Real Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What If My Renovation Damages a Neighbor’s Home?

Am I liable if I accidently damage a neighboring property?

During renovations, you may be opening up walls in your home, removing trees, repairing fencing, and the like.  It is possible that during renovations you could damage a neighboring property.  Falling trees, dust spreading to other apartments, and torn down fences are all potential scenarios in which you could be held accountable for the damages that you or your employees inflict on a nearby property.  Our Read more . . .

Friday, August 11, 2017

Changing Your Will in New York

How do I update or change my will?

Life is always changing and ever evolving.  In your lifetime, you may marry, divorce, have children, welcome grandkids, switch careers, obtain more assets, and become close to some relatives or estranged from others.  All of these life changes will require that you update your will.  New Yorkers will be glad to hear that amending or even revoking your will can be accomplished with ease.  Our Read more . . .

Monday, August 7, 2017

Updating Your Retirement Account Beneficiary Designations

Far too many individuals approach estate planning as a “once and done” situation, and merely draft up a will and leave it in drawer. A well designed estate plan, however, should consider inevitable changes that will occur during a person’s lifetime. Whether it’s getting married, have children, getting divorced, remarrying or retiring, it is crucial to keep wills, trusts and other estate planning documents updated. Similarly, it is important to ensure that beneficiary designations on retirement accounts are also up to date.

Types of Beneficiary Designations

There are two types of beneficiary designations: per-stirpes and per-capita.

Read more . . .

Monday, July 24, 2017

Staten Island Real Estate Rush is On

Q: Why is the Staten Island real estate market so hot?

Staten Island residential real estate attorneys know firsthand that the local real estate market is booming particularly in the North Shore area of Staten Island. In fact, one of our partners, Kenneth A. Gonzalez, Esq.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why Homebuyers Need an Attorney

For many individuals, buying a home is the single largest financial transaction they will engage in during their lifetime. While some may think that they got it alone, an experienced attorney can help to avoid any pitfalls and protect the buyer’s interests.

Although buyers are primarily concerned with the price and the location, there are are number of other considerations. This includes the condition of the home, negotiating the sales contract, resolving potential title issues, and arranging for financing. In short, not having proper legal representation can ultimately be a costly mistake.

Read more . . .

Monday, July 17, 2017

10 Reasons for Staten Island’s Real Estate Boom

Q: Why are Staten Island real estate values increasing?

Staten Island residential real estate values are soaring. We previously reported on how The New York Wheel project is anticipated to lure Manhattan tourists’ attention and money here. But there are many other reasons why Staten Island is really becoming the place to be for residents and businesses alike.

Read more . . .

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Why Your Estate Plan Should Include Advance Medical Directives

There are a number of objectives to estate planning, not the least of which are protecting your legacy and providing for your loved ones. At the same time, it is also important that you plan for type of medical treatment you should receive be in the event that an accident or illness leaves you mentally or physically incapacitated.   

What is a healthcare proxy?

A health care proxy is also referred to as a durable power of attorney for healthcare. This document allows you to designate someone you trust, such as a spouse, a parent, an adult child, or a close  friend, to make medical decisions according to your preferences. This person will act as your agent and coordinate your treatment with your doctor when you are not capable of making these decisions or speaking for yourself.

Read more . . .

Friday, June 30, 2017

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

What estate planning tools should same-sex couples use to protect themselves and their family?

Estate planning is a crucial step for all couples, but for same-sex couples, creating a thorough estate plan is all the more important.  Same-sex couples often have unique situations that require careful planning.  While the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally in the United States in 2015, the prior patchwork of state laws still impacts estate planning for same-sex couples today. 

Read more . . .

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ensure Your Compliance with ADA Laws with a Real Estate Lawyer

What steps can I take to make sure my new building meets ADA requirements without excessive costs to renovate?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990.  This civil rights law prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals.  For businesses, this often requires making modifications to an existing building in order to ensure disabled individuals have full access to the business.  Making ADA accommodations can be expensive and time consuming.  While most business owners are aware of the ADA, few understand their full potential obligations under the law.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What a Homebuyer Should Look for in a Real Estate Contract

If you are buying a home, you will need to enter into a purchase and sale contract with the seller, which is typically a standard document prepared by the real estate agent. Nonetheless, it is important to have an experienced real estate attorney review the contract to ensure that your interests are protected.

Real Estate Contracts 101

There are a number of essential elements that must be included in a real estate contract. As you know, buying a home requires obtaining a mortgage loan to finance the purchase, and getting approved for a loan can be a difficult process that is often met with unexpected delays.

For this reason, it is important that the contract explicitly states that the deal is contingent on your loan application being approved.

Read more . . .

Monday, June 26, 2017

Probate: An Overview of Letters Testamentary

An individual who has been named as the executor in a will has a number of important duties that are centered on collecting the decedent's property and transferring it to the rightful heirs through probate. This is a court-supervised process that governs how an estate is managed and distributed.

How is the Probate Process Started?

Before the probate is opened, the person named as the executor in the will must obtain Letters Testamentary. This is a legal document that gives the executor legal authority to carry out his or her duties, including:

  • Collecting and inventorying the estate assets
  • Having the assets appraised
  • Paying valid debts to creditors
  • Filing the decedent's final income taxes
  • Paying applicable estate taxes
  • Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries

In order to obtain this document, the executor needs to petition the surrogate court in the county in which the decedent lived. This requires submitting the death certificate with the court clerk as well as completing an application.

Read more . . .

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