Prenuptial Agreements: Why should I get one?

Ever wonder why so many people say, “I hope they had a prenup”? Maybe you heard it referring to celebrities. Or maybe you heard someone utter that when Jeff Bezos divorced his wife. The classic conception of prenuptial agreements is that it’s only for the rich, but we are here to tell you, that is simply not true. Every couple should get one and here is why.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

First off, a prenuptial agreement is a written document that is created by a couple before they are married. The agreement permits them to control their legal rights during the marriage, but more importantly allows them to plan ahead in case of a divorce or death to a spouse. Prenuptial agreements exhibit the drafters intent and thus will prohibit the default rules of NY from determining key aspects of your property in the event of a divorce.

Default rules will inevitably control your division of property, retirement benefits, savings, child support, alimony, and much more.

Why Should I Get a Prenuptial Agreement?

There are a variety of reasons why you should get a prenuptial agreement. Here are just a few of those reasons:

1. Avoid arguments in the case of divorce

Divorce can get ugly. We have all witnessed them on television, in movies, from people you know, or even possibly yourself. Thus, when you are getting ready to marry your significant other, you should seriously consider a prenuptial agreement. In the agreement, you can specify how you want your property to be divided and what to do with various aspects of your lives including savings, retirement benefits, etc. This will save you and your ex-spouse, dreadful arguments over property and finances that are unnecessary during those stressful stages of your life.

2. Get protections from debts

A prenuptial agreement can also shield you from the debts of your spouse. Essentially, the prenuptial agreement will protect creditors from pursuing the debts of the deceased spouse from the surviving spouse.

3. Establish your financial rights

The prenuptial agreement can even document the financial rights of each spouse. On top of their financial rights, you can even include financial and general responsibilities of each spouse. You can also protect the financial well-being of others through the agreement. For example, if one spouse has children from a prior marriage, they may protect them in the agreement. One spouse can specify that if they die, part of their property will go to their surviving children, including the children from a prior marriage.

4. Preserve your legacy

The prenuptial agreement could act as a way to safeguard all your family heirlooms as they pass down generation to generation. Thus the agreement can act as a way to keep the family together through cherished belongings.

What happens if you don’t get a Prenuptial Agreement?

So is it a big deal if you never get around to creating a prenuptial agreement? The honest answer is: yes.

If you do not create a prenuptial agreement, the default rules of NY will determine how your property, retirement benefits, savings, and much more will be split between you and your ex-spouse in the event of a divorce. In some instances, the default rules will not be favorable to you. Are you willing to lose a family heirloom to your ex spouse? Are you willing to lose full control of your business?

In addition, in some instances a spouse may pass away prematurely. If you do not have a prenuptial agreement, marital assets will still be subject to the default rules of NY as they would be in the event of a divorce. Therefore, you may still lose control of your beloved family heirloom or business. A well-drafted will on the part of the premature spouse would supersede the default rules of NY, however if your premature spouse did not create a will, then you are out of luck and cannot avoid the default laws.

What are the considerations against drafting a prenuptial agreement?

Here at JustLaw, we don’t just present you with one side of the argument. We want you to feel that you take everything into consideration before you make a decision.

Thus you should understand that making a prenuptial agreement may not be easy. It could drive couples apart. It may divide you and your significant other apart because it is essentially a document that is used to protect yourself in a divorce.

Moreover, if you and your spouse do not have a lot of assets, then a prenuptial agreement may not make sense. This is because there wouldn’t be much to put in the prenup if you don’t have any valuable assets.

Drafting a prenuptial agreement truly depends on your individual circumstances. Therefore, speak to a JustLaw attorney and determine whether you should get a prenuptial agreement!

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There you have it. Just another article of your friends at JustLaw trying to help you and your future out. Hope this helps!

Important Executive Order affecting non-immigration visas

On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order. The Order suspends the entry of foreign nationals that are seeking employment based non-immigration visas. It took effect on June 24, 2020 and will remain in effect until the end of the year. For those who are currently going through the immigration process or for those who are planning to in the future, take the time to understand what this Executive Order means for you and your family.

What is an Executive Order?

An Executive order is a means of issuing a published directive from the President. As the President manages the operations of the federal government, they may issue Executive Orders as they please. They are granted this power by the Constitution, which gives them broad executive power to enforce the laws of the United States. However, their Executive orders are subject to judicial review by the Supreme Court of the United States. In simpler words, presidents cannot just issue executive orders without first receiving approval from the Supreme Court.

