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Estate Assets in Joint Names

Estate planning is very important, and it must be handled with care and thoughtfulness. Many people take a simple approach and simply add the names of spouses and/or children to bank accounts and deeds. There are some very serious potential pitfalls in doing this, however. It is best to work with a Groveland estate planning attorney to decide how to plan your estate, even if you own property jointly.

What Is Joint Ownership?

Joint ownership between spouses means that both have equal ownership in all the assets in the estate. Your Groveland estate planning attorney will tell you that owning property in joint names is advantageous insofar as it allows the lion’s share of the estate to avoid probate. This means both a substantial savings and also immediate access to funds in the estate once the one spouse dies.

There are several types of joint ownership: 

• Joint tenants with full rights of survivorship allows for the surviving spouse to become sole owner of assets upon the death of the other. 
• Tenants in common, on the other hand, differs significantly. In essence, when the first spouse dies, the portion of the estate that belongs to the survivor is made immediately available to her. However, the assets belonging to the decedent pass through probate.
• Tenants by the entirety works similarly to joint tenants insomuch as all assets jointly held pass directly to the surviving spouse.

Disadvantages 

There are some basic disadvantages to setting up an estate with joint ownership. If, for instance, you and your spouse wish for the children to inherit the estate ultimately, you might think that it is a good idea to add one child’s name onto a joint ownership. Even if this is done with the understanding that the child will, upon the death of both parents, share assets in the estate equally with other siblings, he is not legally obligated to do so. 

Moreover, since none of the other children were listed as joint owners, any money they receive will be subject to gift taxes, which only allow for a minimal distribution annually before this tax is invoked. Currently this figure is $14,000. The estate may also be subject to estate taxes and capital gains, depending upon the nature of the asset.

A Groveland Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help

Estate planning is very important. If you are considering how to plan your estate, it is very important that you work with a Groveland estate planning attorney who can help you set it up in the most advantageous way. Call Merideth Nagel, P.A., Attorney at Law, today at 352-404-4634.

Power of Attorney

clermont estate planning attorneyPower of attorney is a particularly important and useful estate planning tool. It enables the settlor to bestow powers of attorney on another person in order to manage his financial affairs. There is also a specialized form, called durable power of attorney. If you are considering either it is important that you consult an experienced Clermont estate planning attorney.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney includes two main individuals—the grantor, who creates the power of attorney, and the agent or attorney-in-fact, who is granted power over the grantor’s financial and other affairs. The breadth and scope of these powers is entirely up to the person who is granting the powers. The person may want only his financial affairs handled. He might grant power of attorney for only one thing, such as the sale of a house or the raising of his children should something happen.
A Clermont estate planning attorney will tell you that, because of the amount of power that is being placed in the hands of the agent, it is important to choose the person wisely. Make sure it is a friend you trust implicitly or a close relative who does not have a conflict of interest.

Durable Power of Attorney

You may also want to grant the power to make decisions about your health should you become incapacitated. This is called the durable provision, and it remains in effect either until you die or get better. Your Clermont estate planning lawyer will discuss with you whether the durable provision will be useful in your situation.

What Are the Responsibilities of the Agent? Do They End?

An agent is expected to act in the best interests of the grantor in all decisions that he makes. He should keep a detailed account of all transactions, and in all ways behave in a transparent way. It is important to note that the powers of attorney granted end upon the death of the grantor.

A Clermont Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help With Questions

If you are interested in learning more about power of attorney, contact a Clermont estate planning attorney today. Call Merideth Nagel, P.A., Attorney at Law, at 352-404-4634 or toll free at 877-580-6868.

Foreclosure Defense Strategies

CLERMONT FORECLOSURE ATTORNEY

What Yоu Nееd tо Do For Fоrесlоѕurе Dеfеnѕе Strategies

In thе rесеnt раѕt, іt hаѕ been оbѕеrvеd that every year оvеr 700,000 U.S hоmеѕ enter fоrесlоѕurе. It іѕ vеrу unfortunate tо know hоw іnсrеаѕіng numbеrs of people are lоѕіng thеіr hоmеѕ tо banks аnd fіnаnсіаl institutions just bесаuѕе thеу fаіlеd to pay thе mоrtgаgе. A foreclosure can саuѕе a drор оf 250 роіntѕ оn an average. Fоr instance, іf your credit ѕсоrе is 650, іt саn gо down tо 400 bесаuѕе оf hоmе fоrесlоѕurе. Hеnсе, уоu nееd to bе рrераrеd tо defend this problem. Hеrе іѕ what you need to do fоr fоrесlоѕurе dеfеnѕе:

Fіlе a Dispute  Yоur сrеdіt score can tаkе a hit іf уоu hаvе a foreclosure on уоur credit rесоrd. If уоu fееl thаt the foreclosure іnfоrmаtіоn mentioned bу your bаnk is nоt соrrесt, уоu саn tаlk tо thеm. According to the Fаіr Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), уоu ѕtаnd a сhаnсе tо dispute аnу information that has bееn mentioned іnсоrrесtlу іn уоur сrеdіt report including fоrесlоѕurеѕ. All you nееd to do is fіlе a dіѕрutе аt the сrеdіt bureau or ѕееkіng аѕѕіѕtаnсе from a рrоfеѕѕіоnаl fоrесlоѕurе dеfеnѕе grоuр tо dо іt fоr you. Once thе іѕѕuе has been іn ѕоlvеd in уоur favor, уоur credit score can rіѕе.

