Your Free Legal Checkup

Most of us see our family physician regularly for a check-up to ensure our health. However, to protect ourselves, our families, and our hard-earned assets, we should also regularly conduct a legal check-up. It is simple to begin the process. And even though some issues need to be resolved by a visit to our office, you can take the initial steps yourself, absolutely free. Just follow the instructions that follow.

  1. Do you have a Will? Is it up-to-date? Every adult should have a Will, which contains written instructions on how your Estate will be handled when you die. If you die intestate (without a Will), your assets will be distributed in a manner dictated by Ohio statute, and may not be the way you desire. On rare occasion, the person's assets may actually escheat to the State! Your Will provides instructions regarding: Who will inherit your probatable assets; who will administer your Estate (carry out your instructions) and whether you trust that person so that an expensive Bond will not be necessary. If you have minor children, who will become their Guardian?
  2. Who will manage the assets your minor child inherits? In many cases, the best way to protect those assets is to include in your Will a testamentary trust, that is, one created in your Will. In that trust, you can name a trusted family member or friend to manage the assets for the benefit of your inheriting children. And you can delay the time when your children would control the assets, normally when they turn 18, to a later time, when they are more mature and better able to handle that responsibility.
  3. Do you already have a Will? Once written and properly executed, a Will should be placed in safekeeping. At Pomerantz & Crosby, we keep original Wills in a safe deposit box for those who so desire, absolutely free. Although not required, Wills can also be filed with the Probate Court for safekeeping, for a fee. If you are not certain whether you have a Will which has been filed with the Court, check: At Pomerantz & Crosby Co., L.P.A., we have drafted hundreds of Wills for our clients for a modest fee. If a Testamentary Trust or other special items are needed. An additional fee is required.
  4. Do you need a Power of Attorney? What would happen if you became incapacitated, and were unable to manage your own financial affairs? If you have not taken simple steps to protect yourself, and become unable to manage your affairs, a Guardianship of your Estate will need to be set-up and managed. Doing so is quite expensive, and all of your future financial business will become public record. Virtually every time your Guardian wishes to expend funds on your behalf, an application will have to be filed with the Probate Court. A general Durable Power of Attorney is an inexpensive, simple way to protect yourself. For a modest fee, we at Pomerantz & Crosby will create this document, in which you name a trusted person to manage your affairs, cash or deposit checks, pay bills, even buy or sell real estate, in your place.
  5. How much is my home or other property worth? Are there any mortgages or liens against it? It is always a good idea to know what your home or other real property is worth, and how much equity you have built up in it. You need that information to obtain a loan or decide whether to sell. Also, you need to know whether there are any mortgages or liens on the property. That information is available at:
  6. What will happen to your home when you die? If you own your home and are married, your spouse can gain sole ownership of your home without having to go through Probate, if your home is titled in the proper form, usually in a Joint and Survivorship Deed. To check how your real estate is titled, and print out a copy of that deed, visit: If your deed is not in the proper form, we at Pomerantz & Crosby can draft and get recorded a new Deed in the proper form.
  7. Who will give consent if your minor children need medical treatment, and you are not available? Legally, a hospital or other provider cannot give care to a child without consent of a parent or guardian. But what if you are out-of-the-country, or otherwise unavailable. At Pomerantz & Crosby, we can draft a Consent form allowing a grandparent or other responsible person the power to consent in your stead.
  8. Who will give consent for your treatment if you cannot do so? For a modest fee, we can draft a Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney empowering someone else to provide consent for treatment, if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to do so. In some cases, executing this document may allow you or a loved one to get treatment without setting up a Guardianship of the Person, if you or a loved one becomes incompetent to provide consent.
  9. Living Will. Although not legally required or necessary, some individuals, usually in their golden years, decide that they do not want to be kept alive by artificial means, which may drain that person's hard earned assets at the end of life. After carefully counseling the client, Pomerantz & Crosby will, in the appropriate case, draft a Living Will, which evidences an intention not to be kept alive by artificial means, if the person has been determined to be in a permanent vegetative state, with no hope of recovery.
  10. Are there any legal claims against you? To check to see if there are any lawsuits pending or legal judgments against you, you should check the dockets of the Cuyhaoga County Court of Common Pleas at and any and all relevant Municipal Courts:

- Cleveland Municipal Court

- Shaker Heights Municipal Court

- Cleveland Heights Municipal Court

- Garfield Heights Municipal Court

- Bedford Municipal Court

- Parma Municipal Court

- Lyndhurst Municipal Court