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Is there anything I need to be thinking about after closing?
Is there anything I need to be thinking about after closing?
There are many different things that should be considered after a closing. Some of these...
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What do I do if I have problems or questions after the closing?
What do I do if I have problems or questions after the closing?
Feel free to call us with any questions or problems you may have at any...
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What should I do with my abstract?
What should I do with my abstract?
Unlike the deed, the abstract is a valuable document that you will need in the...
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What happens to the abstract after the closing?
What happens to the abstract after the closing?
Some lenders retain abstracts until the mortgage is paid off. Otherwise, the abstract is usually...
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What should I do with my original deed?
What should I do with my original deed?
Since the original deed is no longer of significance once it has been recorded, it...
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When do I get the deed?
When do I get the deed?
Once the deed is recorded in the County Clerk’s Office, it will be sent to...
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Should I change the locks following closing?
Should I change the locks following closing?
Since you never know who might have been given a key before you bought the...
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How do the keys and garage door opener get transferred to the new owner?
How do the keys and garage door opener get transferred to the new owner?
Typically, one key is delivered to the buyer by either the real estate agent or...
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How soon after the closing can I have my proceeds from the sale?
How soon after the closing can I have my proceeds from the sale?
Funds cannot be released until the transfer is completed, which means when the transfer documents...
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Is the transfer finished when the closing is over?
Is the transfer finished when the closing is over?
The transfer is final when the closing documents are recorded in the County Clerk’s Office....
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When will I receive my closing statement?
When will I receive my closing statement?
You will be able to review a preliminary closing statement with your attorney at closing....
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What is a “Closing Statement”?
What is a “Closing Statement”?
A “Closing Statement” is a written statement, prepared for you by your attorney, which indicates...
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What is the “Loan Estimate” and “Closing Disclosure”?
What is the “Loan Estimate” and “Closing Disclosure”?
These are forms that the Federal Government requires be given to you by your lender...
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What happens to the deposit after the closing?
What happens to the deposit after the closing?
The buyer receives a credit against the purchase price in the amount of the deposit....
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What should I do to make sure the utilities are changed once the property is transferred?
What should I do to make sure the utilities are changed once the property is transferred?
Once the closing date has been established, the seller should contact the utility company and...
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What do I do if the seller has removed things that should not have been removed or has failed to remove things that should have been removed?
What do I do if the seller has removed things that should not have been removed or has failed to remove things that should have been removed?
Contact your real estate agent and attorney immediately. If you notice this during your walk-through...
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What sorts of things can the seller remove from the property when he/she moves out?
What sorts of things can the seller remove from the property when he/she moves out?
This is determined by your contract. Absent a provision to the contrary, the seller may...
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What do I do if I discover problems with the house that were not there or I didn’t notice when I put in my purchase offer?
What do I do if I discover problems with the house that were not there or I didn’t notice when I put in my purchase offer?
Contact your attorney. If the problems are sufficiently significant and you notice them during your...
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Am I responsible for minor changes to the property that are discovered at this inspection?
Am I responsible for minor changes to the property that are discovered at this inspection?
You are not responsible for any changes that are the result of “ordinary wear and...
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Who arranges for this inspection?
Who arranges for this inspection?
The real estate agents can assist in scheduling this inspection. If you are not working...
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Should I permit the buyer to inspect the property just before closing?
Should I permit the buyer to inspect the property just before closing?
It is usually your obligation to do so pursuant to the terms of your contract....
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Shouldn’t I do an inspection of the property just before closing?
Shouldn’t I do an inspection of the property just before closing?
Yes. It is important that you do a “walk through” of the property to make...
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Do I need to obtain homeowner’s insurance before the closing?
Do I need to obtain homeowner’s insurance before the closing?
Once you accept your mortgage commitment, notify your insurance agent that you intend to purchase...
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Do I need to read all of the documents at closing?
Do I need to read all of the documents at closing?
Although you are certainly entitled to do so, the documents are typically long and technical....
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If items are being purchased from the seller in addition to the house itself, are these paid for at closing?
If items are being purchased from the seller in addition to the house itself, are these paid for at closing?
If these items are included in the purchase and sale contract as part of the...
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Why do I need to bring a certified check to closing? Doesn’t my attorney trust me?
Why do I need to bring a certified check to closing? Doesn’t my attorney trust me?
The requirement to provide certified funds is not an issue of trust. We are legally...
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Do I have to bring checks to closing? How many?
Do I have to bring checks to closing? How many?
It is usually necessary for you to bring only one certified check, in an amount...
