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North Canton, Ohio legal blog

Looking over the consequences of business litigation

If you own a business, you could find yourself in the middle of litigation for a wide variety of reasons. Perhaps another company is accusing you of wrongdoing or maybe a customer is claiming that their rights were violated. Regardless of the reason why a lawsuit has arisen, the repercussions can be damaging. Our law firm knows that litigation can have a wide range of consequences for business in Ohio, some of which can create problems that arise later on.

For starters, business lawsuits can be very expensive and may demand a significant portion of your time. Aside from legal costs, the resources required to manage a lawsuit can be damaging for businesses that are both small and very large. Furthermore, the outcome of legal action could impact your company's reputation. If you are unsuccessful in the courtroom, a stigma could follow your business around for years, which can result in decreased sales or other difficulties. Furthermore, litigation can have negative effects on crucial business relationships. Often, these disputes are so severe that they result in a permanent rift between business partners, companies, employees, and other types of key relationships.

Types of trusts

The process of estate division in Ohio is often long and complicated. However, one way to streamline the process is to establish trusts. According to the IRS, a trust gives the title of assets to another person, who is then required to distribute or use them according to the benefactor's wishes. Essentially, a benefactor establishes who will assume control of his or her assets and ensure that the beneficiaries receive their portions after the benefactor's death.

CNN states that some trusts, called testamentary, only take effect after the benefactor passes away. Trusts which take effect before the benefactor dies are called living trusts. In this case, the assets are transferred from the benefactor's ownership. A revocable living trust allows the benefactor to retain control of the assets and make changes as necessary. Assets could be added or removed, and the list of beneficiaries may be altered as well. Irrevocable living trusts, on the other hand, tend to be more rigid. Typically, the beneficiaries must grant permission before changes can be made.

Landowner considerations before signing an oil and gas lease

Thanks to the Utica Shale, many landowners in Ohio are wondering about leasing their property to oil and gas companies. While the thought of oil makes many people see dollar signs, the truth is that often, the terms of the lease reduce profits significantly. The Stark County Farm Bureau explains that many factors go into negotiating a fair lease agreement.

Oil and gas companies typically want the language of the lease to contain very broad terms that give them almost unlimited access to the entire property. Surface owners are wise to identify possibly problematic clauses and negotiate for much narrower limits. Potentially detrimental words and phrases may include the following:

  • Farm wide
  • Other minerals
  • Any means
  • Transport across/through
  • Storage
  • Pipeline

Steps to creating a business plan

For many people, part of the American dream is being their own boss. Running your own business in North Canton may be something that you have been considering for some time. Before you start your company and hit the ground running, it is important to take the time to formulate a proper business plan.

Business plans are important for two main reasons. First, it acts like a road map for your start-up. Second, it is incredibly useful if you are trying to get a small-business loan from a bank or attract investors. Fortunately, it is not overly difficult to create a business plan. Read below for a few steps that will help you create a plan and start you down the road to success.

Working through an intellectual property dispute

In the business world, intellectual property disputes can take many forms. Moreover, this disputes can create serious problems for the owners of businesses that are large or small. If you are going through a dispute, or are considering legal action against a person or company who violated your rights, it is pivotal to look at your options and carefully work through the process. At Baker, Dublikar, Beck, Wiley & Mathews, we know how difficult these matters can be for business owners in North Canton and other Ohio cities.

When it comes to these disputes, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of your legal rights. Whether a competitor stole one of your ideas and is using it without permission, your company logo has been replicated, or you are experiencing any other challenges as a result of your intellectual property rights being violated, it is pivotal to review the details surrounding your circumstances and make sure that you have pinpointed the best course of action.

Protecting your rights as a landowner

If you are a landowner, you may face all sorts of concerns, from paying your mortgage to issues with neighbors. However, many landowners in Ohio have resources on their property, such as shale deposits that may attract interest from oil and gas companies. Our law firm understands how complicated these issues can be for landowners, some of whom may not even be aware of their rights. If you are in the middle of a dispute with an oil or gas company or believe that your rights have been violated, it is important to go over all details carefully and handle the situation appropriately.

There are a number of pointers that landowners should keep in mind when it comes to shale deposits and making agreements with an oil company. If you do not know your legal rights, it is vital for you to first go over the ins and outs of landowner protections before making any agreements with an oil company. Regrettably, an oil or gas company may simply see dollar signs and ignore the landowner's concerns. If your rights are violated by an oil company in any way, it is pivotal for you to ensure that they are held answerable.

What are revocable living trusts?

If you are thinking about preparing an estate plan, you may have various options to choose from. Sometimes, people opt to move forward with wills, while others focus on trusts. However, there are different types of trusts and it is pivotal for you to identify which one is most appropriate for you. If you live in North Canton, or anywhere in Ohio, it is crucial to focus on setting up an estate plan that protects your assets. Depending on your circumstances, a revocable living trust may be the best option.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, revocable living trusts allow grantors to give trustees the ability to make critical decisions related to the assets in their trusts. This can be helpful if the grantor becomes sick or hurt and are not able to manage their trust. Also, you are able to make changes to your trust while you are alive, which can be very helpful. For example, if your wishes change over the years or if a certain event occurs, you will be able to modify your trust.

Working through probate litigation properly

When it comes to probate litigation, there are a myriad of issues you may be dealing with. For example, you may be challenging a portion of a will or the entire will altogether. Or, perhaps you are setting up an estate plan and want to figure out how you can prevent a dispute from arising. Furthermore, you may be experiencing emotional distress and your family may be torn apart as a result of these disagreements. Our law firm knows how challenging these matters can be for people and entire families in North Canton, and other parts of Ohio.

There are a number of things to keep in mind when it comes to probate litigation. For starters, you need to have a solid understanding of the ins and outs of the case and know your rights. Moreover, you should comprehensively evaluate your circumstances and ensure that you take the correct steps forward. If you were named a beneficiary and you believe that assets from the estate were not divided appropriately, it is imperative to take action. For example, if an executor breached his or her fiduciary duties, or if you are struggling with any other estate-related hurdle that was brought on by someone else's unlawful behavior, it is pivotal to have them held responsible.

Tips for creating a will

Writing a will can be a difficult and complicated task, and it is essential to understand the factors involved before delving into the estate planning process. According to ABC News, one important initial step is to choose witnesses and the executor of the will. The executor is the one responsible for carrying out the stipulations laid out in the will. Therefore, this person must be dependable and able to wade through a sometimes difficult process. Ohio has its own set of regulations regarding wills, so understanding the state's specific estate laws is key to creating a legitimate legal document.

U.S. News and World Report states that beneficiaries do not qualify as witnesses for the signing of the will. Rather, witnesses should be non-beneficiaries who are 18 years or older, and who are trustworthy enough to testify in court accurately if the will is contested.

What it takes to challenge a will

In order to challenge a will, you need a certain standing. For example, you cannot challenge your aunt's will simply because you think you should have received a portion of her estate. In order to effectively challenge someone's will, you have to be an "interested person." In general, an "interested person" includes children, heirs, spouses and creditors. It also includes any person or organization that has rights to the decedent's property or a claim against it.

In many cases, people that challenge a will include individuals that were included in an earlier version of the document, those that are beneficiaries to a later version, and intestate heirs. If you are considering challenging a will in the North Canton area, it is important to know whether or not you have the proper standing to do so. Read further for more information on who can challenge a will.

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