West Chester Ohio Legal Blog

What mistakes do you need to avoid when estate planning?

Ohio residents are taking an important step when they start putting together an estate plan. No matter how much in assets they have, almost anyone can benefit from having an estate plan in place. However, there are certain missteps that need to be avoided in the estate planning process. What mistakes are important to avoid?

Well, for starters, it is important to avoid the biggest mistake of all -- not having an estate plan. If one does not delineate how they want their assets distributed, or appoint who they want to be responsible for their minor children, those decisions will be left to the state probate law process. But, even when one does have an estate plan in place, it is equally important to make sure that it is update as needed. It would be a mistake to believe that an estate plan, once completed, will never need changes.

Does living together before marriage factor into divorces?

For as long as divorce has played a prominent role in modern life, there have been those who have performed research to attempt to determine if there are any key indicators that might predict whether or not a couple will get a divorce. A wide variety of factors are likely to effect a marriage, from finances to children to evolving feelings for each other. One recent article took a look at a specific factor: "Does living together before marriage factor into divorces?"

Unfortunately, the recent article noted that there are conflicting opinions on this specific factor. For example, the article noted that one study determined that living together before marriage may reduce the number of divorces that occur in the first few years of a marriage, but may eventual lead to a higher likelihood of divorce in later years. That study purportedly affirmed some earlier research that seemed to point toward a higher likelihood of divorce for couples who lived together prior to marriage.

3 common myths about bicycle accidents

Warm childhood memories often involve bicycling with friends. As an adult, you may still enjoy the simple pleasure of cycling. Many people combine riding pleasure with inexpensive bicycle transportation to work.

You may not realize it, but today's biking realities have changed significantly from your carefree childhood days. For example, consider three urban myths about bicycle riding.

Protecting one's interests during a divorce

It is nearly impossible to overstate the significance of the effect of a divorce on an Ohio resident's life. After all, no one enters into a marriage thinking that it might end in divorce. But, we all know that many marriages end in just such a way. Although going through the divorce process can be emotional and stressful, it is important for residents to do their best to protect their interests in the legal process.

For most people, the most important issue in a divorce -- besides any issues dealing with child support or custody -- is property division. For example, in a marriage that has lasted for several years, the couple is likely to have accumulated quite a bit of jointly owned assets. There may be retirement accounts or pensions to consider, in addition to the family home, vehicles, bank accounts and even business interests. Yes, there is emotion involved in attempting to split up these assets between two divorcing spouses. And, there is nothing wrong with fighting for one's fair share.

Can disabled military veterans qualify for SSD benefits?

Millions of Americans, including Ohioans, receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. And, after years of war oversees and the fight against terrorism, there are millions of military veterans in America, many of whom suffered injuries during their time in the service. If these military veterans are classified as "disabled" due to their wartime injures, are they eligible for SSD benefits?

A recent report considered this topic and pointed out that, yes, military veterans who are receiving benefits from the Veterans' Administration (VA) can, at the same time, be eligible to receive SSD benefits. In fact, the two different types of benefits should not impact each other.

Know the eligibility requirements for SSD benefits

Most Ohioans expect to contribute and work until retirement age. For many of our readers, that will be the case. However, there are millions of Americans who get injured or suffer from a serious illness, which takes them out of the workforce and keeps them there. For these disabled individuals, there may be an option to gain some measure of financial security: Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

But, Ohio residents who may be thinking about applying for SSD benefits will need to make sure that they understand the eligibility requirements for this program. For starters, our readers should understand that SSD benefits are not "welfare." These benefits are not some kind of government handout. No, these benefits are earned by those who participate in the workforce and pay into the SSD benefits trust fund out of their weekly paychecks. Workers who have a disability have every right to rely upon these benefits if they become disabled.

Know your options when it comes to workers' compensation

Thousands of Ohio residents get up each morning and go to work expecting that they will come back home safe at the end of the day. Unfortunately, there are times when this does not occur. Each day, throughout the state, there are workers who are injured on the job. Anyone facing this situation will need to know their options when it comes to applying for workers' compensation benefits.

The most important thing our readers need to know about workers' compensation is that these benefits can be granted to injured workers regardless of how the injury occurred - fault isn't supposed to matter. The crucial element of workers' compensation is that the injury occurred in the performance of job-related duties.

Car accident mistakes to avoid

When you get a crash, you feel upset, confused and angry. It may be difficult to think clearly and act appropriately during this stressful situation, but it is crucial for you to be as calculated as possible. The steps you take after a motor vehicle collision will affect your recovery and whether you win a personal injury lawsuit.

If you commit errors after a wreck, you may lose out on recovering damages and healing quickly. Check out these costly mistakes to avoid after getting in an auto accident.

What are the basics of estate planning?

Thousands of Ohio residents do not have an estate plan. Perhaps they do not believe they need an estate plan. Or, perhaps they believe that estate planning is too complicated and they do not even know where to start. Getting the right information is crucial. So, what are the basics of estate planning?

An overview of divorce laws and requirements in Ohio

The prevalence of divorce throughout America has probably led many people to believe that this is a fairly simple process. However, in many cases, nothing could be further from the truth. A divorce can involve many complex issues, such as property division, alimony and child custody and support. In order to pursue a divorce in Ohio, there are some basic legal requirements that must be met.

First of all, like most other states, Ohio has a "no-fault" procedure by which a couple can pursue a divorce. In fact, when a couple pursues a no-fault divorce, the proceeding is actually known as a "dissolution" of the marriage. To pursue a no-fault divorce, the couple must have been separated for at least one year, or they must allege "incompatibility" - which cannot be contested by either party in the dissolution in order for the dissolution to proceed as a no-fault case.

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