4 months ago 0 197

Especially where children are concerned, the consequences of losing legal custody can be far worse than anyone is prepared to accept. In situations like these, it is to a foster parent’s advantage to have an attorney on hand, both as a spokesperson and a guide to navigating the complex and often confusing avenues of child welfare law. Perhaps you were hoping to adopt a child you had taken into your home when a long-lost relative came forward, or you are concerned about child welfare services placing your foster child into a new home against your own good judgment. Or, a minor policy violation recorded during a home inspection gets substantiated into charges of abuse. The task of pushing back against government agencies can appear impossible, but with an attorney’s help, you have a better opportunity to have your case heard, and can spare yourself the hardship of losing the ability

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Prince’s Estate: Who Gets the Jewels?

6 months ago 0 191

A Minnesota judge decided that singer Prince has six siblings as his rightful heirs, bringing them closer to collecting their shares of the singer’s $200 million estate. Since Prince’s death due to an accidental opioid overdose, more than 45 people came forward claiming to be his relative. Some were ruled out through DNA testing, while others had their claims rejected as a matter of law. The six named heirs will be unable to collect their shares of the estate until any other claimants’ appeals have been resolved. The moral of the story: if Prince had had his lawyer draw up a will, all of this uncertainty would have been avoided!

Getting Remarried? Better Update Your Estate Plan!

9 months ago 0 465

Around 40% of marriages are a remarriage for at least one of the spouses. Getting remarried can affect your estate plan. Many older adults are focused on making sure their grown children or grandchildren receive an inheritance. Without adjustments to an estate plan, a new spouse may inherit assets you intended for your children or grandchildren. Steps you can take to protect the interests of all your loved ones when remarrying: · Pre-nuptial agreement A surviving spouse is entitled to a percentage of assets, even if a Will states differently. In Ohio, this can range from 30-50%. The easiest way around is for a spouse to waive their rights in a pre-nuptial agreement. · Double check how assets are titled Who receives assets when you pass depends on how they are titled, not on what is in your Will. Assets can be titled as a joint with rights of survivorship,

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Birth Mother Adoption Expenses

1 year ago 0 514

Birth mothers are bearers and givers of the gift of life. There is no price tag on this gift. During the adoption process, the adoptive parents incur all costs so that the birth mother is economically unburdened. The adoptive couple can legally pay for a birth mother’s attorney fees and care. This can include prenatal, hospital and postpartum care, counseling, and other expenses. Under Ohio law an adoptive couple may also pay some of a birth mother’s living expenses, like rent and groceries. These expenses cannot exceed $3,000 and must be incurred during the pregnancy or up to two months after the pregnancy. Adoptive parents pay for the birth mother’s expenses and assist with living costs to assure the highest quality of care for the birth mother and the baby. If a birth mother is struggling to afford a place to live or food to eat, this will surely affect

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1 year ago 0 503

A Life-Book is your chance to give birthparents an inside look at the life their baby will have. Your Life-Book will be one of your most valuable tools in the adoption process. It is used to help birthparents make one of the hardest choices in their life. Creating a Life-Book can feel like a daunting task. A good Life-Book will be hard to create, but there are some tips to making it easier. A Life-Book should give birthparents a personal look into your life, home and family. The point of the Life-Book isn’t just to give a description of your life, it is to make birthparents feel confident and fulfilled in their choice to place with you. An effective Life-Book should include a Dear Birthparent Letter. There should be pictures that reflect your life and the book should feel warm and welcoming. In the Life-Book you and your spouse should

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Guardianships Gone Sour

1 year ago 0 624

When a person is unable to care for themselves, a Guardian may be appointed. Once a person is found incompetent, their life could also end up in the hands of a stranger. Guardians can have a great deal of power. Not every Guardian handles this power correctly. Once someone is appointed Guardian, they have access to their ward’s assets. Guardians are there to help manage these assets so the incompetent person can’t misuse them. In many cases the Guardian will control their wards finances, including paying bills, balancing bank accounts, and receiving any money that person may make. A bad Guardian can drain an estate. There are horror stories from across the country of Guardians exploiting wards. Beyond monetary concerns, a Guardian can also isolate a ward and cut them off from loved ones. Corruption and mismanagement can happen in the Guardianship system. The Probate Court as the Superior Guardian

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The Prince Without A Will

1 year ago 0 694

Weeks after Prince’s passing, a Will has still not been discovered. What will happen to his musical dynasty? Only time will tell. The unmarried singer has no living children or parents, and without a Will, there is no designated beneficiary for his huge estate. According to Minnesota law, where the singer resided, his estate will pass to his six siblings. They would split Prince’s fortune, and control his record label and future collection of unreleased songs. Prince’s only full sibling, Tyka Nelson, has filed documents with the Court in order to start the Probate process for her brother’s estate. She asked that an Administrator be appointed by the Court to manage the estate, including any disputes that may arise. With such a large estate on the line, it is no surprise that claims to the estate are already rolling in. Tensions are on the rise between siblings as they fight

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Choosing the Best Executor

1 year ago 0 745

Once a Will is drafted, most people believe they are legally prepared for passing. But there is another important step. An Executor to the Will must be chosen. This person is responsible for many duties, including executing the last wishes of the decedent, taking care of the probate process and distributing the assets to the heirs. The probate process can become very confusing. If an Executor is unprepared or provides the Court inaccurate or incomplete information, the probate process could drag on, leaving heirs waiting. It is incredibly important to choose a knowledgeable and responsible Executor. Executors have many legal responsibilities. Once a person has passed, the Executor must file paperwork with the Probate Court, and notify the interested parties. The Executor must also file appropriate tax returns. The Executor needs to take inventory of the deceased’s assets. The deceased’s assets are numerous, and may include bank accounts, retirement plans,

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Estate Planning After a Divorce

1 year ago 0 870

Following a divorce it is critical to re-visit your estate plan. If you no longer want your ex-spouse to be beneficiary of your estate, or disinherit your child(ren), then take a careful look at your will and beneficiary designations. Pay attention to beneficiary designations for retirement plans, life insurance plans, and annuities. Revisit your will and trusts, along with any transfer on death investment accounts, and payable on death banks accounts. Making changes can be as simple as completing a form, however, other changes are more complicated and require the expertise of an accountant and/or an attorney. If you take no action, you may find your ex-spouse is still entitled to some of your assets. If you and your ex-spouse share children, seek advice from an attorney. In case anything were to happen to you, and your ex-spouse would assume guardianship of your minor children, any money left to them

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Ohio’s Adoption Law Now Allows Advertising

2 years ago 0 1206

Major changes to Ohio’s adoption law became effective on March 23, 2015. Changes include new time limits and a notification option for birth fathers, an increase in the state tax credit, a reduction in the window for contesting adoptions, new guidelines for birth mother living expenses and permission to advertise. Q: My wife and I plan to adopt a baby we expect will be born next month. The birth mother has agreed to the adoption, but we have never seen the birth father. Do we need his consent to adopt under the new law? A: If the birth father registers with the Ohio Putative Father Registry within 15 days of the child’s birth, then you may need his consent. Under the old law, the birth father had 30 days to register, so the new law shortens this window. If the birth father has not registered within 15 days after the

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