Are You Planning for Your Future?
Web marketing—when was the last time you thought about it? Today, due to the coronavirus (COVID 19), many of us sit in our homes, isolated from work colleagues, friends and in some cases even family members. Consequently, we have more time to think, and how we spend that time thinking can influence our future.
Even though we’re hunkering down, waiting for COVID 19 to eventually blow over, it doesn’t mean that our down time has to be unproductive. Where would you like your business to be a year from now? Two years from now? Or five years from now? When you’re caught up in the daily minutiae of managing your business, you often feel too busy to plan ahead or even think about marketing.
As physical locations are shutting down, do you know what’s busier than ever? The Internet. Mobile devices were already integral to how many people live. Texting, checking emails, visiting websites or Facebook, tweeting or whatever digital way people connect has become a way of life. The web hasn’t shut down. In fact, if anything, it’s more in use than ever because people have more time on their hands.
Take advantage of the present to create some goals, to plan web marketing and see yourself flourishing.
But…oh…you think, as the world slows down, how can you even think about web marketing? The truth is: how can you afford not to?
The Science of Mental Contagion
Here’s something important to understand, and how you decide to use this information can affect your future.
Jamil Zaki, an associate Stanford University psychology professor wrote an interesting article, called “Kindness Contagion.” He and his colleagues conducted a study to see whether kindness was “contagious.” In other words, if people see other people being kind, is it catchy? When people who were part of their group saw other people being empathetic, did they also want to be empathetic? The study showed they did. In fact, the article said, “Witnessing kindness causes it to spread like a virus.” (more…)
As we all know, there is only one issue in the news right now: the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), its varied impacts upon global societies, and the increasingly extraordinary measures being taken by nations, states and local governments to minimize the adverse health consequences to vulnerable populations.
If you are a New Yorker reading this article, you are no doubt seriously worried about the possibility of contracting the virus. Even for the relatively young and healthy among us, the fear of community spread to family and friends who may be elderly or immunocompromised is very real, as they are at heightened risk of serious health complications.
Here in New York City, as public schools and many businesses have been closed for the foreseeable future, people are wondering how this constantly evolving situation may impact their livelihoods, and are looking for ways to survive what may be a potentially long and painful period of economic pain.
This article will provide some helpful information for employees and employers looking for some relief in these difficult times.
Information for Affected NYC Employees
Many businesses in the service and hospitality sectors have already been ordered to close by city and state governments. Additionally, many other businesses have either been forced to shutter or have vastly reduced staffing levels due to serious decline in customers and revenues as most New Yorkers begin to shelter in place.
If you have been laid off or furloughed by your employer, you should immediately apply for unemployment insurance benefits, as New York has waived the normal seven-day waiting period before filing a claim.
This means that workers who lose their jobs or experience a reduction in their work hours can immediately receive partial income replacement. To file a claim, visit labor.ny.gov or call 888-209-8124 during regular business hours.
Due to a very high volume of claims being filed, the state Department of Labor has experienced some slowdown issues and website crashes in recent days due to an overloaded server, so you may have to try several different times before completing a successful application.
Remember, unemployment benefits currently last up to 26 weeks and for most workers only provide a partial income replacement, but they may be a crucial lifeline for those looking to meet basic needs during this pandemic.
If you are fortunate enough to still have a job at this time, please do your best to practice social distancing to the greatest extent practical during your commute and in the workplace, keeping at least six feet away from other people if at all possible. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face or physical contact with coworkers and customers.
Should you begin to feel symptoms of an illness, you should inform your employer immediately and cease working right away. Most New York City employees are guaranteed at least 40 hours per year of job-protected sick leave, which are also paid sick days for those working for employers with five or more employees. Workers should not hesitate to use such paid leave if needed, in order to protect their fellow New Yorkers from possible transmission.
If you are healthy, but are unable to work because you must provide care for a family member who is ill, you may be entitled to receive partial wage replacement for up to ten weeks through New York’s paid family leave program.
In order to qualify, the person requiring care would have to be certified by a health practitioner as having a “serious health condition.” For more information about filing a claim for paid family leave benefits, visit paidfamilyleave.ny.gov or call 844-337-6303 during regular business hours.
Information for Affected NYC Employers
If you are a business owner fortunate enough to still be operating at this precarious time, you are likely to face a number of very difficult choices as you try to stay afloat over the coming months.
