able to maintain sole ownership of business assets. However, a business owned by one spouse may become commingled with other marital property, such as if the couple invested marital funds in the business. A spouse will be able to maintain ownership of any business assets that can be traced back to separate property, but other business assets may need to be divided between the spouses.

Options for Dividing Business Assets

In many cases, one or both spouses may wish to ensure that a family business can continue operating, especially if the business is the primary source of income for either spouse. Spouses may be able to address ownership of a business through one of the following options:

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Summit County Drug Possession LawyerWhile a person can face serious penalties for any type of criminal charges, cases involving controlled substances will often lead to some of the most serious consequences. A conviction for drug possession can lead to large fines and a lengthy prison sentence, and a person may also face other consequences, such as probation and the requirement to receive substance abuse treatment and take regular drug tests. Those who have been accused of drug-related offenses can work with a criminal defense attorney to determine their best options for avoiding or minimizing their potential penalties.

Possession of Controlled Substances in Ohio

A person may be charged with drug possession if they are accused of knowingly obtaining, possessing, or using a controlled substance without legal authorization (such as a prescription for a medication). Controlled substances are grouped into five “schedules” based on whether drugs are considered to be dangerous and addictive and whether they have any accepted medical uses. Schedule I drugs are generally the most addictive substances, while drugs in Schedules II-V may be used for medical purposes in some situations.

Possession of substances in Schedule I or II, with the exception of heroin, cocaine, LSD, marijuana, fentanyl, or hashish, is considered to be aggravated possession of drugs. The minimum charge for this offense is a fifth-degree felony, and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of between six months and one year, although first-time offenders may qualify for community control sanctions such as probation. However, if a person was accused of possessing at least the “bulk amount” of a drug, they may be charged with a third-degree felony, and a conviction can result in a prison sentence of between nine months and three years. Bulk amounts will vary depending on the type of drug. For example, the bulk amount of Schedule 1 opiates is 10 grams or 25 doses, while the bulk amount of Schedule II hallucinogens is 30 grams or 10 doses.

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Wayne County Personal Injury AttorneyMany people keep dogs as pets and treat them as members of their families. However, dogs do not always behave as expected, and even if an animal had always acted in a friendly manner, it may bite or attack someone. Dog bites can inflict multiple types of serious injuries, including severe cuts and bruises, broken bones, and puncture wounds that damage muscles, tendons, ligaments, or internal organs. In some cases, dog bites can result in permanent scars, and a victim may also experience emotional trauma that affects their ongoing well-being. 

Dog bite victims can sometimes be placed in a difficult position, especially if they are attacked by a dog that is owned by a friend or family member. When an attack occurs in a public place, at someone else’s home, or when a dog is in the care of someone other than the animal’s owner, victims may be unsure about their options. By understanding how the personal injury laws in Ohio address dog bites, victims can make sure they take the right steps to receive compensation for their injuries and damages.

Liability for Dog Bite Injuries in Ohio

“Strict liability” applies to dog bite injuries in Ohio. This means that when a dog bites or attacks someone, the victim may seek compensation for the injuries and property damage they have suffered, and liability will not be affected by whether a dog had previously bitten someone or exhibited aggressive tendencies. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1520254223.jpgNearly everyone who goes through a divorce will have some concerns about their ability to provide for themselves once their marriage has been terminated. However, this can be an even larger worry if you are a stay-at-home parent. If you have chosen to put raising your children ahead of your career, this may have made you financially dependent on the income earned by your spouse, and depending on how long you have been out of the workforce, you may struggle to find and maintain employment following your divorce. In this type of situation, you will likely be wondering whether you can receive spousal support that will allow you to meet your needs and provide for your family.

Addressing Spousal Support in an Ohio Divorce

There is no guarantee that spousal support will be awarded to a spouse during the divorce process. These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis, so if you believe that you need financial support from your spouse, you will need to demonstrate that this support is needed and that your spouse has the ability to provide you with spousal support. When determining whether spousal support is appropriate, a judge will consider factors such as:

  • The income of both spouses, including any income earned through marital property allocated to a spouse during divorce

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medina county OVI lawyerEveryone should understand that driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. However, people sometimes make mistakes, and even if a person believes that it is safe for them to drive, they may be pulled over by a police officer and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. For those who have never been in this situation, the thought of facing criminal charges can be very frightening, and they will want to understand the potential consequences they could face for a first-time DUI/OVI conviction.

First-Time DUI/OVI Penalties

While drunk driving is commonly referred to as driving under the influence or DUI, the state of Ohio uses the term OVI, which is an abbreviation for operating a vehicle under the influence. A person may be charged with OVI if a chemical test shows that they had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, and Ohio law also specifies the amounts of multiple other types of drugs that will cause a person to be legally intoxicated.