Most presidents use Executive Orders frequently while others utilize them sparingly.  or example, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3728 Executive Orders in his twelve years as President. On the contrary, President George Washington only issued 8 Executive Orders in his eight years as President. For our purposes in this article, we will focus on President Trump and the Executive Order he issued on June 22, 2020.

What is the purpose of this Executive Order?

This Executive Order finds the status of our labor market in a unique circumstance. As we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans are out of work. Unemployment rates have skyrocketed to an all time high. Businesses have had to adapt to the pandemic by eliminating a myriad of jobs, while even, in some circumstances, having to shut down completely.

So what does all that have to do with non-immigration work visas? To keep it simple, the Executive Order is prohibiting certain foreign nationals from entering the United States for work-related purposes. This is because the purpose of the Executive Order is to preserve all open jobs for American citizens and prohibit foreign workers from competing with them for those jobs. American workers compete against foreign nationals for almost every job in almost every sector offered in the United States. American workers also compete with the children of foreign nationals who come to the United States for temporary work. Thus, the Executive Order deems foreign nationals seeking temporary employment as threats to the employment of American workers. This threat, in the eyes of the government, is especially heightened during this pandemic that has cost millions of Americans their jobs.

What visas are affected?

The Executive Order has suspended the issuance of the following four non-immigration visas:

1. H-1B visa
a. This visa permits US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Types of employers that host foreign workers on H-1B visas range anywhere from teachers to therapists to even engineers.

2. H-2B visa
a. This visa is for those who are seeking non-agricultural labor positions in the US. This visa will be on a limited temporary basis that could either last as short as a one day employment to as long as a seasonal employment.

3. J visa
a. This visa is developed and created for work travel programs for cultural or educational purposes. Such programs are held for interns, trainees, teachers, or even camp counselors.

4. L visa
a. This visa is to be held by those seeking temporary employment in the US based on a company that they work for that has offices in the US and abroad.

Who is affected?

The Executive Order only applies to select groups of people. The more obvious group of people that are included under this order is those who are outside of the United States and did not have a non-immigration visa as recently as June 24, 2020.

Therefore, if you are outside of the United States as you are reading this, yet you have a non-immigration visa, you should not fall under the rule of this Order. In addition, even if you are currently outside of the United States and do not have a non-immigration visa, there is still an opportunity for you to navigate to the US and seek temporary employment. However, this opportunity is only limited to those whose work is essential to the US food supply chain. Furthermore, those who have a national interest exemption will also be permitted entry. National interest exemptions apply to those who are critical to national defense, law enforcement, national security, medical care, medical research, and economic recovery.

If you believe you may be eligible to enter the United States under one of these
exemptions, contact us, JustLaw, and seek further information to determine if your
suspicions are correct.

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Immigration law is one of the most important practice areas that JustLaw takes pride in serving. We encourage all those who have immigration issues to reach out to us for any and all help.

Victim of identity theft? Do this now.

Identity theft is one of the most frustrating occurrences to deal with. It transpires when someone deliberately uses your identity for his or her own financial gain. While there are a variety of forms of identity theft, the most common is financial identity theft. Others may include medical or even criminal identity theft. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on financial identity theft.

So where do we begin? Well, here are a few considerations to keep in mind when you
believe you have been the victim of identity theft.

1. Identity Thieves Goals

So you got your identity stolen. What does that mean? Here a few things identity thieves look to steal:

  • Your personal information. Keep reading to discover what personal
    information could include.
  • If they retrieve your social security number, they may attempt to open up
    credit card accounts in your name. This could damage your credit report
    since the thieves will not pay for anything they buy using the credit card.
  • They may authorize money transfers through the ATM in your name.
  • Take out an auto loan in your name in order to buy a car.
  • In rare situations, they may even provide your name to authorities in the
    event they are arrested.

2. How They Steal your Information

Thieves can steal your information almost from anywhere you carry personal information.

The most common examples of where you keep personal information includes your
wallet and purse. Another common example is your mailbox. On your way to work, personal information may be even hidden inside your briefcase as well. Even your computer at home and at work always contains personally identifiable information. Therefore, assure that you keep your personal information safe, no matter where it may be.