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How far in advance will I be notified of how much money I will need at closing?
How far in advance will I be notified of how much money I will need at closing?
The amount of money required to close is determined, at least in part, by the...
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When will I know my actual closing costs and expenses?
When will I know my actual closing costs and expenses?
Closing costs and expenses cannot be calculated until the buyer’s lender provides certain figures which...
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How will I know how much money I need for the closin
How will I know how much money I need for the closin
Once the closing is scheduled, we will calculate all of your adjustments and determine all...
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Why are my closing costs and adjustments different than what I was told in the “Loan Estimate” I received from my lender?
Why are my closing costs and adjustments different than what I was told in the “Loan Estimate” I received from my lender?
A “Loan Estimate” is just that—an “estimate” of your closing costs and adjustments, made by...
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How is my final fee for legal services determined?
How is my final fee for legal services determined?
Since each transaction is unique, it is best to discuss any questions you may have...
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What are “closing adjustments”?
What are “closing adjustments”?
“Closing adjustments” are credits or debits to either party to allocate responsibility for expenses already...
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What are “closing costs”? Who pays for what?
What are “closing costs”? Who pays for what?
“Closing costs” are all of the expenses incurred, over and above the purchase price, in...
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How far in advance will I be notified that the closing has been scheduled?
How far in advance will I be notified that the closing has been scheduled?
You will be notified as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, due to the fact...
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Will my closing occur on the closing date in the contract?
Will my closing occur on the closing date in the contract?
Possibly, but not necessarily. The contract closing date is a target date. As such, the...
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Who schedules the closing?
Who schedules the closing?
Typically, when everything is in order, the buyer’s attorney will schedule the closing. Usually, however,...
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Can someone go to the closing for me?
Can someone go to the closing for me?
Sellers can usually be represented by their attorney at the closing. Buyers must usually appear...
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Why do I need to pay the bank attorney for attending closing?
Why do I need to pay the bank attorney for attending closing?
Because you agreed to do so as a condition of borrowing money from the bank....
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Why is a closing necessary? Isn’t it an unnecessary expense?
Why is a closing necessary? Isn’t it an unnecessary expense?
A closing provides a definite time and place for the transfer of the property to...
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What is a “closing”?
What is a “closing”?
A “closing” is a meeting to exchange information, documents and funds in order to complete...
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What if my transfer doesn’t close by the expiration date?
What if my transfer doesn’t close by the expiration date?
Most banks will agree to extend the commitment beyond the expiration date. However, you may...
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What is the “expiration date”?
What is the “expiration date”?
Your lender commits to lending you the money you have requested for a limited period...
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If my commitment requires additional information or documentation, who needs to provide these items to my lender
If my commitment requires additional information or documentation, who needs to provide these items to my lender
It depends on the nature of the information requested. Some of the items will be...
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Does my attorney need to review my mortgage commitment before I accept it?
Does my attorney need to review my mortgage commitment before I accept it?
No, not unless you have any questions or concerns. However, your attorney does need to...
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Do I need to do anything with my mortgage commitment when I receive it?
Do I need to do anything with my mortgage commitment when I receive it?
Yes. If it is acceptable to you, you need to sign it and return it...
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What do I do if I have problems or questions regarding my mortgage commitment?
What do I do if I have problems or questions regarding my mortgage commitment?
Contact your lender immediately to correct any errors in the commitment and/or to answer any...
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Do I need to review my mortgage commitment when I receive it?
Do I need to review my mortgage commitment when I receive it?
Yes. You should do so as soon as you receive it to make sure that...
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How and when do I receive a mortgage commitment?
How and when do I receive a mortgage commitment?
The bank will send it directly to you once you have provided them with all...
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What is a “mortgage commitment”?
What is a “mortgage commitment”?
When a lender approves a borrower for a mortgage, they “commit” to lending a certain...
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What is a “Loan Estimate”? Can I rely on it?
What is a “Loan Estimate”? Can I rely on it?
A “Loan Estimate” is the statement provided by a lender to a borrower which estimates...
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What are “points”?
What are “points”?
A “point” is 1% of the mortgage amount. Bank charges are often calculated based on...
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If my lender asks me if I want them to get the mortgagee title insurance, what do I tell them?
If my lender asks me if I want them to get the mortgagee title insurance, what do I tell them?
You are permitted to order title policy from whatever company you wish. Therefore, if you...
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Should I shop around for the best rates on title insurance?
Should I shop around for the best rates on title insurance?
The rates for all title insurance policies issued in New York State are regulated and...
