They say justice is blind, but you don’t have to be – or uninformed either. Whether you are buying a house or setting up an estate plan to protect your heirs, the more you know, the better decisions you can make.

Personal Law

Wills

A will is a simple, but very important document. A will tells those you care about what to do with your property when you pass away. It appoints an executor and a guardian for minor children. If you die without a will, state law determines which of your relatives inherit. If you have children, are in a second marriage, or if all of your potential executors live in other states, you need a will.

Trusts

A trust is a planning tool which can simplify the transfer of your property to your heirs, provide for lifetime management of your assets in the event of incapacity, and in some instances, reduce the amount of estate tax paid on your estate. Trusts are commonly used to provide supervision for assets transferring to minor children.

Probate

"Probating an estate" means collecting assets, liquidating or distributing them, paying all debts, and making final distribution to the heirs. The process is supervised by the Probate Court. With the help of an experienced attorney, probate can be completed in 9 to 12 months.

Real Estate

Ohio courts have decided that a buyer must beware when purchasing real estate. A seller is required to disclose only major defects that he or she knows about, and are hidden from a buyer or inspector. The seller doesn't have to point out observable defects. Both the buyer and seller must understand their legal obligations, as well as financial issues and allocation of customary closing costs.

Dissolution

A dissolution allows two people to decide between themselves how to divide their property and provide for child custody and support. Marriage can be terminated by agreement, rather than by proving "grounds." As long as it is fair and equitable, the agreement will be approved by the Court 30 to 60 days after filing.

Elder Law

Medicaid is available to those who can not afford to pay for nursing home care, but qualifying may mean giving up a good share of your life savings. Planning ahead can mean the difference between poverty and a comfortable life for your spouse.