3. What Type of Information Will Thieves Steal

If your personal information ends up in the wrong hands, it could be detrimental to you. But what information do identity thieves typically target? Here is a list, just to name a few: (1) Name, (2) Address, (3) Date of birth, (4) Social security numbers, (5) Pin numbers used for debit and credit cards, (5) Passwords, (6) Checkbook, (7) Passport, (8) Birth Certificate, (9) Estate planning documents, i.e. wills, power of attorney, and (10) Personal Items. And much much more.

4. What Should I Do if I believe Someone has Stolen my Identity

If you believe, more likely than not, that you have been the victim of identity theft, there are a few actions you must undertake.

First, you should place a fraud alert with one of the credit reporting agencies’. Call as soon as you find out of this fraud. Most agencies offer free protection and will assure you that you are not financially responsible for any charges on your account.

Second, you should contact your bank and insurance companies. When you get in touch with them, notify them of the situation. Then you should subsequently close your accounts and open up new ones with different access codes.

Finally, you should file a police report. Identity theft is a crime and a police report will be proof of that, thus it is essential to proving that you have been the victim of fraud.

5. How can I Avoid Identity Theft in the Future

Now that you know what identity theft is and how to combat it when it happens to you, you should take the time to understand how to avoid it in the future. Here are a few closing tips to help you avoid identity theft:

  • Protect your personal information. Do not give it out. If you do give it out, it should be to someone you trust.
  • Prevent potential thieves from reaching you. Remove yourself from certain mailing lists in order to reduce thieves trying to reach you over email. Take the further step and try to avoid all telemarketer calls.
  • Protect your computer and personal belongings carrying personal information. Install firewalls and antivirus software on your computer. And do not be careless with your wallet and purse in public.

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There you have it. You will never be the victim of identity theft. And now you know how to avoid it as well.

How to respond if an employee tests positive for COVID-19

COVID-19 has disrupted life and work as we know it, to say the least. During such a difficult time, employers must ensure they are doing, at the very least, what is reasonably required to accommodate their employees and customers.

Thus an adequate response to an employee testing positive with the coronavirus is
respectfully required. Here are the steps and considerations each and every employer should contemplate amidst the coronavirus:

Step 0- Develop a Protocol

The first step is not necessarily a step, hence the zero. This step calls for a protocol that each employer should have in place now, and certainly well-ahead of any return to the office.

The protocol should include a variety of precautions that employees must follow,

  1. If you start to develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should notify your
    supervisor immediately.
  2. If the employee is in the physical workplace when COVID-19 symptoms
    appear, the employee must immediately notify your supervisor and then
    subsequently be sent home.
  3. Employees should self-isolate in their home for the recommended amount of
  4. All employees should notify their employers if any of their family members
    develop COVID-19 like symptoms and thus self-isolate themselves.

Step 1- Notify other employees

If an employee develops COVID-19 symptoms, all other employees should be notified. However, confidentiality should be maintained.

Further steps, beyond the ones above, will ensure that you have handled the situation properly. Thus, employees should monitor themselves daily to discern whether they have developed any symptoms. Moreover, there should be a strong urge of employees who had direct contact with an affected employee, to quarantine and self-isolate for two weeks.

Just as important, the employer should take the time to notify all customers, vendors, and visitors of the business that came in contact with the infected employee to also self-isolate for fourteen days. Therefore, the employer should require all people who enter the business, to provide contact information so that they can be notified in the event that an employee begins to
develop symptoms. Furthermore, the employer should request all customers to reach out to the business if they start to develop symptoms, themselves. Doing so will go a long way in keeping everyone safe.

Step 2- Monitor the Workplace

Keeping the workplace safe is critical to maintaining uninterrupted business activities. Sound practice and medical advice require that all employees wear masks. In addition, all customers should only be let inside a place of business if they are wearing a mask. If not, they should be asked to put a mask on or be sent away.

In addition to the masks, the employer should require that all employees and customers maintain safe social distancing . If six feet cannot be maintained among people in the workplace, then the business should reconsider opening the business. Alternatively, the business could also limit the amount of people they permit inside the store at one time.

Step 3 – Family and Medical Leave Act

For the remainder of the year, all employers must comply with the new mandate of the FMLA. This mandate requires that all employers provide their employees with paid sick leave. Thus, all employers should be aware of this as they start to open up their business during the ongoing pandemic.

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We hope that this article finds you and families in strong health. Take these precautions and seriously consider them as you navigate your business through the pandemic. And always remember, JustLaw is here for you to aid you in all your pandemic and general needs.