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Is there a type of title insurance that protects my interest in the property?
Is there a type of title insurance that protects my interest in the property?
Yes. There is a type of title insurance that protects a buyer’s/owner’s interest in the...
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What is title insurance and why does my lender make me get it?
What is title insurance and why does my lender make me get it?
There are various types of title insurance. The type of title insurance required by a...
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Am I required to give my lender all the information they are asking for
Am I required to give my lender all the information they are asking for
If you want them to lend you their money—yes! Although you are fully entitled to...
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Who provides my lender with all the information they are asking for when I make my application?
Who provides my lender with all the information they are asking for when I make my application?
In most cases, you do. If you have any questions regarding what you are asked...
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Why would I want to make prepayments?
Why would I want to make prepayments?
By making prepayments, you will finish paying the loan quicker and in this way you...
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What is a “prepayment”?
What is a “prepayment”?
A “prepayment” refers to paying all or a portion of the mortgage before it is...
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What is a “balloon payment”?
What is a “balloon payment”?
A “balloon payment” is a mortgage payment that pays off the entire outstanding unpaid balance...
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What is meant by “amortization”?
What is meant by “amortization”?
Interest is charged on the amount that is borrowed (called “principal”). As payments are made...
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What is “PMI”? What is “MI”?
What is “PMI”? What is “MI”?
“PMI” stands for “Private Mortgage Insurance” and “MI” (previously referred to as “MIP”) stands for...
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What are FHA, VA, FMHA, SONYMA, and Fannie Mae mortgages?
What are FHA, VA, FMHA, SONYMA, and Fannie Mae mortgages?
Each of these are specialized types of mortgages offered by various governmental organizations, usually to...
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What is an “ARM”?
What is an “ARM”?
An “ARM” is an “Adjustable Rate Mortgage”. Unlike a conventional mortgage, where the interest rate...
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What is a “bridge loan” and when would I need it?
What is a “bridge loan” and when would I need it?
A “bridge loan” is a temporary, short term loan that is intended to “bridge” a...
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Once I decide to lock-in, how do I do it?
Once I decide to lock-in, how do I do it?
Your mortgage lender will have a procedure for advising them or your intentions in this...
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How do I decide when to lock-in?
How do I decide when to lock-in?
You want to lock-in when you feel the interest rates are as low as they...
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What if the interest rates change while I am making my application?
What if the interest rates change while I am making my application?
You will be subject to the prevailing rates when you close. However, most lenders allow...
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How do I know how much to borrow?
How do I know how much to borrow?
The amount you borrow depends on the amount you need as well as the value...
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What is a “private mortgage” and why would I want one?
What is a “private mortgage” and why would I want one?
A “private mortgage” is a loan to purchase property, which is obtained from a source...
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What is a “mortgage broker”? Who pays the mortgage broker?
What is a “mortgage broker”? Who pays the mortgage broker?
A “mortgage broker” is someone who finds a mortgage for you that best suits your...
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How do I decide where to apply?
How do I decide where to apply?
There are many different lenders and many different types of mortgages available. Mortgages vary in...
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When do I apply for my mortgage?
When do I apply for my mortgage?
If there is no application fee or other cost associated with making the application, you...
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What is a “mortgage”?
What is a “mortgage”?
The word “mortgage” is typically used to refer to a loan to buy real property....
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What is a “bill of sale” and how is it different from a deed?
What is a “bill of sale” and how is it different from a deed?
A “bill of sale” is the formal document that transfers ownership of personal property from...
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What if I can’t find my deed?
What if I can’t find my deed?
Once the deed is recorded in the County Clerk’s Office, the transfer is considered to...
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What is a “deed”?
What is a “deed”?
A “deed” is the formal document that transfers ownership of real property from the buyer...
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If I buy property with insurable title, will I have to get title insurance for the buyer when I sell this property?
If I buy property with insurable title, will I have to get title insurance for the buyer when I sell this property?
Probably. If you required insurance, it means the problems were not resolved but were insured....
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If I have to get title insurance for my lender, why isn’t that good enough?
If I have to get title insurance for my lender, why isn’t that good enough?
The type of title insurance required by your lender is different from the type of...
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If my attorney does his/her job, why would I want or need title insurance?
If my attorney does his/her job, why would I want or need title insurance?
Certain defects can remain hidden, despite the most thorough title investigation Various irregularities may occur...
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When is title insurance necessary or advisable?
When is title insurance necessary or advisable?
Marketable title is title that is free from observable title objections. Insurable title is title...
