In Brief
Attorney Insights

August 4, 2020

With the pandemic as a backdrop to her real estate practice, we asked Anne Aicher for her thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on real estate:

How has the pandemic impacted commercial and residential real estate activity?

The residential market is quite active. People that considered moving from the city to the suburbs, or have always wanted a second home, have stepped up their timetables to avoid the risks presented in densely populated areas. Families are also desiring more square footage as everyone spends much more time at home. Your home has become your office and, if you have children, it is also their school. So if people were at all considering a move to suburbia or a bigger home, COVID-19, together with low interest rates, moved them along that path really quickly.

Commercial buyers, on the other hand, looked to retreat from the market and downsize. It makes little sense to pay for excess commercial space with a stay-at-home workforce. But one interesting new development serves as an exception to the rule. Large companies based in Manhattan are starting to acquire smaller buildings or leaseholds in Westchester County and the surrounding area. With all these considerations in mind, we are advising both landlords and tenants to help them navigate a variety of commercial lease issues. Typical inquiries include whether a tenant may terminate its lease before expiration of the term and whether government restrictions on businesses may form the basis for rent relief.

How do you handle a typical residential closing virtually, is there a silver lining?

Much has changed as a result of the pandemic, but new efficiencies are developing. We’re getting closings done in all kinds of new ways. Most typically, clients are pre-signing documents for submission to a title company that acts as an escrow agent. And we are wiring as many payments as possible. Often instead of doing a typical 1 to 2 hour closing, documents are being furnished and wires are being arranged days in advance until the title company has received everything needed from all involved parties.

What has been your clients’ main concern during this time?

Initially many clients wondered if we could even handle their commercial and residential transactions during this time. But in actuality, we never slowed down. We quickly adapted our ways of working. The state and county agencies have also been very supportive of moving these transactions forward and understand how important it is for all parties involved to still be able to verify corporate and tax information, and to record deeds. Everyone has pivoted to this new reality and we are able to support our clients and keep everyone safe.

Associated Attorney

anne r aicher attorney estate planning real estate trusts & estates hollis laidlaw & simon westchester mount kisco new york city law firm

Anne R. Aicher

Partner

Related Areas of Focus

April 28, 2020

Webinar - What Every Estate Plan Should Include

Join Moira Laidlaw for a free webinar review of fundamental estate planning documents, when they are used, and why they are necessary to protect you and your family. The webinar is hosted by the Mark Boyland Real Estate Team in Bedford, as part of its “Knowledge Is Power” webinar series.

Thursday, April 30, 2020
3pm EDT

Click Here to View the Replay

Associated Attorney

moira s. laidlaw attorney trusts & estates elder law medicaid planning special needs planning attorney hollis laidlaw & simon westchester mount kisco new york city law firm

Moira S. Laidlaw

Managing Partner

April 16, 2020

WCBA Hosts CLE Webinar

April 16, 2020 — The Trusts and Estates Section of the Westchester County Bar Association hosted a Continued Legal Education webinar, “IT CAN BE DONE! Best Practices in the Virtual Practice of Law in T&E and Real Estate.”

Presented by Kimberly Bliss and Anne Aicher, and moderated by Moira Laidlaw, the webinar reviewed the new executive orders relating to essential legal work (what counts and what doesn’t) and outlined best practices for remote notarization and witnessing for Will signings and Real Estate closings.

Associated Attorneys

kimberly s. bliss attorney trusts & estates elder law medicaid planning special needs planning attorney hollis laidlaw & simon westchester mount kisco new york city law firm

Kimberly S. Bliss

Partner

anne r aicher attorney estate planning real estate trusts & estates hollis laidlaw & simon westchester mount kisco new york city law firm

Anne R. Aicher

Partner

moira s. laidlaw attorney trusts & estates elder law medicaid planning special needs planning attorney hollis laidlaw & simon westchester mount kisco new york city law firm

Moira S. Laidlaw

Managing Partner

March 27, 2020

Legal and Financial Planning for Families Impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia

Moira Laidlaw presents two video talks on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association* on legal and financial issues relating to persons impacted by dementia and their families.

VIDEO PART I in this series provides an overview of legal and financial planning that should be put in place as soon after an initial diagnosis as possible. VIDEO PART II in the series focuses on the payment of long term care expenses and the resources available to families to cover these costs.

For more information, please also consider calling the Alzheimer’s Association hotline at (800) 272-3900 or visiting their website at www.alz.org.

*The Alzheimer’s Association does not endorse any specific law firm.

Associated Attorney

moira s. laidlaw attorney trusts & estates elder law medicaid planning special needs planning attorney hollis laidlaw & simon westchester mount kisco new york city law firm

Moira S. Laidlaw

Managing Partner