Russo, Rosalina & Co., LPA
richmond heights 440-461-8500 / 866-930-3961
parma 440-843-8400 / 866-623-0845
Russo, Rosalina & Co., LPA. is a family owned and managed general practice law firm
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Cleveland Law Blog

What to expect during probate

If an estate holder creates a will, it will be authenticated and its instructions followed during probate. Probate is also used to determine how much an estate is worth and pay any taxes or other debts that an estate owes. For Ohio residents, state law will specifically determine how the probate process is conducted.

A personal representative will be appointed by a judge during such proceedings. Typically, this person is actually designated in the will. Absent such an appointment, a child or other relative may assume this role. When inventorying assets, the personal representative will determine the estate's value based on the date of death. An outside appraisal can be performed to get an accurate value. Although creditors and others are free to make claims against an estate, the executor may deny them if there isn't evidence to support their validity.

Parenting plans create a co-parenting framework

For some divorced parents in Ohio, the most contentious and difficult part of ending a marriage is dealing with how to apportion custody and parenting time with the children. Both parents are often deeply committed to their children and don't wish to lose time with them. A parenting agreement can help to set guidelines and boundaries for a divorcing couple, ultimately creating a stronger working relationship for the future.

In many cases, parents can work together amicably enough to create a positive parenting plan. Their attorneys may collaborate in the process to ensure that the result reflects the principles of state law as well as an effective roadmap. For other parents with a more difficult relationship, courts and judges may need to get involved. The lawyers representing the parents could eventually reach important compromises on key issues as part of the divorce negotiations.

Best times to update an existing will

It is never fun to sit down and think about the fact one day you will pass away. However, that is precisely what you need to do when you create a will. Unfortunately, many Americans forego a will because they either forget to do so or do not want to have difficult conversations. Reports suggest less than half of American adults actually have some kind of will.

When you make a will, you do not want to lock it away and forget about it. Times should come throughout your life when you look at your will with an attorney to determine what changes are necessary.

How a trust can be useful for adult children

When people in Ohio are creating an estate plan, they may want to consider whether their beneficiaries will be responsible with assets. It is common for people to create a trust to protect assets for their minor children, but some adult children may require a similar amount of protection. Some people may simply lack the financial education to manage the inheritance. Other individuals may have problems with overspending, gambling or substance abuse.

A trust can be created that only allows yearly distributions of a portion of the trust, such as income from investments. Distributions could be tied to a person's age or other milestones. A trustee might also be given the discretion to make distributions.

Financial knowledge is important for later-in-life divorces

The rate of divorce for Americans over 50 has more than doubled in the past 25 years. It's important to note that this rate is continuing to move upward for couples throughout Ohio and the rest of the nation. While divorce always involves an array of practical, emotional and financial challenges, the process can be even more difficult for older couples who have been married for a long time.

Many people who choose divorce later in life have accumulated substantial assets, including investments, real estate, retirement funds and other property. In order to best proceed with negotiations in a high-asset divorce, it's important to have a comprehensive picture of the couple's finances. Each divorcing spouse can bring their family law attorney a full inventory of all of their assets, including both individual property like inheritances and joint property such as real estate.

How to avoid undue influence when helping parents with a will

Many times, heirs feel as if they should have gotten more from their parents' or relatives' will, or they feel like a sibling got too much. If you think one of your siblings or relatives might make this complaint against you, it is important to take preventative steps to stave off claims of undue influence especially if you are helping your parents with their will.

Here is a look at a few things you can do.

What to know about creating an estate plan

Most Ohio residents can benefit from creating an estate plan -- even those who don't have a lot of wealth or valuable property. While many believe that estate planning only relates to how assets are distributed after a person passes, it could actually accomplish a wide range of goals. For instance, an estate plan may appoint guardians for minor children or dictate how a body is handled after passing.

The first step in creating an estate plan is to create an inventory of assets. This may include bank accounts, retirement savings and any other financial vehicles that have cash value. Adding beneficiary designations to such accounts makes it possible to pass on assets to heirs while bypassing probate. However, even if an individual takes steps to avoid probate, it still is wise to also create a will.

Reasons to review an estate plan in 2018

Ohio residents who have an estate plan need to review it in the near future. This is true regardless when it was created, as a result of changes to federal estate tax laws. In 2018, the exemption has roughly doubled from what it was in the prior year. Very few meet that threshold. As a result, some estate plan tools that were created to minimize the impact of this tax may no longer be necessary.

Of course, this doesn't mean that there is no reason to regularly review an estate plan. For instance, some people may prefer to give money to their grandchildren or want to make sure that only certain children get specific assets. The use of a trust can customize an estate in a manner that meets these wishes. Parents may also be able to create trusts to account for any special needs that their children may have.

Fewer workplace safety inspectors could be problematic for OSHA

Ohio employees may be interested to learn that the number of federal safety inspectors has fallen under the Trump Administration. Since Trump took office, 40 inspectors with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have been lost through attrition. As of Oct. 2, 2017, no hires were made to replace the lost inspectors. By early October 2017, the lost inspectors made up 4 percent of the total inspection workforce.

Inspectors who are hired by OSHA are responsible for enforcing safety and health requirements workplaces across the nation. When inspectors go to the different workplaces, they flag hazards, document workplace violations and investigate certain complaints made by employees. In general, OSHA prioritizes workplaces that are high-risk, including manufacturing plants and construction sites.

Rise in coal mining deaths in 2017

Ohio has a strong coal mining industry. Workers in that field might not know that in 2017, coal mining deaths nearly doubled around the country compared to the previous year. In 2016, there were eight deaths. That went up to 15 last year.West Virginia had the highest number of deaths with eight. There were two in Kentucky, and the states of Alabama, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Pennsylvania had one each. Hauling vehicles were most frequently involved in these deaths followed by machinery. At a West Virginia mine in 2010, 29 workers died after an explosion, but none of the 2017 deaths were attributable to such an accident.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, there were 20 deaths each year in coal mining accidents, and there were fewer than 20 deaths in the years that followed. There were more than 200 deaths in 1966. The drop in fatalities is attributed to both better enforcing of safety regulations and fewer jobs in mining.

Russo, Rosalina & Co., LPA
691 Richmond Road
Richmond Town Square
Richmond Heights, OH 44143

Toll Free: 866-930-3961
Phone: 440-461-8500
Fax: 440-461-0861
Map & Directions
Richmond Heights Office Location

Russo, Rosalina & Co., LPA
6656 Ridge Road
Parma, OH 44129

Toll Free: 866-623-0845
Phone: 440-843-8400
Fax: 440-886-6004
Map & Directions
Parma Office Location

Russo, Rosalina & Co., LPA. is a family owned and managed general practice law firm