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White Plains Legal Issues Blog

Conflicts may arise after the death of a trustmaker

If a loved one created a trust as part of a complete estate plan, you may be fortunate. A trust is often an excellent tool for protecting assets and allowing beneficiaries to access those assets soon after the trustmaker's death rather than having to wait through the probate process.

However, there are some factors that can complicate the settlement of a trust. If you are the beneficiary of a revocable living trust, you may have questions about what is holing up your inheritance and whether your situation may ultimately require litigation to reach a resolution.

No children? You still need to create an estate plan

Often, family, friends, and co-workers will say that they did not consider creating an Estate Plan until they had children, and that the focus of their Estate Planning is to protect their children in the event that they themselves unexpectedly pass away.

Needless to say, Estate Planning for the benefit of one's children is a smart and natural approach.

However, Estate Planning is by no means something that should be considered exclusively by people with children.  

Indeed, individuals and couples without children - especially those with a high net worth - can benefit immeasurably from a well-crafted Estate Plan.

If you have not considered creating an Estate Plan because you have yet to start a family, contact Bashian P.C. and ask how you - and your spouse or partner - will uniquely benefit from our Estate Planning services. 

Do I need a business succession plan?

As a business owner, you never seem to run out of work to do.

Whether it's meeting customer needs, managing your employees or upgrading your company's services or location, you always have a task that needs attention.

But once you've launched your business, you need to add one more item on your to-do list: establishing a business succession plan.

If you are a busniess owner, and have no clear successin plan in place, contact Bashain P.C. as we can walk you through this often comlex process stp by step.  

Understanding the types of charitable organizations

Starting a charitable organization can be a great way to give back and to make a positive impact in your local community or society as a whole.

It can also have significant benefits from a tax perspective, allowing your money to go further toward reaching your charitable goals.

However, starting a charity requires that you understand the difference between the different types of charitable organizations.

Doing so will help you to select the best option for your needs. 

If you are considering creating a charitable organization - for tax planning or any other purpose - Bashian P.C. can help. 

Childless couples can prevent future issues with an estate plan

It's not always easy to think about the future, particularly when it comes to considering one's death and what will happen to his or her estate. Y

ou may find these factors difficult to think about, and you may decide it's not really necessary because you do not have kids.

This is actually not true. There are many reasons why childless couples will benefit from estate planning. 

Even without kids, you and your spouse probably have strong feelings about what will happen to your assets, including money and various types of property after you die.

Without a will, a court gets to determine what happens to your estate, and it can leave loved ones in a legal predicament as they may then try and stake a claim to property and assets.

It can be quite complicated, and you can avoid these issues with a strong estate plan in place.

What is Undue Influence?

Under New York Law, there are four general grounds upon which to contest the validity of a Will.

These grounds - or Objections - include: the person who made the Will lacked "Testamentary Capacity;" the Will was not "Duly Executed;" the Will was a product of "Fraud or Duress;" and one of the most common - that the person who made the Will was the victim of "Undue Influence."

After a loved one passes, if you believe that their Will does not reflect their true final wishes, there is the possibility that they were subject to the "Undue Influence" of another.

"Undue Influence" itself is generally defined as:

"...moral coercion which restrained independent action and destroyed free agency...it must not be the promptings of affection; the desire of gratifying the wishes of another; the ties of attachment arising from consanguinity, or the memory of kind acts and friendly offices, but a coercion produced by importunity, or by a silent, resistless power which the strong will often exercises over the weak and infirm, and which could not be resisted, so that the motive was tantamount to force or fear."

In order to prove "Undue Influence," the person challenging the validity of the Will has the burden of establishing that someone not only was the victim of "Undue Influence" as defined above, but that the person exercising the "Undue Influence" had both the "motive," and "opportunity" to exercise "Undue Influence," and that they "actually exercised" "Undue Influence" over another.

If you believe that a loved one's Will may have been the product of the "Undue Influence," and seek to challenge the validity of that Will, Bashian P.C. may be able to help. 

Investing in a home in the New York greater metropolitan area

Competitive rental prices in some high-demand neighborhoods initiated a cooling down of New York's Real Estate market. Nevertheless, even in the midst of a cooldown period, New York remains a competitive market. 

Brooklyn, for example, has remained a hot zone for many buyers still looking to purchase a home.

According to CNBC, this may make it a great time for buyers to buy a house in Brooklyn or neighboring communities, whether for use as a primary, secondary or rental property.

As many real investors know, homebuyers who can secure property in the New York greater metropolitan area rarely come to regret it. 

If you are looking to purchase a home in this area, contact Bashian P.C. Our expert Real Estate attorneys are ready to answer all of your questions, and walk you through the process step by step. 

Are you wondering what you got yourself into as an executor?

Perhaps you felt honored when a loved one asked you to serve as his or her executor. You may have agreed without truly understanding what it would entail.

Now that your loved one passed away, you need to determine whether you can fulfill the duties of the job. Before making your decision, you may want to know to which responsibilities you agreed.

Do you and your co-parent have a plan for Halloween?

When you and your co-parent worked out your custody agreement and parenting plan, you likely addressed how you would divide or alternate custody of your children on major holidays. Often, parents don't consider "lesser" holidays. However, some of those can be just as important to kids -- and maybe to one or both of you.

Take, for example, Halloween. With candy, decorations and costumes already on store shelves, if you have young kids, you're likely remembering what a big deal this holiday is for them. If you and your co-parent don't have a plan for Halloween detailed in any of your agreements, now is the time to start thinking about it. There are a number of options.

Should you consider remote alcohol monitoring?

Parents who have struggled with alcoholism often find themselves fighting for custody of their children. Even parents who have stopped drinking and sought treatment and/or entered a 12-step program can have a difficult time convincing their ex-spouse, judges and others who play a role in making these decisions that they can be trusted to care for their children.

This can be particularly difficult if they have a history of neglecting or endangering their children when they were drinking. Even when children aren't put in immediate risk by a parent's drinking, research has shown that kids with parents who are dealing with substance abuse are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other disorders. They are also more likely to have problems in school and on standardized tests.

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