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Ohio pet owners: Don't forget to plan for your animals

Many of us know people who refer to their cat or dog as their four-legged child. Maybe that's what you call yours.

While they aren't children technically, pets certainly are a part of the family. Just as we provide for our children in the event of our death, many of us provide for our pets, too.

Shoplifters able to avoid jail time with alternative program

Shoplifting is a term that is seemly lax in society. When you think of this criminal activity, innocent scenarios might come to mind: like a 6-year-old boy sticking a lollipop into his pocket at the gas station, or a teenage girl walking out of a department store with a pair of earrings.

According to Ohio law, shoplifting is theft and punished as so. Theft laws enforce punishments such as jail time, fines and full repayment of damages. From this perspective, shoplifting no longer seems like such a frivolous crime.

Ohio police officer killed in hit-and-run accident

The community of Mentor, Ohio, suffered a loss of one of its finest recently with the death of a police officer in a hit-and-run accident. A suspect has been charged in the officer's death.

The officer, 41, had stopped to assist a colleague on June 24 around 1 a.m. at a traffic stop on Ohio Route 2 near Ohio Route 306. As he was walking toward the stopped car, he was hit by a late-model Jeep Wrangler, according to investigators. Emergency personnel treated him on site and transported him to TriPoint Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

In an Ohio divorce, what happens to the house?

Your home was your castle. Maybe it was the perfect downtown loft for a career couple or a family home where you watched your kids grow. Perhaps it was the condo where you moved after the kids left so that you didn't have to worry about mowing the lawn in the summer or shoveling the snow during an Ohio winter anymore.

But now that you're divorcing, what happens to the house?

4 types of accidents that can be more common in summer

Summer should be a time to slow down, relax and have fun. However, that doesn't always happen. Unfortunately, for many people, summer will be a time for recovery after a serious accident.

There are numerous accidents that can be more common during the summer months, and knowing what these are could help raise awareness and potentially prevent some of them. 

Helpful ways to reestablish credit after bankruptcy

If you are considering bankruptcy, one of your concerns may be your ability to have good credit once again. Chances are you may have heard about how bankruptcies can stay on your report for many years after your discharge, and that lenders may be wary of your business because of it.

While it is true that bankruptcies can remain on your report for seven years, there are a number of ways that you can reestablish good credit quicker than you may think. This post will identify those ways.

Is an overseas divorce a good idea?

Some folks can't wait to get married so they head to Vegas or another hot-spot where there's no mandatory time period before they can get hitched. Others feel the exact same way about their divorce. When they want out, they want out right away.

Since there's no place in the United States to get a quick divorce, it might sound like a good idea to make a weekend trip to The Dominican Republic or Haiti. The laws are lax in those countries (and several others), making it pretty painless to get a divorce virtually in a matter of hours.

Your estate plan should include your medical wishes

As you get older, it is necessary to undertake some estate planning responsibilities. When you think of an estate plan, you probably think of a will, trust or beneficiary designations on your life insurance or retirement accounts. However, a crucial aspect of your estate plan you should not overlook is a health care directive.

Putting your medical wishes in writing and appointing a health care proxy is important for your estate plan. Here is an explanation of what you can include in your health care directive and how to choose someone to make medical decisions for you.

Common types of financial abuse and scams against the elderly

One of the last things you would want to happen to an aging parent is for them to be targets of a scammer or unscrupulous person in a position of trust. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common for senior citizens in Ohio and elsewhere.

According to the National Adult Protective Services Association, one out of every 20 elderly Americans becomes a victim of financial abuse. You may be able to take steps to protect your parents before they suffer financial exploitation. First, you will need to recognize the different ways in which financial abusers may target elderly people.

Estate mistakes to avoid

With any legal issue, knowing what not avoid is often just as important as knowing what you need to do. That may be especially true when it comes to estate planning.

Here are some potential mistakes you want to avoid when you're working out your own estate plans:

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