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New York City Intellectual Property Law Blog

Addressing hazards in the workplace

Business owners often face a long list of challenges every single week, and we have discussed many of them on this blog. In fact, litigation alone can be nerve-wracking and lead to significant repercussions for any business, regardless of its size. Business lawsuits may be filed for a wide variety of reasons, but some are the result of a workplace mishap that resulted in serious injuries or claimed the lives of workers. Depending on the industry, preventing work-related accidents can be very difficult, and sometimes impossible. However, employers who are responsible for suffering due to their negligence may face significant consequences in court.

Because of the potentially serious nature of workplace accidents, it is important for you as a business owner to address any potential hazards beforehand. From training all staff members to taking action when certain risks have been identified, such as a slippery surface or defective equipment, it is extremely important to do what you can to keep an accident from shattering the lives of your workers, their loved ones, and even the entire company.

Estate planning and minimizing taxes

Many facets of estate planning have been covered on this blog, such as issues involving the naming of beneficiaries or an executor and estate-related disputes. However, there are many other issues with regard to estate planning that you may need to closely consider. For example, you could be worried about the tax consequences associated with property that you leave behind for your loved ones. When it comes to estate taxes, the laws vary from state to state and there are many factors to consider, so it is important to review your situation from a unique standpoint.

By setting up an estate plan, you may hope to leave your loved ones with your assets once you pass away. However, taxes can not only create stress and uncertainty, but carry significant financial consequences as well. As a result, you should carefully review the potential tax implications of your estate plan and take this into consideration as you move forward. In fact, there are a number of ways you may be able to reduce the tax consequences of your estate plan, which will surely be appreciated in the years ahead.

Going over your will after divorce

In a recent blog post, we addressed some of the reasons why people take a second look at their estate plan. For many people, divorce becomes necessary at some point, although the end of a marriage can bring up uncertainties with respect to one's estate plan. If you have a will, for example, there are a number of factors that could prompt you to make revisions once you and your spouse split up. For example, you may need to remove your spouse from the will as an executor or as a beneficiary. For couples across New York, divorce can be a challenging time, but these crucial matters should not be overlooked.

Often, when people set up a will and name their spouse as executor or plan on leaving their property with their partner when they pass away, they do not anticipate that these decisions will need to be undone when the marriage is brought to an end. Sometimes, divorce is necessary, and noone should feel trapped in their marriage solely because of stress about how divorce will upend their life. By taking a close look at relevant legal issues and carefully going over a will following a divorce, the process may be more straightforward.

Challenging a poorly created will

Traditional estate planning wisdom states that every person should have a will if they have any property or personal end of life wishes, but simply having a will is not always an effective guard against complications in estate dispersal, especially if the will receives challenges.

Challenges to a will are far more common than one might think, especially for estates of significant value. In general, the larger the estate, the more likely it is that some party or another will find a way to feel slighted by the testator's wishes, or a creditor may pursue payment on a debt against it.

When legal action arises over sexual harassment

Being a business owner can be tough for many reasons, some of which have been covered extensively on this blog. However, a business owner may face many different types of problems, from allegations of discrimination to sexual harassment. When sexual harassment allegations surface, it is vital to approach the situation with care. Sometimes, these accusations are baseless, while others involve the serious victimization of an employee. In some instances, a sexual harassment case may be settled outside of the courtroom, while others may involve legal action. In New York City, and across the state, business owners should make sure they address these allegations properly and strive to prevent harassment.

Sexual harassment takes many different forms, from the presentation of sexually explicit materials in a work space to unwanted advances and crude remarks. In recent months, an increasing amount of attention has been given to this topic and victims of sexual harassment have come forward in different fields. It is important to realize what may be at stake if your company is struggling with allegations of sexual harassment. Aside from challenges an employee may be facing, litigation involving these claims can be costly. Moreover, it can result in crucial business ties being cut and shatter your business' reputation.

