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Questions Answered by Joseph Jaap
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Energy, Oil and Gas for Ohio on
Q: Am I legally required to pay back previous owner for paying the gas bill after I bought the house?

I purchased the home in 6/2022. I wasn’t aware that the gas and electric were separate companies until 9/2022 when the previous owner reached out and wanted reimbursed for paying the gas bill from 6/2022-9/2022. She paid it for three months before saying anything. Do I legally have to pay her back?

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Feb 2, 2023

The home sale contract that buyer and seller sign, typically specifies that seller must pay for utilities through the date of the closing of the sale, and afterward the buyer is responsible. You would have to pay only if she sues you, the court finds you liable, and enters a judgment against you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: My brother had POA for my mother. However he started having I’ll intentions and my mother wanted me to have POA.

However we signed and notarized the POA in the hospital as she is competent. He is going to try and say she wasn’t competent, what can I do to protect my mother and the POA we signed in the hospital?

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 31, 2023

When a new POA is executed that revokes the prior POA, until people are notified that the old POA has been revoked, they might still honor it and follow instructions from the old agent. So the new POA should be given to health care providers, banks, financial advisors, insurance agents, etc. so... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Ohio on
Q: If my wife and I are starting to work through a divorce. do I stay in the house?

My wife indicates she is seeking a divorce. she has stated I should pack and move out. I pay the mortgage and utilities, my wife does not currently have a job.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 30, 2023

You need to talk to a lawyer ASAP. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local divorce attorney who can review your situation and advise you of your rights. Many offer free consultations, so talk to a few and find one to work with. Don't delay.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: I would like to know how to revoke a power of attorney. My mother is competent, and wants POA moved to me.
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 25, 2023

Along with executing the new POA that specifically revokes the prior POA, anyone who received the prior POA should be notified that the prior POA is revoked, and provide a copy of the new POA. Until someone is notified that the prior POA has been revoked, they will have no way to know there is a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: In ohio if I want to sign poa to my 24yr old daughter over my 15 yr old daughter do I have to go thru the court
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 24, 2023

She would have to apply to the probate court to be appointed guardian. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney who handles guardianships to review your circumstances and advise you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: Is it necessary to have legal representation if I am in the process of becoming my fathers legal Gaurdian?

My father currently has a court appointed Gaurdian. I am currently in the process of becoming successor Gaurdian. The court hearing date is set. I am just wanting to know if legal representation is necessary.

Also, the hearing is via Zoom.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 18, 2023

Legal representation is not required. But there are significant legal and fiduciary responsibilities of being a guardian, reports that must be filed with the court, etc. You should retain a local probate attorney who handles guardianships to represent you at the hearing and to provide continuing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: Co borrower on home loan application and On bank note but not mortgage or title. Wife never had job and I paid everythin

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Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 17, 2023

If you are getting a divorce, the house is marital property no matter whose names are on the deed, loan, or mortgage.

Your spouse has an interest in the home, even if she paid nothing, and that interest will be divided in the divorce. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: I am filing a transfer on death affidavit for my mothers property in Ohio.

My father and mother purchased land in 1963 to build their home and the deed transferred to my mother in 2002 at my fathers death. There is a certificate of transfer on file but there is no volume and page number which the form requires. Can I reference the deed from 1963 that has a volume and page... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 17, 2023

If the certificate of transfer was recorded in the county recorder's office, the book/page recording reference will be in their on-line records or in their records. If it was not recorded, it must be recorded now. To be sure your TOD affidavit will be valid, use the Find a Lawyer tab to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: How can I get someone off the deed?

My ex-fiancée put zero money into purchasing the home. I sold my house and my credit got this currently. She has only paid half mortgage. Nothing else. No house bills, nothing. I only put her on the deed because we were going to marry. Turns out she used me to leave her parents house and had no... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 6, 2023

Once a person is added to the deed to a home, they have to agree to any transfer to remove their name. Without a written agreement with her in which she agreed to pay her share, you can't force her to pay anything on the mortgage or any other bills. You can offer her some amount of money to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Insurance Defense for Ohio on
Q: House was damaged while under contract and lost value in sale, can home insurance company be held liable?

While under contract for sale, pipes froze and burst causing extensive damage (we had already relocated so it was not caught immediately.) The buyer went through with the sale but at a $25k reduction in price. Can I ask my home insurance company to compensate me for this loss in value?

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Dec 30, 2022

Whoever owned the home at the time of the damage turns in a claim to their insurance company.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: OH TOD deed to one person, then a new TOD deed to another but that one was revoked. Is the first one still valid?