A first OVI offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction will result in a mandatory jail sentence of at least three days (72 consecutive hours), and the maximum prison sentence is six months. However, a judge may choose to suspend the mandatory three-day jail sentence and require the offender to attend a drivers’ intervention program that will address issues such as traffic safety and drug and alcohol abuse. Participation in an intervention program may also be ordered alongside a jail sentence.

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wooster estate planning lawyerWhen a person dies, the executor or administrator of their estate will file their last will and testament in probate court. During this process, the executor or administrator will oversee the deceased person’s final affairs, including performing an inventory of their property and assets, making payments to creditors, and distributing their assets to the beneficiaries named in their will. In some cases, disputes may arise among the deceased person’s beneficiaries regarding the distribution of assets. However, a will can only be contested in certain cases, and the parties in these types of disputes will need to work with an attorney to address the validity of their loved one’s will.

Grounds for Contesting a Will

Disagreements between a person’s heirs may arise when a person believes that they should receive certain assets or because they do not believe that the will accurately reflected the testator’s wishes (the person who created the will). If a person wishes to contest a will, they must do so within three months after being notified that the will has been filed in probate court. A will may be contested based on:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity - When signing their will, a person should have a full understanding of the extent of the assets they own and the decisions being made about the distribution of their assets to their beneficiaries. If the testator was not of sound mind or did not fully understand the terms of their will, the will may be invalidated. For example, if a person had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia before they signed their will, they may not have had the testamentary capacity to understand the decisions being made.

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medina car accident lawyerGetting into a car crash can turn your life upside down. Car accident victims are often left with painful injuries that prevent them from working and fulfilling other duties. They may also be left with significant medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and other expenses. If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident, you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim may allow you to recover monetary damages for the financial losses and non-economic harm you suffered because of the accident.  

Do I Have a Valid Claim?

 All personal injury claims involve the following elements:

  • Duty – the other party owed you a “duty of care.” Ohio drivers are required to drive with a reasonable degree of caution and attention.

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Medina County divorce attorney asset division

When you and your spouse got married, you joined your lives personally and financially. Separating your lives through divorce also involves separating your finances. The division of assets and debts is often one of the most consequential aspects of the divorce process. The fewer assets and liabilities a couple has, the simpler this process typically is. Complex assets and investments or a high net worth will greatly complicate asset division during a divorce. If you have a complicated financial situation and you plan to end your marriage, working with a skilled divorce lawyer is highly recommended.

Marital and Separate Property that Has Been Commingled  

Ohio is an “equitable division” state, which means that marital property is divided fairly between the spouses based on factors including each spouse’s property, debts, and earning potential, the duration of the marriage, and tax consequences. Only property contained within the marital estate is divided by Ohio courts in a divorce. Property that is classified as “separate property” is assigned to the spouse who originally owned the asset. Marital property is the property that was acquired during the marriage. Separate property includes property acquired before the marriage, inheritance, passive income from separate property, and property acquired after a legal separation.

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Medina County criminal defense attorney weapons violations

There is no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although many are looking forward to a new year, it is important to understand any new laws that are taking effect in 2021, especially if you are a gun owner. People who live in Ohio can now apply for and renew their concealed carry permits at any sheriff’s office in the state. Previously, residents could only apply for or renew their permits from the county in which they lived or a neighboring county. The new law also extends all expiration dates through June 30, 2021. In addition, if a license expires between April 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021, the license is further extended an additional 90 days past the expiration date. Ohio gun laws can be detailed and complex, causing someone to unintentionally violate them, which can lead to serious criminal charges. 

Understanding Ohio Gun Laws

According to Ohio law, citizens are allowed to openly carry weapons without a permit. However, a license for carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) allows a person to conceal firearms, under certain regulations that are designed with the safety of the gun owner, police, and the public in mind. When applying for a CCW, you must be 21 years older or older, and either reside or work in the state of Ohio. You must demonstrate that you are competent to use a weapon, and you will be fingerprinted and undergo a background check.

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Medina County family law attorney prenuptial agreement

When you get married, you and your spouse will not only be making the commitment to spend your lives together, but you will be entering into a legal partnership that affects the income you earn, the property you own, and much more. This means that if your relationship breaks down in the future, and you decide to get a divorce, you will need to address multiple types of financial and legal issues, including dividing the marital property you own together. Even though you probably do not want to think about the possibility of divorce when you are planning to begin your new life as a married couple, considering these issues can help you avoid difficulty and uncertainty in the future. By creating a prenuptial agreement, you can make decisions about these financial issues and provide yourself with protection if your Ohio marriage does not last.

