Legal-Ease: Train noise and road blockage

The United States Constitution gives the federal government complete authority over interstate commerce, which includes railroads. So while residents and businesses may get frustrated by the noise and inconvenience that trains can sometimes bring, bringing their complaints to local governments won’t affect change. 

In northwest Ohio, state and local governments have no power to regulate railroads since our region has mostly interstate railroads. 

Legal-Ease: Pope Francis and elevator malfunctions

Ohio has several laws in place to ensure that elevators are safe and operable. The laws focus mainly on the construction, registration and inspection of elevators. 

Ohio elevator laws were last significantly updated in 2012. The Ohio Department of Commerce administers and enforces elevator laws. 

Legal-Ease: What to consider when starting retirement

Retirement planning can be both exciting and daunting. When you consider the beginning of your retirement, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. 

First, determine your healthcare needs. Second, be sure to prepare a budget and a cash-flow plan. Finally, be sure to be prepared for the event of long-term care needs popping up. 

Legal-Ease: Can I legally play ‘Queen of Hearts’?

Ohio bars and restaurants frequently run “Queen of Hearts” games and people have the opportunity to win hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lottery games are allowed in Ohio because money is given to schools. Charities and religious organizations can raise money from games such as Bingo. Games of chance are typically not lawful unless there is skill associated with the game of chance. 

So, are Queen of Hearts games illegal? Ohio law allows for games of chance if the manager of the game makes no money in the game, among several other requirements. 

Legal-Ease: Is it worth fighting over?

Some disagreements stem from an action that causes someone to be physically or financially hurt. Other disagreements come from perceptions alone, often from poor communication or just simple misunderstandings.

Sometimes people want to use a lawsuit to exact revenge on principle. Principle can be a very expensive goal, though, when it comes to lawsuits. The cost of attorney fees and filing fees should be considered when deciding whether to involve a lawyer in a disagreement. 

Legal-Ease: Key steps for agriculture-involved LLCs and trusts

Agriculture-involved LLCs and trusts require certain key steps that aren’t necessarily included in other LLCs and trusts. Omitting these keys steps can be fatal to the LLC or trust’s operation. 

While some law firms do take these key steps for agriculture-involved LLCs and trusts, not all do. Don’t assume the steps are being taken unless your lawyer explicitly tells you that they are. 

Legal-Ease: Powers of attorney and personal liability

Two primary rules apply to all powers of attorney, also called POAs. First, an agent under a power of attorney can only do what the POA explicitly allows the agent to do. Second, an agent under a power of attorney must always do what the principal wants as long as the agent is aware of the principal’s wishes. 

Legal-Ease: Should I worry about my sibling being executor for my parents?

The concern regarding a sibling being executor of a parent’s will generally arises in multi-children families. Sometimes families get concerned that one sibling as executor might rewrite the will in order to benefit themselves more. 

Being an executor is designed to be an administrative task, which means that the executor of a will has little to no discretion. The role of the executor is to simply carry out the task of asset distribution on behalf of the deceased. 

Legal-Ease: What is a real estate closing?

A real estate closing is typical a literal meeting during which ownership of property changes hands from the seller to the buyer. A closing will usually take place a few weeks after the buyer and seller make an agreement to transfer ownership of the property. Once preliminary work is completed, the buyer’s attorney or title agent will schedule the final closing usually. 

While the process is common, closings are very important and do require certain steps from the buyer and seller. 

Legal-Ease: Nursing homes and the five-year lookback

The government healthcare program that pays for nursing home care for those who can’t afford it is commonly called “institutional Medicaid.” Poverty is defined by both federal and Ohio law. 

While there are many requirements surrounding eligibility for institutional Medicaid, the most challenging one is typically that the applicant must have a financial net worth of less than $2,000. The applicant also could not have given anything away in the five years before applying in order to qualify. Lee explains the application of the five-year lookback rule and how it can be applied when attempting to become Medicaid-eligible.