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Debunking Common Myths About Buying Your First Home

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Debunking Common Myths About Buying Your First Home

Many people dream of someday owning their own home. If you’re tired of renting, you may be currently exploring the option of purchasing your very first home. Before you start touring houses or making any offers, however, it’s important that you understand some of the truths behind common first-time-home-buying myths out there (go to websites like this for further assistance).  Myth 1: You Need a Large Down Payment Long gone are the days of needing a minimum of 20% down on your first home. Realistically, with student loans and other expenses, this is something that most first-time buyers simply cannot afford. Fortunately, there are plenty of mortgage options available these days (especially to first-time buyers) that allow you to make down payments of just a few percent of your total purchase price. Myth 2: You’ll Find Your Dream Home It’s important to understand that your very first home is not likely to be your dream home. Most people who buy a house for the first time are looking for a “starter house,” something they can enjoy living their lives in for at least a few years and build some equity in before moving into a house that better suits their long-term needs. If you expect to find your dream home in your first home purchase, you’re likely going to be disappointed. Myth 3: You Have to Pay Your Real Estate Agent Some first-time buyers are hesitant to hire a real estate agent or Realtor because they’re under the assumption that they have to pay these people commission. However, it’s actually the sellers of the home who are responsible for paying commission. In this sense, as a first-time buyer, you can enjoy the services of a Realtor or real estate agent at no charge to you. Myth 4: You Don’t Really Need a Home Inspection Depending on the type of mortgage you’re using and the type of home sale you’re going with, you may or may not be legally required to have a home inspection done before finalizing a sale on a home. However, you should always opt for a home inspection for your own peace of mind. Typically, professional home inspections cost just a few hundred dollars and are extremely useful in discovering potential problems with a home before you decide to spend your hard-earned money on it. Never trust a seller who is trying to talk you out of your decision to have a home inspection...

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Tips For Writing A Will

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Writing A Will

Regardless of what stage of adulthood you are in, you need to consider making a will and getting things set should a tragedy occur. This will make it much easier for your family to be able to act within your interests and allow you to split up your assets to provide for anyone that you care about. Here are some tips for writing a will. 1. Make Decisions About Your Children If you have children, or even if you just have beloved pets, make sure that you think about and discuss with family and friends where your children or pets are going to live should you pass and there is no one else in your family to take them. This will allow you to take on life without constantly being worried about your children and pets being homeless should the worst occur. 2. Distribute Your Assets Even if you are only 30 years old, you need to be sure that you discuss how you are going to distribute any assets that you have. You might just have an Xbox and a handful of vinyls, but if you want these to go to your siblings rather than your parents, you need to make sure that you put that in your will. Otherwise, the government will take over and distribute the assets starting with your spouse up to $200,000 and then followed by your parents and your children. If you don’t specify where you want you Xbox to go, your parents might end up inheriting it and then throwing it out. If you have specific items that should go to your siblings or other people, name these items. Otherwise, don’t put a dollar amount on how much you want to give people. Be sure that you divide up your assets as percentages so that you don’t have to constantly be revising your will to reflect your changes in wealth. 3. Don’t Use a Kit if Possible If you need to fill out a will really quickly, you can simply use a kit that will have fill-in-the-blank fields that you can use to structure your will within a short period of time. However, if you use a kit, this could cause problems later down the road due to the fact that it might not hold up in court. If you are going to do something dangerous, like go bungee jumping, and create a will using a kit, make sure that you finalize it by writing it out by hand later. For more information, talk to a company that specializes in helping people create their...

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Before, During And After A Divorce – Making It Less Damaging To Your Kids

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Before, During And After A Divorce – Making It Less Damaging To Your Kids

Divorce is a complicated and sometimes messy situation. When kids are involved, this situation can become downright impossible. How you handle yourself before, during and after the divorce will have a significant impact on how your kids deal with their changing lives. So, how do you keep the peace and make it as easy of a transition as possible for your kids? Below, you will find a few suggestions that can help. Before the Divorce Don’t try to make it work for the kids’ sake if it isn’t working. Most kids will feel the negative effects of living with two people that don’t care for each other any longer. The minute that tensions reach an all-time high and you can no longer make it through the day without showing resentment, disrespect or disdain for your spouse, it is time to make some changes. During the Divorce As much as you want to keep the kids informed about what is going on with the divorce, limit the information to just what they need to know. Don’t share your worries about finances, what their other parent is doing or the other negative issues surrounding a divorce. Don’t fill their heads with the what-ifs – wait until you have concrete information to provide them. You don’t want your kids to become overwhelmed with possibilities that may never arise. After the Divorce No matter the outcome, your kids will need both of their parents. Keep the spousal bashing away from the kids. Find a good friend, family member or therapist to talk about the issues that you have with your spouse. If you are unhappy with the outcome of the divorce settlement or custody arrangements, talk with your divorce attorney. Your kids shouldn’t be exposed to all of the negative feelings that you have against their other parent. Sharing your negative feelings with your kids will only make the situation worse for them and that isn’t going to make things any better for you. For the best possible outcome you should do three things – keep the kids out of it, hire a good divorce attorney and get yourself a therapist to vent to. The kids have their own problems and need you there to listen to and comfort them. Your divorce attorney can represent you and get you the best outcome and your therapist can listen to what you are feeling and offer you sound advice for getting past the hate, resentment and emotional struggles that you are experiencing. Visit a site like if you need a divorce...

