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Connecticut elder law attorneyAt Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC, we encourage all of our clients to make sure they have an estate plan in place, no matter what their level of income and assets are. Estate planning not only includes having tools in place that will address issues when you have passed, such as having a will and naming an executor, but there are also steps you can take that will address elder care issues. Not only will these steps protect the assets you do have, but they can also help protect your loved ones from unscrupulous nursing homes that attempt to collect nursing home debt from residents’ family members.

Nursing Home Debt Collection

A recent investigation into medical debt by Kaiser Health Network (KHN) and National Public Radio (NPR) found that one in seven adults who have medical debt have been threatened with lawsuits and even jail by the creditors they owe bills to. This aggressive collection technique has spilled over into the nursing home industry, which has made it part of their collection process to harass family and friends of residents, trying to collect unpaid debt from them, despite the fact that there are federal laws in place protecting family members from just this type of activity.

The KHN-NPR investigation found this type of illegal activity taking place all over the country. To demonstrate how rampant it is, the report highlighted statics from one county in New York. According to court records, 24 nursing homes in Monroe County filed almost 240 debt collection lawsuits seeking almost $8 million.

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Metro NYC business law attorneyThere are numerous advantages to being a business owner. For example, it can be disheartening to work for another person or company. You may feel unappreciated by your superiors or frustrated at the inefficient way you are expected to do your job. When you own a business, you get to be your own boss. You control how your business is operated and managed.

However, owning a business also comes with a great deal of responsibility and liability. You may need to spend a tremendous amount of time and resources for only marginal growth—especially at first. If you are thinking about becoming a business owner, two options you may be considering are buying into a franchise or starting your own business. There are benefits and drawbacks to both of these choices, all of which should be fully researched before you make a commitment to either path.

Do You Want Input and Guidance from a Franchisor?

The most significant difference between buying a franchise location of an existing business and starting your own business is the amount of control you have over the business. While you may still have power over some day-to-day aspects of a franchise, the major decisions about business practices, operations, marketing, and accounting will typically be made by the franchisor. Only you can know if this type of business relationship is right for you. Do you feel capable of developing your own business model from scratch? Or do you want guidance and oversight from a business organization that is already successfully established?

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Greenwich bike accident lawyerWhether you ride for exercise, commuting, running errands, or all these reasons, bicycling can be a great, healthy form of transportation. While the infrastructure for bicycling has grown in the past few decades, bicyclists remain vulnerable users of the transportation system. Unfortunately, when a bicyclist has an accident with a motor vehicle, there is a high likelihood of serious injuries and even death. Working with an experienced bicycle crash injury attorney can help you recover compensation from an accident.

Getting There Safely on a Bicycle

Injuries sustained by riders in a bicycle accident can be severe, including broken bones, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other catastrophic injuries. As a victim of a bicycle crash, you may be entitled to compensation. In many cases, the bicycle rider will not be at fault, but will still suffer the pain of injuries sustained in the crash.

Here are some tips to ride safely and avoid accidents:

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Posted on in Business Law

Greenwich business contract lawyersFor many companies in today’s business environment, protecting their business practices and proprietary information is of paramount importance. Many new employees will be asked to sign a non-compete agreement to prevent them from leaving and working for a competitor or starting up their own business using their previous company’s sensitive information. However, there are limits on what a non-compete can cover. Before you sign a non-compete, it is best to fully review the scope and restrictions that the agreement places on future employment if you decide to leave the company.

Details to Understand in a Non-Compete Agreement

As you are starting at a new company or taking on a role with more responsibility at your current employer, you may have questions about how a non-compete agreement may impact your future employment prospects. Items that are commonly included in non-compete agreements that you should fully understand before signing it include:

  • How long will it last after you leave the company?
  • What is the restricted geographic limit covered by the agreement?
  • What are the consequences of breaching the agreement?
  • What is the full scope of what is restricted information under the agreement?

Most agreements last for two years, but the length and scope of what is covered vary depending on the industry.