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What is “title insurance”?
What is “title insurance”?
Just like health problems are insurable or accidents are insurable, title problems are also insurable....
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What if the seller can’t or won’t resolve the title problems?
What if the seller can’t or won’t resolve the title problems?
By signing a contract for the sale of property, a seller agrees to provide the...
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Why do fences cause title problems?
Why do fences cause title problems?
Fences are a historical way of marking boundaries to land. However, whether by accident or...
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Why weren’t title problems resolved when I bought the house?
Why weren’t title problems resolved when I bought the house?
Any title issues that were observable and relevant at the time you bought your house...
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What happens if problems are discovered with the title?
What happens if problems are discovered with the title?
In the Purchase and Sale Contract, the seller agrees to provide the buyer with good...
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What is a “title exam”?
What is a “title exam”?
A “title exam” is the review or examination of the abstract to determine the sufficiency...
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Can I use the map I received when I bought the property?
Can I use the map I received when I bought the property?
In most cases, the buyer and the buyer’s lender require a new or current survey...
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What is an “instrument survey map”?
What is an “instrument survey map”?
An “instrument survey map” is a map of real property, prepared by a licensed land...
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What is a “redate”?
What is a “redate”?
When a buyer purchases a parcel of real property, the abstract contains all the information...
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Why can’t I use a photocopy of the abstract?
Why can’t I use a photocopy of the abstract?
An abstract is prepared by a professional who is trained to search the county records....
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What does the abstract look like?
What does the abstract look like?
It is usually a thick document on legal sized paper (8 ½” x 14”), bound...
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Where do I look for my abstract?
Where do I look for my abstract?
The original abstract is usually sent to the buyer after the closing, retained by the...
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What is an “abstract” or “abstract of title”?
What is an “abstract” or “abstract of title”?
A document is recorded in the County Clerk’s Office whenever property in that county is...
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What do I do if I later discover the inspector didn’t notice a problem or defect?
What do I do if I later discover the inspector didn’t notice a problem or defect?
Depending on the nature of the problem discovered, you may have the right to pursue...
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What do I do if the inspection discloses problems with the property?
What do I do if the inspection discloses problems with the property?
If the problems affect your willingness to purchase the property under the terms of the...
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Should anyone else be at the inspection?
Should anyone else be at the inspection?
It is always helpful to have another person to hear what the inspector says and...
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Should I be present at the time of the inspection?
Should I be present at the time of the inspection?
Although you are not required to be at the inspection, it is highly recommended. While...
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Will I get a report from the inspector?
Will I get a report from the inspector?
Yes. Typically the inspector will provide you with a written report, outlining exactly what was...
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Should I show the inspector the “Property Condition Disclosure Statement”?
Should I show the inspector the “Property Condition Disclosure Statement”?
Absolutely. This may well provide the inspector with valuable information to assist in the inspection.
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Who orders the inspection?
Who orders the inspection?
In the case of a general home inspection, this is typically scheduled by the buyer,...
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How do I find a qualified inspector?
How do I find a qualified inspector?
The best way to locate a qualified inspector is to obtain a referral and recommendation...
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How extensive/expensive should a home inspection be?
How extensive/expensive should a home inspection be?
Again, this is a determination that must be made by each individual buyer. If a...
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Do I need to have a professional inspection of a home I am buying?
Do I need to have a professional inspection of a home I am buying?
A professional inspection of a home is not required. Every buyer must determine whether such...
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Can I bring a claim concerning defective drugs and medical devices?
Can I bring a claim concerning defective drugs and medical devices?
Product liability cases may involve dangerous and defective drugs, medications, and other medical or pharmaceutical...
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What is a product liability claim?
What is a product liability claim?
A manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, processor of materials, or maker of a component part that...
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Can I bring a claim for my dog bite injury?
Can I bring a claim for my dog bite injury?
Under New York law, a dog owner will be held responsible for your damages if...
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I was bitten by a dog. What do I do?
I was bitten by a dog. What do I do?
Report the incident to your local dog warden or police right away. They can help...
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If I am injured, should I call a lawyer right away?
If I am injured, should I call a lawyer right away?
Yes, if possible. There are time limitations that apply to bringing a claim, some as...
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I was injured at work. Do I have a personal injury claim?
I was injured at work. Do I have a personal injury claim?
The general rule in New York is that workers injured at work are limited to...
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Slip, Trip and Fall Injuries
According to Injury Facts®, falls accounted for 21% of preventable deaths and 33% of nonfatal...
