ARTICLES

Families First Coronavirus Response Act:  What you need to know 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act  What you need to know  Congress’ new law, H.R. 6201, entitled the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, was signed by the President on March 18, 2020 and becomes effective on April 2, 2020. While the Act provides many important components including free coronavirus testing, this summary shall focus only on the expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.    Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act:  Congress expanded the long-established Family and Medical Leave Act as follows:   Family and Medical Leave Act is expanded by the Act to apply to any…

READ MORE

NYS Coronavirus Response Legislation: What you need to know

New York State Coronavirus Response Legislation: What you need to know On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed legislation making paid sick leave immediately available to New York State employees affected by COVID-19. The bill also provided amendments to the definition of “disability” and “family leave” pursuant to New York State law, making these benefits more accessible to New York State employees affected by COVID-19. Here is a summary of the legislation which became effective on March 18, 2020: Job-protected Paid Sick Leave: • Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million in the…

READ MORE

Growing Up Smart: Estate Planning for Millennials

With hitting the work force and starting families, Millennials have a lot on their minds. Estate planning may not even be on your radar. Besides, isn't estate planning just for older, richer folks? Do you as a Millennial even need an estate plan when you're young and poor? The short answer: estate planning is for everyone, including you. But what should your estate plan look like? What documents should you have? What things do you need to consider before deciding on an estate plan? Family is one of the most important factors to consider when developing an estate plan. So,…

READ MORE

Growing Up Smart: Estate Planning for Millennials Part Two: Married with no Children

Many young couples think that, if they don't have kids, they don't need an estate plan. After all, if you die, everything is going to your spouse anyway, right? Not always. If you are married with no kids, and you do not have an estate plan or prenuptial agreement providing otherwise, the law in New York says that everything you have goes to your spouse. However, your spouse must still go through probate before he or she can get your assets. This is the case even if you have a Last Will and Testament providing that your spouse gets everything.…

READ MORE

Growing Up Smart: Estate Planning for Millennials Part Three: Married with Children

When you have a kid, everything else usually takes a back seat. But what would happen to your child if you and your spouse suddenly died or became incapacitated? Who will take care of your child's medical needs and daily care? Who will manage your assets until your child reaches adulthood? A well-crafted estate plan can address these issues and more and ensure that your kids are taken care of after you are gone. While previous parts of this series have discussed the importance of having an estate plan, having children makes having an estate plan even more important. There…

READ MORE

Growing Up Smart: Estate Planning for Millennials Part Four: Tips for Unmarried Couples

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of adults in cohabiting (unmarried) relationships is up 29% since 2007. That's about 18 million adults, roughly half of which are younger than 35. Marriage (or, rather, not being married) can have an equally huge impact on an estate plan. With this rising trend of cohabitation among Millennials, it is important — perhaps more now than ever — to understand the estate planning implications for unmarried couples. Remember that there are two sides of estate planning: What happens to your STUFF when you die and who takes care of your SELF when…

READ MORE

Farm Laborers Fair Labor Act effective January 1, 2020

Governor Cuomo signed the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Act into law earlier in 2019 with an effective date of January 1, 2020. The new law provides many protections to farm laborers that have been previously unavailable for upwards of 80 years. Prior to the enactment of the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Act, farm laborers were excluded from the protections provided to employees across the State by the New York Employment Relations Act. The Farm Laborers Fair Labor Act (the “Act”) is anticipated to affect over 100,000 farmers and their families in New York State. Farmworkers are indeed the backbone of…

READ MORE

Legislative Update: New York’s “Small Estate” Threshold Grows

On November 25, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new bill into law increasing the maximum value allowable in a Small Estate proceeding from $30,000 to $50,000. Under the previous law, if a person’s estate contained personal property of $30,000 or less, the executor or administrator of that estate had the ability to begin a Small Estate proceeding. The advantage of these types of proceedings includes a smaller filing fee and a faster turnaround time to complete the proceeding from a tradition probate filing. This new legislation updates the threshold to $50,000, making this proceeding more accessible and available to…

READ MORE

OPPORTUNITY ZONES ADVANCING SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL GOALS OF INVESTORS

Opportunity Zones

OPPORTUNITY ZONES- ADVANCING SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL GOALS OF INVESTORS Passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act in December 2017 created significant new opportunities for investors and developers through the existence of Opportunity Zones.  There are over 8,760 Opportunity Zones located in all fifty states, the District of Columbia and five US territories. This compares with only 40 empowerment zones and 40 renewal communities which had been established by Congress according to an August 2018 article in Forbes magazine.  Incentives of major tax benefit are subject to clarification as new regulations and clarifications are expected to emerge after the second…

READ MORE

Trading Privacy for Property: How New York State’s new disclosure requirements expose LLC members

New York State has now passed new legislation which requires additional disclosures for Limited Liability Companies (“LLC’s”) in real estate transactions. This law, which is effective immediately, requires that the purchase or sale of residential real property be linked to an actual person as opposed to an LLC.  This required disclosure of information seems to conflict with one of the more common reasons many create LLC’s, namely to remain anonymous with regards to real estate or other transactions. On September 13, 2019, the State of New York enacted Chapter 297 of the Laws of 2019, which amends New York Tax…

READ MORE