Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Ins and Outs of Negotiating a Commercial Lease

Whether you’re just starting out or you are a seasoned business owner, making sure your commercial lease is beneficial to you as a tenant is vital. There are several types of commercial leases, and some important factors must be taken into account before you even think of signing anything. Seeking the counsel of an experienced real estate transaction lawyer to help you understand this complex contract and guide you through the negotiation process will ensure your rights and interests are protected.

Consider the Length of Your Commercial Lease

Depending on how well your business is established and what type of business you’re in, it may be a good idea to sign a short-term lease in the beginning. A term of one or two years with an option to renew is usually best for small businesses. That way you’re not committed for a long period of time but your lease gives you the option to stay if it’s a good fit. However, if your business is a very location-dependent establishment such as a restaurant, a long-term lease of five or more years may make more sense.

Do Your Research on Local Rent Costs, Zoning and Other Requirements

Check out comparable rents in the area and talk with your city or township zoning officer before you start negotiations on any lease. Zoning rules vary according to location, and if something is prohibited or you need to get a variance, it’s best to be aware of these facts and consult with an experienced attorney before you waste your time, money and energy negotiating a commercial lease.

Negotiate Concessions

Some commercial leases require the tenant to be responsible for property taxes, utilities, maintenance, repairs and any damage to the property, including costly expenses such as fixing or repairing HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems. If you decide to sign a long-term lease, it is essential to insist on certain concessions from the landlord. This means asking for items in relation to the length of the lease such as move-in allowances, free rent and renovations or improvements to the property at the landlord’s expense. A knowledgeable lawyer for contractswill advise you on which modifications to the lease will benefit your unique situation and ensure that the contract you end up signing is in your best interest.

Include Important Clauses

There are various clauses to protect your interests that should be included in any commercial lease. Making sure the lease includes a clause that allows you to sublease the property is important in case your business needs to relocate or close before the term expires. A co-tenancy clause will allow you to break the lease if a large anchor tenant that affects your business moves out.

Seek the Assistance of a Qualified Attorney

Leases are legal contracts and should be thoroughly scrutinized and understood before you even consider signing. Carosella & Associates’ real estate and business lawyers at our law firm in West Chester will ensure you get the best possible deal for your particular situation.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Advantages of Setting Up a Special Needs Trust for Your Child

Having a solid estate plan in place is essential, especially if you want to make sure a disabled loved one is taken care of after your passing or incapacitation. A Special Needs Trust is created specifically for the benefit of a person with physical or mental disabilities who lacks the capacity to manage their own finances.

How Will A Special Needs Trust Help My Loved One?

Special needs trusts are often created to ensure that a beneficiary won’t lose government assistance such as Medicaid, SSI, vocational rehabilitation and other vital benefits. Leaving assets to your disabled loved one without a trust can disqualify them for these types of government assistance programs.
Typically, a Special Needs Trustee does not give money directly to a beneficiary. Instead, they use the trust assets to purchase certain necessities and extras for your loved one. A trustee can buy services and products for your loved one for vacations, hobbies, recreation, home furnishings, education, home companions and even minor items like toiletries.
The assets in a Special Needs Trust are also protected from creditors.  If your estate or the beneficiary of the trust is sued and a judgment is awarded creditors cannot seize the assets in the Special Needs Trust. Using an experienced attorney who offers comprehensive estate planning services to create a Special Needs Trust ensures that all of your child’s needs are taken care of and their financial future is protected. Not only that, your attorney can assist you with other important estate planning matters such as drafting a will and business succession planning.

Choosing a Trustee

A Trustee is a person or entity you choose to be in charge of the assets in the Trust.  The Trustee must comply with the Trust terms and responsibly manage and invest assets to ensure that the assets are used to their fullest potential. This is extremely important if the beneficiary relies on the Trust for his/her care and support.  It’s much easier for another party to take control of your child’s money if assets are not administered by a trustee. The Trustee can make sure that your loved one is not victimized by unscrupulous people who may try to take advantage.
Carefully choosing the right Trustee for your child’s Special Needs Trust is vital. If a reliable, trustworthy family member or friend is not available, having experienced wills and trusts attorneys manage the assets in your loved one’s trust can give you peace of mind knowing that their best interests will be fully protected after you’re gone.

Why Do I Need An Attorney To Create A Special Needs Trust?

There are countless unforeseen circumstances that can impact your loved one’s financial future. Many important things you should consider when preparing a will may not even come to mind unless you seek the advice of an experienced attorney. At Carosella & Associates, our estate planning lawyers address your family’s specific needs and help you develop effective solutions to safeguard your loved ones’ financial future.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

What are some examples of misdemeanors?

In Pennsylvania, misdemeanor offenses can have serious consequences, including thousands of dollars in fines, jail time and a permanent stain on your record. Misdemeanor charges are not something to take lightly, so it’s vital to have an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the legal process and ensure your rights and interests are protected.

Types of Crimes that are Considered Misdemeanors in PA

Alcohol-related crimes such as DUI, carrying an open container, minor in possession of alcohol and other offenses. The law varies by jurisdiction, so it’s important to seek the counsel of a skilled local criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of both state and local law.
Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor charge that often goes hand-in-hand with alcohol-related offenses and more serious charges. Typically, disorderly conduct includes any type of unruly behavior that provokes a disturbance.
Simple assault is a very serious charge in Pennsylvania. If you are convicted of physically attacking another person with the intent to cause harm or physical injury, the repercussions can include significant jail time and made it difficult to find employment, housing and other basic necessities that allow you to make a living. Depending on how severe the assault was, charges can even lead to a felony conviction.
Criminal mischief includes various crimes such as vandalism and destruction of public or private property. Although committing a crime like drawing graffiti on a building may seem minor, if you are over the age of 18 and have a previous criminal record you may face dire consequences for your actions.
Criminal impersonation can be charged when someone pretends to be another person with intent to defraud or injure someone else, as in cases of identity theft and insurance fraud. It is also illegal to impersonate a public servant such as a police officer or other law enforcement official.
Trespassing offenses can be charged at several levels under Pennsylvania law. If you are illegally found on or inside a property that does not belong to you or are in violation of a Protective Order, having a lawyer who is well-versed in misdemeanor and domestic violence offenses to represent you is vital.

Penalties for Misdemeanors in Pennsylvania

There are three basic types of misdemeanors in Pennsylvania, which include first, second, and third-degree offenses. First-degree misdemeanor offenses are the most serious type, and can lead to significant jail time and costly fines. Some misdemeanor crimes in Pennsylvania have mandatory minimum sentences associated with them.
The maximum penalties for misdemeanors in PA are:
  • First-degree: Up to five years in jail and $10,000 in fines
  • Second-degree: Up to two years in jail and $5,000 in fines
  • Third-degree: Up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines
If you or a loved one is facing misdemeanor charges in Pennsylvania, our experienced West Chester criminal lawyer at Carosella & Associates will fight for your rights and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.