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White Plains Legal Issues Blog

Potential complexities of New York real estate transactions

If you want to buy or sell real estate in New York, it may involve complicated negotiations and legal processes. There are unique laws that cover financing, vacant land transactions, land-use approvals, zoning and many other real estate issues. New York contains a diverse mix of real estate, including traditional residences, apartment buildings, farm land, commercial properties and cooperative apartments. Here at Bashian P.C., we have helped many clients successfully navigate New York real estate transactions.

If you are planning to purchase property, there are several steps you may need to complete before signing the closing papers. Depending on the type and location of the property, you may need to obtain inspection reports, land surveys, environmental data and title reports. Homeowners association agreements may also apply to residential properties. There may be important financial and investment documents related to buying and selling cooperative apartments.

How to create an inclusive LGBTQ+ work environment

New York has often been known for welcoming minorities with open arms, whether they are people of color, immigrants or a part of the LGBTQ community. However, there are some federal laws that the state often has no choice but to enforce.

Early this year, CNN updated its thorough timeline of events related to the LGBTQ community, starting from 1924. Toward the end, it highlights the struggles transgenders have faced regarding their ability to serve in the military. However, discrimination at work does not stop here for the LGBTQ community.

How many kids are killed and hurt in collisions?

Raising a child can be challenging, and there are many risks that kids will face throughout their entire childhood. Sadly, traffic accidents are one of the most common ways in which young children are injured or killed, and these fatalities and injuries occur at an alarming rate. As a parent, it is imperative for you to understand the risks that your child faces on the road and do everything you can to reduce the probability of a collision. Sadly, even if you take every precautionary measure, an accident may still occur and be devastating for your family.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 128,000 children under the age of 12 were injured in motor vehicle wrecks over the course 2016. Furthermore, more than 700 children in this age group passed away during the same year. The CDC points out that many children ride in vehicles without being properly restrained at some point, whether they are not in an appropriate car seat or they are not wearing a seat belt.

Harper Lee's estate sued by production company

Far too many people in White Plains may view the job of helping to administer an estate as being limited to ensuring that assets are directed to designated beneficiaries. While that may be all that is required of an executor or personal representative in some cases, other times whoever is tasked with fulfilling that role may be called upon again and again to represent the estate's interest. This is especially true for estates that count artistic or intellectual properties amongst their assets. Third parties may seek permission to utilize such assets in the future, and it is the job of the estate executor to ensure that any use is in accordance with the desires conveyed by an estate's testator. 

Managing that use can often result in contention. Such is what is currently happening with the estate of the late novelist Harper Lee. In 2015, Lee came to an agreement with a producer to create a stage adaption of her landmark work . She had entered into a similar agreement with another production company back in 1969. A provision was included in the 1969 agreement that stated that its production could not be run concurrently with any subsequent "first-class" adaptions playing in the same general area. Earlier this year, representatives from Lee's estate contact the leadership of the company managing the earlier production stating that several planned performances were in violation of their agreement and needed to be shut down. The company is now suing the estate to cover some of the costs associated with the cancellations, claiming they had initially received permission from the estate to stage the productions. 

Understanding attorney-client privilege

Working with a lawyer in White Plains on a legal matter can be a daunting process, particularly due to the amount of information you may be required to share with your attorney. It is easy to understand why you may be hesitant to disclose certain information to a person with whom you do not have an established relationship; many of those that we here at Bashian & Farber, LLP have worked with in the past have the same concern. Yet in order for your attorney to provide you with the best possible representation, they need to know all the details related to your case.

Attorney-client privilege allows you the comfort in knowing that you can share information with an attorney without the fear of it being disclosed to the public. The American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct state that your attorney is only allowed to reveal information related to your representation if you give your consent, or such consent is implied in your orders to carry out your representation. In the latter case, your attorney should typically consult with you prior to any disclosures so as to avoid the appearance of any improprieties. 

Almost half of Americans 55 and older do not have wills

Unfortunately, no one lives forever. As New Yorkers age, it is important to make plans for the end of their life. These plans should include retirement and estate planning. In spite of this, CNBC reports that 45 percent of Americans 55 years and older do not have a will.

This is despite the fact that the respondents in the study cited generally agreed that by 50, people should have an estate plan in place. In addition to this, nine out of 10 people also stated that they were open to discussing their end of life plans with family and friends. This important step can do wonders to prevent family feuds after a passing.

Important considerations for LGBT divorce

In 2015, many New Yorkers celebrated the landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriages. However, like any other marriages, many of these ended in divorce. This is about where the similarity ends as LGBT divorcees face unique problems that others do not.

According to Forbes, one of the main problems is deciding how to split the property. This may sound like any other divorce problem, but this is actually what makes LGBT cases so unique. Here's why. There were many couples living together monogamously for decades like married couples, but without the paperwork. In these instances, couples may have bought property together or have other entangled assets, such as those related to retirement plans. This makes separation a lot more complicated.

Consider mediation for a smoother divorce

If you and your spouse decide to split up in New York, you are probably dreading the divorce proceedings. One way to decrease the stress involved with splitting up is to use a mediator, who is a neutral third party who guides you through all divorce considerations such as property, asset and debt division as well as spousal and child support.

While very few people enter into marriage thinking it will end, the American Psychological Association reports that almost half of all marriages end in divorce by the 20th anniversary. For many, a divorce can bring up a variety of emotions such as sadness, anger, helplessness and fear. Going through mediation, as opposed to litigation, is beneficial for not only each spouse but also the children, as it is less emotionally charged.

Bashian & Farber Lawyers contribute to advocating for the rights and liberties of all New Yorkers

Sherry Levin Wallach, who leads the firms Women's Law Group, is a tireless advocate for the legal rights of New Yorkers in more ways than one. Not only is she an expert in criminal defense, but she is a frequent lecturer and organizer for continuing legal education. Most recently, Sherry who is Secretary of the New York State Bar Association is co-chairing its Task Force on Incarceration Release Planning and Programs. This includes examining re-entry planning and programming in preparation for and after, a person's release from incarceration. The Task Force focused its report on several aspects of re-entry planning and programs including housing, education, assisted outpatient treatment for people with mental illness, the barriers faced by people with sex offense convictions, funding and the importance of having formally incarcerated people intricately involved in all aspects of re-entry planning and programs.

What to consider putting into your non-disclosure agreement

Non-disclosure agreements, when they work, help form a shield around your New York company's sensitive information and prevent your workers from giving the information out to competitors and also prevent unfair competition from the use of your own company's documents. However, if you do not spell out certain provisions before your workers sign your NDA, you might find your agreement is harder to enforce.

Fortunately, you can make your NDA more effective by clarifying some issues in the document itself. These issues can vary. Still, while not every NDA will be the same, generally many NDAs should address some common topics.

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