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Camden Delaware Real Estate Law Blog

When is it possible to avoid the probate process?

When it comes to drafting an estate plan or settling the estate of a loved one, many people have the same question – when is it possible to avoid the probate process? Probate is the legal process of distributing a person's estate according to his or her wishes to appropriate beneficiaries. It can be a costly and lengthy process to navigate.

People often hope to avoid probate because it saves them time and money. There are times when it is possible to avoid this process, but only in specific circumstances and situations. It may be helpful for you to understand what probate accomplishes, whether you can avoid it and what to expect if you have to walk through it.

Real estate transactions: Rentals mean work for landlords

Delaware residents may enter the role of being a landlord in many ways. Some may feel the desire to invest in real estate and purchase rental properties in efforts to earn extra income, and others may have inherited a home and decide to rent it for similar reasons. However it comes about, it is important to remember that real estate transactions, even rental agreements, are serious matters.

First of all, becoming a landlord is not a step to be taken lightly. A considerable amount of work goes into maintaining the property and ensuring that issues that arise are handled as necessary. In some cases, this could mean problems that cause hardships for the tenants or problems that the tenants themselves create. Individuals who decide to take on this role may find it useful to look at it like the job it is and handle all aspects from a business perspective.

Being informed is useful during real estate transactions

At some point in many people's lives, they will need to move. As a result, they may find themselves looking to buy a home in Delaware for the first time. Though real estate transactions take place every day, they can still have their complications, and individuals who have never completed this type of transaction before may need to pay particular attention.

Because there is so much information available regarding buying and selling real estate, it can be confusing to first-time buyers. Still, having as much information about the types of mortgage loans available, prequalification and preapproval processes, what closing costs are, and much more could make the entire process less confusing. Of course, it is important to ensure that any information gained is reliable.

Cutting corners with estate planning may not be wise

Though getting end-of-life affairs in order well before that time comes is important, many Delaware residents may not look forward to taking the time to actually plan ahead. Certainly, going through estate planning can take time and effort in order to make a comprehensive plan, but it is often worth it in the end. Some people may consider taking a DIY or online approach to creating their plans, but is that really the best option?

Like many scenarios, cutting corners in efforts to save a bit of time or money is not typically wise when estate planning. Though online options do exist for interested individuals to create their end-of-life documents, the DIY approach leaves room for significant errors. Unfortunately, when mistakes are made with an estate plan, the person who created the plan has commonly already passed away before the errors are discovered, which means that surviving loved ones are left in a difficult predicament.

Estate planning for parents of special needs children

Having a special needs child often means approaching certain scenarios from different angles. While many Delaware parents become adept at taking new approaches, it's worth noting that estate planning will likely also need carrying out differently in order to address the future needs of special needs children. Fortunately, certain planning tools can help.

Planning for the future is complicated for anyone, and parents may have a hard time predicting what type of assistance their special needs children may require in the future. Many factors could affect these needs, including a child's specific capabilities, overall health and prognosis. Having this information may help narrow down the type of future planning that could be most useful to these children and whether government assistance could come into play.

Medicaid planning may be wise for long-term care expenses

Many Delaware residents may find themselves in need of financial assistance for various reasons. One reason in particular is that they may need help paying for long-term care later in life. By planning ahead, individuals may be able to arrange assets in a way that better their chances of qualifying for programs like Medicaid.

Medicaid can provide financial benefits for long-term care needs, but parties need to meet certain qualifications, which can vary from state to state. However, in general, income and asset values play a significant part in eligibility. This means that if an applicant's monthly income or asset value exceeds a certain amount, that person may not qualify. Fortunately, by anticipating this factor, people can work to reduce their income and asset values.

Buying a home with friends? Proceed with caution

Have you always dreamed of owning your own home? Do you wish that you no longer had to pay rent to an impersonal landlord and instead pay a mortgage and build equity? Like many others in Delaware, home ownership may be one of your most important goals in life. And like many others, you may find yourself facing the real possibility of being unable to afford this step on your own. 

Many buyers, specifically young potential homeowners, find they cannot afford to make a purchase on their own. For this reason, it is more common for multiple adults to pool their resources and buy a home together. This may seem like a smart way to ease into owning your own place, but there are many reasons why you should proceed with caution and take steps to secure your own interests.

Look past staging during residential real estate transactions

No one wants to get taken advantage of when it comes to buying a home. Unfortunately, without the right information and assistance, a residential real estate transaction could go sideways quickly. As a result, it is wise for Delaware residents, especially first-time homebuyers, to consider a number of aspects before moving forward with a purchase.

First, individuals may want to remember that staging plays a big part in many sales. Homeowners, real estate agents or both may stage the homes to look appealing and so that prospective buyers can visualize how the house could look as their home. However, some staging may set up rooms in ways that are not actually feasible. For instance, lamps could be set in visually-appealing areas, but in reality, there may not be outlets to actually plug in lamps in that area.

Is utilizing a trust company necessary for estate planning?

Thinking about the future can be intimidating. When those thoughts involve planning end-of-life wishes, it can seem even more overwhelming. As a result, many Delaware residents find it useful to obtain help when it comes to estate planning and understanding their options for addressing their finances and other assets.

Fortunately, there are many estate planning tools that can help interested individuals create the best plans for their specific cases. For instance, some parties may want to utilize trusts as part of their plans for various reasons, such as avoiding probate or having more control over the use of the assets in the trusts. When trusts are used, a person or entity often needs to be put in charge of administering the trusts and handling other related affairs.

Elder care planning vital after dementia diagnoses

Watching a loved one's mental state decline can be an immensely difficult experience. Though many Delaware residents want to do what they can to care for those loved ones, it is not always possible, and professional care may be needed. As a result, legal and financial hurdles for those with dementia need addressing.

It is common for individuals with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia to need nursing home care. Unfortunately, that care can cost thousands of dollars each month. Additionally, the mental capacity of the person often declines rapidly. As a result, family members may be left to handle the expenses and necessary decisions relating to the situation. Of course, in order for loved ones to make decisions on behalf of another person, the right legal documents need to be in place.

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