As any married couple knows, marriage is a commitment that takes a great deal of work in many aspects. However, planning ahead for the later years can alleviate some of the emotional and legal difficulties couples may face later in life.
Start as Early as Possible
Discussing long-term decisions for a new couple in their forties, thirties, or even twenties can seem premature. However, for both financial and legal considerations, it’s never too early to get on the same page about important issues such as retirement, senior care, and long-term finances. It is especially crucial to discuss retirement and care plans, as it is a good idea to begin allocating money into a fund from a relatively young age.
Time Retirement Correctly
In many ways, it may seem logical for couples to retire at the same time. Financially, though, this can be disastrous. This is because the transition between active work and retirement may entail unexpected costs and adjustments, and retiring at the same time can often compound the blow.
Include Children in Discussions, but Make the Final Decision
For many, children will play a large role in long-term care when the time comes. That’s why it’s important for couples to include their children in discussions about these decisions. However, it’s a good idea to have basic decisions already made before having the discussion with children, as well as for the couple to make the final legal decisions with a trusted attorney. An attorney can provide assistance with designating a power of attorney, drafting a will or trust, and setting up an asset distribution plan.
Consider Shared Care Insurance
Depending on employment, potential care needs, age differences, and any illnesses or physical conditions, one member of the couple may be able to find a more complete insurance policy than the other. Consider each of these factors while looking into Shared Care, which is a type of insurance common policy that allows couples to combine benefits that can be accessed by either member. Although it’s not a guarantee, this type of policy can often save money in the long run.
As with all decisions in marriage, like buying a home or moving to a new city, the key to productive long-term planning is staying open, communicating often, and starting early. If you want more information about long-term planning or the legal issues that may come with it, give The Law Office of Arthur P. Skarmeas, LLC a call at (978) 887-0093 today or contact us online.
Most adults know how auto and home insurance work, but not very many could tell you how title insurance works—or even what it is! Lenders require buyers to purchase title insurance when buying a home, and it protects both the buyer and the lender should it be discovered that a seller didn’t have the right to sell the property.
What Is Title Insurance?
Title insurance comes into play in the event that a previous seller didn’t have a legal right to transfer ownership of the property. If someone else legally owns the property, the buyer could lose the home and all the money paid into it. Most title insurance policies cost a one-time fee of around $1,000, and without it, a buyer and lender could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Because title insurance doesn’t involve a payout, the title insurance company usually researches the title before the sale closes. This avoids surprises that might come up years down the road. The insurance company will research the property history, past mortgage liens, deeds, wills, and other legal documents. Even if the search is done before the sale, buyers with title insurance are still protected from issues down the road.
What Types of Policies Exist?
There are two types of title insurance policies: lender policies and owner policies. The lender policy pays off the remaining mortgage amount so the buyer won’t have to. An owner policy covers the amount of the unpaid portion of the loan, including interest, so the buyer isn’t out a house and everything he paid in. It’s wise to purchase both policies.
Why Is Title Insurance Necessary?
Property ownership disputes happen due to family estrangements, divorces, will contesting, and other reasons. Perhaps a seller inherited the home through a will, then sold it. Later, a new will is discovered, leaving the home to someone else. The new buyer is left in a nightmare situation since the seller didn’t have the right to transfer the property. Perhaps there’s a tax lien on a property sold years ago; without title insurance, the new owner would be responsible. There have even been times when renters have knowingly tried to sell homes they didn’t own! While this situation is rare, it makes the one-time fee for title insurance worth it.
If any of the situations above have happened to you, don’t leave it up to the title company to resolve. With or without title insurance, your family’s home is at stake. Real estate law is complicated, and it’s important to consult with a lawyer to explore your options. The Law Office of Arthur P. Skarmeas, LLC has over 20 years of experience handling complicated real estate and estate planning transactions, and we may be able to help you. We also assist new homebuyers through their purchase. Give us a call today at (978) 887-0093 to speak with our attorneys.
Real estate laws vary from state to state, and though some states don’t require a lawyer to assist during the home-buying process, hiring one can be beneficial. Since real estate transactions are complex and involve lots of paperwork, red tape, and negotiating, hiring the right lawyer can provide fewer uncertainties and a smoother, more informed purchase. Here are a few ways a real estate lawyer can help when buying a home.
The exact, final terms of any real estate deal must be recorded in an official contract for them to be legally binding. Real estate lawyers who are specially trained and experienced will be able to handle official documents more effectively and quickly than most homebuyers. They can also verify that the contract is adherent to all applicable laws, negotiate on behalf of the buyer, and identify issues within the contract that may affect the property in the future.
Performing a Title Search
One very important home-buying step is performing a title search, which assesses the laws governing the property. A title search also ensures that the property is being sold legally and free of any encumbrances (claim against the property), such as liens or judgments. A real estate lawyer can perform a title search quickly and identify whether the homebuyer will have to pay a lien or outstanding judgment before the sale can be completed. In addition, in a case where the homebuyer will have to pay for some sort of encumbrance, a lawyer can often negotiate with the seller for an overall price reduction on the property.
Real estate deeds and other paperwork must be officially filed at both the local and state level whenever a transaction takes place. Real estate lawyers are well versed in this process, so they can make sure that everything is filed quickly and correctly. They can also identify any building or zoning restrictions that may apply to the property, helping buyers navigate their local rules and regulations so that they can move into their new home as soon as possible.
At the Law Office of Arthur P. Skarmeas, LLC, our attorneys have years of experience in real estate law, estate planning, and other practice areas. For more information about how a real estate lawyer can help you throughout the home-buying process, contact us online or give us a call at (978) 887-0093.
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