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How Do You Get A Fair Divorce Settlement When Your Spouse Runs A Cash Business?

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Do You Get A Fair Divorce Settlement When Your Spouse Runs A Cash Business?

Your spouse runs a business that runs a significant portion of its books “under the table” or in cash. You’ve always been the stay-at-home parent and support person. Now that you’re divorcing, how do you get a fair settlement? Recognize that there are unique issues in your situation. Even with businesses that operate above-board financially, it can be difficult to determine their exact worth, especially in cases where your spouse is a sole proprietor. If there’s unreported income and expenses that’s cash for some reason (such as is often used when a small construction or landscaping business hires day laborers), you’re going to have an even more difficult time securing documentation of how much the business actually makes — especially because there might not be a lot in the first place. It isn’t uncommon for an otherwise healthy-seeming business to develop financial woes very suddenly, coincidentally timed with your divorce. If so, you might see other signs that your spouse intends to make proving his or her net worth as difficult as possible: He or she becomes difficult for you to locate, going to great lengths to hide a current address. That way you can’t determine if his or her lifestyle has changed or not. He or she stays visible and doesn’t have an apparent change in lifestyle, yet claims the business is suffering from a downturn in the economy or field. He or she delays or avoids sending your attorney records, including bank and credit card statements, hoping you’ll run out of money or energy to keep fighting for them and settle for what you’re offered. You’ll have to hire experts in order to impute his or her true income. You and your attorney may have to hire a forensic accountant to try to piece together your spouse’s actual business income. A forensic accountant can examine more than just tax returns to create a clear picture of how much money really passes through your spouse’s business on a regular basis. Everything from business appointment books to old mortgage applications can help prove how much your spouse really makes. Catching your spouse at “financial infidelity” may also require the use of a private investigator. Private investigators can find legal ways to track down electronic communications that can help reveal a business trail that’s not being reported elsewhere. For example, they may know where to look on the right business websites to find statements that you spouse has made about the business that indicate its financial health. They may also be able to locate your spouse’s business connections, and get evidence through them of the income your spouse receives. Private investigators can also track down your spouse and provide things like photographic evidence that he or she is still maintaining a comfortable standard of living (despite the apparent scarcity of business). If your spouse is hiding assets or money in someone else’s name, the private investigator may be able to help you determine who that person is, so that his or her records can be subpoenaed as well. Private investigators like Northern Defence & Security PI can also help you track down a spouse’s hidden safety deposit by following him or her straight to the bank. You don’t have to just accept what you’re offered as a settlement just because your...

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Your Guide To Understanding A Prenuptial Agreement

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Guide To Understanding A Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements have grown in popularity over the last few years. Second and third marriages almost always have an agreement, especially if either or both spouses have large amounts of assets.  It provides monetary and emotional security that the assets will remain with the original owner. These agreements are a contract between both spouses.  Other important issues can also be addressed through the agreement. These can be issues such as spousal support, discrepancies in each spouse’s wealth, a possible pending inheritance and an acknowledgement of dependent children in the event of a divorce. Why Prenuptial Agreements Are Important For many couples with substantial assets wishing to protect them for children they may have had from a previous marriage, a pre-nup is extremely important. One of the primary reasons for pre-nups is what happens in the event of divorce.  If there’s a blended family, then pre-nups are all the more important. Prenuptial agreements should be discussed by the two parties and a verbal agreement should be reached as to what happens to the assets should a divorce occur or death. These situations should be discussed thoroughly before the wedding and be signed before the marriage takes place.  These agreements can eliminate a lot of stress at the last minute.  Prenuptials must be drawn in such a way as to not intentionally cause excessive hardship or be extremely unfair to either party. There can be no signs of pressure or dishonesty by either party. Should this be discovered, the entire agreement can be declared null and void. What Happens in the Event of Death One area that is sometimes overlooked is what happens in the event of death.  Couples who have remarried after the death of a previous spouse want to protect the assets they may have inherited.  In many states, the surviving spouse is entitled to one-third of the deceased spouses’ estate.  When there are children involved from the previous marriage, the surviving spouse wants to protect them and a pre-nup is one way to do that. Agreements Need to be Drawn and Signed Before the Wedding Prenuptial agreements should be discussed by the two parties and a verbal agreement should be reached as to what happens to the assets should a divorce occur or death. These situations should be discussed thoroughly before the wedding and signed before the marriage takes place.  These agreements can eliminate a lot of stress at the last minute.  These agreements must be drawn in such a way as to not intentionally cause excessive harm or be extremely unfair to either party. There can be no signs of pressure or dishonesty by either party. Should this be discovered, the entire agreement can be declared null and void. Prenuptials Should be Drawn by an Attorney These agreements should be drawn up by an attorney so they comply with the laws and regulations in the state that is involved. Many times the two parties live in different states and then after marriage will reside in the state of the bride or groom.  Then the state that the couple will live in as a married couple should be chosen. If, after the wedding, the couple is going to live in an entirely different state, then the pre-nup should be signed in that state. Having an attorney draw up...

