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The Advantages Of Living Wills And Living Trusts

The Advantages Of Living Wills And Living Trusts

Planning for the future basically involves a number of benefits. For one, it prepares you and your family for the inevitable. Aside from that, it allows you to formulate your decisions level-headedly.

Then again, it is not unlikely for the task to become too emotionally charged at times, which makes it all the more fitting to get it done with a sound mind. But before you proceed with putting things in order ahead of time, it would certainly be a good idea to be familiar with the advantages of living wills and living trusts.

Living Wills

A living will contains instructions concerning your health care preferences in black and white. Your immediate family members, as well as your health care provider, will refer to these directives if you’re incapable of making or expressing your decisions about medical treatment. Anyone who has reached the legal age of 18 – or 19, in certain states – may draw up his or her own living will, provided that he or she is also of sound mind.

The biggest advantage of making a living will is that it allows you to voice out your preferences on the subject of life support measures and other medical treatment options. Even though your family and friends may not hold the same philosophy about the matter, the creation of such a legal document gives you an opportunity to confer with them and explain your choices.

You also get the chance to justify how your morals and values influenced your decisions. This furnishes them with a better insight into what you would ultimately want to come about in such difficult situations.

Without a living will, your immediate family members could face the possibility of paying large hospital bills. Aside from that, your savings account could also be used up to the point of bankruptcy.

So, in a way, the creation of a living will makes it possible for you to safeguard your family from the additional burden of searching for financial resources to pay for your hospital confinement and medical treatment – provided that the chances of recovering from your condition are very slim.

On top of the financial encumbrance, living wills also take away the likelihood of disagreements when trying to reach a consensus about your medical treatment. So instead of fighting against each other to determine what’s best for you, your family can concentrate more on accepting the inevitability of death.

Living Trusts

A living trust is a legally binding arrangement that places all your assets in a trust. More often than not, the grantor or creator also serves as the trustee. Although, you may also appoint another person or institution to act as one in case you lose interest in the duty or become incapacitated to fulfill your obligations.

Speaking of its advantages, a living trust allows you to manage your properties for the purpose of generating profits for your beneficiaries. In addition, it makes it possible for you to conserve or look after your assets’ growth.

Another obvious advantages of living trusts are the probability of reducing estate taxes and controlling the administration or use of the assets long after the grantor has departed from the world of the living. These legal documents also offer protection for the beneficiaries against creditors.

The advantages of living wills and living trusts are indeed numerous. So before its too late, safeguard yourself and your family from the harsh reality of the inevitable and from the fact that things could turn out real bad without proper planning.

Take Your Pick: Living Wills Or Living Trusts

Take Your Pick: Living Wills Or Living Trusts

Nobody can really tell what the future holds. Because of this fact, a lot of people have taken measures to make sure that things will turn out as smoothly as possible.

If you want to jump right onto the same bandwagon, then you better be equipped with the right knowledge prior to making that decision. Living wills or living trusts can provide you with that much-needed preparation but you certainly need to learn about these legal documents before you could actually take your pick.

Living Wills Vs. Living Trusts

If you want to know which legal document is more appropriate for you, you first need to find out the coverage of living wills or living trusts. Since they’re both legally binding, every adult person should almost certainly know how each could be of assistance to them in the future. In order to properly pick your choice, you have to know their differences.

A living will is a legal document that discloses a person’s wishes concerning health care. Its contents will only be effective once the maker falls into an incapacitated state wherein he or she is no longer capable of conveying his or her decisions.

The directives contained within it usually indicate one’s desires not to receive treatment or be kept alive by means of artificial life support measures.

Once you’re in an incapacitated condition, your family will have to make all the health care decisions for you. Aside from that, they will have to put up with the financial burden of your hospitalization. By restricting medical treatment, a living will could keep a tight rein on hospital expenses that could use up or even totally exhaust all your family’s remaining funds.

On the other hand, a living trust – also known as inter vivos trust – is a legally binding document that is drawn up for the purpose of controlling ownership to a person’s assets in his or her entire lifetime, and for allocating those properties after death.

The creator or the grantor may also appoint a trustee who will implement the terms indicated in the living trust in case he or she becomes incapacitated or unwilling to perform the duty.

