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Bronx Real Estate Law Blog

Quality estate plan includes creating wills, other documents

Creating an estate plan may be high on many individuals' New Year's resolution lists this month. However, the process of creating wills and other estate planning documents may seem confusing, thus preventing many from starting. A few tips might help with navigating the estate planning process in New York.

First, selecting an executor is an important part of planning an estate. Friends and family members do not necessarily have to serve as executors. Instead, attorneys and banks can help to carry out an estate owner's wishes in the event of his or her death.

Residential real estate inventory levels will rise this year

With 2018 in full swing, some consumers in New York may be contemplating buying homes this year. Residential real estate experts have emphasized that this year may be a smart time to move forward with home purchases due to factors such as moderate home price hikes and the current low unemployment rate. However, one of the biggest reasons to buy a house sooner than later is that inventory levels are starting to increase.

The housing market in the United States has experienced a shortage of inventory since the year 2015. Thus, some buyers have been forced to settle for homes they may not necessarily have loved. Meanwhile, others could not even get in the real estate game.

Selling residential real estate as part of divorce is common

Selling a house in New York can understandably be a stressful process. However, doing so as part of a marital split-up can be especially challenging. Unfortunately, divorce is a common reason for people to sell their residential real estate.

Recent research indicated that the family residence ends up being sold in more than 60 percent of marital split-ups. In some cases, one of the spouses is in a financial position to buy his or her future ex out. However, this is not a possibility in many situations.

Residential real estate ownership may be impacted by new tax law

The future of homeownership in light of the new tax laws in the United States is up for debate. According to a recent survey, many individuals in the United States, including in New York, have concerns about how the new tax laws will impact their abilities to own residential real estate. However, at the same time, many homeowners indicated that they still plan to purchase homes.

More than 50 percent of the survey respondents said they were concerned or highly concerned about owning homes under the new tax laws. This is particularly true for wealthier home buyers or those in New York and other expensive markets, as mortgages that can benefit from interest deduction now must be $750,000 or less. Previously, mortgages as high as a million dollars could benefit from this deduction.

What do you have to tell potential buyers when selling your home?

When selling a home in New York, there are certain things that you have to tell potential buyers about the property. However, it is smart to know how to deal with necessary disclosures in a way that protects your interests and allows you to meet your real estate objectives. 

The intent of required disclosures is to protect a buyer from purchasing a home that had hidden problems. As the seller, there are certain things that you have to tell a buyer, and failure to do so could lead to legal complications as you move forward. If you are selling your home, you would be wise to know how to shield your interests while still accomplishing your ultimate goal – the completed sale of your home.

Creating wills requires a few important steps

Estate planning in New York is often placed on the back burner when it comes to tackling daily responsibilities. However, creating wills and other estate plan documents is critical for protecting one's assets long term. A few tips may help with navigating the estate planning process effectively.

First, taking stock of all assets is critical. These assets include a home and any business shares owned. Collecting information regarding any outstanding debts is also important.

Residential real estate is major financial investment

A home is one of the largest financial investments that individuals can make in New York and elsewhere. Unfortunately, buying residential real estate can also be one of the most complicated financial processes as well. A couple of tips may help those interested in diving into the real estate world by making a purchase.

First, it is worth purchasing a home only if the plan is to stay in the home for a minimum of three years. During the home-buying process, paying a large amount in closing costs is common to compensate the third parties who helped with completing the sale. These costs are usually between 2 percent and 7 percent of the purchase price of the house. Three years is typically enough to recoup these costs.

Wills among important estate plan components

Those who are not necessarily well-to do-in New York may not see the need for engaging in estate planning. However, wills are essential no matter what one's net worth is. Other estate planning documents are also important to include in a comprehensive plan.

Even those who might not necessarily be well off may have valuable items they would like to protect long term, such as family heirlooms, jewelry, cars and houses. These items can be addressed in a will, which explains who should receive them in the event that the owner of these assets passes away. Other items that are important to address in a will include 403(b) or 401(k) plan accounts, investment and bank accounts.

Wills, trusts needed for the not-so-rich and not-so-famous, too

A common misconception is that estate planning in New York is only for those who are famous and rich. The truth is that all individuals who have assets may benefit from creating wills that explain how these possessions are to be distributed when they pass away. Such assets can include a house, a savings account or a 401(k) account.

The stakes remain high when it comes to estate planning. During the next three or four decades, a whopping $30 trillion worth of nonfinancial and financial assets are anticipated to move from the hands of baby boomers to their loved ones. Even for those who plan to leave their property to their children, they may want to take specific precautions to ensure that the children do not waste it, as not everybody is a good money manager.

Is real estate a viable retirement plan?

Maybe you are one of those people who makes a detailed to-do list every day and goes to sleep at night content with the thought that you completed every item on the list. More than likely, you are like most people who end up stopping at the drug store for a card on your spouse's birthday and racing through the stores on Christmas Eve. You have good intentions, but time just gets away from you.

If the same thing happened with your retirement plan, you may be starting to feel a panic. Medical costs are soaring, and you may not be able to survive on your pension. Now is the time for you to consider some creative ways to build security for the future, and you may be wondering if real estate investment is a viable option.