In order to keep your employees healthy and working, your best bet is to regularly clean and disinfect all workplace surfaces, and to physically separate employees as much as possible to limit opportunities for disease transmission. While employers could require employees to wear personal protective equipment, such as respirator masks and disposable gloves in the workplace, these items are in extremely short supply and thus difficult to obtain, and their use by healthy individuals is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
In industries where it is feasible to do so, employers should strongly consider allowing employees to work from their homes. However, before doing so, employers should carefully review their policies and procedures for remote work to ensure that they are in full compliance with all employment laws and regulations, including having appropriate procedures in place to track the time worked by hourly, non-overtime-exempt employees.
Perhaps the most difficult decisions that employers may have to make will involve balancing the desire to financially assist struggling, furloughed employees with the need to ensure that a business remains viable through what many experts now expect to be a lengthy economic recession.
The federal government is currently working on coronavirus stimulus legislation, which hopefully will include assistance for businesses in the form of tax credits, filing extensions, and other economic relief.
In the meantime, small businesses that have seen a dramatic drop in revenues and which lack access to credit may be able to obtain low interest working capital loans of up to $2 million from the United States Small Business Administration. Visit sba.gov/disaster or call 800-659-2955 for information on eligibility and to apply.
City businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25 percent or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit, while the smallest city businesses with fewer than five employees may be eligible for grants to cover 40 percent of payroll costs for two months. For more information and to apply, visit nyc.gov/sbs.
It has been over 100 years since the last viral pandemic of this magnitude, the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918. Because of this, there is no appropriate modern-day precedent for what we will face over the coming weeks and months.
It is vital that employers and employees throughout New York City all do their best to work with one another to ensure our common safety and survival. We will get through this crisis together, and there will be better days ahead.
Read more: Queens Ledger – COVID 19 Response Employment Impacts for New York Workers and Businesses
At the Law Offices of Bonnie Lawston, P.C., the health and safety of our staff, colleagues and clients is our top priority.
You rely on us for your personal and professional needs, and we remain ready to help you in this difficult time as we face many challenges and uncertainties.
As such, we are taking a number of steps to minimize health risks during this health crises.
Our law firm will be adhering to the guidelines presented by the Centers for Disease Control and our local health officials, and we continue to monitor them for updates as they are released in real time. Accordingly, we have implemented a plan to protect the safety of our work environment while allowing us to continue to service all of our clients.
Our attorneys and staff are taking precautions with respect to non-essential meetings and face-to-face interactions. That includes telephone consultations and video conference calls whenever possible. When a face to face meeting is necessary, such as to execute a Will, a Trust, or even your Health Care Proxy, we will provide a clean and spacious environment to do so. With respect to our real estate practice, we will endeavor to utilize Powers of Attorney and even Escrow Closings in order to close title when the transaction permits us to do so.
Please, do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns regarding your current estate plan or if you want to get started right away. As always, our lawyers and staff are committed to handling our clients’ matters with the utmost care and respect, and we will remain vigilant as we strive to overcome these challenges. We are here for you and hope that you and your family remain safe and healthy.
YOU CAN STILL CALL AND CONTACT US TO RETAIN US FOR ALL YOUR ESTATE ADMINISTRATION, PROBATE AND TRUST ADMINISTRATION NEEDS, FILINGS, LITIGATION, REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS. WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS WORK REMOTELY WITH CLIENTS FOR YEARS. WE HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE TO HELP YOU FROM YOUR HOME AND GET THIS DONE. NO LEGAL FEE DUE UPFRONT.
631-425-7299 ANY DAY, ANYTIME. JUST CALL OR EMAIL US.
If You Were Not Wearing a Helmet, Will It Affect Your Accident Case?
Wearing a helmet can help prevent a serious injury or even save a life in motorcycle accidents.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that severe head injuries are common in fatal motorcycle accidents. Helmets prevent about 37 percent of motorcyclists from dying and about 67 percent from experiencing brain injuries.
These percentages are significant. In 2017, about 14 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities were motorcycle accident deaths, which was double the statistic in 1997.
In 2016, the number of motorcycle deaths was almost 28 times the number of car accident deaths.
New York Helmet Law
The State of New York requires all motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets. The helmet must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards.
How Does Wearing a Helmet Affect a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
In any New York vehicle accident, the court assigns a percentage of fault to the parties involved. Any violations of the law would indicate negligence on the part of the person in violation. The legal term for this method of assigning fault is contributory negligence.
For this reason, if you were in a motorcycle accident and not wearing a helmet, the court is likely to assign you a percentage of fault for the injury you experienced. Courts reduce the amount of compensation that you can recover based on your percentage of fault. If you were 30 percent at fault, and damages were $100,000,your recovery of damages would be reduced by 30 percent ($70,000).
