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Latham New York Legal Blog

Estate planning and administration: Storing assets online

In this technological age, many people store important information online. But when it comes to New York residents and estate planning and administration, there are a few things people should know about storing their digital assets online in one place. For those who know a thing or two about technology, keeping important information online can be a great idea.

Using an online tool to store digital assets makes it easier to store all assets, including digital accounts like cryptocurrency, for instance. A comprehensive estate plan should include all assets. The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act allows those appointed as fiduciaries to access some digital assets in most states, New York among them. In order for all online assets to be accessible, a testator must specify such in a legal document.

Benefits of having a revocable trust

Are you trying to decide which type of trust is best for you? Perhaps you are just gathering the facts right now to see what would suit your needs and future best. It is always wise to weigh out your options and discuss them with a trusted financial and legal advisor.

Revocable trusts just might be the best option for you. In general, revocable trusts allow the grantor (person signing the trust agreement allowing rights and allowance for someone else) to revoke or nullify the trust if need be. The grantor has power that influences what is stated and who and how specified assets are managed.

New York City real estate prices take a nose dive

A report commissioned by a realty company apparently shows a pretty hefty drop in prices in the Big Apple. In the last three years or so, the real estate market in New York City has seen between a 10 and 20 percent plummet in prices, which translates into a buyer's market. It doesn't look as though that's going to change anytime soon, either. 

To try to turn the heads of would-be buyers, many vendors have lowered the prices on their properties more than once. But, according to this recent report, it is expected the market will continue on a slippery slope for months yet.  But since the real estate market in New York is a mixed bag of sorts, there are still some bright spots like Brooklyn's brownstones, for example, or the luxurious offerings of Central Park West. Properties in these areas are still fetching top bucks.

Estate planning and administration: Who can contest a will?

Testators usually try to please all loved ones in a last will and testament. During estate planning and administration in New York, the question may arise of who is in a position to be able to contest a will? The short answer is not everyone. Those who can, however, must believe that if the terms of the will were to be accepted as written they would be  adversely affected personally and/or financially or those who have standing.

Heirs at law fit that bill. These people are closely related to the testator and those who would have inherited a portion of the estate if the deceased had died intestate, or without having written a will. This person could be a spouse, child or grandchild. The family member could be distant if the person didn't have close relatives.

Cases of elder abuse on the rise despite strict elder law rules

Cases of elder abuse are on the rise in the country. Elder law is very definitive when it comes to protecting seniors in New York and in the entire nation, but some abuse cases are falling through the cracks because the crime is underreported. Adult Protective Services among the states identified more than 235,000 abuse victims last year with some of those were termed self-neglect -- when seniors don't have anyone to care for them and they have lost the capacity to care for themselves. 

There are many forms of elder abuse. They can be very obvious such as physical abuse or less so such as emotional or financial abuse. But there is also the abuse of neglect -- when seniors who are incapacitated do have family members, but no one bothers to help. Experts say the term, self neglect, is a misnomer since seniors in these cases believe they have no help available to them. Self-neglect includes being unable to provide for their own basic needs; sadly, as the population ages, it is becoming more of an issue. 

Amazon deal creates tech space real estate boom in New York

The Big Apple is bracing itself for a flood of business thanks to the latest Amazon decision. New York is expecting the real estate market to be flooded with deals now that Amazon has announced that Queens will be home to its new headquarters, bringing the city to the forefront as a major technological hub. The technology industry, which is seeing steady job growth, is catching up to financial services in the city as being the number one employer.

Analysts are saying that Amazon's decision solidifies the reasoning that in order to compete for the best talent out there, tech companies need to be in larger urban areas. Millennials with degrees flock to places like New York City. Plus, Amazon's decision is expected to have a definite impact on who is looking for office space and what type of space they're needing. 

Real estate: 2nd Amazon store opening in New York

Amazon is bringing its first Go store to the Big Apple. Located in a prime area of real estate just across from the World Trade Center, Amazon's second store in New York City will open its doors soon. The store won't have cashiers and will be check-out free. Amazon hopes this will be the shopping way of the future.

The Go store is located in Manhattan's Battery Park City neighborhood. The company already has another store in the city – Amazon 4-star. This shop, in SoHo, opened in late September this year and sells items from Amazon's online store that have a rating of four or more stars.

Why do I need a living will and a living trust?

Whereas a living will designates your health care and end-of-life wishes, a living trust has significant advantages after you’re gone.

Both are important ways to ensure your intentions will be met, for the sake of your beneficiaries and/or your children. By legalizing important decisions before they become necessary, you absolve others from the guilt associated with deciding what happens to you or how your personal items will be divided. 

Estate planning and administration: Probate can be a dirty word

There are some words associated with estate planning that most individuals want to steer clear and one of those is probate. When it comes to estate planning and administration, many New York residents working on their estate plans wish they could sidestep probate. It can be costly and time-consuming.

Estate plans that fail to address certain issues like total assets will end up going through the probate process. There are a few reasons the process can be taxing when it comes to delays. If the estate has to file a tax return federally, it may take months before someone from the IRS even reviews what has been filed. The process could even go well beyond a year if there are problems with the return.

When to buy real estate in New York hinges on personal situations

There are criteria that may make certain times of year more favorable for buying a home, but the bottom line is a purchaser must be personally prepared for what likely may be the largest financial purchase of his or her life. There may be certain times of year when buying real estate in New York may be more advantageous. Although the summer is when many sellers list their homes, it might not be the best time to buy.

It's all about the law of supply and demand. Prices increase when demand increases, and there is more demand during the warmer months. In fact, prices seem to be highest in June and July. In any case, before even thinking of buying a home, a person's individual financial picture should look pretty healthy.

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