In comparison to a will, the grantor does not necessarily have to pass away for the living trust to take effect. As the name implies, this legal document is effective during the creator’s lifetime.

A living trust however is only recommended for people who own a considerable amount of assets and finances. In other words, the necessity to create one is largely dependent on your circumstances, financially speaking.

If still haven’t decided which type of legal to choose, you might as well pick both for as long as the two are applicable to your needs and circumstances.

The obvious similarity is in the financial aspect. Living wills make it possible for you to save your family from all the trouble of paying for enormous hospital bills, provided that your medical condition appears to be beyond any possibility of recovery. On the other hand, living trusts lay emphasis on the need to properly manage your assets according to your preferences.

On the whole, living wills or living trusts make it possible for you to put things in order while you still can. Also, both legal documents allow you to prepare for the inevitable and the unknown.

Why Probate?

Why Probate?

Why Probate?
Nobody voluntarily chooses probate. People are too busy or preoccupied with health or other issues to plan. They pass away without a living trust and their heirs—-usually their children—- find that they can’t sell Mom or Dad’s house without a court order or can’t transfer Mom or Dad’s bank account without court approval. Even with a will, they may be forced to file a probate proceeding.
Alternatives to Probate
Because probate is expensive and time consuming, a responsible attorney first tries to determine if there is an alternative to probate. In California, the most common alternatives to probate are a Spousal Property Petition (if there is a surviving spouse) or a small estate transfer (if the value of the estate is less than $100,000). If these and other alternatives to probate are unavailable, then the only recourse for the decedent’s heirs is to file a probate proceeding.
Cost of Probate
Attorney’s fees and costs are set by law in California and are based upon the value of the estate. Here is the statutory fee schedule in California:
4% of the first $100,000
3% of the next $100,000

Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Estate planning involves distributing your assets after death to such people or causes according to your wish with minimum legal complications and the least tax incidence. And estate planning is not just for the wealthy; nor is it something to be contemplated when you reach the ripe old age of eighty.

Anybody, irrespective of age, with considerable assets and the desire to provide for dear ones even after death would be doing a great service by planning one’s estate. And the best time to plan your estate is now when you are still alive and have the requisite mental health to make rational decisions. An estate plan made during an illness affecting contracting capacity can be challenged, complicating matters for beneficiaries. Remember, death or a debilitating illness affecting your legal capacity to contract might strike you any day; therefore, you should prepare for that eventuality beforehand. ¿da

The first step in planning your estate is to take stock of all your material possessions (technically referred to as ‘estate’), and then determine their value. Typical items comprising the estate include: house(s) and land; bikes, cars, planes and boats; cash-in-hand; savings accounts, pension accounts; certificates of deposits; stocks, bonds, and mutual funds; insurance and annuities; employee benefits; jewelry, furniture, art collections; ownership rights/interests in businesses; and claims against others. Mind you, the list is not exhaustive and your debts and obligations to others are also a part of your estate.

Next, line up the details of your beneficiaries – names, addresses, and ages. In addition, you should determine who should be the trustees/guardians in case the beneficiaries are minors at the time of planning the estate. Also, you must identify an executor of the estate. It would be easy if you line up pre and post nuptial agreements, divorce decrees, previous wills, deeds of real estate property, and latest tax returns before you consult a professional estate planner.

Though small estates might be easy to plan, it is advisable to take the help of professional estate planners, including attorneys and CPAs, to explore all the possibilities to reduce tax incidence.

Remember, estate planning is not a one-time affair. Any change in your marital status, death of beneficiaries, a birth of a child, or changes in the law will require a review of the plan.

The Basics Of Estate Planning

The Basics Of Estate Planning

Estate Planning may be a word that is encountered by many citizens especially the elderly. What is Estate Planning? What benefits does it provide to people?

Estate Planning is a method of arranging and considering alternatives that will satisfy specific wishes and goals to prepare for things that may happen to a person and the people he finds special to him.

Estate Planning includes organizing properties and not just putting them in a simple Will. It also lessens the taxes and fees that may possibly be charged to these properties. Estate Planning also includes contingency preparation to ensure that ones wishes regarding health care and medications will be followed.

