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Hottenroth, Garverick, Tilson & Garverick Law Blog

Is it time to revisit your estate plan?

Planning what happens to your possessions after you die may not sound like an exciting way to spend a day, but the alternative is leaving a mess for your family to muddle through.

You may have created a plan years ago. However, did you know that there are times when you should revisit the plan and revise it? Take a look at some of the life events that necessitate the creation or revision of your estate plan.

Whom should you call first after a car accident?

No one gets behind the wheel expecting to be in a car accident, but it is, unfortunately, likely to happen at some point. When it does, the stressful nature of the situation makes it hard to remember what to do. That is why you need to prepare now on how to react.

A crash warrants making multiple phone calls to relevant parties. Whom should be at the top of the list? The answer depends on the severity of the accident.

Are your children the victims of malicious mother syndrome?

Divorce may bring out the worst in people, even those who were once so in love. Once the dust settles and the final papers filed, life may start to return to a new normal.

You may notice a change in your children and the way they interact with you. While some change in behavior is natural, others seem severe and worrisome. Your child may fall victim to parental alienation or malicious mother syndrome. How can you spot the signs?

How will OVI affect you as a professional driver?

Let us say that you are a professional truck driver and have had a commercial driver’s license for more than a decade. You are looking forward to a raise in pay, but you were recently pulled over and arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle impaired. How will a drunk driving conviction affect your job and your CDL?

A first offense

Swatting: the prank that's serious

Like many Ohio teens and young adults, your children love to play online games, spend time on social media and hang out with their friends. You don't find this particularly worrisome, since you taught your kids to make smart decisions regarding their activities with their peers. However, as you know, teenagers may take part in unwise behavior if it means fitting in, or they might not realize the potential ramifications of some activities.

Swatting is one such activity that may appear to be harmless, but has serious criminal penalties. You may remember an incident last December, in which a man from Wichita, Kansas, was killed after a California man called in a swatting prank. The event had long-lasting consequences, which are continuing today.

Can you modify an Ohio divorce order?

Your divorce is final, and you breathe a sigh of relief because you can now move forward with your life. However, life likes to throw curve balls. Unexpected changes are difficult enough but even more so after a divorce due to added complexity. You find that now your agreement no longer works for your situation. What can you do?

Fortunately, Ohio allows for post-divorce modification under certain circumstances. If you can show a substantial change that affects one of these areas, you may be able to petition the court to modify your divorce order to meet your new needs.

Is a will still valid even if heirs have changed names?

You may have written a will or gone through exhaustive estate planning, covering all your bases. You have backup beneficiaries designated, and quite a few backup plans in case Plan A falls through.

However, one thing you may wonder about is whether your will is still valid when your heirs and beneficiaries have different names than those listed in your documents. For example, perhaps two of your female heirs got married, and your will lists their maiden names only. Moreover, maybe one of your heirs came out as transgender after you drew up the will and has undergone a legal sex and name change. Or maybe you realize you misspelled a name. Is your will still valid?

5 infection-prevention steps for hospital patients

When going to a hospital here in north central Ohio for surgery or other treatment, you might experience a flurry of thoughts and emotions. You might have all kinds of hopes regarding how your treatment will go. You also may have some worries. This could include concerns about the possibility of developing an infection during your time at the hospital.

Choosing an estate plan executor

An estate plan is the optimal way to protect your family's financial security in the long term. It creates a map for handling your estate and distributing assets after you've passed. There are many ways to set up your will and testament to plan ahead. To make sure those carefully made plans happen, you'll need to carefully choose an executor to your estate. You can choose a primary executor, a back up, or a co-executor.

Should a lawyer be involved in my real estate closing?

Generally, the answer to this question is YES. Real estate closings typically can involve some of the largest dollar transactions in a person's life yet, it seems that many people avoid using lawyers in such transactions, and appear to be much more prone to use the services of lawyers in transactions involving far fewer dollars! Not only do we recommend that our clients discuss real estate transactions with their attorneys before entering into contracts to sell or buy real estate, we also recommend that they keep their attorneys involved until after the transactions are closed. Innumerable potential problems can arise, many of which will legitimately require advice or other services from a trained and licensed attorney. These can include, but certainly are not limited to the following: a problem with an easement, difficulties with tax liens, inaccurate legal descriptions, incorrectly executed documents to prior owners of the property, court orders affecting title to or the use of the property, restrictions on property use, entitlement to appliances located in the real estate, possession of window treatments, antennas and rotors, etc. And, even at closings issues can arise like inappropriate crediting of costs or expenses, improper charge backs, improper execution of documents, etc. I know I have said this before on a lot of occasions, but it seems to me that there are many people who are very quick to seek the services of a lawyer when they buy a relatively small item (like a vacuum cleaner, bicycle, used car, etc.) who are for some reason much more reluctant to consult lawyers with transactions as major as purchasing or selling a home. I think it makes good practical common sense generally for people to consult lawyers when they are contemplating engaging in real estate transactions, and through the process of acquisition and financing homes and land.


Hottenroth, Garverick, Tilson & Garverick, Co., L.P.A.
126 S. Market St.
Galion, OH 44833

Phone: 419-468-5044
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