Situations Where a Prenup Can Be Beneficial

A prenuptial agreement (prenup) will typically involve financial issues related to property, debts, income, and financial support. It may make decisions about how a couple’s property will be divided in the event of a divorce, or it may state that certain assets are considered marital property, while other assets are separate property that will be owned by one spouse. A prenup can also decide whether one spouse will pay spousal support to the other in the event of a separation or divorce, as well as the amount of these payments and how long they will last.

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Medina County personal injury attorney car accident

The holiday season is usually a period when families get together, and people often enjoy some much-needed time off of work as they celebrate traditions and prepare for the year to come. Nothing can destroy the holiday spirit like a serious injury, but unfortunately, the risks of being involved in a car accident may be higher during this time due to increased rates of drunk driving.

Alcohol consumption often increases during the month of December as people get together for holiday parties, and this leads more people to drink and drive. Across the United States, more than 300 people are killed in drunk driving crashes each year in the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This trend also affects people in Ohio, where approximately 1,000 drunk-driving-related accidents occur every year in December. 

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Medina County estate planning attorney power of attorney

Even though it can be difficult to contemplate the possibility of death, it is important for everyone to consider what they want to happen when they reach the end of their life. This has become especially clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, since the spread of this disease has forced many people to make decisions about the types of care they would want to receive if they are on a ventilator, in a coma, or unable to make their own decisions or communicate their wishes. As part of the estate planning process, it is a good idea to create advance medical directives that address the types of medical care a person wishes to receive and the measures to be taken if he or she becomes incapacitated. These directives may include a living will and durable power of attorney for healthcare.

Making Decisions About Medical Care

While advance medical directives can address what a person wants to happen near the end of his or her life, they can also be used in situations where a person is incapacitated and cannot make his or her wishes known. By considering these issues while a person is still in good health and able to make decisions for himself or herself, family members can avoid being placed in a difficult position if the unexpected should happen.

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Wayne County juvenile charges defense lawyerAlleged criminal acts are taken seriously in the state of Ohio. Offenses that are committed by an individual who is under the age of 18 are typically handled through Ohio’s juvenile justice system. In addition to the right to legal counsel in juvenile court proceedings, as guaranteed by the United States Constitution, these cases often have their own statutory provisions that expand upon that right. However, there are certain crimes that may result in a minor being charged as an adult. Therefore, if your minor child is facing charges in Ohio, it is imperative that you hire a diligent criminal defense attorney to protect your son or daughter’s rights and help them avoid a permanent criminal record.  

Penalties for Juvenile Offenses

Minors who are convicted of criminal offenses are considered delinquent. In these cases, a judge will hold a dispositional hearing to determine the appropriate sentence for a juvenile offender. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, Ohio issues various punishments for juvenile offenders, including but not limited to the following:

  • Community service

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Medina County divorce attorney asset division

While the overall divorce rate in the United States has declined over the past few decades, it has actually increased for one demographic: people over the age of 50. In these cases, which are commonly known as “gray divorces,” there is a wide variety of complex issues that spouses will need to consider as they legally dissolve their marriage, including determining how to divide marital property. This can be a major concern for those who are close to retirement age or who have already retired since they will need to determine how to maintain financial stability so they can support themselves once their divorce is complete. However, no matter your age, retirement savings and benefits are an important issue to address during the property division process in Ohio.

Dividing Retirement Accounts and Pension Benefits

Marital assets include any money or property earned or acquired by either spouse after they were married and before they were legally separated, and these assets must be divided as equally as possible between spouses during an Ohio divorce. If a retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA was created during a couple’s marriage, or if contributions were made to an account while the spouses were married, this account will typically be considered marital property. Likewise, if a spouse worked in a pension-eligible position while married, his or her pension benefits will be subject to division between the spouses.

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Brunswick personal injury attorney truck accident

Being stuck driving next to a large, commercial truck is often inevitable when you are navigating Ohio highways. These massive vehicles’ integral role in shipping and distributing goods can make it feel as if they own the roads. This can be intimidating as a passenger vehicle driver -- not only can you not see around the truck, but you may see the large vehicles drifting between lanes from time to time, placing the other drivers and passengers at risk of an accident. 

One common accident that involves commercial truckers is known as a rollover accident. If you have ever seen a truck flipped over on the side of the highway, you have witnessed the aftermath of these catastrophic events. Rollover accidents are especially dangerous because the commercial truck can hit a number of other cars in the process. In some instances, these trucks can roll in the middle of the highway, hitting other vehicles and blocking the roadway, while in other cases, the trucks may roll off the side of the highway. Any drivers and passengers who get injured in truck accidents can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for their injuries. Depending on the cause of the accident, one or more parties may be held liable for your injuries.

