Articles

June 26th is an important date in LGBTQ history. Three landmark cases from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) have been decided on that day. Obergefell v. Hodges June 26, 2017 marks th… Read More
Health care directives allow you to stay in control of your health, even when you are unconscious or in a coma. The Living Will Declaration (“Living Will”) and the Health Care Power of Att… Read More
For most LGBT parents, it took careful planning, deliberate action, and financial commitment to create their families. LGBT parents must do the same careful planning, deliberate action, and financial… Read More
For most LGBT parents, it took careful planning, deliberate action, and financial commitment to create their families. LGBT parents must do the same careful planning, deliberate action, and financial… Read More
A lot of people own a car, truck, boat, motor home or motorcycle. And a lot of people forget about those type of assets during the estate planning process. That’s why probate attorneys often se… Read More
Take action! Maria emphasized the importance of careful planning and deliberate action during her recent Law4U Seminar on LGBT Parenting. She urged attendees to not be an ostrich with its head stu… Read More
Finding the right attorney can seem overwhelming at times. There are a lot of attorneys out there! How do you know which one to hire? As I explained in my previous blog post, there are 9 traits which… Read More
Some people are actually afraid of probate. The general public has been conditioned to fear probate and avoid it at all costs. But the probate process is not an evil monster. In fact, probate could be… Read More
“How can I avoid probate with my real estate?” I’m asked this question a lot. After your death, your heirs can avoid Probate Court with the transfer of your real estate in the follow… Read More
Beneficiary designations are very popular in financial and estate planning. Through the use of beneficiary designations, you can transfer many assets after your death without any probate court involv… Read More
Changing your name in Ohio is usually not complicated. It is done through the probate court of the county in which you reside. In order to change your legal name, you need to complete the name chan… Read More
Will your Life Insurance Policy be a part of your estate after you pass away, making it subject to your Will in terms of money division and paying your bills? Yes, if you do not designate a benefic… Read More
Unless you’ve been hiding your head in the sand, you know that Donald J. Trump will take the presidential oath of office tomorrow. What many in the LGBTQ community don’t know, however, and… Read More
FACT or FICTION:  If you are the beneficiary of an estate, you are not personally responsible for the deceased person’s bills. ANSWER:  FACT In Ohio, when a person passes away, only her proba… Read More
In one of my recent blog posts, I listed 10 reasons you need a Will. The Will is certainly the cornerstone of any estate plan, but there are other documents which are also very important. There are ac… Read More
You have a pressing legal issue and need an attorney. What characteristics should you look for when hiring an attorney? Here is a list of 9 traits every attorney should have: Knowledgeable Your a… Read More
Be careful. Be very careful when naming someone as your power of attorney. An unethical person with a financial power of attorney in hand can steal your money and wreak havoc on your finances. You ma… Read More
Did you know that you can add emergency contacts to your Bureau of Motor Vehicles (“BMV”) record? You can. The Ohio BMV has a Next of Kin/Emergency Contact Enrollment form (BMV 2437) that can be c… Read More
A loved one has died. You are named as the Executor in his Will. How do you open an estate? You must open an estate at the Probate Court in the county where the decedent lived at the time of his death… Read More
FACT or FICTION: I can’t transfer real estate using a Power of Attorney. ANSWER:  FICTION. A Power of Attorney can be used to transfer real estate in Ohio. It is always best, whenever possible,… Read More
Do I need a Will? Yes, you really do. Here are 10 reasons you need a Last Will and Testament: You are going to die. Death is one of the two certain things in life. (The other is taxes.) Peace of Mi… Read More
“Do It Yourself” (DIY) in estate planning is a bad idea.  Would you perform your own root canal?  No.  You should not prepare your own Living Trust and Will either.  You should have your estat… Read More
“You have to avoid probate!”  That seems to be the common perception, which may or may not be true. My most recent blog defined “probate” and a “probate estate.” (What Is Probate… Read More
What is “probate”? It’s a question that clients ask all the time. The word “probate” is used quite frequently and in different contexts. There is a “probate” court in every count… Read More
FACT or FICTION: I should review my estate plan on a regular basis. ANSWER:  FACT. You should review your estate plan regularly to make sure the plan continues to meet your needs. An estate plan… Read More
Same-sex parents face challenges that many heterosexual couples do not.  One of the biggest challenges that LGBT parents face is the legal status of the parent who did not give birth to the child or… Read More
Marriage equality was the prize on June 26, 2015. It has been widely celebrated across the country, and thousands of gay and lesbian couples have been married since Obergefell v. Hodges was decided by… Read More
FACT or FICTION: I can use a Power of Attorney (POA) after death. Answer:  Fiction. You should not use a Power of Attorney after your loved one has died.  The authority granted in a valid POA ends a… Read More
In this series of posts, Maria will address some common truths and misconceptions about Estate Planning, Wills, Family Law and other practice areas.  So to begin: FACT or FICTION: I am the Executor… Read More
Marriage equality. In the United States. Now. What a historic day! Future generations will never know that there was once “marriage” and “same-sex marriage.” We can now just call it “marriag… Read More
Should we get married? Our clients ask us that question often. It’s truly a personal decision that each couple must make. Whether you’re a heterosexual or same-sex couple, marriage has its… Read More
(Hint: A two-page Will is not enough!) If you want to learn all the ways that you can protect yourself, your relationship, and your family, give Maria 1 hour of your time.  In those 60 minutes, you w… Read More
Does your estate plan include your digital assets? It should. People often don’t think of their social media accounts, online banking, email accounts and other digital assets when making their W… Read More
Do you have a Will? If so, fantastic! You’re one step ahead of a lot of people. But have you looked at your Will lately? Wills need to be reviewed frequently and revised when necessary. A Will from… Read More
I am often asked how long a person should keep their legal documents. The answer is: Permanently! There is no time limit for saving your original estate planning documents. Unlike tax records, which s… Read More
Things just got tougher for non-traditional families in Ohio. Same-sex parents are already prohibited from seeking second-parent adoptions in Ohio.  Now, as a result of an Ohio Supreme Court ruling,… Read More
Ohio’s death tax is dead.  At least it will be as of January 1, 2013. Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a two-year budget bill which contained a repeal of Ohio’s death tax.  The bill ess… Read More
Hospitals which participate in Medicare and Medicaid must now respect the right of a patient to have visitors of his or her choosing, thanks to new federal regulations regarding hospital visitation ri… Read More
Many non-traditional parents can now take unpaid leave from work to care for their newborn, adopted or ill children, thanks to the U.S. Department of Labor’s new regulations under the Family and… Read More