An estate plan may be described as good if it financially coordinates with the future of the home, business, investments, insurance and other benefits if ever the person becomes sick or will pass away. A good estate plan also sets directions to bring about personal wishes regarding health care in preparation for the when the person becomes disabled.

It is very important to identify the real definition of the term “estate” before someone can really perform estate planning. Estate means all the properties a person owns or has control of. This is regardless whether if the property is solely named after him or is in managed in a partnership. This may include real properties, accounts, bonds and stocks, cash, buildings and establishments, jewelry, collections, all types of businesses and even retirement benefits.

Typically, those who really need to have an estate plan are parents who have minor children, people who have valuable properties and have sentimental values for them, and also people who are concerned about their medications and health care. However, people can still acquire an estate plan whether they have these categories or not. As long as they have all the things that are covered by an estate plan, then they can avail of it.

While a person is alive, it is important to prepare an estate plan and at the same time implement it. This is the perfect time for a person to perform and have legal capacity to come up with a contract. There may be challenges that could occur if an estate plan is implemented when a person is already disabled. Others may judge the lack of capacity and the person may be prone to fraud, abuse and coercion.

Estate Plans may include wills, power of attorney for health care, living wills, living trusts and limited partnerships. When entering into a contract, it is very important to make use of the services of a lawyer. Lawyers are the only certified people who practice these fields. They are also the only ones who can supply a person with all the legal requirements and advice needed in the estate plan. An attorney will be able to answer legal questions regarding the estate and they will also be able prepare the person on the cost of the estate plan and other finances the come with it.

Estate Planning involves sensitive decisions and legal matters. It would only be beneficial if the person will always consult with legal advisors and also seek financial and medical advice. It is important that before a person will enter into estate planning, he should already have a strong understanding of the process so that things will not be difficult for those who will be left behind.

Must Read Tips on Buying A Home

Must Read Tips on Buying A Home

The home buying process can seem complicated, but if you take things step-by-step, you will soon be holding the keys to your own home!

But before going into the buying process you should first ask yourself if your are already ready for home buying.

Do you prefer or even enjoy moving into different places. Do you prefer using your savings for things like vacations, appliances, retirement or having your own business? Do you like to enjoy not having so much trouble with regular maintenance and repairs?

If your answers to these queries are yes, then you may not be ready to delve into the home buying experience. You may have a lot of good reasons for buying a home but you should also have to consider your reasons for not wanting to.

Remember than buying home is not just the biggest financial decision you will ever make but also the strongest emotional choice in your life, so be prepared to make wise decisions when you are in this process.

Buying home always seems to be a great idea, but it is important that ownership of a certain property comes with a great deal of responsibilities too.

Of course, being a homeowner is something to be proud of but it also means having to invest money, time and energy and take on added responsibilities. So, before you decide to buy a home, make sure you’re ready.

The first things that comes into our mind when we think about home owning, is the wonderful things that is connected to it. It is true that there are a lot of good reasons for buying a home. So here are some of the good advantages of home buying.

Financial security is a very great deal of advantage when it comes to owning your own home. If the housing prices would go up, your home can provide you with some financial security due to capital appreciation.

Flexibility is another thing, when owning your house you will be able to decide all the aspects that comes with it. You can decorate or renovate your home to meet your own family’s personal tastes and needs.

And of course stability, having your own home will make you feel at ease and less burden than renting one.

Although it is really nice to think about the positive aspects of owning a home, it is also a crucial part to consider the downsides as well. Here are some of the disadvantages on home buying.
Financial Stress is a very common problem in home buying. Coming up with the down payment, meeting regular mortgage payments and other ongoing costs will tie up a lot of your cash, and can put considerable stress on your finances.

Maintenance and Higher Costs are also a big problem. Keeping your home in good shape requires time and money.

You may pay more each month for housing than you did as a renter. There are also extra costs for maintenance and property taxes.

So, you’ve decided that homeownership is right for you. Now you need to determine if you are financially ready to buy a house.

To avoid any future surprises, you can do some financial exercises to see where you stand. They include: calculating your net worth, your current monthly expenses and your current monthly debt payments.

Knowing your net worth is important because you will need this information when you discuss a mortgage with your lender.

Your net worth is the amount left over once you’ve subtracted your total liabilities from your total assets. It will also give you a snapshot of your current financial situation and show you how much you can afford to put as a down payment.

