Adding Your Name to Your Child’s Birth Certificate Is NOT Enough Were you married to your same-sex partner when your child was born? If so, the State of Ohio will list both of you on your child&… Read More
There are 10 traits every attorney should have. When you have a pressing legal issue and need an attorney, you should look for an attorney with these characteristics: Puts clients first There is a ver… Read More
Will your Life Insurance Policy be a part of your probate estate after you pass away? Yes, it will, if you do not add a beneficiary or if you name your estate as the beneficiary of your policy. If the… Read More
Some people think that only the rich and famous set up Living Trusts. Even though you might not be a millionaire, a Living Trust may be the right choice for you. There are so many goals you can accomp… Read More
There are six important documents you need in your estate plan. These documents give you peace of mind, knowing that your legal affairs are in order. They can also save you money in the long run and r… Read More
I just realized there are only 31 days left in 2017. I get so busy and focused sometimes that I fail to see the forest for the trees. 31 days. Make them count. Finish 2017 in a meaningful way. Here ar… Read More
One of the best gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones this holiday season is estate planning. Here are five reasons why: Peace of Mind for You You give yourself peace of mind by knowing that… Read More
Pets are like children to many people. If you own a pet like I do, you know that we love to spoil our pets, show them lots of love, take them on vacation, feed them treats, take selfies with them, and… Read More
No, you do not have to spend your own money as the Executor of a probate estate. The Executor is not personally responsible for any of the decedent’s bills or debt. However, it is common for an Exec… Read More
When it comes to Guardianships, there is one thing that is pretty much universal: Nobody wants a Guardian appointed over them. They would rather avoid a Guardianship at all costs! If a Probate Court J… 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
Some people think that adding their son or daughter to their bank account is a good idea. They take comfort in the fact that a joint account would allow their child to pay their bills if they get sick… Read More
June 26th is an important date in LGBTQ history. Four landmark cases from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) have been decided on that day. Obergefell v. Hodges June 26, 2017 marks the se… 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 see… 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 stuck i… 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 involve… 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 change… 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 probate es… 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 may… 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, f… 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 Mind… 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 estate planni… 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 includ… 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 di… 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 at th… 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 bec… 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 wil… 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, no… 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 essentia… 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