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Camden Delaware Real Estate Law Blog

What happens when people die without estate planning documents?

Dying without a will is almost never in people's plans. But with so many people in Delaware procrastinating on starting the estate planning process, this certainly does happen from time to time. Dying with a will that is deemed legally invalid can have the same consequences as dying without a will at all. But what happens in these cases, exactly?

There are some laws in place to define what happens to assets and liabilities. In the case of an unpaid mortgage, for example, creditors can seek repayment from the estate. If the estate cannot cover the remaining balance on the property, the lender can arrange for the sale of the property to cover their losses.

Signs of elder abuse and how to get elder law support

Elder abuse is a major issue across the United States. Recent numbers released in New York State noted that only about one in 22 cases of elder abuse is reported, and aging individuals in other states like Delaware have similar challenges being heard. Those who are in a position to recognize elder abuse should know the signs of someone being targeted as well as the right steps to take within the limits of elder law.

Isolation is a major sign of elder abuse. This is when a person stops going to events or places they frequented before; for example, not showing up to church or seniors centers. This may signify that someone is being neglected or is suffering from depression due to abuse. People should also be on the lookout for bruises, burns, cuts or other wounds.

What is going to happen with your business in the future?

It takes years of dedicated effort to build a successful Delaware business. You understand the daily commitment required to run a small business of any kind, but it is beneficial to think beyond your immediate goals and consider your future needs as well.

One of the smartest moves you can make as a business owner is to secure your future interests through a business succession plan. This is a part of your estate plan, and drafting these documents can allow you to have more control over what will happen to your small business operations in the future. If you do not have this as part of your estate plan, you would be wise to include them.

Tips for real estate transactions involving beachfront property

People looking to buy a beachfront property can turn to many states to make their purchase. One of those locations is Delaware, where agents say the real estate market has stabilized after several years of fluctuation. Despite this new stabilization, experts have some critical advice for those looking to make a real estate transactions for coastal property in the state.

One of the most important things people should establish when purchasing a beachfront property is their intentions for the real estate. Is the plan to make family memories, to relax or to retire? It might be a combination of these things, but the primary reason for buying the property may dictate the neighborhood a person chooses. In order to test out the surrounding area for noise, proximity to amenities and so on, it is a good idea to try a vacation rental nearby before sealing the deal on a property.

Should parents share estate planning documents with their kids?

Finances are often considered very personal matters, but when it comes to estate transitions certain family members may need to know what is going on. Parents in Delaware often wonder how much they should share with their children about estate planning. While it is ultimately the individual's decision whether to share their will directly with beneficiaries, most choose to share at least some information with their children while they are still able to do so.

Whether or not people choose to share a will with their children, the document should be kept in a safe and secure place. While the asset distribution may not be shared initially, certain documents are critical to show to children. This includes power of attorney, health care representative designation or living will. It is important that children know who is able to make decisions should their parent become incapacitated.

Recent elder law changes aim to protect aging Americans

Thirteen years ago, June 15 was designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by the United Nations. This far-reaching issue affects many individuals and families, from aging people in Delaware to seniors across the world. There have been many efforts to change and enforce elder law in hopes of supporting seniors who are being victimized.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one in 10 older adults is a victim of elder abuse. Additionally, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, five of every six cases of elder abuse are unreported. The situation is even worse for financial abuse, where only one in 14 cases are reported.

Retiring women may face unique financial and elder law challenges

Planning for retirement is a challenge for men and women alike. However, statistics show that when it comes to finances and elder law issues, women can sometimes have a harder time making the transition. Here are a few things women in Delaware may face when moving into this new stage in life. 

According to the Transamerica Retirement Survey of American Workers, women are not very confident in their security during retirement. Only 12 percent of women reported being "very confident" in their future comfort. That's a number that in large part results from four of five women not expecting Social Security to be available in the future.

What first time residential real estate buyers should know

Buying a home for the first time can be a confusing process. New buyers in Delaware may have many preconceived notions about what it means to purchase residential real estate, but often some of these beliefs are simply untrue. Here are a few of the more common myths that plague new homebuyers.

Mortgages are one of the most common things for people to misunderstand. For example, many homebuyers believe that a 20 percent down payment is required to purchase a home. The reality is that a home can be purchased with down payments as low as 3.5 percent. However, mortgage insurance will be needed when putting down less than 20 percent.

Communication with family critical for estate planning

Many people think all they have to do when planning their estate is draft and sign a will. However, for many Delaware adults, the estate planning process can be a lot more complicated. Properly transferring wealth between generations can end in conflict, financial mismanagement and overall loss. Those who wish to ensure their funds are not squandered by the next generation should take certain steps to prepare the right estate plans.

One common misconception is that estate plans must be divided equally. However, in many cases, equal and fair mean two different things. Often, descendants have different spending habits, responsibility levels, educational ambitions, family needs and so on. For example, children who helped to build a family business may be left with more assets related to that business.

Drafting commercial leases for the benefit of your company

As a business owner, you understand the importance of finding the right space to run your operations. It is not easy to find the perfect location for your Delaware company, but once you do, you want to ensure that the terms of your commercial lease are beneficial for your business.

In many cases, it is possible to negotiate the terms of a commercial lease. This allows you to fight for certain things that could be beneficial for the unique nature of your company operations, but it can also ensure you do not have to deal with the negative consequences of unfair terms. You always have the right to fight for fair and reasonable lease agreements.

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