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Brunswick criminal defense attorney record sealing

As soon as you are arrested, a permanent stain will appear on your criminal record. This is true even if the arrest does not amount to a criminal charge or conviction. Unfortunately, your criminal record can largely influence your future in terms of educational and professional opportunities since the information on this record may automatically disqualify you for certain jobs. The state of Ohio has recognized the damaging effects that this societal stigma can have on those who have paid for their crimes and are trying to move forward with their lives. In order to give these individuals a second chance, Ohio legislation allows individuals with a criminal record to apply to seal their records. Since gaining the approval to seal your criminal record can be life-changing, it is important to see if you are eligible and to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney for help in completing the process.

What Does Record Sealing Do?

When you go to a job interview or apply for college, you have likely seen the “Have you committed a crime?” checkbox. For those who have never been arrested or convicted of a crime, this may not appear daunting. However, this little box can disqualify those with a criminal background from being considered for these opportunities. The state does not allow for the complete destruction of these records, but there is a way to secure these records from public review. When a record is sealed, any paper and electronic records of your arrest and criminal charges are filed in a separate and secure location. These records can still be accessed by a number of individuals, including the following:

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Medina County estate planning attorney prenuptial agreement

It can be uncomfortable to imagine what life will be like when you are gone. You may be imagining your spouse lonely or moving on or you may picture your kids continuing to grow up without you there. While you may not be able to control what happens to your loved ones after you pass away, you are able to determine how you would like your assets dealt with upon your death. This may include your finances, property, or other valuable belongings that you would like to control whose hands they fall into. There are two types of legal documents that designate how your affairs will be handled after your passing, and deciding which works for you is an important step in the Ohio estate planning process.

What Is a Will?

A will is a legal document that allows you to outline where your assets will be distributed and how you would like your affairs handled upon your death. You will list out your various assets and name the person who will receive this asset. This will include your home, vehicle, any owned property as well as your financial savings. For those with children who are minors, creating a will is especially important. It will allow you to name their legal guardians in the instance of your death. This can be a difficult decision to make, imagining who will care for your kids in your absence, but this will keep your children from being placed with family members who you think may be unfit to care for them. You can also divide up your estate between your children within your will, or even remove a child or spouse from being a beneficiary if you wish.

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Wadsworth parenting time attorney

The divorce process includes a number of different areas that must be addressed before your marriage can be legally dissolved. This includes the division of assets, spousal support (alimony) determinations, and perhaps most importantly, drafting a parenting plan for your children. Building a parenting plan and creating “rules” for you and your former spouse can feel uncomfortable, and you may need to resolve a variety of disagreements. It is likely that you each have slightly different parenting styles and differing opinions on how to handle situations that come up involving your children. These discrepancies can be easier to discuss and manage as a married couple, but they may not be so easy to address and resolve once the divorce papers are signed. During your divorce, you will need to formulate a legal parenting plan that addresses how you and your co-parent will deal with child-related situations, work together to raise your children, and resolve any disagreements that may arise.

Specific Issues to Address

A typical parenting plan will include larger details, such as the parenting time (visitation) schedule and each parent’s rights and responsibilities for making decisions about how children will be raised, but it will also hammer out minor details. Below are some of the issues that the Ohio family court system allows you to address to make sure that your parenting plan fits your family’s needs:

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Summit County car accident attorney

As is the case with most emergency situations, getting into an auto accident can be traumatic. From the instant you feel the impact of the collision, it may seem like everything goes by in a blur. No one anticipates being injured in a crash when they hop in their car to go to work or the grocery store. However, it is a good idea to have a checklist in the back of your mind in case you ever find yourself in this situation. In many cases, car accidents can result in serious or even fatal injuries. If you fail to take the proper measures on the scene, you could jeopardize your ability to receive the compensation that you deserve. The actions you take at the scene of the accident can influence how plausible your case is to the court. That is why hiring an experienced attorney is crucial when filing a personal injury claim. By following the below steps, you can increase your chances of seeking damages.

Check for Injuries

Before making any movement, it is imperative that you check yourself for injuries and ask your other passengers about any pain they may be experiencing. Evaluating your health and safety is important, because the adrenaline from the collision can cause you to disregard serious injuries and risk worsening them. Once you have checked your own health and looked for any obvious wounds, you can proceed to evaluate the rest of the situation. If possible, you should move your car to the side of the road or to a safe area to avoid further damage from other vehicles.

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