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Dayton Ohio Probate And Business Law Blog

Important cybersecurity issues for small businesses

Cybersecurity can have major impacts on a small business’ long-term health. Cyberattacks are not just a concern for large companies. Businesses of any size can end up the target of such attacks. And the financial, operational and reputation damage such attacks can cause can be devastating for a small business.

So, it is important for small business owners to give careful attention to cybersecurity. Today, we’ll go over tips for small business owners on some key cybersecurity issues.

How you may detect power of attorney abuse

One of the most daunting tasks for some people in their estate planning is choosing the right person to handle power of attorney responsibilities. When you designate power of attorney, you are granting another individual to act on your behalf for personal, legal and professional reasons. You can see how granting someone with this type of authority can be a risk.

Many times, the person who is issuing the power of attorney, called the principal, may be incapacitated due to health issues or age. This can heighten the chance of damages caused by the person who is granted the authority, called the agent. It is not uncommon for good people to do bad things, and it can be devastating for the principal. Not only has a trust been betrayed, but they can be out significant money and proper medical care.

Using estate planning to preserve Medicaid eligibility and legacy

As you approach your retirement years, it is vital for you to review your estate plans more often. Though you may be more concerned about where your possessions will go after you die, you must not overlook concerns that may arise while you are still living. Many Ohio area seniors find themselves struggling to pay for their end of life expenses because they did not include contingencies to protect their assets from Medicaid.

Not all assets are Medicaid-proof. Retirement accounts, investment accounts, certain real estate holdings and other nonexempt assets must cover care expenses first before Medicaid becomes a viable resource for seniors to use. You may have a great deal of wealth now or not have much to your name, but if you do not want to end up using your loved ones' inheritances to pay for your medical care needs, you must structure your estate plans so that they enable you to keep your eligibility for Medicaid without sacrificing your loved ones' inheritances.

Estate planning for small business simplifies the transition

Small business owners in Ohio would be well advised to take a look at the benefits of estate planning for transferring one's share or its value to their heirs at death. This will usually involve a mix of legal instruments drawn from both estate planning and business law agreements to make the transition easier and ultimately more lucrative for one's heirs. The complicated tax issues that may arise in this context are best determined and planned in consultation with an estate planning attorney and a tax expert or qualified financial planner.

Estate planning may be used to make the complications of business succession easier to carry out. Trusts and a will may appropriately leave business assets to specified heirs or in some instances it may be prudent for the owner to provide for the transfer of his or her share to a business partner or other disinterested party. In that event, a buy-sell agreement will be drawn up to set forth the terms of the transfer, the price and how to calculate it, and all other relevant provisions.

Estate planning can minimize the specter of family conflicts

It takes some attention and common sense thinking for persons in Ohio or anywhere else to write up a will that will minimize the prospect of later family conflicts. The way things are written impacts on whether some family members may feel slighted or otherwise "left out" of the loop. Some phrasing or certain appointments may plant an idea with one or more family members that others are receiving special treatment. Good estate planning, in cooperation with an experienced estates attorney, will minimize greatly the chances of family dissension.

One consideration is to name the right executor. Instead of picking the oldest son or the trusted best friend, pick someone who also has the temperament and skills to manage an estate administration. Pick an organized person of unquestioned ethics and integrity. Another method is to give specific items of personal property to named beneficiaries.

Estate planning for special needs child is done through a trust

The parents of a child with special needs will want to implement various safeguards and make certain plans for the child's maximum welfare. Seeing an estate planning attorney who is located in Ohio is an important first step in preparing the special needs plan. The parents will learn all of the information that they did not know, and they will become equipped to understand the importance and meaning of the legal instruments involved. 

At the same time, if there are other children, planning on their behalf must be done also, generally according to typical options available by law.  A key consideration for a child with special needs will be to keep the legal documents supportive of the child's qualifications for Social Security and applicable government benefits. This is best done through a special needs trust. The trust agreement will contain language preserving the right to collect all appropriate benefits.

Estate planning considers retirement funds and their distribution

In Ohio and all other jurisdictions, retirement funds do not usually go through one's probate estate after death. That is because such proceeds are nearly always distributed to specific beneficiaries designated on the retirement plan itself. It is possible to also list an alternate beneficiary to receive the retirement funds if the primary beneficiary predeceases the owner of the fund. The treatment of retirement funds in estate planning is important despite the fact that the funds do not usually pass through the decedent's estate.

The first estate planning mistake that one may make with respect to retirement funds is in failing to list a beneficiary on the retirement papers. This can be an oversight that the owner intended to go back and correct by adding the desired choice. Or, it may be a case where the beneficiary died prior to the death of the retirement fund owner thus leaving a fund with no listed beneficiary. If the fund owner fails to list a replacement, and if there was no alternate beneficiary originally listed, then the funds would default to the decedent's probate estate.

Considerations for including grandchildren in a will

Drafting your will is an exciting and important process. Whether you are writing a new one or revising an existing one, it is fulfilling to know that you have a plan in place to care for your most precious loved ones. For many people creating their estate plan, this includes grandchildren that they wish to leave an inheritance to. Leaving grandkids an inheritance can help them succeed later in life.

There are some important provisions that you should remember to take into account, though. Consider the following three scenarios.

Business law attorney can assist in business formation

Launching a startup business in Ohio is a process that requires an initial cash investment that will get the company started and operating without suffering the limitations of being cash poor. However, even when cash reserves are ample, the business can falter along the developmental track if certain other qualities do not exist.  Initially, the startup will benefit from the input of a business law attorney in establishing the best legal structure for the new entity.

With capital and business legal structure in place, other qualities will likely determine the company's ultimate success. Two vital elements that will fuel a new company's growth are passion and time. A founder or group of owners who are motivated by a reservoir of passion will have the extra edge to keep moving toward the goal without faltering along the way.

3 grounds for challenging a will in probate court

If the contents of a will or outcome of the probate process are surprising to you, you may have suspicions. The probate process can be full of surprises and shocking revelations. You may even have the urge to take your concerns to probate court. It is possible that the will may be invalid.

However, before you file a lawsuit, it is important to understand the legal grounds for challenging a will. Here are some reasons you may want to contest the will in court.

  • Ohio State Bar Association | Connect.Advance.Succeed
  • Federal Bar Association | ORG Jan 5th 1920
  • Dayton Bar Association 1883
  • Super Lawyers
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