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Can I be compensated for my emotional distress caused by the death of my loved one?
Can I be compensated for my emotional distress caused by the death of my loved one?
Unfortunately, the law in New York does not permit recovery for emotional injury except in...
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Does a filing deadline apply to a claim when someone has died?
Does a filing deadline apply to a claim when someone has died?
Yes. In fact, there are several different time limits that apply in any death claim....
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Who can bring a claim when someone has died?
Who can bring a claim when someone has died?
A person must be appointed by the court to pursue a wrongful death claim. Parents,...
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My loved one has died. Do I have a claim?
My loved one has died. Do I have a claim?
If your loved one has died as a result of someone’s negligence, there are two...
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Will I have to go to court?
Will I have to go to court?
The vast majority of personal injury cases settle without ever going to trial. Our careful...
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Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer?
Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer?
You should hire a personal injury attorney so as to best protect your rights and...
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What is a contingency fee?
What is a contingency fee?
Personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means that the attorney receiving...
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Does Lacy Katzen LLP charge a fee for an initial consultation?
Does Lacy Katzen LLP charge a fee for an initial consultation?
No. Lacy Katzen LLP’s litigation attorneys offer free consultations.
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What is a personal injury claim?
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim seeks compensation for injuries caused by another’s negligence. These injuries can...
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Do I need a prenuptial agreement if I am planning to get married?
Do I need a prenuptial agreement if I am planning to get married?
A prenuptial agreement is basically a Separation Agreement (see above) that parties negotiate and sign...
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Can I change my name when I get divorced?
Can I change my name when I get divorced?
Yes, the law entitles you to return to any maiden name or prior surname upon...
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Is there an additional cost to get a QDRO?
Is there an additional cost to get a QDRO?
Yes, since a QDRO can only be done following a divorce, it is not part...
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Do I need to get a QDRO as soon as I’m divorced?
Do I need to get a QDRO as soon as I’m divorced?
No, but it is advisable to do so. Since a QDRO secures your interest in...
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Do I need to get a QDRO?
Do I need to get a QDRO?
If you are entitled to a share of your spouse’s retirement, the Judgment or Decree...
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What is a “Quadro”?
What is a “Quadro”?
Actually, it’s “QDRO”, which stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. A QDRO is a special...
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What can I do if my spouse fails to meet his/her obligations under our divorce?
What can I do if my spouse fails to meet his/her obligations under our divorce?
A Judgment of Divorce is a court order. The failure to meet the obligations under...
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Where can I get a copy of my final divorce papers?
Where can I get a copy of my final divorce papers?
Your divorce documents are all filed in the Office of the County Clerk of the...
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Do I have to file a joint tax return with my spouse?
Do I have to file a joint tax return with my spouse?
No, in fact once you are divorced, you are not permitted to file jointly since...
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Does my spouse have to provide me with health insurance?
Does my spouse have to provide me with health insurance?
Not necessarily. Courts will often require coverage to continue until the divorce is complete. However,...
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Should I refuse to leave the house?
Should I refuse to leave the house?
Not necessarily. The answer to this question requires the consideration and analysis of multiple factors...
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Are alimony payments tax deductible?
Are alimony payments tax deductible?
For people who have signed a Separation Agreement or who are granted a Judgment of...
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Am I entitled to alimony? How much? How long
Am I entitled to alimony? How much? How long
Spousal maintenance (often referred to as “alimony”) is the payment from one spouse to another,...
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Am I obligated for my spouse’s debts?
Am I obligated for my spouse’s debts?
You are not obligated to the creditor for your spouse’s debts. However, debts that were...
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Am I entitled to anything from my spouse’s professional practice? Business?
Am I entitled to anything from my spouse’s professional practice? Business?
An interest in a professional practice or a business, to the extent it was obtained...
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Am I entitled to anything from my spouse’s college degree? Professional license?
Am I entitled to anything from my spouse’s college degree? Professional license?
An advanced degree or professional license is not considered to be a marital asset to...
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Can I get my spouse’s social security?
Can I get my spouse’s social security?
Yes, if you were married more than 10 years. This is governed by the Social...
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Does my spouse get a piece of my retirement?
Does my spouse get a piece of my retirement?
Yes, if it was accumulated during the marriage. Amounts accumulated in retirement accounts during the...
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Do I get half of everything?
Do I get half of everything?
New York is an “Equitable Distribution” state, meaning that all marital assets (and debts) are...
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Do all my assets get divided in a divorce?
Do all my assets get divided in a divorce?