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Metro NYC personal injury lawyerWarmer weather in the spring and summer often brings the risk of severe weather, including thunderstorms. If you are out on the road in a thunderstorm, you want to drive safely for yourself and others on the road to prevent a car accident. Here are some safe driving tips that can reduce the likelihood that you will be in a car crash.

Prevent Accidents Before and During Your Trip

Although you cannot control the behavior of other drivers on the road, there are some actions you can take before and during your drive that can help keep you safe. By following these tips and driving conservatively, you are more likely to avoid an accident.

  • Maintenance – To be well prepared for any severe weather when driving, you can take certain actions before you pull you even get on the road. Make sure you have a clean windshield and well-functioning wiper blades to increase your ability to see the road and other road users. Inspect your tires to make sure the tread is not overly worn and that they are properly inflated. Worn or underinflated tires can lead to poor handling, especially on wet roads.
  • Turn on your lights – Increase your ability to see and be seen by turning on your headlights during a rainstorm.
  • Leave extra space – Give the car ahead of you more room to allow for additional time to slow down and brake when roads are wet. If you do lose control and start hydroplaning, avoid braking quickly. Take your foot off the gas and slowly steer in the direction you want to go.
  • Avoid deep water – If you can’t see how deep water on the road is, it is best to go around. Driving through water that is too deep could lead to your engine stalling or your car being swept off the road by a current. There could also be debris or potholes hidden by the water, which could cause damage to your vehicle.
  • Stop and wait – During extreme rainstorms, when visibility or road conditions become too hazardous, it is best to pull off the road and wait for the worst to pass.

Contact a Metro New York Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in a car accident, call Greenwich motor vehicle accident attorney at Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC. We are dedicated personal injury lawyers who know how to get results and we will fight for the full compensation that you deserve. Call us at 203-661-6000 for a free consultation.

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Greenwich personal injury lawyerAccording to statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a car accident occurs in the United States every 60 seconds. This comes out to more than five million accidents every year.

Almost two million victims are injured in these crashes, many of them seriously. Tragically, there are many victims who do not even realize they have been injured following a crash because of delayed symptoms. By the time they realize there is a problem, it can be extremely dangerous – even fatal.

Delaying medical help not only puts your health in jeopardy but can also have a negative impact on any lawsuit you bring forward against the at-fault driver. Their insurance company could use that delay in diagnosis as a way to get out of paying you the financial compensation you deserve. Our car accident attorneys have dealt with many insurance companies who have attempted to accuse the victim that they are not really injured or that they were really injured somewhere else, after the accident occurred.

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Metro NYC employment discrimination lawyerThese days, the job market can be highly competitive, with an abundance of experienced, highly qualified candidates all vying for the same position. Employers have the right to be specific in what they want in an employee, and to cast a wide net before choosing the person they think would be best suited for the job. At the same time, basing marketing practices and hiring decisions on applicant characteristics, such as age, race, or gender, or refusing jobs to otherwise qualified candidates due to their physical attributes or disabilities are examples of job discrimination that can land a company in legal hot water.  

Discrimination is prohibited not only for current employees, but also in the procedures and practices employers use in filling positions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises that the following are five areas in which discrimination often occurs. If you think your experience falls under one of these areas, contact an experienced employment attorney for legal assistance.

Job Postings and Advertisements

Employers are prohibited from posting job ads that either solicit or prohibit certain applicants based on age, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or due to physical disabilities. An example would be an ad seeking young workers or one stating females are preferred.

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Greenwich personal injury lawyersNational statistics reveal that there has been a significant increase each year in the number of pedestrian accidents that occur across the country. There has also been a rise in the number of pedestrian fatalities, as well. In 2020, more than 6,500 victims were killed in pedestrian accidents, an increase of almost 5 percent from the year before. What makes these numbers even more concerning is that the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) was down by more than 13 percent from the year before due to the pandemic.

Although everyone is at risk of being a pedestrian accident victim, multiple studies have found that there are certain factors that cause that risk to spike. Knowing what those factors are can help you to protect yourself from being a victim. The following are the most common factors.

