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When domestic situations turn into kidnapping

A difficult domestic situation can, unfortunately, escalate suddenly. Someone who was only in a moderate amount of legal trouble can find himself or herself facing the much more serious charge of kidnapping.

It's important to understand exactly what legally constitutes kidnapping before you make a decision that could be difficult to defend in court.

Think of your executor as chief administrator of your estate

Time marches on, and you may suddenly find yourself at or near your long-awaited retirement. If so, and you still do not have an estate plan in place, now is the time to protect your loved ones through a comprehensive estate plan. 

The first order of business is to name an executor. This will be an important position: Basically, the person you choose will serve as chief administrator of your estate.

How the new tax bill changes alimony

Recently, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law after it passed both houses of Congress. The bill is expected to have a major impact on many aspects of the U.S. economy. It will also touch other aspects of American life. In fact, the tax bill brings a major change to alimony, also known as spousal support.

Alimony deduction ends in 2018

Dealing with police: Facts everyone should know

For most people, interacting with the police can be unnerving -- at best. They have authority. They have weapons. They have handcuffs and can take you away from your family. By law, they can even lie to you -- although you (by law) cannot lie to them.

That's why it's understandable that a lot of people blurt out the answers to anything the police ask them -- even when they're not legally required to do so.

Should you take back your maiden name after your divorce?

Women who took their husband's last name at marriage are often faced with a difficult question during the already difficult time of divorce: Do they or don't they change back to their maiden name (or a previous married name) after the divorce?

The right answer is going to vary depending on how you feel and your circumstances. Here are all of the things that you need to consider:

  1. Is your professional reputation tied to your married name? How hard would it be to rebuild? For some women, including the famous singer Tina Turner, keeping a married name is essential to keeping a certain professional identity.
  2. Do you and your spouse have minor children together? Will it trouble you (or them) emotionally to have different last names? For some families, this isn't an issue. For others, it's a huge one.
  3. How long was your marriage? If it was brief, you may still have a significant bond with your name prior to the marriage whether it was from birth or a different marriage. If it was long, you may have a strong personal identity with the name you carry now.
  4. How badly does the name make you feel? If the marriage was particularly wretched, shedding your spouse's last name could be symbolic of leaving behind the misery of your married life together.
  5. How much do you like the name? How much do you like any of your previous names? No one has any right to judge you if you hate your maiden name or your previous married name and like the one you have now better. The same goes if you hate the one you have and only took it out of convention. Change it back if it makes you happier.
  6. Is it worth the hassle? Think back to when you got married and everything you had to update: Social Security cards, bank accounts, utilities, credit cards and magazine subscriptions. If you don't want to bother, you don't have to bother.

Stop feeling guilty about filing for bankruptcy

Do you remember that old board game called, "Life?" As you moved around the board, the luck of the dice controlled whether good things or bad things happened to you. Some of them increased your fortune, others decreased it.

It was meant to mimic real life in a lot of ways. Everyone is just about one or two bad dice throws away from bankruptcy. That's why the process was created -- and why you should stop feeling guilty that you've landed in that spot.

Handling a custody battle with a sociopath

Were you involved romantically with a sociopath? If so, you may now find yourself in a custody battle in which your own emotions can be used against you.

Sociopaths -- people essentially without a conscious or an ability to feel remorse -- make up to 5 percent of the general population. In general, because they are focused entirely around their own needs and disregard the feelings of others, they don't exactly make good parents.

Obstruction of justice: Understand what could get you charged

Obstruction of justice is a criminal charge that often sneaks up on people -- because they often don't realize that what they're doing is illegal at the time they're doing it.

They may know that their actions are improper or morally wrong, but people often confuse "freedom of speech" to mean that they're free to say anything they want -- even lie -- to the police.

The Medicaid long-term care predicament

The sad truth is that most people, living on savings and retirement income, can’t afford a place to live when they need care. They don’t have long term care insurance, and nursing home care in Ohio is costly, averaging more than $200 a day.

There is a solution available, Medicaid, the first choice of most people for funding nursing home care. But Medicaid is far from easy. You must be 65 or older, or blind or otherwise disabled, to qualify.

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