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East Aurora New York Legal Blog

What is a living will?

While you may understand what a last will and testament is, there is another type of will that you may not know about. This is the living will, which is defined by the New York Attorney General as a legal document in which you leave your directions for how to care for you and manage your health care if you become unable to do so yourself. A living will may become important at any stage of your adult life if you are injured or become sick. 

It helps to ensure that your wishes are known and carried out. For example, if you wish to not be kept alive by life support, then you could put this in the document. You may also dictate what medications you will take and which ones you do not want. To create a valid living will, you have to be at least 18 years old. The document must also be clear and precise as to what your wishes are. 

How is property divided in a divorce?

If you are getting a divorce in New York, then one concern will be how your property is divided. According to the New York City Bar, marital property is generally divided, but not all property you have is considered marital property. It depends on when and how it was acquired. 

Any property that you buy after you are married with funds from an account you and your spouse shared is classified as marital property. This includes any money, investments, personal property and even educational degrees. Typically, anything you purchased before you were married with money that was only yours, inheritances and anything excluded in a prenuptial agreement will not be considered marital property and is personal property.

What can you do to avoid becoming distracted while driving?

Have you ever tried to text and drive at the same time? Do you find yourself multitasking while behind the wheel? Distracted driving is a bigger problem than you may realize in New York, and diverting your attention away from the road can have debilitating consequences. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to drive responsibly and avoid putting yourself and others in danger by engaging in distracted driving. 

According to AAA Exchange, there are many simple things you can do before embarking on any journey to guarantee that your attention is focused on the road during your travels. Some of the things you can do include the following:

  • Encourage your passengers to help you stay on task and avoid behaviors that may divert your attention.
  • Eat meals before getting behind the wheel. If you absolutely have to eat, take foods that are easy and clean.
  • Make sure you know the directions to where you are going. If this means programming a GPS unit, input your coordinates before leaving.
  • Store loose cargo in a safe place where it won't be sliding around or falling.
  • If you are driving with children, let them know that needs will have to wait until you reach your destination. If a need is urgent, pull off of the road to a safe place and take care of your children.
  • Never text while you are driving, or attempt to manipulate any electronic devices. 

Distracted driving laws in New York: everything you need to know

Regulations against cell phone use while driving vary dramatically from state to state. New York has some of the most extensive prohibitions and most severe penalties for such offenses. Whether you’re a New York resident or you’re just visiting, it is your responsibility to understand—and adhere to—the laws surrounding distracted driving in this state.

While many states have implemented a ban on texting while driving, New York has doubled down on distracted driving by prohibiting a wide variety of device-related activities.

New York is no stranger to increasing gray divorces

You may have noticed that in New York and throughout the nation, more and more older people are getting divorced than ever before. In fact, the trend is rising so quickly, some have coined the term "gray divorce" to describe it. If you are age 50 or older and are considering or preparing for divorce, then this colloquial phrase applies to your situation as well. Many wonder why couples who have been together for 30, 40 or 50 or more years would decide to divorce.

If you've been married more than three decades, you might as well just stick it out, right? While that may be the ultimate choice some people make, others (perhaps yourself included) determine divorce as the most viable option to resolve their marital problems. The details of your particular situation may vary from other couples in similar situations who decide to divorce. Then again, you may have several factors in common. The divorce process can be complicated at age 50 or beyond, so it's important to know where to seek support.

You can politely say 'No' to field sobriety tests

You may be like other New York residents who feel as though they can't say "no" to a police officer. It is true that you can't refuse some of an officer's requests, such as to exit your vehicle, but there are some requests with which you don't have to comply, such as participating in field sobriety tests.

More than likely, the officer will attempt to convince you that you should participate in these tests. The officer may try to make it seem as though you do not have a choice, but just remember that it's voluntary. As long as you remain calm and polite, you may want to continue to let the officer know that you will not take part in field sobriety tests.

4 Tips For Selecting The Best Custody Attorney

5a469f0180557a00017d084a_Image_1 (3)-p-1080.jpegThe media often suggests that the majority of marriages end in divorce. But the reality is that only 3 out of every 1,000 marriages in the U.S. end each year.

If you've found yourself in the middle of a divorce though, it can feel like you're the only one suffering from this stressful, emotional situation. Losing your spouse, dividing property, and moving out of your home is bad enough.

The last thing you want to do is worry about losing custody of your children.

That's why we've compiled this list of 4 essential tips for finding the best custody attorney. Keep reading to learn more.

5 Surprising Reasons You Need A Closing Attorney

For most homeowners, a home or condo is the largest asset they own. Yet navigating real estate law is still more complicated than the average New Yorker can understand. That's why, for your protection, it's the law that you have a closing attorney with you.

A Lawyer's Advice on Will Preparation

Do you know what will happen to your family after you pass away? Are you sure your assets will go to the people who need it most?

Writing a will ensures the people you love are taken care of when you can no longer take care of them yourself. A survey shows that a shocking 50% of Americans with children don't have a will - meaning they'll never know what happens to their family or belongings when they're gone.

Here are a few things to consider during your will preparation that will keep you out of that percent.

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

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