Age

Both older adults and children are most at risk of being hit by a vehicle. Tragically, one in five children younger than 14 years of age who were killed in auto accidents was a pedestrian. And for the past five years, 20 percent of pedestrian accident victims who were killed were 65 years of age or older.

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Greenwich estate planning lawyerNo matter what your financial situation is, you have an estate. Your estate is made up of everything you own. Many people think this only includes real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, etc., and therefore, if they do not have these types of assets, they do not have an estate.

However, an estate also includes your furniture, personal possessions, vehicle, and even your digital property, such as music and photographs. The bottom line is that no matter how modest your estate is, you should still have an estate plan in place to specify what should be done with these items when you die. The following are some of the components you may choose for your estate plan.

Last Will and Testament

Wills can still be a useful tool in estate planning. If you have young children, you are able to name the party or parties you wish to be your children’s legal guardian. A will allows you to address how you want personal belongings, collections, furniture, digital assets, and other property to be divided among your heirs, as well as which relatives you do not want to receive anything.

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Connecticut personal injury lawyerStatistics show that the majority of drivers will be involved in at least three car accidents during their “driving lifetime.” All too often, a safe and courteous driver finds themselves the victim of someone else’s negligence on the road. Car accident victims can suffer any number of personal injuries and property damage, and Connecticut law says they deserve to be compensated for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

There are many reasons why drivers are negligent behind the wheel. Some of the most commonly cited causes for vehicle accidents include the following.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents in this country. While it is illegal to text and drive, many people still do it anyway and end up causing car accidents, leaving victims with serious and fatal injuries.

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Connecticut wrongful death lawyersThe unexpected loss of a loved one can have catastrophic financial effects on a family. When that loss is the result of the negligent or reckless act of another person, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death claim to pursue financial compensation for their emotional and financial losses. In general, the survivors that are allowed to file a wrongful death claim are the victim’s spouse and children, parents, siblings, or the representative of the victim’s estate.

Wrongful Death Claims

There are multiple types of incidents or accidents which could cause the death of a victim and result in the family filing a wrongful death claim against the party or parties whose actions or behavior caused the accident that killed the victim. Some of the more common types of accident include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Medical error or malpractice
  • Premises liability accidents
  • Work accidents or illness
  • Birth injuries
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect
  • Defective or dangerous product
  • Criminal action

Elements Needed

In order to be successful in proving a wrongful death case, there must be four elements or factors proven:

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Metro NYC Business Contract AttorneysContracts are an essential part of conducting business. In fact, every business, from a small sole proprietorship to a large Fortune 500 company that operates nationwide, enters into contracts whenever a customer buys goods or services. Business contracts can cover nearly every aspect of business and can include employment contracts, nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), buy-sell agreements, and purchase orders, just to name a few.

Contracts are legally binding agreements that establish certain rights and responsibilities for and upon the parties to the agreement. They often contain dense legal language that can be difficult for a person without legal training to comprehend. For this reason, it is important for anyone engaging in any type of business to have their contracts reviewed by an experienced business lawyer.

Language Clarification

One of the most common causes of significant and costly contract disputes are ambiguous terms. It may come as a surprise to people who are not attorneys, but commonly used words that one would assume are not subject to interpretation can become the focus of protracted litigation that could cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. By having a skilled lawyer review a contract prior to signing it and clarifying any ambiguous terms, business owners can avoid these kinds of issues before they arise.

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Metro NY hit and run crash lawyerBy law, when a crash or collision occurs involving a motor vehicle, all drivers are required to pull over immediately at the crash site, notify law enforcement, and exchange information with other drivers. Unfortunately, there are some drivers who flee the scene. If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you may think that there will be no way to pursue damages for losses you have, however, there are steps you can take to help hold the driver accountable. 

Hit and Run Accidents

According to the national statistics, there are almost 750,000 hit and run accidents that occur every year in the United States. This averages out to a hit and run accident every 43 seconds, and the number keeps increasing each year. These accidents are responsible for the deaths of over 2,000 victims, as well as leaving thousands of more victims injured.