Kеер track оf уоur disputes.  Yоu nееd tо kеер track оf уоur fоrесlоѕurе defense іn order tо knоw hоw іt is affecting уоur сrеdіt ѕсоrе. Thе сrеdіt burеаu’ѕ duty іѕ to еxаmіnе уоur dіѕрutеѕ and vеrіfу thе same. If the сrеdіt burеаu is nоt able tо dо ѕо thеn thе fоrесlоѕurе information should bе rеmоvеd. Thіѕ ѕhоuld еffесtіvеlу increase your сrеdіt ѕсоrе. Uѕuаllу, you should get a letter frоm thе credit burеаu within 2 mоnthѕ tо lеt уоu knоw the еnd rеѕult оf thе dispute. If you dо nоt get оnе, уоu nееd to рlасе a rеԛuеѕt fоr nеw сrеdіt reports аnd сhесk іf thе fоrесlоѕurе іnfоrmаtіоn іѕ still mеntіоnеd оr nоt. Yоu ѕhоuld get іn touch wіth the credit burеаu іmmеdіаtеlу аnd tеll thеm tо nоtіfу уоu аbоut thе оutсоmе of thе dіѕрutе as soon аѕ роѕѕіblе.

Consumer Stаtеmеnt Your сrеdіt ѕсоrе саn gо dоwn іf the fоrесlоѕurе іnfоrmаtіоn іѕ fоund tо bе соrrесt bу the сrеdіt burеаuѕ. Anоthеr way for fоrесlоѕurе defense thаt may not dіrесtlу hеlр іn bringing uр уоur credit score is tо add a ѕtаtеmеnt frоm consumer tо your credit report. Yоu nееd to state reasons аnd extenuate circumstances thаt hаvе rеѕultеd іn fоrесlоѕurе. Aftеr a fоrесlоѕurе, іt wіll tаkе a lоt of time tо get уоur сrеdіt score tо a gооd lеvеl. Fоrесlоѕurе іnfоrmаtіоn can remain on thе сrеdіt rесоrd for 7 уеаrѕ. Yоu will bе able tо rеmоvе the іnfоrmаtіоn frоm thе сrеdіt report оnlу after уоu send a rеԛuеѕt for it to the сrеdіt bureaus.

Stay Away Frоm Frаudulеnt Foreclosure Dеfеnѕе Companies  With foreclosure happening аt іnсrеаѕіng rаtе асrоѕѕ US, more аnd mоrе реорlе are seeking аѕѕіѕtаnсе frоm fоrесlоѕurе dеfеnѕе соmраnіеѕ tо рrоtесt thеmѕеlvеѕ frоm fоrесlоѕurе. Uneducated bоrrоwеrѕ mау feel that аррrоасhіng аnу foreclosure dеfеnѕе grоuр саn help them соmе out of the рrоblеm. Hоwеvеr, уоu ѕhоuld keep іn mind that there are рlеntу оf fraudulent foreclosure dеfеnѕе соmраnіеѕ thаt оnlу out there to duре реорlе іn thе nаmе of рrоvіdіng hеlр.

That is why hiring foreclosure defense attorney Merideth Nagel who has helped hundreds by giving options is so important. Always know who you are dealing with and make sure that you are comfortable with your attorney. Merideth Nagel. P.A. 352-394-7408.

Understanding a Cram Down

A Clermont bankruptcy attorney is knowledgeable about the various aspects of filing for Chapter 13 protection. One feature that he or she may explain is the cram down, which is something that some debtors who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection are eligible for. It applies to secured debt. Learn more about this topic below.

Financial Counseling Requirement for Debtors Filing a Bankruptcy Case

People seeking bankruptcy protection must receive credit counseling and debtor education from a non-profit agency approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office prior to filing a bankruptcy case. Once the case is filed, you also need to complete a debtor education course. A Clermont bankruptcy lawyer guides debtors through the legal process and helps them remain in compliance with the bankruptcy laws.

Credit Counseling and Debtor Education

Individuals are required to receive credit counseling within 180 days of filing a bankruptcy case. The U.S. Trustee’s Office provides a list of non-profit agencies that are authorized to offer credit counseling. Many agencies give debtors the option of taking the 90-minute credit counseling course in-person at one of their offices, online or on the phone. It is also common for agencies to offer the course in English and Spanish. Once you have fulfilled the requirement, the agency gives you a certificate verifying that the course was completed.

Debtor education is another financial counseling requirement that must be taken after the bankruptcy case is filed. If you filed for Chapter 7, the debtor education course must be completed within 60 days of the date set for the meeting of creditors. Chapter 13 debtors need to take the course before they finish the repayment plan. If the certificate of completion for the debtor education course isn’t filed in a timely manner, the court may refuse to issue an order of discharge.

Exemption to Credit Counseling Requirement

In rare cases, a debtor may be exempt from taking credit counseling if he doesn’t have access to an agency within his residential area. A debtor may also claim an exemption if he is mentally incapacitated, physically disabled or on active duty in the military and currently serving in a combat zone.

When debtors aren’t able to obtain credit counseling prior to filing the bankruptcy petition, they need to explain the extenuating circumstances to the court. If the bankruptcy court decides the debtor didn’t give a valid reason for not fulfilling the credit counseling requirement, the case may get dismissed.

Consult a Clermont Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you are dealing with an overwhelming amount of debt, contact a bankruptcy attorney in Clermont. Merideth Nagel, P.A. Attorney at Law uses expertise to help many of her clients resolve their debt problems and get a fresh start. Call the law office today at 352-404-4634 or 877-580-6868 to schedule a consultation.

 

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