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East Aurora New York Legal Blog

Why advisors matter when writing a will

You have probably heard about families that fall apart after a strong mother or father figure passes away. At Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C., we know that there are many unavoidable emotional issues involved in most estate matters. While there is no escaping the fact that your children might struggle with each other while trying to fill a void left by your passing, there could be a way to reduce the risk of disagreement. 

Many will contests in New York are based on a handful of arguments. One of the most common of these is a claim that testatorial incapacity. You could potentially reduce the efficacy of these arguments drastically by bringing an advisor in for consultation.

Trying to figure out what to do with the family home isn't easy

You may not live in Manhattan, but the average real estate prices here in East Aurora still made it a challenge to find a house you could afford that had everything you wanted and needed to make a home. After years of living there, you may have finally gotten it the way you want it.

Then, recently, you decided to end your marriage. You and your future former spouse probably want to remain amicable, so you are attempting to negotiate your own settlement. When the subject of the house comes up, neither of you quite knows what to do.

Are children who work no longer in need of support payments?

If you are a divorced parent, you may wonder what might happen if your teenage son or daughter finds a job. Would that terminate the child support obligations you or your former spouse have to meet? While it is important that your offspring enter the workforce when they are old enough and start earning a paycheck, New York law requires that children must continue to receive financial support from both parents even if a child finds part time work.

According to New York state law, the obligation of a parent to give a child financial support lasts until the child turns 21 years of age. However, state law will consider a child emancipated if the child reaches any number of possible thresholds. For instance, if a child completes four years of college before turning 21, gets married or joins the military, the child is generally considered emancipated under New York law.

Examining the dangers of texting while driving

New York residents share the road with all sorts of people. Likewise, any number of these people may be engaging in distracted driving behaviors. Whether it's a busy salaryman, a student trying to get to class, or anyone in between, the results can be devastating.

The Federal Communications Commission categorizes distracted driving as risky driving behavior, but it can also be deadly. Any sort of distracted driving can come along with such risks, but texting is considered particularly problematic due to how common it is. Around 660,000 drivers every single day use their handheld devices at some point while behind the wheel. Considering a car on the freeway can travel the length of a football distance in 3 seconds, this is a lot of potential time in which many people aren't looking at the road.

What should I know about loss of consortium?

A car accident aftermath can be devastating on New York couples. A husband caught in an auto collision can experience severe and lasting injuries that deprive a spouse of all the affection and comfort that the husband would have usually provided. This is known as a loss of consortium. Any spouse victimized by loss of consortium can try to claim damages as part of an accident claim.

FindLaw explains that a loss of consortium can take different forms. The most devastating is the complete loss of a spouse. An auto accident can permanently deprive someone of the presence and affection of a partner through taking the partner’s life. Alternatively, an accident may cause grievous injury to a person. Although the accident victim manages to survive, his or her life is radically changed as a result.

Reevaluating one's estate plan is a critical part of divorce

When people are getting divorced from their significant other in New York, their thoughts are often immediately consumed with decisions regarding their assets, child custody and alimony requirements. However, many people overlook the importance of reevaluating their estate plan to verify that it is still relevant despite the changes in their marital status and family relationship. 

If people have children, they should first look at the guardianship plans they have previously created for their children. Do the people they have named as caretakers still have a relationship with the children that will make this transition healthy and effective? If they did not have any sort of estate plan with their soon-to-be ex, it is critical that they begin developing one right away. Doing so will put them in a better position to have a comfortable living situation when their retirement years roll around. 

Do you want to lessen the likelihood of a will contest?

Over the years, you may have witnessed your family fight over various situations. In particular, you may have seen your loved ones bicker over a deceased loved one's estate and may even have seen litigation result. Now that you are ready to create your own estate plan, you may worry about your estate winding up at the center of a family fight.

You are already taking a beneficial step to lessen that likelihood by creating an estate plan in the first place. Leaving no instruction often opens estates up for conflict, so getting your wishes organized and down on paper could prove useful in avoiding contention. However, you may also want to consider going one step further with your plans.

What are the penalties for chemical test refusal in New York?

Despite popular belief, it is not wise or even legal to refuse a chemical test in New York. If a police offer stopped you for drinking and driving in the greater New York area, and if you refused to submit to a breath test, blood test, field sobriety test or all three, the state may charge you with a misdemeanor. However, the consequences of your actions all depend on the number of similar prior offenses for which the state has found you guilty in the past five to 10 years. 

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, your first chemical test refusal may result in a $500 civil fine and license revocation for at least one year. If the state finds you guilty of a second offense within the span of five years, the fine increases to $750. It may revoke your license for one year to 18 months, or until you are 21, if you are not yet of legal drinking age. If you possess a commercial driving license, the state will revoke your CDL for good if it finds you guilty of chemical test refusal for a second time.

Helping you decide what to keep in a divorce

Property division is complicated, and the complexity of New York law is not entirely to blame. Divorce is an emotional time, and those feelings would typically cloud your decision-making during negotiations. You would probably have one impulse telling you to try and keep everything and another urging you to leave it all behind.

At Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C., we understand that our clients have more on their minds than a simple question of who gets what. That is why we work with them to help them understand what New York's equitable distribution laws mean over the long term.

What treatments are available for alcohol abuse?

Receiving drunk driving charges in New York is a very serious offense. However, if you’ve recently been charged with a DWI your problems may extend beyond the legal. For people with alcohol abuse problems, nearly every facet of their lives can be affected, from relationships with friends and family to income potential. If you feel that you require treatment for alcohol abuse, WebMD explains the following options.


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Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C.
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East Aurora, NY 14052

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