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Author Archives: Maurice J. Verrillo

Leaving Property to “All My Children” is Not so Simple

As a parent, a major reason you should make a will is to ensure that your children are provided for — whether they are minors or adults at the time of your passing. However, leaving property to your children is not as simple as it may appear. Careful attention must be paid to the wording […]

Using Living Trusts to Avoid or Minimize Probate

Anyone who owns a real estate, has substantial bank accounts and investments or possesses other valuable property needs to consider the possibility that these assets will go into probate — the legal process that decides how a decedent’s estate will be distributed at death. Probate can be expensive, time-consuming and prone to complications. Fortunately, there […]

Should You and Your Spouse Have Mirror Wills?

When a married couple plans their estate, they often create identical wills, also known as “mirror wills.” This arrangement makes sense to spouses who want the same things when they pass away. Typically, each spouse leaves all their property to the other or to their children if the other spouse dies first. Mirror wills may […]

N.Y. Legislature Mulls Bill to Establish Presumption of Shared Parenting

If you’re considering a divorce and you have minor children, it’s understandable that you might be nervous about what to expect when it comes to child custody. Under current New York law, judges apply a range of criteria to determine whether custody should be granted principally to one parent, which would leave the other parent […]

New Discovery Rules Increase Defendants’ Access to Prosecutors’ Files

As of 2020, New York has adopted major changes to its discovery rules in criminal cases, making more information available to defendants quickly and easily. Until the reforms, New York’s criminal discovery law — sometimes called the “blindfold law” — was among the most restrictive in the nation. Discovery is the process by which lawyers […]

New York Adds Domestic Violence as a Factor to Consider in Equitable Distribution

New York State divorce courts now weigh domestic violence as a factor when making decisions about how to divide property among the spouses. Under a revised statute that took effect in 2020, courts must now consider “whether either party has committed an act or acts of domestic violence … against the other party and the […]

Does the COVID-19 Response Justify Modification of Visitation Rights?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, it’s natural for parents to wonder if the risk of contracting the virus should impact their child visitation plan. New York was hit particularly hard by COVID-19, and parents may be tempted to simply keep their child at home rather than risk spread of the disease by carrying […]

Recent Laws Roll Back New York Bail Reforms

A year after New York lawmakers passed sweeping bail reforms that drastically reduced the numbers of defendants in pretrial detention, pressure from police and prosecutors has caused a rollback of some of the changes. The new laws eliminated bail for the majority of misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. Instead of having to post cash bail or […]

Reckless Driving as a Plea Bargain Option for DWI or DWAI

New York has two types of offenses relating to operation of a vehicle while drunk or drugged: DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DWAI (driving while ability impaired). Both can have serious consequences, including jail, fines and loss of driving privileges. If you are charged with a DWI , you generally cannot plea bargain to anything […]

How Does NY No-Fault Law Limit Recovery of Car Accident Damages?

New York operates under a no-fault car insurance system. If you are involved in a car accident in the state, your own auto insurance company reimburses you for medical treatment and other out-of-pocket expenses up to the limits of your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. It does not matter who was at fault in the […]

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