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Mahopac Legal Blog

What are the different types of property crimes?

Property crimes such as robbery, theft, burglary and larceny seem to get used interchangeably a lot by those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. There are clear differences between these types of property crimes, though.

Burglary

Do you need an estate plan?

If you have finally decided that it is time to think about your future, you may have more questions than answers. After all, you may not even know the options available or understand how the laws in New York protect you and your estate.

Your wishes to provide well for your loved ones at the end of your life may be difficult to carry out if you fail to use the appropriate tools for the job. For example, do you know what you should include in your will? Do you know if a will is even adequate for your circumstances?

Proving who was to blame for a crash isn't easy

With any type of accident, whether involving a motorcycle, pedestrian, bike or car, there's generally one party that can be pointed to as being responsible for having caused it. Even in a no-fault state like New York, proving who was to blame for causing a collision can impact how much in compensation you're entitled to if you suffer serious injuries in a crash.

In most areas, a police officer who's summoned to crash will speak with both motorists and any witnesses to try to understand what happened leading up to the crash occurring. They'll then document what was said on in a report. This is the best place to start when you're trying to prove negligence.

A drunk driving conviction can affect you in the long term

If you ask someone what the short-term consequences of being arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) are, they'll likely tell you that your license will be suspended, you may have to pay a fine and serve a night in jail. What they may not know though is what the long-term consequences of a DWI conviction on your record may be.

While the probability that someone charged with drunk driving will have their license temporarily suspended is high, a conviction for such an offense may result in a defendant's license being revoked for a lifetime.

Business succession is a key part of the estate planning process

Many individuals draft wills once they accumulate assets or when they marry, get divorced or have kids. Others may simply have a power of attorney drawn up to allow someone else to make health care or financial decisions on their behalf. Few engage in business succession planning, though.

If you want the business that you've built to remain in operation long after you're retired or you die, then you'll want to begin planning now for the future ownership and management of it.

A juvenile criminal record can affect you as an adult

Children often do foolish things without thinking of the consequences of their actions. Little do they realize that if they commit a crime, regardless of their age, they're not apt to get a simple slap on their wrist. Instead, a judge may require them to pay a fine, complete community service, put them on probation or even lock them up. The offense and punishment don't drop off of their record when they become an adult either.

There are many reasons children end up getting charged with a crime. They may have really wanted something to fit in with the "in" crowd, but they didn't have the money to buy it. They may have thought that no one would notice them putting it in their pocket and walking out of the store. Or, they may have given in to peer pressure and decided to spray paint the side of a building. Then they were caught by police.

Your special needs child deserves a special needs trust

Estate planning, no one in New York or elsewhere really wants to do it but failing to do it can leave loved ones in a bad position after you die. If you have a special needs child, it is necessary to plan for how you are going to take care of them even after you are gone. If you do not go about it the right way, your child could lose his or her much-needed government benefits -- benefits he or she counts on, or will count on, to survive as an adult.

A special needs trust will allow your child to inherit your estate without it affecting his or her ability to access Medicaid and Security Supplemental Income. How does one go about setting up a special needs trust? How much do I really need to put in it? Who should manage the trust?

Passenger cars are often less safe than trucks in a crash

If you ask most drivers who is likelier to get killed in a crash between a passenger car and a truck, most would likely respond that the person operating the former would be less apt to survive. Would you know what to say when asked why this is the case though?

Aside from the obvious that trucks and cars are different in size, their difference in structure and weight means that they both absorb the force of a crash differently. If a lighter passenger car collides with a heavier pickup or semi, then the energy is going to absorbed better by the truck. The lighter passenger car is, the likelier it is that it'll be crushed.

New York's drunk drivers may also face child endangerment charges

While driving drunk never makes sense, doing so with a child in the car is even worse. According to the nonprofit advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), all but three states have laws that allow prosecutors to upgrade intoxicated motorist charges if they're caught with a child in their car.

Leandra's Law, which went into effect in November of 2009 in New York, is what MADD calls a model law that other states should follow in prosecuting drunk drivers who have kids on board.

Do all assets get distributed by your estate plan?

Your estate plan is designed to help distribute your assets to your heirs and anyone else you choose as a beneficiary. You can typically choose almost anyone you want: friends, family, business partners, charities, etc.

But do all of your assets go through your estate plan? Not always.

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