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February 15, 2012

In New York State, everybody has a plan to pass assets on their death. Without a written Will your assets will pass on by what is commonly referred to as “Intestate Distribution” or “Intestacy.” More formally by Article 4 of the New York Estates Powers and Trusts Law (the “EPTL”) – Descent and Distribution of an Intestate Estate.

By Doreen Letty on February 8, 2012

or at least that is how a great many people who live with pets feel – they are a part of their family.

Unfortunately, the laws of this and other nations have not always reflected this same belief and have failed to protect animals.

February 6, 2012

The Medicare Secondary Payer Statute requires that no payments for treatment or services for a beneficiary be made by Medicare when payment has been made, or can reasonably be expected to be made under a workmen’s compensation law or plan of the United States or a State or under an automobile or liability insurance policy or plan (including a self-insured plan) or under no fault insurance.

January 23, 2012

Following a former U.S. Marine’s arrest for attempting to security-check his pistol while visiting the Empire State Building, light has been cast upon one of the Nation’s toughest gun-control laws. The Marine’s weapon was licensed in his home state of Indiana; however, New York State’s gun law fails to recognize out-of-state permits. The law prohibits anyone from carrying a firearm, unless the person specifically has a New York state-issued gun permit. Aside from certain exceptions to the law, such as law enforcement officers, people carrying weapons licensed in other states may be subject to arrest. In addition to the U.S. Marine arrested, a Tennessee medical student was arrested at the 9/11 memorial after trying to check her gun, registered outside of New York. Tea party activist Mark Meckler was also arrested at New York’s LaGuardia airport after attempting to check his unloaded California-registered pistol in a locked box.

January 13, 2012

On January 10, 2012, the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, the State’s highest Court, ruled in favor of families who have lost loved ones because of the negligence of others. In Toledo v. Christo, the Court ruled that a wrongful death plaintiff may collect interest on a damage award from the date of a decedent’s death, rather than the date a court ruled on liability. Specifically, the Court held “the proper method for calculating preverdict interest in a wrongful death action is to discount the verdict to the date of liability, i.e., the date of death, and award interest on that amount from the date of death to the date of judgment.”

By Bruce Ikefugi on December 23, 2011

While this article is geared towards real estate agents, we feel it is helpful for others to be aware of. With the ever-increasing importance of the internet in our day-to-day lives, scams such as the one described below, and other email scams/solicitations, are becoming more and more common. The need to be cautious and confirm the legitimacy of any solicitation is more important than ever.

December 21, 2011

As we approach the year’s end, it is not too late to do some 2011 tax planning. Please consider the following suggestions from the IRS that may be helpful. If you have questions about how these issues might apply to your tax situation, please contact Carly Speyer or Stacy Bechakas at 716.636.7600 to discuss.

December 16, 2011

Countless divorce clients approach me with the same concern: If I move out of the house, will it be considered abandonment? The answer is no! “Abandonment” is one of the most misunderstood concepts in divorce lingo. In New York State, you must have a reason to get a divorce, called a “ground” for divorce. Abandonment is one of seven grounds on which you can commence a divorce action. In order to file for a divorce on the ground of Abandonment, you must show that your spouse abandoned you for a period of one year or more. Moving out of the marital residence after a divorce action is commenced is not considered abandonment. Even if you did abandon your spouse for a year, it merely provides your spouse with a reason to commence a divorce action. It does not in and of itself affect the outcome of the divorce action.

December 12, 2011

Are you a prospective adoptive parent considering or proceeding with a domestic or private placement adoption? If you are, chances are that you have already experienced a number of conflicting emotions. The adoption process can prove to be one of the most exciting, rewarding and fulfilling experiences of your life, while at the same time evoking some fear and angst.

December 12, 2011

A question people often ask after a car crash is “I didn’t go to the emergency room after the crash, now I’m in pain days later. Am I still covered by no fault insurance?”

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