No. The only assets that are subject to division in a divorce are “marital assets”....
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Can I claim head of household filing status?
Can I claim head of household filing status?
The IRS establishes rules for claiming head of household filing status. The right to claim...
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Can I claim my children as tax deductions?
Can I claim my children as tax deductions?
Through 2017, the IRS allowed separated or divorced parents to determine which of them would...
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Am I obligated to pay for college for my children?
Am I obligated to pay for college for my children?
Possibly but not necessarily. This depends on the specific circumstances.
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When does my child support obligation terminate?
When does my child support obligation terminate?
When the child reaches 21 years of age, or earlier if the child is self-supporting....
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Who pays for daycare expenses?
Who pays for daycare expenses?
Childcare required to permit both parents to remain gainfully employed or to pursue education are...
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Who pays for health insurance and health care expenses for the children?
Who pays for health insurance and health care expenses for the children?
Both parents are required to contribute to the cost of health insurance and health care...
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How can I be sure my child support is being spent on my children?
How can I be sure my child support is being spent on my children?
You can’t. There is no obligation to account for the use of child support and,...
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What expenses are covered by child support?
What expenses are covered by child support?
All expenses of the children are covered by child support payments, with the exception of...
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What if I lose my job and can’t pay my child support?
What if I lose my job and can’t pay my child support?
Child support can be modified upon a showing of a substantial change of circumstances. It...
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Can the statutory amount of child support be changed?
Can the statutory amount of child support be changed?
Yes, but only under limited and compelling circumstances and only upon approval of the court.
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How much is my child support obligation?
How much is my child support obligation?
Child support payments are determined by law (referred to as the “Child Support Standards Act”.)...
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What if I’m not sure the child is mine?
What if I’m not sure the child is mine?
Under most circumstances, if a child is not yours, you would not be responsible for...
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Am I obligated for child support?
Am I obligated for child support?
Parents are generally charged with the support of their minor children. Consequently, except under unusual...
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At what age can my children decide their own custody?
At what age can my children decide their own custody?
At age 18. However, courts will consider the wishes and preferences of children at a...
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Can I change the custody of my children in the future?
Can I change the custody of my children in the future?
Yes, but it would typically be necessary to show some degree of a change of...
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Do grandparents have visitation rights?
Do grandparents have visitation rights?
Yes. However, they are less than those of parents, depend on the specific circumstances and,...
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How much time can I expect to get with my children?
How much time can I expect to get with my children?
You can get as much (or as little) time with your children as you and...
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How do I get custody of my children?
How do I get custody of my children?
The determination of custody of minor children is based solely on “the best interests of...
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What is a Separation Agreement?
What is a Separation Agreement?
A Separation Agreement is a written document, signed by both spouses, which establishes all of...
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Do I need to go to court to get a divorce?
Do I need to go to court to get a divorce?
Not necessarily. If you and your spouse (with the assistance of your attorneys if necessary)...
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Can I keep my spouse from divorcing me?
Can I keep my spouse from divorcing me?
If your spouse asserts fault-based grounds for a divorce, you can oppose the divorce by...
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Do I need to wait a year to get divorced?
Do I need to wait a year to get divorced?
No, there is no “waiting period” for a “no-fault” divorce. (However, some of the other...
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Do I need to have grounds to get a divorce?
Do I need to have grounds to get a divorce?
New York no longer requires “grounds” to be proven to become divorced. Either spouse may...
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Can I get divorced if I don’t know where my spouse is living?
Can I get divorced if I don’t know where my spouse is living?
In order to commence a divorce action, New York law requires that the initial documents...
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Can anyone get divorced in New York?
Can anyone get divorced in New York?
No. There are various requirements involving New York residency and other contacts to New York...
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Can my spouse and I use the same attorney to get a divorce?
Can my spouse and I use the same attorney to get a divorce?
One attorney cannot represent two parties who have potentially different legal interests. However, there are...
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Is my spouse required to pay for my lawyer?
Is my spouse required to pay for my lawyer?
Typically, each spouse pays for his/her own attorney’s fees. However, under certain circumstances, your spouse...
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How long does it take to get divorced?
How long does it take to get divorced?
Since everyone’s situation is different, the amount of time it takes to resolve any outstanding...
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How much does it cost to get a divorce?
How much does it cost to get a divorce?
Attorney’s fees in divorce matters are based on the amount of time expended by your...
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Do I need a lawyer to get a divorce?
Do I need a lawyer to get a divorce?
Technically no. You are always entitled to represent yourself. However, if you need assistance, only...