Just remember all this notes and surely you will be able to arrive at some very good decisions in home buying. Do not rush into home buying, take some time to think and view the property first before closing a deal.

Closing day is the when you finally have bought your home; you now take legal possession and finally get to call your new home your own. You are sure to feel great relief and satisfaction but remember that the home buying process isn’t over just yet. There are quite a few things that need to be done on closing day.

Make sure that your lender will provide the mortgage money to your lawyer. You must provide the balance of the purchase price to your lawyer along with the closing costs. Your lawyer pays the vendor, registers the home in your name, and provides you with a deed and the keys to your new home.

Selling a new home

Selling a new home

Selling a new home sounds easier than selling an old home that need repairs here and there. But even a new home that we are selling, it still needs preparation to sell it. We cannot just put a “For Sale: new home” sign in front of the house and expect the people will come to you and sign the deal. Selling a new home is still the same as selling your own home but the difference is that it does not need lot of preparation as usual.
Since you do not have to spend much time in repairing or improving the house, you can catch up by making a marketing plan to sell the new home. The marketing plan is made to sell a home in a rapid time at the best price. The plan can be advertising in the newspaper, posting your listing on the Internet, holding an open house and more.
Just to remind you that there is two important thins to remember in selling home including a new home, they are price and condition. Any home will sell right faster if the price is right and reasonable. Any repairs and improvements or cost to sell should be included in your asking price but it has to be reasonable.
It is also helpful to discuss other terms and conditions, such as timing and items that can be included with the sale of the home. Both of these can make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Any realtor will tell you that the spring and summer are the best times of the year to sell a home, because that is the time when buyers are having a great interest in buying home. Selling a house depends on supply, demand and other economic factors. But the time of year in which you choose to sell can make a difference both in the amount of time it takes to sell your home and in the ultimate selling price. According to the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors, or NAR, about 350,000 transactions were closed during January and February this year, compared with 650,000 to 700,000 a month in June, July and August.
You also should hold open house to sell a new home which is one of the ways to promote your house to the your neighbors. This can be one of free advertisement in selling the home just in case if there is our neighbors’ friends or family who accidentally want to buy a home. Create an information sheet (with a photo) about your home to give potential buyers a description about your home.
Selling a new home is not as difficult as you think. Yet, it also does not as easy as it seems. What you need to have in selling a new home is a spirit to sell and link to sell your home and also a hard work.

What Are Living Trust Scams

What Are Living Trust Scams

A. Living Trusts

As you know, a living trust is a legal arrangement where a person, called the “grantor,” places his assets into a trust during his lifetime. The trust is administered by a “trustee” for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries. The grantor may be a trustee and a beneficiary of the trust. Living trusts are a widely recognized and legitimate estate planning device. Because assets transferred to the trust are no longer owned by the grantor, at the grantor’s death, the assets are not part of the grantor’s estate and do not have to be probated. Accordingly, a living trust can avoid what could be a costly, lengthy process. Whether or not this is a major advantage varies by the size of the estate and by state and locality; for small estates, many states have an informal probate process that minimizes cost and delay. Whether a living trust is an appropriate estate planning tool depends upon an individual’s circumstances and goals, and state laws.

B. Scams Involving Living Trusts

Misinformation and misunderstanding about probate and estate taxes provide a ripe environment for scam artists to prey on older consumers’ fears that their estates will be eaten up by costs, and that distribution of their assets to loved ones will be long delayed. Some unscrupulous businesses advertise seminars on living trusts or send postcards inviting consumers to call for in-home appointments, ostensibly to learn whether a living trust is right for them. A common practice is to greatly exaggerate the benefits of living trusts and falsely claim that locally-licensed attorneys will prepare the documents. In some instances, consumers send money for living trust kits but receive nothing. In others, the offer of estate planning services is merely a ruse to gain access to consumers’ financial information and to sell them other financial products, such as insurance annuities. These practices may violate federal securities laws, as well as other laws.

