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Wiley & Mathews
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North Canton, Ohio legal blog

Locating the will after a loved one passes away

When a loved one passes away in Ohio, families need time to grieve and recover from their loss. However, there are legal obligations that survivors need to fulfil as well. One of the first is to find out whether or not the deceased left a legitimate will behind.

According to MarketWatch, there are several ways to discover if there is a will or not, though there is no guarantee of success. The first is to ask the people closest to the deceased. The second potential solution is to contact the probate court in the county that has jurisdiction over the person’s death. Find out if there is a will on file. Family members may need the deceased’s full name and the date they passed away.

Can you challenge a last will if there's a no-contest clause?

Conflict within a family can have a direct impact on how people plan for their last will and estate. For example, if a parent remarries and knows that there is a lot of tension between their children and their new spouse, they may worry about how the children will behave after they die. Other times, people may only leave a fraction of their assets to their spouse and may worry that their partner, not their children, will challenge their wishes.

One of the best ways to protect against unnecessary challenges to a testator's wishes is to include a no-contest clause in their last will. If you are a beneficiary or heir in an estate, bringing a challenge when there is a no-contest clause in the will could mean losing out on your inheritance.

You may have a shot of getting funding for your business in OH

In 2016, CNN reported that minority-led and women-owned businesses had a high likelihood of obtaining business funding in Ohio. Cleveland-based nonprofit JumpStart invested only in tech firms within this demographic for three years. They planned to do this for 20 firms and focused their efforts on small companies with fewer than six employees. They pledged to ensure each firm received half a million dollars in funding. The aim is to create greater diversity in the technology industry.

If that sounds like good news, consider that JumpStart is not the only source of funds for new businesses. In fact, Forbes reports that the amount of venture capital funding passing through Ohio is higher than it has even been in the state’s history. In 2016, Ohio saw a 46% increase in investments over the prior year to a total of $470 million. To add to this, Ohio’s capital city now ranks as the top U.S. city for scaling startups.

Big oil and gas plan to overturn new Ohio bill

In the summer of 2019, Ohio passed a bill to save its nuclear power plants. According to Forbes, these plants account for 90% of the Buckeye State’s clean energy. Critics of the bill, however, point to the fact that this also preserved coal plants in the state. Supporters of the bill explain that this was a necessary compromise to get the bill to pass, but that coal was in decline and no new plants would appear in Ohio ever again.

In contrast, natural gas is on the rise in the state. Over the past ten years, the demand skyrocketed. It now accounts for a third of the electricity generated in Ohio. Natural gas filled the gaps coal left behind. If legislators had failed to preserve the nuclear power plants, they also planned to take over the demand created. Needless to say, natural gas is displeased with the new bill. Subsequently, the oil and gas industry reportedly plan to overturn the bill by 2020 and get their growth plan back on track.

Some tips for a successful start-up business in Ohio

According to personal finance company NerdWallet, Ohio was once the industrial heart of America. Since the turn of the second half of the 20th century, a lot has changed. Even so, the Buckeye State remains one of the best places to build a business. Whether an entrepreneur wants to build an empire that spreads across the nation or a humble mom and pop shop that supports a small community, Ohio is a suitable candidate.

One of the reasons Ohio is a great place to start a business is the strong labor market and a resilient manufacturing economy. The unemployment rate is lower than the national average. If Ohio was its own country, it would have the 27th largest economy in the world, mostly on account of its manufacturing industry. Not surprisingly, 25 of the world’s Fortune 500 companies call Ohio home.

How can I prevent my estate plan from ruining my family?

Whether you are an elderly person, mortally ill or just getting an early start on your estate planning, the last thing you want to worry about is how your assets can divide your family. It is fairly common for families in Ohio to face extreme tension over who should get what when someone passes, even when a will clearly states the deceased’s intentions. Suddenly, deep-seated resentments rise up and family members are at each other’s throats.

CNBC notes that when families are blended or fractured, disputes may become even more likely. Some siblings may become accidentally disinherited or may resent that some got more than the others. So, what can you do to ensure that the assets you leave behind bring family members together rather than tear them apart? There is no foolproof plan, because you have no idea how people will react until the day comes. Even so, there are some best practices you can follow.

Blended families increase the risk for challenges to a last will

Divorce has become a common experience for modern American families. So has remarrying, resulting in what people now call blended families. Divorced parents who already have children from previous marriages fall in love and start new, blended families. These families can be incredible sources of support, but they can also give rise to unique legal considerations for estates and last wills.

The longer a parent stayed married to the stepparent of their children, the more likely it is that the family will have cohesively bonded. However, when a parent marries later in life, especially if they do so with someone much younger than themselves, that can foment anger and resentment. It can also prompt challenges to the last will or estate in probate court after the death of one parent.

How can I prevent bad information from harming my business?

New technology is sweeping through Ohio and the rest of the world called “deep fakes.” This involves the use of AI technology to create fake videos that make it appear as if people say or do things that they did not. Some people use this technology for harmless fun, but others have used it to harm businesses or spark political chaos. From impersonating President Obama to copying actors into films they never starred in, this technology has far-reaching implications.

According to CNN, politicians have already begun to raise alarm over this new technology. One recent victim was Nancy Pelosi, whose video was slowed and slurred to allegedly cause people to question her health. If politicians can find their reputations negatively affected by this tech, imagine your business. What if a competitor or its customers decided to make deep fakes about you or your brand? How do you prove it is not true?

What should I do if approached by a developer?

Having an oil and gas company exploit your mineral interests on your property can be an exciting prospect since you can reap some of the proceeds. However, if you have no experience with oil and gas development in Ohio, you should consider taking some important initial steps in the event an oil and gas developer inquires about your oil and mineral rights. You can avoid some pitfalls and take advantage of important opportunities.

Mineralwise suggests that after being contacted by a developer, you should do some online research. A good place to start is to look up the name of the person who contacted you about your mineral rights. You should also do some checking on the developer as well. From there, you can check out news articles on oil drilling in your area and research the geologic formation that the developer has identified on your land to be drilled.

Why so many entrepreneurs choose an S-Corp

When starting a business in Ohio, there are a few legal requirements entrepreneurs must consider before they can set up shop. One of the main things businessowners need to decide is the business type they want to operate under. Most entrepreneurs choose an LLC. However, this comes with a wealth of other options. This includes whether or not they want to elect to be treated as a corporation, and what kind of corporation that would be. Why then do so many people choose S-corps?

According to Forbes, an S-Corp is not subject to taxes. Instead, the shareholders pay taxes on the profits taken from the business. This naturally makes an attractive option for businesspeople who focus on reinvesting in the business rather than paying out high salaries. Even though S-Corps do not pay taxes, businessowners do need to file a return for them every year.

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