General Legal Counsel

Wills & Estates, Real Estate, Civil, Criminal and Business

Wills & Estates

Every individual should have a will, a supplemental letter of instructions, a durable power of attorney, a springing power of attorney, a living will and a health care proxy. In the case of a couple, both the husband and wife, should have these documents. A trust becomes important under specified conditions.

Everything that you own at the time of your death is a part of your estate. If you haven't done the appropriate planning, you might not have your estate distributed according to your wishes.

Valid up-to-date Will

Your Will describes how you want your assets distributed after death, designating the person(s) or institution responsible for carrying out your wishes, including who will be the guardian of your children. Your will should be drawn up by a qualified attorney.

Supplemental Letter of Instructions

A supplemental letter of instructions is a memorandum of personal details which you should draw up to assist the executor of your will and your heirs. It should include such information as persons to be notified of your death, the location of your original will, the location of vital documents, the location of your assets, your professional advisors and funeral and burial instructions.

Periodic review: Your will and supplemental instructions should be reviewed and updated every year or two - sooner if your circumstances change. At that time you should also evaluate the appropriateness of your fiduciaries. Your spouse and your family should be kept informed at all times.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney designates someone to act on your behalf in the event of your disability. The fact that it functions when you are disabled makes it 'durable'. This document should be drawn up by your attorney at the same time as your will. It can be changed or revoked as long as you are competent to act.

Springing Power of Attorney

A springing power of attorney acts the same way as a durable power of attorney but only becomes effective at a future time or upon the occurrence of some event specified in the document. It might state, for example, that it only becomes effective after two physicians agree that due to mental or physical incapacity, you are unable to manage your personal and business affairs.

Health Care Proxy

New York State has a Health Care Proxy Law. A health care proxy should be drawn up by your attorney in addition to a durable power of attorney. It designates someone to argue your right to refuse life-sustaining procedures in the event of a hopeless condition and incapacity to make decisions for yourself. It must also specify your wishes with regard to artificial nutrition and hydration. A health care proxy can be changed or revoked as long as you are competent to act.

Living Will

A living will specifies that if you have no chance of survival and are unable to speak for yourself, you will not be connected to a respirator or other devices to be kept alive by artificial means.


A trust is a legal device for transferring assets out of your estate to be administrated by a designated trustee. It is useful if you want someone to have income from your estate and someone else to inherit your assets. If you have a large estate, trusts should be considered to save on estate taxes. The person setting up the trust is called the grantor, settlor or creator. The person, corporation or organization administering the trust is called the trustee and the person for whose benefit the trust is set up is called the beneficiary.

Real Estate

The purchase of a house is probably the largest single investment a typical person makes. Both buyers and sellers should understand the contract terms and the legal complications before proceeding with the transaction.

Once a buyer has found a house that he or she wants to buy, the buyer will be asked to sign a contract (usually prepared by the Seller's attorney) and make a down payment. This contract is binding and obligates the buyer to purchase the house. Before signing the contract you should seek legal advice so that your attorney can structure the contract to meet your objectives.

The contract should identify the parties, the purchase price and how it will be paid, the personal property included in the sale and the date the buyer will take possession.

Title to real estate means the right of the owner to peaceful possession and use, free from the claims of others. After the buyer has signed the contract, he or she has a right to know whether the seller can convey clear title to the property. The buyer's attorney will have a title company search the title and issue title insurance to protect you against financial loss should you not be able to sell or mortgage the property in the future without problems.

Property taxes must be paid or the owner may lose the property. The property may also be subject to other debts such as special assessments or levies.

At the closing of the purchase of a house, the buyer receives title to the house with all the related documents for that transfer. At that time the attorneys for the buyer and the seller review all of the documents to be sure they comply with the contract. If they do the buyer must pay the seller the balance of the purchase price.

Arrangements are made at the closing for the buyer to move into the house. Usually when the buyer delivers the full purchase price to the seller, the seller hands over the keys and the buyer can move in immediately. The contract sometimes gives the seller some additional time to move out, subject to the agreement worked out by the attorneys which was in the contract, or a new agreement drafted by the attorneys at closing which is satisfactory to protect both the buyer and seller.

Active Courtroom

Criminal and Business Representation

We represent individuals charged with:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Traffic Offenses
  • Alcohol & Drug Related Offenses
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Shoplifting

In the business arena we:

  • Form Corporations, LLCs & Partnerships
  • Prepare Shareholder & Buy/Sell Agreements
  • Represent Buyers and Sellers of Businesses

Harriet Causin, Esq. 104 South Central Avenue, Suite 14 Valley Stream, New York 11580
© Copyright 2016 Causin Law, All Rights Reverved
  Telephone (516) 823 0100

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