Many state Attorneys General and other authorities, such as disciplinary or grievance committees of state or city bar associations, have taken enforcement actions against living trust scam artists. Some cases have been brought under state Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices laws. Others have been prosecuted as the unauthorized practice of law because the salespeople were not lawyers. Even in instances where there may be some attorney review, it may be insufficient to render the activity legal. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also has prosecuted companies purporting to offer estate planning services, such as living trusts, for violating the securities laws through fraudulent investment schemes targeting senior citizens.

Home Selling Guide

Home Selling Guide

Selling home right now can be done by anyone. Support with much information that can be found through the Internet, one person can sell his or her home either by a real estate agents or selling the home by himself or herself. The high technology that you can find anywhere can be a tool for you to sell your home fast and at a reasonable price, etc.
But, whether you want to buy with agents or by yourself, you need some guides in selling home. There are steps in selling your home. Those guides really help you. Never under estimate them because they have lots of impact in your selling home performance.
These are some quick guidance to sell your home:
1. Preparation; show the very best condition of your home
Here is the first step to sell your home. Make a best first impression to your buyers so that they are attracted to buy your home. Get rid of dirt and rubbish, remove all clutter, repairs all flaws of your home, get rid of unused furniture to make it looks spacious
2. Pricing your home effectively
A home that is priced right and reasonable will sell in a short time. You can use a third party service to give suggestion about your home’s value and the furniture in it. Don’t price too low that it will cost you more money, yet never also set high price that the you will loose your potential buyers
3. When To Sell
You also have to know the right time to sell your home. You surely want to sell your home in a good economic condition and strong demand for houses, which tend to be stronger in June and July. If you sell your home at the right time and a good preparation, you will get the highest price of your home than your prediction
4. A Bit About The Costs Involved
You should also involved any costs that you have spent in selling your home, whether it is attorney costs, closing costs, advertisements costs, etc
5. Selling Privately
Selling home by yourself is not as easy as it seems but it is worthy to do because you can save about 2-6% of your selling price. Selling home privately is sure going to take much time and efforts for you to sell it.
6. Selling At Auction
Selling at an auction can also be an option. But it is not a suggested option because it will cost you more money and also it is a volatile way in selling your home
7. Get a real estate lawyer
You can make the flow of documents so easy and having a professional advice by getting a real estate lawyer in your selling process
8. Marketing your home
There are many ways to market your home:
· Writing your sell ad
· Home Photos: a picture can describe a thousand word
· Lawn signs
· Open houses
· Home Brochures/Information sheets
· The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) provided by the agents
· You are your home’s best salesman

9. Negotiating an offer on your home
10. Home inspections
11. Closing

These guides will help you to sell your home. Never hesitate to ask for professional advices if you meet some problems while you are in the middle of selling process.
Good luck and have a nice day J

Real Estate Training Guide- How to become a successful real estate agent

Real Estate Training Guide- How to become a successful real estate agent

Real estate training is essential for the people who want to become a successful real estate broker. It helps them to learn all about real estate business. Real estate business requires some time, some basic knowledge of the business and skill to perform all transactions. Real estate business will be one of the good carriers for a hard working person. Real estate training suggests them all the ways to achieve their goals.

License is the basic requirement to become a real estate agent. Even it is an essential thing to conduct real estate business. Real estate Internet is the best option to join real estate business. Some states provide online training courses that will help you to complete pre-license requirements. Before joining real estate business people should satisfy some pre-license requirements. They should; be of at least 19 years, be managed a proctored exam, have high school diploma or some equivalent to it, pass a state exam, have completed a least approved course.

Generally real estate training gives some guidelines to understand some real estate basics. They can easily learn about ownership transfer, real estate law and math with the help of real estate training. They are taught how to deal to with real estate transactions during their course. Real estate training enables them to understand the tips and tricks of the real estate contracts. People who want to join some state approved courses should have initial license.

Anyone can be a successful real estate agent after completing real estate training. They can run a successful business only if they have great professional habits, good salesmanship and the enthusiasm to learn more about real estate. Real estate business requires great working skill.

People can learn about real estate business with some related books. They can also join some online courses that provide information via Internet. Nowadays several people are making money in real estate business. Real estate brokers should be kind, knowledgeable, efficient as well as trustworthy. They should know the skill how to attract more customers. They can also take some suggestion from the experienced real estate agents.

Real estate business may be wonderful business but only thing that it requires real estate training.