My great aunt signed a TOD deed on her home and my mother was the beneficiary. Later my great aunt signed another TOD deed with her neighbor as beneficiary, but then revoked the TOD deed to the neighbor several years later. Is the one to my mother still valid if it was never revoked? What if a... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Dec 22, 2022

It depends on how each was worded and if they were properly executed and recorded. They would have to be reviewed by an attorney to give an accurate answer. A properly worded, executed, and recorded TOD affidavit would take precedence over a different designation in a will. Use the Find a Lawyer... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Business Law for Ohio on
Q: If an Ohio corporation does not have bylaws, does Ohio code detail how stock sales are to be conducted?

Do stock transfers then have to be recorded on the shareholder ledger?

What if some of the original stock certificates have been lost?

Do company officers have to sign off on the transaction?

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Dec 19, 2022

Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1701, https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/chapter-1701, provides the legal framework for an Ohio for-profit corporation, and specifies procedures for issuing and transferring stock, which should be recorded in a ledger or other records of the corporation by the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: If i am 18 and a senior and highschool, can I still move out?
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Dec 7, 2022

Unless there is a court order requiring continued parental support, when a child reaches age 18, the parents no longer have a legal responsibility to provide financial support, including room and board, health insurance, car insurance, etc. So the 18 year old can decide whether to obtain those.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Ohio on
Q: I am graduating high school and entering college at 16. How can I emancipate myself?

Our family resides in Ohio. I plan to go to college in Pennsylvania. I do not believe my parents will give consent for emancipation. I am currently working on opening a bank account and securing a part-time job, and I eventually would like to obtain a debit card. I'm not sure if this would... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Dec 1, 2022

Parents are legally responsible and make the decisions until a child turns 18. Ohio does not allow a minor to seek emancipation. Emancipation cannot be accomplished by an act of the child alone. Emancipation is generally through the act of the child's parents regarding terminating child... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: Can I pay the contractor only what’s owed according to work done? Contractor demanding money for work not done.

I have a scope of work from my homeowners insurance. There are things that the contractor did not do. I have highlighted and given the detailed scope to him and he’s stating I owe more than what was done. There was also damage to property that he’s claiming we did/manipulated in order to cause... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Dec 1, 2022

If you don't pay, the contractor could sue you, or instead, choose to record a mechanic's lien against your home. The lien automatically expires after 6 years if no action is taken on it. Try to work it out with your insurance and the contractor, but if contractor files a lien or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Contracts for Ohio on
Q: I live in Ohio my property manager is trying to make me pay utilities that my lease says are covered by the landlord.

Is she allowed to do that when my lease clearly states “this is a utility y by the landlord”. My lease isn’t up until 4/30/23. Shes saying that there is new management and that she gave us a 30 day notice so we have to pay. Is this correct? I thought my lease was a binding agreement that... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Nov 30, 2022

Some property managers act improperly. They sometimes demand that tenants make a payment not required by the lease. If you don't pay it, she could file to evict you. You could then take your lease to court, and if your lease does not require you to pay it, the judge could dismiss the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Ohio on
Q: My grandmother gave her house to her first born grandchild without a will just word of mouth. My father was suppose to

Inherit some land but has passed away. The land would have gone to my mother who also passed away. My cousin wants my siblings and myself to sign a deed gift receipt so she can own the land free and clear (she said a surveyor determined the land my father would have received and her house have been... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Nov 30, 2022

If grandmother, father and mother all have passed away, and their estates were not submitted to the probate court in the county in which each lived, and because they owned real estate, then that is a big mess that will require an attorney to help sort it all out by opening the estate of each with... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Ohio on
Q: to contest a will does it need to be probated first?

will changed after many yrs and just 10 mo. prior to mothers death and mother was in a very vulnerable position with monies, travel to Dr. visits, food etc and older son had just had stroke 2 months before the will change and younger son took advantage of this.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Nov 28, 2022

To open an estate, the executor named in the will should file it with the court and must give notice to all the next of kin that it has been filed, and then family members can contest the will if they have suspicions. If the named executor doesn't open the estate, any other family member can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: Can my abusive boyfriend evict me due to breaking up. He has harrassed me and followed me into the bathroom
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Nov 28, 2022

If you do not have a written lease, then he can evict you. An eviction is a permanent public court record that can make it difficult to rent from a landlord who checks the records, and most do. So avoid having an eviction filed.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Ohio on
Q: Mother of my child hasn’t picked up my child yet it’s late at night no court paperwork child lives with mom full time
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Nov 28, 2022

If you are not married to the mother, and there is no court paperwork, then the mother has full custody. If the child is staying with you without any court-approved agreement, then that is a risk for you. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local family law attorney to work out a custody... Read more »

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