These accidents also cause serious property damages and injuries for thousands of other motorists, whether in parking lots and on residential streets, or on state roads and highways. Traffic safety experts speculate that illegal activity on the part of the at fault driver may be part of the reason why they leave the scene. This includes:

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NY estate lawyerA key part of the estate planning process involves making decisions about a person’s end-of-life care. This can be especially important for people who are elderly, although addressing medical decisions may be beneficial at any age. Advance medical directives will allow a person to decide what types of medical care they do or do not want to receive in different situations, and they can ensure that their wishes will be followed if they encounter health issues that make it impossible to make their preferences known. Residents of New York will need to understand how the state’s laws address these issues, and they can take steps to prepare for the future and avoid uncertainty for themselves and their loved ones.

Advanced Directives in New York

A person can address their medical care by naming a person who can make medical decisions on their behalf and creating documents that detail their decisions about treatment. A Health Care Proxy will allow a person to appoint a Health Care Agent who will be authorized to make decisions for them if they cannot make decisions on their own. These decisions may include whether life-sustaining treatment such as nutrition or hydration will be provided and whether the person should be resuscitated if their heart stops beating. A Health Care Proxy can detail a person’s wishes in these matters, but if these wishes are not specified, the agent may make decisions based on what they believe would be in the person’s best interests.

In addition to or instead of a Health Care Proxy, a person can create a living will that details their wishes for the types of end-of-life treatment they want to receive. This document will address situations where the person has been diagnosed with an incurable condition that will result in their death, and they cannot make their wishes known. A living will can specify that a person does or does not want to receive certain types of treatment. For example, it may state that a person should be kept alive as long as possible, or it may state that life-sustaining treatment should be withheld and treatment should be limited to palliative care such as medication meant to ease pain and provide comfort.

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NY injury lawyerA motor vehicle collision can injure drivers and passengers in a variety of ways. Whether a person is involved in a relatively minor impact or a high-speed collision, their body will be subject to strong physical forces that can result in significant harm. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that car accident victims can suffer. By understanding the ways that these injuries may affect them in both the short term and long term, victims can make sure they will be able to receive compensation that fully addresses their damages.

Effects of Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash occurs when a person’s head is suddenly forced backward, forward, or to the side. This may occur in a rear-end collision, and a sudden impact from behind may cause a person’s head to snap backward, and it may then snap forward after bouncing off their seat’s headrest. A T-bone or side-impact collision may cause a person’s head to snap sideways. This sudden motion can place a great deal of pressure on the vertebrae in the neck, potentially resulting in spinal cord injuries. The soft tissues in the neck and shoulders may also be damaged, and a person may experience pinched nerves affecting the neck, shoulders, arms, and upper body.

Immediately after suffering whiplash, a person may experience severe pain and stiffness in the neck, as well as headaches. These symptoms may last between a few days and a few weeks, and they can often be treated through pain medications and muscle relaxers, the application of ice or heat, or a foam collar to immobilize the neck while it heals.

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CT real estate lawyerA residential real estate transaction can be complicated. Both buyers and sellers will need to meet certain requirements, and they may need to address a variety of legal issues that may affect their ability to complete the sale. Contingencies included in a purchase agreement can play an important role in a transaction, and the parties will need to understand what types of contingencies may apply in their case and the role that they may play during the home closing process.

Types of Contingencies

After a seller accepts a buyer’s offer on a home, the parties will sign a purchase contract that will include important details about the transaction. These contracts will usually include contingencies, or terms allowing either party to back out of the transaction if certain conditions are not met. These contingencies may address issues such as:

  • Home appraisal - A buyer will want to make sure the home that they are purchasing is valued at an amount similar to the purchase price. In some cases, a mortgage lender may require a contingency that will ensure that a home is valued at a minimum amount.
  • Financing - A buyer will need to secure a mortgage loan that will allow them to purchase the home from the seller at the agreed-upon price. Buyers will often need to provide multiple forms of financial information to lenders to qualify for a mortgage, and if they are unable to complete these requirements or obtain a loan, a contingency will protect them from being forced to purchase a home that they will not be able to afford.
  • Sale of a previous home - If the buyer currently owns a home, they will most likely need to sell this home before they can assume ownership of their new home. If they are unable to sell their home, they may be placed in the position of being required to pay two mortgages at the same time, which usually is not financially feasible. A contingency may state that the buyer will only be able to proceed with the transaction if they sell their current home by a certain date.
  • Inspections - The buyer has the right to perform a home inspection that will identify any major issues with the home, as well as other repairs that may need to be made. If the issues uncovered during an inspection are significant, a contingency may give the buyer the option to terminate the sale, or it may require the seller to make the necessary repairs. For example, if an inspection finds that the home’s foundation is faulty and would require major repairs, the buyer may choose to back out of the transaction.
  • Title - During the closing process, a title search will be performed to uncover any issues that may prevent the transfer of the home’s title. Contingencies may allow the buyer to back out of the purchase if issues such as ownership disputes or liens cannot be resolved.

Contact Our Fairfield County Residential Real Estate Lawyers

At Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC, we provide legal representation for buyers and sellers during the home closing process. We can help you negotiate contingencies in your real estate contract that will protect your rights and meet your needs, and we will help you address and resolve any issues that may affect your transaction. Contact our Greenwich real estate attorneys today at 203-661-6000 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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NY injury lawyerDuring the winter, people may be at risk of injury due to weather conditions. Following a snowstorm or cold snap, sidewalks and other outdoor walking surfaces can become very slippery, greatly increasing the chances that people will suffer injuries in slip and fall accidents. When these types of accidents occur, a person who was injured will want to understand their options for receiving compensation, including determining whether they can pursue a premises liability claim or lawsuit against a property owner who failed to ensure that walking surfaces were safe to use.

Pursuing Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents

Because property owners are required to make sure their premises are safe for visitors who are allowed to enter the property, they may be liable for injuries that took place because they did not properly address hazards. A property owner may be considered negligent if they did not take measures to remove snow and ice from walking surfaces, including sidewalks, parking lots, or other areas where visitors may be expected to walk.

In many cases, a victim’s ability to pursue compensation for a slip and fall accident will be based on whether a property owner followed the local ordinances requiring them to remove snow and ice. In Greenwich, Connecticut, property owners, tenants, or occupants are required to clear sidewalks within 18 hours after snowfall or the accumulation of ice, and they must also spread sand or salt on sidewalks to ensure that they are safe to use. In New York City, snow and ice must be cleared from sidewalks adjacent to a building within a certain amount of time after snow stops falling. Sidewalks must be cleared within four hours if snow stopped falling between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. If snow stopped falling in the evening or during the night, sidewalks must be cleared within 14 hours or before 11:00 am the next day.

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CT business lawyerBusiness owners and partners must make many decisions about how they will operate their business, address concerns that may arise, and plan for future growth. One of the most important decisions involves the way a business will be structured. During the business formation process, an owner will select a business entity and take steps to formally establish a company under a certain structure. By understanding the options for structuring a business, owners and partners can make sure they will be positioned for success.

Choosing the Right Business Entity

Business owners have multiple options for structuring their companies, including:

