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Cincinnati Law Blog

Prince estate sues to block release of new EP 'Deliverance'

When internationally famous artist Prince was set to release a new EP on the anniversary of his own death, it took everyone by surprise. Fans were elated, but that elation would turn to disappointment within a day of the announcement. The EP, containing a new song called "Deliverance," wasn't to be released after all.

A former Prince sound engineer with access to the original recordings had produced the EP. According to a lawsuit filed by Prince's estate representative, Comerica Bank & Trust, and his production company, Paisley Park Enterprises, the sound engineer worked on the song with Prince in 2006 but it was never released.

Proxy fight can be effective check against bad board of directors

What can you do when you have a bad board? It's a serious question. One major purpose of a board of directors is to provide effective oversight. That might mean ensuring that corporate leadership makes good choices, and it always means ensuring the corporation is in compliance with the law.

When a board fails to provide effective oversight of corporate activities, it can affect profitability or result in regulatory action. In some cases, it can lead to criminal penalties against the company. Yet it often seems that the penalties regulators and prosecutors are able to impose aren't enough to change corporate behavior.

Americans die with an average debt of $61,554. What happens next?

What happens when someone dies still owing a substantial amount of money? It's a really important question -- and a lot of us wrongly assume we know the answer.

Unfortunately, not knowing what happens to debt after death has left a lot of people in jeopardy of losing substantial amounts of money to scam artists. Far too often, an obituary in the newspaper results in unlawful efforts to collect the deceased person's debts from their surviving relatives. Except in very unusual circumstances, a deceased person's debts are resolved through the probate process and their relatives are not responsible for them.

Why millennials need to think about estate planning

Too many people make the mistake of thinking that estate planning is only something you need to do when you are getting close to retirement. In fact, according to a recent survey by Caring.com, a whopping 78 percent of people under the age of 36 do not have a will or trust in place.

Even though roughly 81 percent of people have a will in place by the time they are 72 or older, not having an estate plan when you are younger can be an unfortunate oversight for a few different reasons.

Which factors can complicate probate?

After the death of a loved one, one of the last things you probably want to do is navigate the legal system. Unfortunately, you will have to do this if your loved one's will goes through probate, which most do. 

Probate is the process of validating a will and gathering all the information pertinent to the distribution of an estate. Depending on various factors, probate can be fairly simple and straightforward, or it can be lengthy and confusing. 

Important considerations to make before naming power of attorney

Assigning someone the responsibility of making medical and/or financial decisions on your behalf is not a decision to be made lightly. These are very important obligations that put a person in a position of considerable power, so it is critical that you take seriously the process of giving someone power of attorney.

Before you authorize someone to access your finances, for instance, you will want to be sure that person is capable of handling such a responsibility. Failure to do this could have costly consequences.

Preparing for the new FLSA overtime rule - Part 1

Perhaps you've heard about the new Overtime Rule ("new rule") that was recently promulgated by the US Department of Labor. Or perhaps you are just hearing about it for the first time. You aren't sure if the new rule will affect your business, when it goes into effect, or what you need to do to prepare your business. Below are some tips for understanding and navigating the new rule.

Choosing the right trustee by Steve Hoffsis

Many people understand that a living trust helps them avoid probate. This is true, to the extent that the trust is funded at the time of death. A trust can be a wonderful estate planning tool for many reasons, including the ability to avoid the time, expense, and publicity of probate. It can also be wonderful tool to support the needs of beneficiaries who are too young to receive an inheritance all at once, who may have special needs, or who may need financial oversight and guidance.

E-Wills? iWills? Or the old fashioned way? From Robert Hyland

We do almost all our financial transactions electronically today. We do our banking electronically, we buy our gifts electronically, we make our travel arrangements electronically. We talk with our children or grandchildren 600 miles away electronically. So, why can't we do our wills or our trust documents electronically? Ohio does not allow us to make electronic wills. Whether a trust document can be signed electronically is a good question, with arguments both ways. Our wills, though, must still be done on pieces of paper that we sign. Why is that? Probably because Ohio legislators still want us to be able to prove that a document is ours by our signature at the end of it. There is another reason to require that, but not a legal reason. Our wills are one of the last documents by which we tell those around us what we want to have happen after our deaths. Having us personally sign that makes that document even more personal. You may also consider leaving a separate document in which you tell your children, grandchildren, or other important people how you feel about them and what you hope for them. You may prepare that electronically, and then print out as many of those as you want, signing each one of them. When your will gets left at the Probate Court, those letters to your family stay with your family. Let us know if we can help with either your will or your Letter of Love.

Assets with beneficiary designations by Andrea Costa Laden

Effective estate planning requires revision and adjustment as a person's life, job, and investment portfolio change over time. Periodic monitoring is particularly important for assets with beneficiary designations. These assets, such as life insurance policies, bank accounts, IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and annuity contracts, can be designed to automatically pass to a beneficiary you specify upon your death pursuant to a "Transfer on Death" or "Payable on Death" designation.

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