Legal-Ease: Am I responsible for my spouse’s bills?

Being married means more than just living together. In some situations, being married can make a person liable for their spouse’s financial obligations. 

As Ohio is not a community property state, married people can have very separate lives both financially and legally. So in Ohio, most often one person’s financial obligations are not the obligations of the spouse…unless the spouse has “co-signed” or “guaranteed” a financial obligation. 

Legal-Ease: Safety deposit box law in Ohio

Traditionally American families had a safety deposit box, often called a lockbox. Lockboxes were physical, metal-box drawers in locked vaults or at local banks. 

Many families kept important documents and heirlooms in their lockboxes. Families would also store some monetary proceeds in lockboxes with their important documents. 

Lockboxes were a major focus for taxing authorities in Ohio before 2013, when Ohio still had an estate tax. As a result, Ohio law dictated a process for opening lockboxes when its owner died. 

Legal-Ease: Why does my deed show a $1 price?

A deed is the document that shows when property actually changed ownership. Once a deed is signed by the seller, it will be recorded at the courthouse. 

Almost every deed includes a sentence similar to “For one dollar and other good and valuable consideration” regardless of the actual cost of the real estate. 

Legal-Ease: Cyber theft, legal rights and what to do

Many people shop online, especially during the holiday season. Most people who have shopped online have either experienced themselves or have heard of a family member or a friend falling victim to identity theft. 

Legal rights concerning online activity are typically no different than legal rights in general. But when it comes to online theft of either our identities or money, it’s very difficult to determine who was involved in the theft. 

Legal-Ease: How are my life systems?

Similar to how many people have mechanics regularly check their vehicles to make sure everything is working properly, people should regularly check their own life systems. Like mechanics, attorneys are qualified to help ensure these life systems are in place. First, be sure to have a guardian lined up for minor children in the event […]

West Central Ohio Land Conservancy discuss easement benefits

Lee recently had the opportunity to discuss issues regarding farmland preservation as the keynote speaker during the West Central Ohio Conservancy 13th annual meeting. 

The West Central Ohio Land Conservancy is a non-profit, volunteer organization that helps land owners preserve and protect their land. 

Legal-Ease: Some attorney wordiness is good

Attorney wordiness has a long history based on fact. Scriveners, predecessors to what attorneys are today, were paid by the word. They would sometimes make up words to pad their pay, and we call those unnecessary additions “legalese” today. 

While it may seem unnecessary to have so many words in legal documents, often longer words and more words are necessary to properly protect people. 

Legal-Ease: Asset protection from nursing home costs

Protecting assets from nursing home costs isn’t an easy process.

There is insurance for long-term healthcare, and Ohio law allows a way to almost double the value of long-term care insurance. 

Some life insurance can also be used as a tool to pay for nursing home care.

But most people will need to keep in consideration becoming eligible for “institutional Medicaid.” 

Legal-Ease: What to do when you win the lottery

Lee’s worked with a few lottery winners in his career, and he has a few steps to consider for anyone who wins the lottery. 

First, protect the lottery ticket. Second, take a picture of the ticket. Next, reach out to attorneys and accountants to establish rules for the money and to create structures to protect your lottery winnings. Finally, establish an advisory committee of family, friends and trusted professionals. 

Legal-Ease: Communicate first, then plan

Too little communication can be terrible for personal relationships. Lack of communication when it comes to family businesses can be similarly devastating. Sometimes assumptions are made when it comes to the family business and succession planning, and this can cause trouble.