New York City Intellectual Property Law Blog

Procrastination and estate planning

People procrastinate for many reasons, whether they are going through a hard time at work or they have recently been through a tough divorce. Unfortunately, procrastination can make things significantly worse, and this is especially true with respect to estate planning. Some people may push off setting up an estate plan because they feel as if they do not have the time to create a will or trust, or maybe they are simply hesitant to think about such a difficult topic. However, this can lead to serious consequences, such as an estate being mismanaged in the future.

If you need to set up an estate plan, it is crucial to make sure that you look over your options and begin the process promptly. You should set aside enough time to thoroughly review every option on the table and move forward with a plan that will best suit your needs. Moreover, some people push off making revisions to their estate plan, which can also be very problematic. For example, someone may go through a tough divorce and they may fail to revise their estate plan, which could allow their former spouse to have access to the estate and decision-making abilities that go against their wishes.

What is price fixing, and why is it illegal?

The federal government has enacted antitrust laws in order to protect consumers in New York and across the country. You may be wondering how these laws affect your retail company, particularly in regard to price fixing. Here is what the Federal Trade Commission has to say about this illegal behavior.

One of the guiding principles of capitalism is that competition in the marketplace protects consumers by keeping prices reasonable so that goods and services are affordable. So, it is illegal for you and your competitors to collaborate in some way to control the price of a product that you all carry on your shelves. The outcome of the agreement could be to raise prices, but it could also be to lower them or stabilize them. The key is to act so the normal effects of the marketplace due to supply and demand do not influence the price of the product.

Creating a charitable trust can help you leave a positive legacy

An estate plan is a way for an individual to create a legacy. The items you leave behind and whom you allocate them to will have a profound impact on how people remember you in the future. If you have significant assets or are deeply attached to a charitable cause, you may want to leave behind something for a nonprofit organization or charity.

Unfortunately, in most traditional estate plans, you are dependent on your executor and heirs to follow through with your wishes to make a donation. That can leave your legacy vulnerable to the greed of other people, which is often unpredictable. Inept handling of your estate, which could lead to diminished assets, could also prevent your legacy from coming to fruition.

Handling a commercial property insurance dispute

We have addressed some of the different legal challenges that people face while working through commercial real estate matters. However, disputes over commercial property insurance are especially common and there are a variety of things to keep in mind if you have found yourself in the midst of such a dispute. First, you should be aware of the potential consequences that may arise down the road and do everything you can to resolve the dispute while minimizing its negative impact. In New York, many people have been able to successfully work through such a dispute by reviewing their legal rights.

Commercial property insurance disputes may surface for various reasons, but they often arise over a disagreement regarding coverage. For example, an insurance company may try to claim that a particular piece of equipment or property is not covered. Insurance companies often want to claim that something is not covered in the contract in order to avoid losses. As a result, it is pivotal to thoroughly review your insurance contract beforehand. You may want to consult a legal professional to ensure that every base is covered before you sign a commercial property insurance agreement.

Planning ahead to support your spouse after your death

When you are planning your estate, you may be consumed with topics including asset protection, selecting beneficiaries and other common aspects of coordinating a plan for your future. While these preparations can give you peace of mind, they can also aid in helping you to continue to support your spouse even after your death. At Codispoti & Associates, P.C., we have helped many people in New York to articulate their wishes in a concise and organized estate plan. 

Failure to think about your future and take steps to create a plan that details the assets you have as well as how you would like them to be used can have several detrimental side effects. Among those, your surviving family may have considerable financial stress as they work relentlessly to pay off your debts, coordinate your funeral and pay for taxes that you still owe. Another disadvantage is that your family may disagree on how to split or use your remaining assets of monetary value.

Identifying intellectual property

With as competitive as the business world can be, you need to constantly be on guard to ensure that those elements that give your business an edge in your market are protected. The common school of thought is that any intangible assets unique to your business is considered to be intellectual property. Yet is that really the case? Countless representatives from companies in New York have come to us here at Codispotti & Associates, P.C. questioning which of these elements they can and cannot protect. Understanding this is the key to making sure those intellectual assets that are proprietary remain so. 

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines "intellectual property" to be "...creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce." Some common examples have been detailed on this blog in the past, including: 

  • Copyrights
  • Patents
  • Trademarks

Should you choose co-executors?

Planning ahead to protect your estate in New York requires a lot of foresight and consideration. One decision to make is who will be the executor of your will and/or estate. While you may have the perfect person in mind, there may not be one who you think can handle everything. In these situations, naming a co-executor may be a smart move.

The American Bar Association discusses the importance of not only naming an executor but also making sure you choose the right one. An executor can be an individual or an institution such as a bank or attorney's office. Naming co-executors is a common practice, and typically one is close to the family and another one is of professional capacity.

Legal issues all entrepreneurs should consider

Imagine after years of planning, saving and building capital, you are finally ready to take the leap and start your own business. Unfortunately, starting a business is not as easy as turning on the lights and hanging an "open" sign in the door. There is a seemingly endless number of details that go into opening a business. For example, even choosing the name of the company could involve filling out an application and paying a fee.

In addition, there are various legal issues that you must consider as you are starting a business. Here are few things every entrepreneur should think about when creating a new business.

A look at asset-based lending

Forming a business can be challenging for various reasons, and there is often a lot of uncertainty. However, there may be various ways you can not only simplify the process of business formation but benefit from a financial point of view. Sometimes taking out a loan is necessary and there may be a number of options in front of you. In this post, we will go over some of the ins and outs of asset-based lending and different considerations that may apply to you. In New York City and across the country, it is essential for those who are starting a business to be aware of all their different options.

First of all, asset-based loans are secured by the assets of a company. These loans essentially function as lines of credit. As a business owner, you may need to finance investments or cover costs and an asset-based loan could allow you to draw from your company's assets in order to gain access to the funds that you need. However, it is crucial to not only make sure that you are fully aware of your obligations and the terms of such a loan before borrowing but how this loan could affect your business.

Lawsuits over wage and hour violations

We have written about some of the reasons why staff members take their employers to court, whether they believe that they have been illegally discriminated against or subjected to sexual harassment. Some employee lawsuits have nothing to do with discrimination or harassment, however, such as a lawsuit that is centered around wage and hour violations. These lawsuits may only involve an individual staff member or a group of employees may be taking legal action jointly. Either way, it is pivotal to take a close look at the case in order to devise a strategy for how you are going to handle this potentially challenging situation.

There are many different types of wage and hour violations that may lead to complaints, fines and even litigation. For example, a worker may believe that they did not receive wages for hours they worked or that they were denied overtime pay to which there were entitled. There are many other examples of wage and hour violations, such as minimum wage violations, payments at an incorrect rate and employees being pressured directly or indirectly to perform work "off the clock." Moreover, workers may decide to file a complaint because they were denied mandated breaks.

  • NYSBA
  • Brooklyn Bar Association 1872 Justice Integrity Honor Courtesy
  • National Italian American Bar Association Representing The Italian American Legal Community
  • Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn
  • Columbian Lawyers Association of Rockland County
  • The Copyright Society of the USA
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