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White Plains Legal Issues Blog

What happens if you are injured on a friend's boat?

Summer is rapidly approaching and it's only a matter of time before the New York waterways are filled with sailboats, personal water crafts and motorboats. There's something for everyone on the lakes and ocean around our state; whether it be a fishing trip, enjoying a casual ride or getting highspeed thrills on the water. Stay safe, though, boating can be a dangerous hobby.

A tragic boating accident has already struck this season. In Lancaster, New York, a local man's boat crashed on Lake Erie. Eric Przykuta, seventh grade science teacher and lacrosse coach, was on a fishing trip with two other men when their boat collided with a break wall. The passengers managed to climb the break wall and call for help. Przykuta did not survive the crash.

It's times like this that you may wonder what would happen if you were in a boating accident while on a friend's boat. Your medical bills could be overwhelming. The trauma of the event may be overpowering. This is a time when a personal injury attorney can give you the counsel you need. 

New York may soon protect renters from income discrimination

Discrimination in any form is a deplorable act. It is a sad reality that every day people are denied opportunities like gainful employment because of their race, religion, age or disabilities. One of the most unfortunate places you may face discrimination, however, is when looking for a safe, sturdy place to call home.

Rest assured that there are laws in place to ensure that you won't be discriminated against when searching for a place to live. The federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) are prime examples of laws that protect you from discrimination in several forms. And now, a new form may be added to the list: income.

Was I wrongfully terminated?

Losing a job is never easy. The mental stress of keeping up with bills and starting a job hunt can feel overwhelming, especially for caregivers. This anguish is made even worse if a person was wrongfully terminated.

Understanding what qualifies as wrongful termination and how to take legal action is your first step to moving forward with your life. Learn how New York state and federal law define wrongful termination and how to protect your employment rights.

Are annuities assets under NY Medicaid transfer of assets?

If you are petitioning for Medicaid coverage of nursing facility care and services, you may find yourself subject to a five-year "look-back" to assess your assets and finances, as well as an evaluation of your current assets to decide eligibility for coverage. When you took out a life insurance policy, also known as an annuity, you never thought it might factor into assets determining eligibility for Medicaid coverage. Yet now an assessment is questioning that annuity, so is it officially an asset under New York state law?

Yes. The New York State Department of Health outlines how annuities work when dealing with transfer of assets during application for Medicaid coverage. In short, the value of the annuity must be evaluated before the annuity itself is adjusted to make the state the remainder beneficiary of the annuity upon policy execution, covering the amount of Medicaid paid out during the period of coverage. This means that when your life insurance policy takes effect, part of the payout will go to the state to cover your Medicaid costs.

What is separate property in marriage?

Whether you are negotiating a prenuptial agreement or facing the prospect of divorce, you may hear the term "separate property" come up when determining what belongs solely to you and what, under New York law, is considered marital property that qualifies as joint assets when determining ownership before or after marriage or divorce. But what is separate property, exactly, and what qualifies as solely yours versus the joint property of you and your spouse under New York law?

According to the New York State Unified Court System, separate property is property that you owned before the marriage, or that can otherwise be classified as solely yours rather than the joint property of the marriage. Examples of separate property are things such as homes, real estate or business ventures you owned prior to the marriage, to which your spouse made no substantial contributions to over the course of the marriage.

What is a holographic will?

You want to know that your estate is handled according to your wishes on your passing, and spent a good deal of time painstakingly drafting copy that reflects your wishes. Yet you have been told that according to New York law, your will may not be valid because it is considered a "holographic" will, dependent on the medium in which it is delivered. But what is a holographic will, and when is it considered binding?

The New York State Senate outlines the details of a holographic will. Put in layman's terms, a will is "holographic" if it is handwritten. If you choose to write your will by hand then it may not be considered valid save for in very unique circumstances; handwritten wills are too easily forged and altered, and something as simple as handwriting can cause issues with interpreting the will's meaning and intent.

Is a prenuptial agreement a good idea?

Between making wedding plans and getting to know future in-laws, being engaged can be the most exciting and stressful time in a person's life.

With so much happening already, and amid such a happy time, it can be easy to dismiss the idea of completing a prenuptial agreement. You might even assume you don't need one. However, before deciding against this, you should ask yourself a few questions to determine if it might be wise to have a prenuptial agreement.

Act now and name guardians for your minor children

You don't expect to die when your children are still young, so you may think that there's "always tomorrow" to plan your estate and create a will that includes naming a guardian. But you know what? You can't wait. Do it, do it, do it!

Death can strike unexpectedly in a number of ways including from a food allergy, an automobile accident, a fall or a failed surgery. That's why selecting a guardian for your minor children is so important and should be included in your will. Promptly.

Obtaining guardianship in New York

An estimated 30 percent of people aged 80 and older suffer from dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment. When a person is cognitively impaired, tasks such as following a recipe or paying monthly bills become difficult. Other signs of cognitive impairment include memory loss, failure to recognize familiar people or places and mood or behaviors changes.

In situations when a person is no longer able to care for himself or herself or manage their finances, a family member or loved one may wish to seek guardianship.

What rights do minority shareholders have in a dispute?

Litigation between majority and minority shareholders can impact the health of a business and the finances of shareholders. Oftentimes, minority shareholders will feel underrepresented and powerless in these disputes. Understanding the rights and remedies that minority shareholders can use should be a priority for everyone involved in shareholder lawsuit.

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