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Deciding Between a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust

In estate planning, a trust is a legal entity that you create to hold assets for and distribute them to designated beneficiaries. One of the chief advantages of a trust is that the assets it controls are exempt from probate, the court process for administering a decedent’s estate. This allows your beneficiaries to gain access […]

N.Y. Mental Health Courts Offer Treatment Alternatives to Prison

Mental Health Courts are specialized programs designed to address the unique needs of individuals with mental illnesses who are charged with criminal offenses. These courts aim to divert these individuals away from traditional criminal court processes and into supervised plans that focus on mental health treatment and support. New York has implemented mental health courts […]

How Domestic Violence Can Affect Property Division in a Divorce

Gone are the days in New York when one spouse needed to show the other’s wrongdoing in order to obtain a divorce. Nowadays, divorces are typically granted on no-fault grounds, namely an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage. However, that doesn’t mean fault is wholly irrelevant. One spouse’s mistreatment of the other can affect the way […]

Differences Between Federal and State Prosecutions in New York

A criminal defendant has substantial rights under both state and federal law. The U.S. Constitution establishes certain minimum protections of civil liberties. However, the states are free to enact legislation that provides even greater protection of individual rights. Certain sections of New York’s penal code include protections that exceed the requirements of the federal system. […]

Common Estate Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The purpose of estate planning is to make decisions now that will protect your property later in your lifetime and ensure that it will pass to your intended beneficiaries efficiently after you’re gone. It’s an unpleasant task that is too easily put off, and many people don’t give it the attention it deserves. Worse still, […]

How Prosecutors Try to Prove “Intent to Sell” in Drug Possession Cases

The State of New York regularly prosecutes drug crimes. The state penal code distinguishes possessing drugs for personal use from selling drugs for profit. The penalties for selling illegal drugs are much more severe. To convict someone of “possession with intent to sell” the state must prove that the accused planned to sell or distribute […]

When Can Grandparents Be Awarded Child Visitation?

Many grandparents treasure the relationships they maintain with their grandchildren. Sometimes, however, this precious connection can be disrupted. After a divorce, the custodial parent might not want or care to see their ex-spouse’s family, and the non-custodial parent might have a limited visitation schedule with their children, during which they will want to concentrate on […]

What Creates a Contested Divorce, and How Do You Avoid It?

In an uncontested divorce, the spouses settle all financial and parenting issues between themselves and jointly ask the court to dissolve the marriage on no-fault grounds. But when the spouses have significant differences over property division, child custody, visitation rights, child support or spousal support, the court must decide these issues, which makes the divorce […]

What Should You Do – and Not Do – if You’re Pulled Over for DWI

Being stopped by police on possible suspicion of drunk driving can be a harrowing experience. If this happens to you, your actions can make a big difference in how the police investigation proceeds and what charges might eventually be filed. If you see the flashing lights of a police car behind you signaling you to […]

New York Small Estate Administration: How it Works

Probate, a court process for settling decedents’ estates, can be expensive and time consuming. If an estate is small, the cost of a traditional probate might consume most of the assets, leaving little for the heirs. That is why New York law permits some smaller estates to go through a faster, less expensive process called […]

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