Other New York Law that Affects Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are not considered vehicles under New York No-Fault insurance law. In addition, an injured motorcyclist does not have to meet the “serious injury” threshold to sue another party for damages. In addition to the fact that many motorcycle accident injuries are serious, this is important to know.
If you are involved in a serious motorcycle accident, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible so you understand your legal rights to recover compensation.
Take a breathe first. After you have gathered your thoughts, make an appointment and consult with an Probate Estate Administration attorney. Many offer a free consultation and can provide valuable information. The steps that you take initially are very important and if given the proper guidance can save you time and money. Many of people I speak with make most of their mistakes with estate administration in the beginning and prior to seeing an estate probate attorney. I always tell my clients, please call me, any time, if you are about to make a decision that affects the estate, your fiduciary responsibilities or even the estate assets. I can provide you the right legal advice to avoid the common mistakes that can be costly before they happen and avoid same.
My legal practice focuses on probate, estate administration and trust administration. any of my clients reside outside of New York, in Florida, California and other parts of the country but are serving as a fiduciary or an heir to a New York Estate matter. If you are an executor, administrator or trustee for someone who died in another state but the decedent owned real property in New York, we can assist you with that ancillary proceeding. There is no need to be stressed out over the estate administration process. We provide the legal assistance that is needed at a low cost. If you have no money to retain an attorney, we offer many types of retainers where the legal fees are deferred.
WHAT ARE YOUR INHERITANCE RIGHTS?
A FAMILY MEMBER PASSED AWAY AND YOU WERE IN THE WILL, WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
If you believe your family member’s will is not being properly executed, a lawyer can review and advise you of your rights. Whether you live locally or out-of-state, a probate attorney can answer your questions. You can relax on your sofa or spend time with family, and we will take care legal matters, preparing documents for probate court and working to protect your interests.
Located on Long Island, The Law Office of Bonnie Lawston. PC has assisted countless clients from all over the country with the challenges of probate and estate administration with New York Estates. In cases where your loved one lived elsewhere but had real estate in New York, we can assist you with the administration of the New York assets.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THE EXECUTOR WILL PAY YOU WHAT WAS STATED IN THE WILL?
Beneficiaries receive what remains after the estate has been inventoried, creditors have been paid and tax returns have been filed with payment of applicable taxes. A lawyer reviews the estate legal documents, closing documents, bank records, demand and review a judicial accounting and other discover documents to ensure you receive your inheritance and that the executor provides a proper accounting and complies with the applicable laws as it relates to the administration of the Estate.
In instances where you do not receive the proper distribution, your attorney can fight for your inheritance and seek to hold the fiduciary of the estate accountable for his or her actions. In many instances, communication from a lawyer resolves the issue, and if not, taking legal action may be necessary to protect your interests.
Remember that the attorney for the estate’s representative does not represent you but represents the fiduciary of the Estate. Thus, if the fiduciary has done something improper or not done something, the estate’s attorney is not going to tell you. You need your own attorney to protect your interests as opposed to the Estate.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR INHERITANCE RIGHTS ARE AFTER THE DEATH OF YOUR SPOUSE?
IF YOUR SPOUSE DIED AND LEFT YOU OUT OF THE WILL, WOULD YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO?
Under New York law, whether your spouse included you in the will or not, you are entitled to either $50,000 plus one half of the value of the estate or $50,000 plus one third depending on whether you have children. The exception would be if you waived your rights in a prenuptial agreement or other document.
If your spouse eliminates you from the Will, you must file a claim within the statutory amount of time to preserve your rights. Our probate and estate attorney can assist you with protecting your inheritance rights.
WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES A PROBATE LAWYER OFFER?
Delving into the law and understanding the statutes that apply to probate are daunting for most people. It takes years of study and experience to acquire the legal knowledge a lawyer has attained. Lawyers can help you take advantage of tax laws to maximize the inheritance. In addition, various retainers are available and some allow legal fee payment through the estate, rather than direct payment.
Many times, an estate has a lot of real property and very little cash, or the family can not access the cash making it difficult to retain an attorney. The Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, PC understands this very well and will offer retainers that require no money up front for legal fees. Most clients qualify for this retainer. Free consultations are offered and can help evaluate your case immediately making for a quicker resolution saving you time and money.
Furthermore, when a loved one dies, loss, grief and other emotions often make dealing with legal matters difficult. It can be helpful to have guidance from an objective professional outside of the family.