Cohen & Lombardo, P.C.
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Suburban Office | 4140 Sheridan Drive Amherst, NY 14221

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Buffalo Legal Issues Blog

Why pets should be included in your estate plan

When most people sit down with an attorney to write their will, they consider which family heirlooms and other physical objects they’d like to pass on to family members. However, in making plans for minor children, your estate and your assets, it’s important not to leave out a very important member of the family — your pet!

Here are a few reasons why it’s important for pet owners to include their pets in their will.

What types of child custody are there in family law and divorce?

Breaking up a family because of a divorce can be hard on parents and hard on kids. New Yorkers may look for ways to minimize the impacts of divorce on their children, but often it is hard to completely prevent children from experiencing challenges as their family transitions. During a divorce a parent's commitment to their children's custodial needs is imperative to helping their children move into the future.

Child custody involves two important sets of rights: physical rights that dictate who will have the child in their care and when, and legal rights to control how one's children are raised. Parents can share both forms of custody or both forms may be granted exclusively to one parent. Sometimes one parent will have sole physical custody of their kids while the other has visitation rights, but both parents will share legal custody over their children.

What should be done to secure a business loan?

Not every individual who wishes to start their own business has the financial capacity to do so without help. In New York and throughout the nation, new businesses are started and financed with the help of loans from different types of lenders. Getting a business loan is not always easy, and this post offers some helpful guidance to those who may wish to prepare themselves for the process of applying for a loan.

First, a business start-up needs to have an accurate idea of how much money it will need in order to get it off of the ground. Lenders will generally not give businesses as much money as they want without justification about why these sums are required. Individuals should be prepared to come to loan meetings with accurate financial documents that reflect their businesses' needs and plans for growth.

Residency requirements for a New York divorce

Not just anyone from anywhere can get a divorce in New York. In order to use the state's courts to end their marriages, individuals must meet residency requirements. The residency requirements that New York law impose on those who wish to use their services prevent non-residents from burdening the system and taking advantage of how New York applies its laws.

There are several ways that individuals can meet the state's residency requirements. One way is by having been married in New York. If two people join in marriage within the borders of the state, then they may use the state's courts to get a divorce.

What should New Yorkers know about the probate process?

There are many legal concepts that people in New York may have heard of, but that may be somewhat confusing when it comes to understanding the details. One of those concepts is probate. Many people in Buffalo may have heard of this process and may know that it concerns the estates of decedents. Beyond that, however, people may be unsure of what probate really is.

Probate is a legal process that is initiated when a person passes away. It is the process that involves identifying the decedent's estate property and collecting it, so that it can be distributed to the decedent's heirs. During probate, a decedent's debts are paid off, creditors and heirs are found, and accounts are settled so that the decedent's estate can be processed, distributed and eventually closed.

Can I write my will myself?

6 out of 10 Americans don't have an estate plan. It's not that they don't care about how their family will have to handle their estate one day. Most of the time, people just don't know where to begin the process or how long it will take.

Can you just write down your wishes when the time comes or is there another way? Here are a few of the options you have for creating a will in New York.

Important factors during child custody determinations

Although a divorce is ultimately about severing a marital couple's relationship, it can involve so much more. New York families that have worked through divorces understand that the process affects everyone in the divorcing couple's household, including the partners' children. Issues like child custody and support can therefore be both important and difficult for individuals to address when they decide to end their marital unions.

When it comes to child custody, courts look to many sources of information to determine what actions and arrangements may serve the best interests of the child. They will assess if both or only one of the parents is suited to having the kids live with them, and they will investigate if violence or abuse has ever occurred between a parent and the children. Parents who are not emotionally capable of caring for their kids on their own may not be granted full custody of their kids if such arrangements may be detrimental to the children.

Buffalo attorneys support local family law clients

Divorces are not uncommon, but they can be highly stressful for New York families who are caught up in their proceedings. Even though divorces only dissolve the legal relationship that exist between two married people, other people such as the parties' children can feel the weight of the proceedings in their own lives. Because divorce can have far-reaching impacts on the lives of the parties and others, many New York residents look for ways to minimize the damages that can affect their families.

One step that individuals can take to protect themselves and their loved ones from the traumas of divorce is to associate with knowledgeable and trustworthy legal counsel. The law firm of Cohen & Lombardo P.C. has been serving the needs of Buffalo residents for more than 80 years and providing them with legal advice and support to work through the specific struggles that they face in their divorce proceedings. The attorneys of the firm are dedicated to protecting their clients' rights all while advocating for their legal needs and personal expectations.

Where should I store my will?

Since wills that are handwritten or spoken are only allowed in certain extreme situations, you'll more than likely go through the entire estate planning process with an attorney to procure your will.

But, what happens next? Where should a will go to be both accessible and secure after you're gone?

Single adults in New York should have an estate plan in place

When a New York resident creates an estate plan, they may do so to ensure that their legal wishes are recorded in the event that they perish before their children are grown. A document like a will may provide guidance on who may take care of a person's kids if they become incapacitated or pass away. Trusts and other estate planning documents may be set up so that children are financially provided for even if their parents are not around to care for them.

Estate plans are therefore important to individuals who have spouses and families, but they should also be important to single adults who choose not to formalize their relationships or have children. A person who dies without an estate plan, regardless of whether they are married, may have their assets pass to relatives that they do not like per state intestacy statutes. Their property may become tied up in probate and may be depleted through the legal process of collection and distribution.

Cohen & Lombardo, P.C.

4140 Sheridan Drive
Amherst, NY 14221

Phone: 716-262-8428
Fax: 716-881-2755

343 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222

Phone: 716-262-8428
Fax: 716-881-2755
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