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March, 2021 Archives

All in the Family: Estate Planning to Preserve Your Home

Estate planning is the most reliable way for a person to preserve a family home and have it transferred to the heirs upon his or her death. It can also help him or her reduce tax obligations. Estate planning can offer a framework in case a person becomes incapacitated. An estate trustee, for instance, can take the responsibility of managing the estate in case the original owner is unable to do so. Options for Preserving a Family Home                          Co-Ownership Updating the … [Read more...]

Get Prepared for the Unexpected with Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a great option for ensuring proper management of a person’s finances when unexpected issues like incapacitation, severely disabling conditions, accidents, or other circumstances arise. While it’s difficult for anyone to imagine that a time may come when he or she will be unable to make crucial financial decisions independently, there is a possibility that such a time will come. Having a financial power of attorney in place will ensure a person is prepared for the … [Read more...]

Online DIY Will Kits: You Get What You Pay For

Using a DIY tool to create a will saves both time and money. However, using this option could result in costly estate planning blunders. Issues such as typos, missing documents, and lack of personalized online support are common with DIY will kits. Online DIY Estate Planning Vs. Hiring an Attorney   Online wills and trusts may not sufficiently address all the personal and financial concerns of a testator. While many people would prefer to use DIY tools to create wills, getting … [Read more...]

Rising Home Prices Are Straining the Real Estate Market

With home prices rising exponentially, the supply of affordable homes has dropped significantly over the years. The scarcity of safe and reasonably priced housing is hurting more potential homebuyers almost daily. Potential effects go past individual prospective homeowners, with increasing consequences for the society as a whole. How Rising Home Prices Are Affecting Home Buying Successful homeownership fosters economic well-being. Homeowners have a high likelihood of investing in their … [Read more...]

What Is a Probate Caveat?

A probate caveat is a formal notice questioning the authenticity of the will and requesting the court to halt the probate process until the issue is resolved. The purpose of this notice is to keep the proposed administrators or executors from obtaining permission to administer the deceased person’s estate assets until the dispute raised by the person who filed the caveat is resolved. Who Is a Caveator? A caveator is a person who lodges the probate caveat. The caveator presents his or her … [Read more...]

Should You Buy That Fixer-Upper?

Buying a fixer-upper can help a home buyer get a great deal on a new home. However, doing so may come with serious repercussions if the home buyer does not do proper research and understand what the process entails. From accurately evaluating the need for repairs, to ensuring the home’s price is low enough to bring a profit after the purchase, buyers need a clear understanding of what they are facing before purchasing a home that needs a lot of work. Proper Home Valuation Is Needed First, … [Read more...]

Why Advanced Directives Are an Important Part of Estate Planning

Advanced directives outline a person's wishes and designate a surrogate decision-maker to take care of medical and financial decisions if a person becomes incapacitated and cannot make these decisions on his or her own behalf. They also protect an individual's wishes for end-of-life care and interventions. What Is an Advanced Directive? An advanced directive provides a person's family and medical providers with his or her wishes in regard to medical treatment and interventions and … [Read more...]

Including Gift Authority in a Power of Attorney

Gift provisions in powers of attorney limit agents from making gifts if such ability is not desired. All powers of attorney should include specific gift authority clauses to provide the necessary authority to the agents. Failure to include these provisions could subject the agent to action for making an inappropriate gift or deprive the estate of property that was intended for another person or purpose. Issues with Failing to Include Gift Authority A recent court case examined these … [Read more...]

Why Your Estate Needs a Backup Plan

A backup plan is a fundamental part of an estate. When writing a will, it is a common misconception that assets will be shared among all of the listed beneficiaries. However, pandemics, accidents, and crimes can take multiple lives all at once, leaving the need for a contingency plan. Reasons to Include a Back Plan in an Estate Incidents of loved ones passing away in close proximity have risen, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without a contingency plan, such situations could … [Read more...]

When the Health Care Proxy and the Financial Power of Attorney Can’t Agree

When the health care proxy and the financial power of attorney cannot agree, a careful review of and discussion about the power of attorney documents or mediation may help resolve disputes. If an agreement still cannot be reached, conflicts may need to be resolved by the probate court. Many Power of Attorney Documents State How to Handle Disputes If a dispute happens, adult children can look at the power of attorney documents. If they were created by a skilled estate … [Read more...]

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