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If I have a revocable living trust, are my assets protected from the nursing home spend down requirement?
If I have a revocable living trust, are my assets protected from the nursing home spend down requirement?
No. A revocable trust does not protect assets from long-term care costs; you will still...
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Will my spouse be impoverished because I am required to spend down privately paying the nursing home?
Will my spouse be impoverished because I am required to spend down privately paying the nursing home?
Typically, the spouse living in the community is allowed to keep between $74,820 and $137,400...
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Can I transfer my house to my children or other family members?
Can I transfer my house to my children or other family members?
Transferring the house is a planning option based on each individual’s circumstances. For the vast...
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Will I lose my house?
Will I lose my house?
With proper planning your house may be protected. Planning is still available after a client...
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If we have not done any planning and my loved one is in the nursing home now, is it too late to save assets because of the 5-year look-back?
If we have not done any planning and my loved one is in the nursing home now, is it too late to save assets because of the 5-year look-back?
Not necessarily, we can typically undertake lawful asset protection planning to save approximately one half...
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Will Medicare cover my nursing home stay?
Will Medicare cover my nursing home stay?
Medicare Part A can cover, in full, the first 20 days of a rehabilitative nursing...
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What does it mean to transfer the property “as is”?
What does it mean to transfer the property “as is”?
This means that the property will be transferred to the buyer in the same condition...
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What is the “Property Condition Disclosure Statement”?
What is the “Property Condition Disclosure Statement”?
This is a form the seller is required to complete and provide to a prospective...
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Who gets the interest accrued on the deposit prior to closing?
Who gets the interest accrued on the deposit prior to closing?
There is no interest accrued on the deposit. By law, the real estate agent or...
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Who has the deposit until the deal closes?
Who has the deposit until the deal closes?
Typically, the deposit is held in escrow by one of the real estate agents or,...
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If the transfer doesn’t close, what happens to the deposit?
If the transfer doesn’t close, what happens to the deposit?
If the transfer fails to close because a contingency cannot be satisfied, it gets returned...
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What happens to the deposit when the deal closes?
What happens to the deposit when the deal closes?
The seller receives the deposit and the buyer gets a “credit” or a reduction of...
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What is the purpose of a deposit and how much should it be?
What is the purpose of a deposit and how much should it be?
The deposit made by the buyer at the time of the signing of the contract...
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What happens if a contingency can’t be met?
What happens if a contingency can’t be met?
If a good faith effort is made to satisfy a contingency and it can’t be...
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Who works on satisfying these contingencies?
Who works on satisfying these contingencies?
This depends on the specific contingency. Usually the party who benefits from the contingency, or...
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What is a contract “contingency”?
What is a contract “contingency”?
A “contingency” is a provision contained in a contract which makes it necessary for a...
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What if the other party backs out?
What if the other party backs out?
The other party is also bound by the terms of the contract. The refusal to...
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Can I cancel the contract if I decide not to proceed?
Can I cancel the contract if I decide not to proceed?
No, not unless the terms of the contract allow for you to do so (see...
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Should I get a copy of the contract?
Should I get a copy of the contract?
Yes. The contract governs most every aspect of your transaction. You need a copy, both...
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How do I get a copy of the contract to my attorney?
How do I get a copy of the contract to my attorney?
Usually, your real estate agent will assume the responsibility of providing your attorney with a...
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Do I need to discuss my contract with my attorney after I sign it?
Do I need to discuss my contract with my attorney after I sign it?
Yes. The contract should be made subject to your attorney’s approval before you sign it....
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If I don’t have a real estate agent, how do I have a contract prepared?
If I don’t have a real estate agent, how do I have a contract prepared?
Only a limited number of people are authorized by law to prepare real estate contracts...
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What if I am unable to schedule the closing of my purchase and sale for substantially the same time?
What if I am unable to schedule the closing of my purchase and sale for substantially the same time?
Under these circumstances, the buyer and the seller, through their attorneys, will typically reach an...
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When should I decide to “walk away” from a possible deal?
When should I decide to “walk away” from a possible deal?
This is another question for which there is no definitive answer and every situation is...
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What is a “counteroffer”?
What is a “counteroffer”?
If a seller receives a purchase offer from a prospective buyer, which is acceptable, the...
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How do I decide on a closing date?
How do I decide on a closing date?
In most types of contracts, dates are critical. This is not the case with real...
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What does it mean when the seller “takes back paper”?
What does it mean when the seller “takes back paper”?
This means that the seller is extending credit to the buyer to buy the property....