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4 Reasons To Hire A Workers Compensation Attorney

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Reasons To Hire A Workers Compensation Attorney

If you’ve been injured while on the job and want the benefits that you’re entitled to, it’s recommended that you hire an attorney. You want to make sure that you have what you need in order to move on with your life. An attorney can help you in many ways. Take a look at the following information to better understand the reasons as to why you should hire a workers compensation attorney.  Help You File a Claim If you’re worried about filing a claim because you think your employer will be mad, it’s a good idea to get professional help. Fear shouldn’t stop you from doing the right thing and making a proper report. Your attorney can handle the claim process for you so that there is less stress and confusion. He or she can handle the paperwork process and can keep you informed along the way.  It’s Not As Expensive As You Think Many people put off hiring an attorney because they assume it will be too expensive. The good news is that most workers compensation attorneys only charge you after they successfully reach a settlement. This means that you won’t have to stress out about providing upfront costs. In addition, you will pay a percentage based on the award that you receive. Don’t put off getting the help that you deserve due to money concerns. Determine if You Have a Case You may not be sure if your case is worth fighting for. An experienced workers compensation attorney has worked on a variety of cases and understands the value behind each story. Your attorney can help you decide if your injuries are worth fighting for.  You’re Not Getting What You Deserve If you’ve already filed a claim and are receiving some benefits, but question if they’re fair, it’s time to reach out to a skilled workers compensation attorney. He or she will be able to evaluate your case and determine if you’re receiving the benefits that you deserve. If you’re not getting what you need and deserve, your attorney will fight to get more. You may be able to get more health care benefits or money for time missed at work.  Don’t guess your way through the process of a workers compensation claim. Instead, have an experienced attorney on your side so that you get treated fairly. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation, contact a workers compensation attorney (like those at Yormak &...

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3 Reasons To Hire A Lawyer When Buying A Home

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons To Hire A Lawyer When Buying A Home

When you think about purchasing a home, you probably think about working with a real estate agent, not a real estate lawyer. However, there are many reasons why it’s smart to hire a real estate lawyer to help you with this major transaction. These are three of the main benefits of doing so, so consider looking for a reputable real estate lawyer in your area. 1. Make Sure There are No Liens One of the main things that you should be careful of is ensuring that there are no liens on the property that you are thinking about buying. Liens from unpaid lenders or construction workers can leave you having to pay debts that aren’t yours and can even lead to you losing the property. Your real estate lawyer will be able to conduct a thorough search to ensure that there are no liens on the property before any money changes hands. 2. Ensure the Contracts are Legitimate and Legal You have certain rights as a home buyer, and you should make sure that these rights are being respected when you sign your contracts. Real estate contracts can be confusing and filled with legal jargon that you might not understand, and it can be tough to decipher these documents if you don’t have any real estate knowledge. If you don’t go over your contracts carefully, however, you could wind up paying too much for your home, or you might find that your future use of the property will be negatively affected. Your real estate lawyer can explain everything to you, however. 3. Handle All Filings More Easily When you buy a home, there is a lot of paperwork to be done after the contracts are signed. Documents have to be filed with your local and provincial government in even the easiest of transactions. If you are having your home built, or if you are having renovations done to it before you move in, you will have to ensure that all of the proper paperwork is filed so that you are in line with provincial regulations. All of these things can be confusing and time consuming, but your real estate lawyer can handle it quickly and easily. Purchasing a home is a big step, and it isn’t something that you should do on your...

