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Joseph Jaap

Joseph Jaap

Legal services for families, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
  • Real Estate Law, Divorce, Estate Planning...
  • Ohio
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Joe is from Cincinnati, served as an officer in the US Navy, worked as an engineer, and has been providing legal services for 28+ years to families and small business owners in the areas of real estate and construction, landlords, tenants, condominium and homeowner associations, business contracts, trademarks, and family law matters including wills and estate planning, divorce, dissolution, and custody.

Practice Areas
  • Real Estate Law
  • Divorce
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Landlord Tenant
  • Trademarks
  • Construction Law
  • Family Law
  • Free Consultation
    Call for a free telephone consultation.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • English
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
J.D. (1989) | Law
Honors: Order of the Coif Academic Honor Society
Purdue University - Purdue University
M.S. (1974) | Engineering
Professional Associations
Cincinnati Bar Association
- Current
Professional Engineer 1986-2002
State of Ohio
Senior Reactor Operator 1982-1984
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Surface Warfare Officer/Nuclear Power Plant Engineer
United States Navy
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
2499 Questions Answered

Q. My cost to state of Ohio to become bonded as Executor of mother's will. I live and reside in Michigan.
A: Check with a bonding company for the premium. It also would be prudent to retain a local probate attorney to assist you with the probate process in the county in which the probate is filed. Use the Find a Lawyer tab.
Q. Can I stay in my husband's home if he passes before me?
A: His "previous" will IS his current will, unless he revoked the previous will, tore it up, or destroyed it. Since his previous wife is deceased, the transfer to her in the transfer on death deed, is no longer in effect. If he passes away, the house would not pass to any of her heirs. But if he has any children, an interest in the house would pass to them and you as his surviving spouse. So it would be prudent to use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local estate planning attorney to review his "previous" (current) will, the deed, and his and your current situation, to recommend whether new wills should be executed, along with living wills, powers of attorney, and other important estate planning documents.
Q. Going through divorce with a wife. She took all her stuff and left and abandoned it
A: It is not illegal for her to do those things. During the divorce process, the the court will determine ownership of household items, cars, etc. You could file a motion for the court to order possession of a car. Use the Find a Lawyer tab and retain a local divorce attorney to review all the facts and advise you if you are not already represented by an attorney.
Q. My niece is wanting my husband and I to adopt her unborn baby. What do we need to do for this to be legal and not cost?
A: Talk to the probate court and review the forms and procedures for adoption on the court's web site. The biological father would have to consent. You probably will need an attorney to assist you with the process. You can use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney who handles adoptions.
Q. What happens if mom dont show up to court when dad is the one fighting for custody..
A: If mother is not there, then the court could reschedule the hearing, or the court could proceed with the hearing and decide what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child, based on the evidence and testimony presented by the father. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local family law attorney to review the circumstances and represent you.
Q. If I paid a designer to help design a city map, can another org. then use the same designer to publish & claim that map?
A: If your written agreement with the designer did not also assign the copyright to you, then the designer still own the copyright in the map design, even though you paid the designer for it. An assignment of copyright must be in writing, otherwise, the designer retains it. If the designer still owns the copyright in the map design, then the designer can sell and use the map with others. Same as a wedding photographer. The photographer typically retains the copyright in the photos, and only sells prints to the couple. If they want the rights to the photos to make prints themselves, they must pay the photographer extra for the copyrights.
Q. We are giving a house to somebody.does a deed transfer need to done by a lawyer ?
A: A lawyer is not required. But without having a lawyer to be sure everything is done properly, there could be problems that could be difficult or expensive, or both, to correct later. Preparation of a deed by an attorney, and a title examination to determine if there are any problems, is a prudent investment at a modest cost. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney.
Q. My lease ends at the end of the month and the landlord is trying to say they can charge us two months rent
A: Landlord can make such a claim and even sue you in court. Anyone can file a claim. The court would then review the lease and determine if landlord had a legal basis to claim you owe two months. But even if you win, a lawsuit is a public record, and could make it difficult to rent from a future landlord who checks the records. So try to work it out to avoid that.
Q. 4 people jointly own a 40 acre parcel of farm land with house in Ohio. 3 of them want to sell, the 4th does not.
A: The 3 can file a lawsuit called a "partition action" asking the court to order the property to be sold, and the sale proceeds to be split equally among the 4. The 3 can use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney to review the facts, and contact #4 to advise that the property will be sold by court order if #4 does not cooperate.
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Main Office
3074 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH 45209
Telephone: (513) 533-2037