The importance of updating your estate plan

We have covered many different facets of estate planning on this blog, but there are a number of other considerations to keep in mind with respect to your estate. For example, there are times when it may become necessary to review and modify your estate plan, whether a child was born, you have found yourself in a new marriage, you have relocated to another state, or a number of other circumstances have necessitated the revision of your estate plan. Moreover, there are a number of reasons why it is so crucial to make these revisions.

For starters, updating your will or living trust will allow you to have your assets distributed in accordance with your wishes. In life, many things can change and you may have a different outlook on how you wish to have your estate split up for various reasons. Moreover, updating your estate plan could help clear up confusion and reduce the chances of an estate-related dispute later on. Preventing a dispute can make this challenging time easier for your loved ones. Or, perhaps you have kids and need to make changes to your estate plan because you have decided that someone else is better suited to care for them.

Estate planning and blended families

There are many different topics to examine with respect to estate plans, from creating a trust or will for the first time to revising an estate plan following a divorce. Moreover, some people may find themselves in a unique position which requires an individualized approach, such as those who are part of a blended family. In recent years, many people have ended their marriage and remarried, which can have a significant impact on an estate plan. If you are in this position, carefully examining your choices is critical.

For starters, it might be helpful for you to arrange a family conversation to go over these topics. You, your new spouse, your children, and your spouse's children may all have questions about your estate plan and various financial goals. There may be a number of factors for you to go over, such as how your assets will be distributed among those you love according to your estate plan. Sometimes, healthy communication can resolve disagreements or prevent conflict altogether. Whether your new spouse has concerns about your estate plan, you wish to remove your former spouse from the plan, or you want to change the way in which your assets are distributed to your children, you may have many topics to go over.

Job-related traffic crashes and employer liability

Motor vehicle collisions occur in all sorts of ways and the details surrounding one crash may vary considerably in comparison to another wreck. For example, one accident may only involve one vehicle, the result of a drunk driver's inability to stay on the road. Or, another may involve multiple vehicles after icy roads caused cars to collide. In some instances, drivers and vehicle occupants are involved in a crash while they are performing their job duties, which can be particularly concerning for employers, depending on the details surrounding the wreck.

In some instances, an employer can be liable for an accident that one of their workers is involved in while they are on-the-job. For example, an employee may cause a crash or be hit by another driver while performing daily job duties or running an errand. Moreover, employers may be a more valuable target for a car crash victim to sue, as opposed to the employee who caused the wreck, who may not have much with regard to assets. Other accident-related issues that employers may encounter following a work-related accident include workers' compensation and dealing with an insurance company.

What are CAM fees and how do I handle them?

Signing a commercial lease is often much more complicated than signing a residential lease for a property. While residential leases often involve either renting on an annual or month-to-month basis, commercial leases often extend for two, three or even five years.

In some ways, this is beneficial, because you know you can build your business up in a secure location at the same rental rate for years. On the other hand, you have to worry about meeting that financial obligation if your business changes or closes.

The importance of a solid commercial real estate contract

When it comes to commercial real estate transactions, there are all sorts of factors to take into consideration. Our law firm knows that these transactions can be complicated at times and that people across New York City may encounter different problems when it comes to a commercial real estate transaction. However, there are ways that the likelihood of such a problem arising may be reduced, such as ensuring that commercial real estate contracts are effective and cover every base. Whether you need to revise a contract, are drafting a contract, or want to make sure that an agreement protects your interests before you sign, it is vital to handle contract-related matters with caution.

Solid commercial real estate contracts are important for various reasons. For example, an ineffective contract could lead to all sorts of hassles down the road, which may be particularly frustrating since they were completely preventable. With an excellent contract in place, there is a higher likelihood that all parties will be satisfied with the agreement and that things will move ahead smoothly. After all, contract disputes and disagreements over contractual issues can be highly time-consuming and costly.

  • 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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