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2 Reasons To Hire A Car Accident Lawyer

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Reasons To Hire A Car Accident Lawyer

If you are involved in a car accident you will want to hire a lawyer to assist you as soon as possible, mostly because a lawyer will improve your odds of getting the money that you deserve. A car accident lawyer can help you remain blameless for the accident while also helping you deal with any settlement offers that you may receive. Remain Blameless One of the most common approaches that people who have caused an accident will take in court is to blame the victim. If this approach is successful, you could end up losing your case and receiving nothing, or be ordered to pay for the accident-related expenses belonging to the person who caused the accident. An attorney will be able to ensure that the blame for the accident remains with the person who caused the accident, usually by researching the accident thoroughly. For example, your attorney is going to review eyewitness statements and police reports in order to see if the person who was responsible for the accident was driving recklessly. Your attorney is also going to review the responsible party’s phone records to see if the person who caused the accident was on the phone texting or speaking to someone at the time of the accident. This can prove that the person was driving while distracted, which will make it harder for the responsible party to blame the accident on you. Settlement Offers If you are involved in a car accident, you will likely end up receiving a settlement offer from the insurance company that covers the person who was at fault. The amount of the settlement offer will vary depending on how strong the insurance company believes that your case is. Now, before you accept a settlement offer, you will want to discuss it with your lawyer, because once the offer is accepted you will not be able to sue for more money at a later date. If your attorney believes that your case is strong enough, they will likely recommend that you allow him or her to get your more money in court or negotiate a better settlement on your behalf. Speak to a professional attorney, like Sally Chiarelli Law Office, today to discuss the strength of your car accident case. A lawyer can help you avoid settlement offers that are not in your best interests while also helping you to remain blameless for the...

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Building A Better Estate Plan: Service Provider Considerations You Should Know

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Building A Better Estate Plan: Service Provider Considerations You Should Know

In addition to addressing your home, investments, dependents and other assets in your estate plan, you also need to clearly illustrate how you want your service provider accounts handled. Here are some things to consider and discuss with your family attorney as you build your estate plan. Understanding Service Providers Service providers are those people that you work with on a regular basis who provide services for you and your property. Your gardener, your plumber, your housekeeper and others like them fall under this classification. If you have an outstanding account with any of them, you should include explicit instructions in your estate plan about how to get in contact with them and how you want the account settled. Here are a few types of service providers that you’ll want to make sure you address: Household Services – Household service providers include anyone who works around your house, such as maintenance, housekeeping, heating oil and even HVAC service. You should include a list of these household service providers as part of your estate plan, and include notes about where to find their most recent invoices, what kind of cycle you’re on for services and how to get in contact with them. Medical Services – Medical care providers are important to consider as part of an estate plan, because you’re likely to have some medical bills associated with care in the months before you pass away. Additionally, include information about your dentist, therapist, chiropractor and any other care providers that your loved ones may not know about. Include notes about your appointment frequency, co-pays and any prescription refills or medical insurance charges that may be coming. Personal Services – If you have a hairdresser, nutritionist or personal trainer that you work with on a regular basis, this information should be included in a personal services list. Personal shoppers, childcare services and other similar providers should be included, too. Make sure your family has all of the information necessary to get in touch with each of them in the event of your passing, particularly if there are recurring appointments or automatic charges that need to be cancelled. You may think that your loved ones know which providers you use for various services, but in the days and weeks following your death, they will be focused on the grieving process and could easily overlook details like these. By working with a professional family lawyer, like Levine & Company, to include this information in your estate plan, you can take the guesswork out of the process and ensure that your service providers get what they need,...

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5 Things To Keep In Mind When Registering A Used Car

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Things To Keep In Mind When Registering A Used Car

If you’re currently looking into buying a used car or have just finished the buying process, it’s important that you take care of registering the car. Not only will this make buying the car official, it will also ensure that you’re able to legally drive with the used car. In order for the registering to go smoothly and to ensure that you’re prepared at the DMV or while registering online, you should use the following tips. Register in Advance One of the most important things to keep in mind when insuring your car is that it needs to be done right away. After buying a used car, you likely have a few days to a month to register the car, based on the state. To avoid unnecessary fees, it’s best to get the car registered as soon as possible after buying the car. Proof of Insurance When getting a used car registered, it’s likely that the DMV will ask for proof your car insurance. Every driver needs to have basic coverage to protect them financially in the event of an accident, so it’s important that you get this handled before visiting the DMV for registration. Legal Paperwork Whether you bought your used car from a private seller or a dealership, it’s important that you have all the proper paperwork ready when visiting the DMV. The pink slip, any loan papers, and other documents are all helpful when going through the process of registering. Make and Model of Car The rates for car registration can vary based on the type of car you own, so you’ll need to keep this in mind when you’re still shopping for a used car. With the make and model of the car in mind, you can look into the costs you should expect for registering the car. Potential Damage or Smog Problems Your car needs to be running properly in order to be registered at the DMV (or the Calgary registry offices) and be legal to drive. For example, you may need to get your used car smogged shortly after purchase and before registering to ensure that it’s not producing too much harmful effects on the environment. Keeping up with smogging and other repairs will ensure that registration for your used car will go well. As you look into the work involved with registering your used car, it’s crucial that you make sure that you have all the necessary information needed. With this information in mind, you’ll be able to get your car registered and be back on the road in no...

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