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North Canton, Ohio legal blog

How to make the most of a business merger

Business mergers in Ohio may not be as high-profile as those involving Fortune 500 companies in New York and California. Even so, without a clear strategy and careful planning, companies may set themselves up for a disadvantage when completing mergers. This is especially the case for smaller businesses when merging with larger and more powerful companies.

In 2018, CNN reported that “merger mania” had led to $2 trillion in deals less than five months into the year. One of the major contributing factors for these mergers is that larger multinational corporations were beginning to recognize the value of scooping up smaller firms and absorbing their value into a larger commercial infrastructure.

Should I auction my mineral rights?

According to Forbes, private landowners own most of the undeveloped minerals in the country. To get access to these minerals in Ohio, these companies must frequently bargain with landowners. This makes them highly efficient and effective at getting what they want, while landowners do not have this experience. This tips the scales in the companies’ favor.

In contrast, when it comes to publicly owned lands, there is no duping Uncle Sam out of his money. So instead, oil and gas companies often compete via auctions for the mineral rights. Auctions are an open and transparent process, which makes it more difficult for shady and underhanded tactics to thrive. It may also help to command a higher price for the value of the land.

How to prepare for contesting a will

Losing a family member is a difficult experience. What can make it worse is finding out that the will making its way through probate in Ohio is not the one originally written or does not contain provisions promised by the deceased. These are just some of the common reasons someone may choose to contest a will.

According to FindLaw, here are some other common reasons to contest a will:

  •          The deceased was the victim of undue influence at the time it was created
  •          The deceased did not have testamentary capacity at the time
  •          There were not sufficient or appropriate witnesses
  •          The will is forged or fraudulent in some other way
  •          There is another will that trumps the old one
  •          The will’s provisions are not lawful

When to file a lawsuit after a serious car crash

You don't plan to wind up in a serious motor vehicle crash. In fact, most people go out of their way to avoid known risk factors that could increase the potential of a crash, like alcohol or distractions. However, no amount of safety precautions can protect you if someone else is driving in an irresponsible manner.

If you get into a crash, the chances are good that your primary focus will be moving on with your life as quickly as possible. Truly moving on usually requires some degree of financial compensation, because car wrecks often cost many thousands of dollars.

Starting a successful small business on a small budget

Believe it or not, it is possible to start a business in Ohio with little to no capital. However, in order to do so, you may need to scale back some of your grand ambitions for your business. There is nothing wrong with starting small if you can build momentum when the time is right. Some of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world had humble beginnings in garages and basements.

Forbes recommends utilizing current resources when starting with little or no money. For example, English major graduates who spend a lot of time writing probably already have a laptop and internet access. If not, there are libraries that may provide this. A programmer would have similar resources. Both of these professionals could start an LLC, freelancing their services to clients. This may require no additional capital investment on their part.

What should I look for in a power of attorney?

When it comes to medical decisions, autonomy is a must. However, should you be suddenly incapacitated by illness or injury, you may be unable to make your desires regarding health care known. Even if you have a document in place that states your wishes, it might still be disputed by your family. That's why it's so important to choose a power of attorney, which is a person who will serve as your advocate when it comes to decisions regarding care. Forbes explains what you should look for when making this crucial estate planning decision. 

A power of attorney must be assertive

What do I do if I if I am sabotaged by a competitor?

Generally speaking, business and commerce in Ohio may not be as cutthroat as in other big business states, such as New York and California. Even so, you may still find your business is the victim of unfair competitive practices that threaten your livelihood. To be clear, business competition is a good thing for consumers. It helps to compel businesses to find better and more innovative ways to deliver goods and services. However, there is a line some businesses cross that may be cause for business litigation.

Forbes notes that some competitors may go as far as to sabotage your business processes and tools. This may cause you direct financial loss and spoil your good name. In other instances, some people or companies may be posing as you or your brand to offer services to unsuspecting customers. Others may go as far as to hire a click farm to repeatedly click your ad links so that your budget comes to naught.

Due diligence and negotiations for acquisitions and mergers

Mergers and acquisitions are fairly commonplace in Ohio. These two business strategies allow companies to grow by sometimes buying out a competitor or a partner. For the seller, it may also provide the means to retire early and peacefully.

However, as with any other business process, acquisitions and mergers require due diligence. This is as true for buyers as it is for sellers. Both parties have a lot to lose and a lot to gain, so it is in both of their best interests to read through all the fine print and verify the information before negotiating.

What is the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts?

If the privacy of your heirs and your estate, avoiding probate or limiting estate taxes are a concern for you when preparing your estate plan, you may consider establishing a living trust. However, there are different types of trusts available for people in Ohio and elsewhere, and some options may be better suited for certain circumstances than others. Therefore, you may find it helpful to understand the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts.

Through a revocable trust, you transfer ownership of specified assets and property to the trust. As the trust maker, you serve as the initial trustee, and thus, retain control of the property. In the terms of the trust, you may name a beneficiary or trustee to take over control after your passing. According to CNN.com, you are allowed to rescind a revocable trust altogether or change its terms at any time. This may be useful, for example, if you establish a trust for a beneficiary who is later involved in an accident that leaves him or her incapacitated. Rather than leaving him or her as the named trustee, you may instead choose to modify the terms to provide for his or her care and leave the administration of the trust to another trusted family member or friend.

What happens if the court agrees that a last will is invalid?

People decide to challenge someone else's estate plan or last will for a broad range of reasons. For example, some people will bring a challenge if a loved one changed their will in the last months of their life while experiencing cognitive decline. Others may challenge a will because they believed someone other than the testator influenced the contents.

Regardless of why you want to bring a challenge against someone's estate plan or will, you should familiarize yourself with the potential consequences of doing so. Bringing a challenge means that the estate will wind up in probate court. It also means that the last will may not wind up enforced by the courts.

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