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What is a “private mortgage”?
What is a “private mortgage”?
A “private mortgage” is a loan, secured by real property, that is obtained from a...
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When do I have to accept a purchase offer?
When do I have to accept a purchase offer?
The decision of whether or not to accept a purchase offer is entirely up to...
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When should I offer the full asking price?
When should I offer the full asking price?
There is no definite answer to this question and each situation is unique. In making...
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Who “negotiates” my contract?
Who “negotiates” my contract?
Although real estate agents often make suggestions and recommendations regarding the terms of a contract,...
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Does my real estate agent work for me?
Does my real estate agent work for me?
In most cases, all the real estate agents (both the real estate agent who lists...
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What is title insurance and why does my lender make me get it?
What is title insurance and why does my lender make me get it?
There are various types of title insurance. The type of title insurance required by a...
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Does my attorney need to review my contract before I sign it?
Does my attorney need to review my contract before I sign it?
Generally, it is not necessary for your attorney to review the contract before you sign...
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I suspect a family member is being mistreated in the nursing home. What can I do?
I suspect a family member is being mistreated in the nursing home. What can I do?
Lack of care or outright abuse can result in serious harm to nursing home residents....
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I was given the wrong medication. Do I have a claim?
I was given the wrong medication. Do I have a claim?
You may have a claim related to a medication error if you suffered harm from...
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My child was injured at birth years ago. Do I still have time to file a claim?
My child was injured at birth years ago. Do I still have time to file a claim?
Maybe. Birth injuries can result in harm that will affect your child for a lifetime....
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Can I still file a medical malpractice claim if I gave informed consent?
Can I still file a medical malpractice claim if I gave informed consent?
Yes. While there are certain risks to every procedure and not every bad outcome will...
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Does a filing deadline apply to my medical malpractice claim?
Does a filing deadline apply to my medical malpractice claim?
Yes. In fact, the statute of limitations for medical claims is shorter than that for...
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What is a contingency fee?
What is a contingency fee?
Medical malpractice and nursing home negligence cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means...
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Does Lacy Katzen LLP charge a fee for an initial consultation?
Does Lacy Katzen LLP charge a fee for an initial consultation?
No. Lacy Katzen LLP’s litigation attorneys do not charge a legal fee for initial consultations...
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How do I know if I have a medical malpractice claim?
How do I know if I have a medical malpractice claim?
Medical negligence cases can be difficult to evaluate because of the complex medical questions involved....
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What is Medical Malpractice?
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a health care provider. It can be a doctor,...
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How much will all of this cost?
How much will all of this cost?
At Lacy Katzen, we are committed to representing our clients effectively and economically. Matters can...
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Can I represent myself in court?
Can I represent myself in court?
Although individuals are permitted to represent themselves in court, self-representation (sometimes known as proceeding “pro...
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How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
Lawsuits must be filed within certain time periods known as “statutes of limitations.” This is...
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What are the best ways to avoid litigation?
What are the best ways to avoid litigation?
Sometimes litigation can’t be avoided, but you can take prudent steps. For example, consult with...
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What should I do if I get sued?
What should I do if I get sued?
If you get sued, you need to consult with an attorney immediately. Once served with...
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Why do parties choose ADR instead of using the court system?
Why do parties choose ADR instead of using the court system?
The main benefits of ADR include lower costs and faster resolution of cases.
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What is arbitration?
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is an alternative ADR technique. The parties have their dispute determined by an arbitrator,...
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What is mediation?
What is mediation?
Mediation is a non-binding ADR technique where a neutral third party, known as a mediator,...
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What is alternative dispute resolution (ADR)?
What is alternative dispute resolution (ADR)?
ADR is a technique where the parties to a dispute voluntarily allow a neutral third...
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How long does the litigation process take?
How long does the litigation process take?
It varies widely: some litigated claims can be resolved quickly, whereas others may take much...
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Do all cases go to trial?
Do all cases go to trial?
Most cases do not go to trial, principally due to the costs and risks involved...
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What is the process for litigation?
What is the process for litigation?
Litigation begins with the filing of a lawsuit. Generally, the defendant responds to the lawsuit...
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What types of disputes can be litigated?
What types of disputes can be litigated?
Just about any kind of dispute can be litigated. Litigated claims can include personal injury...
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What is litigation?
What is litigation?
Litigation is the process by which disputes are resolved through use of the court system.
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Why are beneficiary designations important?
Why are beneficiary designations important?
Certain assets, such as life insurance, retirement plan and annuities, pass outside of your Will...
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