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Bronx Real Estate Law Blog

Wills, other documents important parts of estate plan

Upon hearing the term estate planning, many residents of New York may automatically think about putting together a will. However, wills generally do not have much to do with those creating them; they are really about planning for other people, such as fellow loved ones. Estate planning is really also about taking care of the person creating the plan, while he or she is still alive.

An important part of any estate plan is the advanced health care directive, which is sometimes also called the medical power of attorney. This document allows the document creator to decide who will make decisions on his or her behalf in the event of a serious injury or illness. This particular individual will be considered the health care agent.

Creating wills especially important following divorce

Creating an estate plan is often low on the priority list for many today. However, creating wills and other estate planning documents is essential, especially for those who are divorced. A few tips may help with putting together effective comprehensive estate plans in New York.

First, creating wills is important, but updating will substitutes, such as individual retirement account beneficiary forms, is also critical following a divorce. This is necessary to make sure that the beneficiaries named are accurate. Otherwise, an ex may end up receiving something he or she is not entitled to receive.

Wills important for non-married couples, too

Many Americans, including those in New York, are deciding to cohabitate rather than getting married. Reasons for cohabitation include the need to share expenses or the lack of desire to get married -- or remarried. However, just as married couples benefit from putting together estate plans, cohabitating couples can also benefit from developing wills.

In an estate plan, a non-married couple can decide to appoint each other to make important medical decisions for them. This is possible through a document known as a health care power of attorney, which is one of the most essential documents in an estate plan. Without this document, an individual who is not married will legally not be able to make health care decisions involving his or her partner if the partner is hospitalized.

What you need to know before signing a new construction contract

Buying a home or signing a contract for a new construction home is an exciting time for your New York family, but it is crucial to know how to protect your rights during this process. Forging ahead without knowing how to protect yourself is not prudent; therefore, you should avoid complications and issues by taking certain precautionary measures.

You would be wise to ensure that you have a thorough, well-drafted construction contract before you sign any agreement. Failure to completely read the contract or understand the terms could be a source of financial and legal complications if there are issues with the construction of your new home.

Commercial real estate potential appears strong in New York

Some commercial real estate experts recently expressed concern about the real estate market, specifically the leasing market in New York. They stated they were not feeling settled about the future absorption of space in Manhattan, for example, in spite of the currently strong commercial real estate market. However, data appear to indicate that the market is better off than what many real estate experts expected it to be.

One broker in New York a few weeks ago stated that there was no depth to the real estate market beyond a few major negotiations that were taking place. Meanwhile, another broker emphasized that the majority of large-scale transactions slated to be completed during the next year should add to real estate availability. This is because companies will end up leaving behind more space than that which they are moving into.

Wills are important for everyone to have

For many asset owners in New York and elsewhere, estate planning seems to be something that only the wealthy need to complete. It is true that most individuals do not leave multi-million-dollar sums of money to their loved ones when they pass away. Still, creating wills is essential for everyone.

Surveys reveal that over 50 percent of Americans do not have wills. However, the will is a staple part of any estate plan. Besides having a will, confirming a health care and financial power of attorney is essential. In addition, having a document that clearly explains what one wants done with one's remains can be helpful.

Commercial real estate strip purchased for more than $6 million

A New York investor recently purchased a commercial property for more than $6 million. This Dongan Hills property was among the most expensive ones in the borough Staten Island, considering its size. However, the prices of many commercial real estate properties in the borough have skyrocketed, which may be a positive sign for investors in the Bronx and other parts of New York who are looking for promising investment opportunities.

The commercial property that recently sold is a strip that spans 7,600 square feet. It was built back in 2008 and houses a Chase Bank and Mario's Restaurant. The commercial strip features a parking area with 52 spaces and a parking deck on the second floor as well.

Wills and beneficiary designations important in estate planning

The estate tax exemption at the federal level today is more than five million dollars. Thus, the tendency in New York and other estates is to think that estate planning is not a concern for those who are not wealthy. The truth is that creating wills and updating beneficiary designations is important for everyone no matter what his or her net worth or income may be.

When it comes to beneficiary designations in particular, checking them for bank accounts and life insurance policies is paramount in order to protect these assets. Designations also need to be checked for retirement accounts and brokerage firm accounts. Beneficiary designations for these assets ideally need to be checked and updated regularly.

Wills important to more than just the extremely wealthy

In the minds of many in New York, estate planning is necessary only for those who are extremely wealthy. However, creating wills is invaluable for anyone with an asset or loved ones. For instance, estate plans are relevant to those who own homes, have grandchildren or children, have elderly parents and have bank accounts.

Estate plans are designed to protect families when the creators of the estate plans pass away. Many items can be included in these types of plans, with one of the main ones being the last will and testament. A will explains what its creator's final wishes are. However, A Gallup poll indicated that just 44 percent of adults in the United States had last wills and testaments in 2016.

The right way to protect your rights as a tenant

When renting, you know that it is extremely important to take the appropriate steps to protect your rights before and after signing a rental agreement. You have certain rights as a renter, but you may be unsure of how to protect your interests when problems arise.

As a New York tenant, you may find it beneficial to secure legal assistance in order to protect yourself. This effort can shield you from unnecessary problems in the future, as well as provide a full explanation of your rights while renting property. When it comes to your home and your family, you do not want to risk facing complex legal issues alone.