  • Sole proprietorships - The simplest type of business structure involves a person using their personal assets to conduct business activities. In these cases, there is no separation between the business owner’s personal assets and the assets owned by the business. While this may allow for less complicated and more streamlined business operations, it will not provide an owner with protection from liability, and they will be personally responsible for paying any business debts and meeting other obligations.
  • General partnerships - This type of structure is similar to a sole proprietorship, except that a business has multiple owners. In these cases, partners will be personally liable for business debts.
  • Limited partnerships/LLPs - A business with multiple owners may be structured in a way that provides some partners with protection from liability. In these cases, one or more partners may be general partners, while other partners may be limited partners who have a less significant role in managing business operations and are protected from liability. A business may also be structured as a limited liability partnership (LLP) in which all partners are limited partners. This type of structure is often used for professional practices such as medical practices, accounting firms, or law firms, and it will allow partners to be protected from being held liable for malpractice committed by another partner.
  • Corporations - A business may be structured as an independent legal entity, and shares of the business may be sold to investors to raise financing. Owners and shareholders will be protected from liability, and a company will need to meet a variety of reporting requirements to ensure that shareholders’ investments are protected. Depending on whether a business is structured as a C-corporation or S-corporation, it may be subject to corporate taxes, or taxes may be “passed through” and applied to the owners’ personal incomes.
  • Limited liability companies (LLCs) - This type of structure offers some of the benefits of a corporation, while still allowing owners and partners to maintain flexibility and control as they conduct business operations. LLC owners are protected from liability, and they can also take advantage of tax laws to apply certain types of deductions and avoid issues such as double taxation on corporate profits.

Contact Our Greenwich Business Formation Lawyers

At Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC, we can help you determine the best options for structuring your business. Whether you are starting a new business or looking to restructure your business to ensure that you can obtain financing and protect yourself from liability, we will provide you with legal guidance and make sure you meet all of your requirements to establish the correct business entity. Contact our Connecticut business law attorneys at 203-661-6000 to arrange a free consultation.

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NY injury lawyerPeople face multiple types of risks in their daily lives. Since most people spend a significant amount of time driving or riding in motor vehicles, they are aware of the ever-present danger of car accidents. Unfortunately, even if a person takes great care to follow traffic laws and drive as safely as possible, they may still be involved in accidents caused by others who fail to use the proper level of care. Distracted driving is one of the most common forms of driver negligence that can lead to dangerous collisions and serious injuries that affect drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

Forms of Distracted Driving That Can Lead to Car Accidents

For those who drive every day, it can be easy to forget that they are in control of a deadly weapon. Passenger vehicles weigh thousands of pounds, and an impact from a car or truck will involve significant force, even at low speeds. The risks of injury are even greater when a vehicle is traveling at higher speeds. Because of this, drivers need to be sure they are acting as safely as possible since what may seem like a small mistake can have deadly results.

Unfortunately, many drivers fail to fully pay attention to the act of driving, especially when they are traveling on familiar roads. A distraction that causes a person to look away from the road or take one or both hands off the steering wheel may make it difficult or impossible to avoid an accident. A person may fail to notice that a car has slowed down in front of them or that a pedestrian has entered a crosswalk. If a driver is not fully in control of their vehicle, or if their attention is elsewhere, they may not be able to react in time to slow down or swerve out of the way.

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CT probate lawyerWhile dealing with the death of a family member may involve difficult emotions, legal and financial issues can also play a role in these situations. During the probate process, the person named as the executor in a deceased person’s will is required to file the will in court and oversee the process of distributing their assets to their heirs, while also handling other issues related to their final affairs. Our attorneys provide legal help with probate matters in Connecticut and New York, and we are prepared to help an executor or a person appointed as the personal representative of an estate complete this process successfully.

Understanding the Probate Process

When creating a will, a person will name someone as the executor of their estate. This is usually a family member or close friend who the person trusts to make sure their wishes are followed correctly. After the person’s death, the executor will begin the probate process. In Connecticut, this process must be followed if the deceased person had assets totaling $40,000 or more or owned real estate property, and a case will be handled in the Probate Court in the district where they resided. In New York, probate will be necessary if the deceased person owned assets worth at least $50,000, and a case will be handled in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the person lived.

The executor will file the deceased person’s will in court, and a hearing will be held to verify that the will is valid and officially appoint the executor as the administrator of the estate. The executor will then take an inventory of all of the assets owned by the deceased person, and if necessary, appraisals may be performed to determine the value of certain assets. The executor will notify the beneficiaries named in the person’s will, and they will also publish a notice of the death in a newspaper to allow any creditors or presumed heirs to come forward and make a claim against the estate. Once the executor has paid any outstanding debts and taxes, they will distribute all of the deceased person’s assets to their beneficiaries according to the instructions provided in the will.

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