For most families, the matrimonial home is the most significant asset they own. Deciding how to deal with it after the breakdown of the relationship is an important decision with long term consequences. Did you know, when refinancing as part of a separation, the spouse keeping the home may qualify to refinance at a higher percentage of the value of the home than the standard maximum. The standard maximum is 80%, but the maximum for a spousal buyout can be as high as 95%.Read More
A business run by multiple partners through a corporation in which you are all shareholders should have a shareholder’s agreement. Yes, even if you are all friends or family. In fact, it is perhaps even more important in that case! Business ventures sometimes fail and even the closest of friends can fight over how a business is being run. A shareholder’s agreement allows you and your partners to agree on many contentious points in advance of any problems arising while cooler heads still prevail.Read More
Verbal contracts are technically enforceable. You can go to court and obtain a judgement against someone who doesn’t respect a verbal agreement. So why bother getting it in writing? Here are a couple of basic reasons why everyone should use a written agreement instead of relying on a verbal agreement:Read More
Why do I need a Will?
It is important to explain the general purpose of Wills before outlining the reasons why you should consider getting one. A Will is your opportunity to decide what you would like to happen with your assets at your death. Generally, your Will can provide for an immediate distribution of your assets to your chosen beneficiaries (friends, family, and charities) or the distribution can be delayed using “Trusts” (a topic for another day).
There are four primary reasons why you should have a Will:Read More
In most cases, people can agree on the date of separation. When my clients ask me how to decide when they were separated I ask them when they stopped acting like a married couple. There is no one thing that marks a separation definitively (although one person moving out is usually a pretty good indication).
I recently came across a story in the news highlighting the unfortunately common situation where a small business owner is facing financial disaster as a result of terms in their commercial lease they didn’t fully understand when they signed. Cash flow challenges are reality for most small business, particularly those in the start up phase. As a result, many view spending money to have a lawyer review what appears to be a standard lease is a luxury they can’t afford.Read More
Buying a new home can be a very exciting prospect, however, there are also a lot of practical realities that go along with buying and owning a home. The first thing you should do before looking at any homes is determine your budget.
This means sitting down with a mortgage professional before you start your search in order to determine what you can afford. It can be a heartbreaking experience looking at homes outside of your budget, not to mention it wastes your, and your realtor's time and resources that could be better spent looking for the right house for you.Read More
Failing to close on a purchase or sale obviously isn’t anyone’s Plan A, but it does happen. What does Plan B look like?
Some of the reasons that a deal might fall through on closing day include, financing issues, a buyer purchasing a home on the condition that their previous home sold, major issue arises on inspection or pre-close walk through that cannot be resolved.Read More
One major piece of the picture when buying your home is inspecting the property to decide A) what issues there are and B) how they will be addressed OR if you are willing to live with them.
One of the first steps after you have signed an agreement of purchase and sale is a home inspection. It is always a good idea to use a professional home inspector come in and do an inspection of the home you are considering buying. Their job is to flag any issues that may change your mind about purchasing the property, or the price you are willing to pay for it. The inspection is the opportunity to raise issues that will need to be addressed. As a result there may be further negotiations with the seller to either take care of the issue prior to closing, or sell at a lower price so you will have the money to fix it. You should look for an inspector that has both liability AND errors and omissions insurance. This protects you not only from any damage they might cause while on the property to do the inspection, but also provides you with possible recourse if they miss something important on the inspection.Read More
Thinking of buying or selling your home? You should enlist the services of a real estate agent to complete the transaction. Buying or selling your home is one of the largest transactions you will complete in your lifetime. Its important to get it "right". A real estate agent can help you do this in anumber of ways.Read More
Are you interested in moving out of an apartment, or building equity instead of paying rent, but a traditional mortgage isn’t the best choice for you? There may be a solution out there for you that you were unaware of. Foxwood Village is a new development in Hubley that is taking what some might consider an unconventional approach to creating their development. If you buy a home in Foxwood Village, you are buying the house itself, but you will lease the land it sits on. You pay a monthly rental fee for the land. The rental fee and collateral mortgage payments would still be less than the average traditional mortgage payment.Read More
Almost everyone has been touched by divorce in some way, so it is not surprising that that so many well-meaning friends and family are eager to give out legal advice during a separation. Unfortunately, their advice is not always accurate or helpful. One commonly repeated myth is that if the parents share equal custody, then no one has to pay child support.Read More
As a Golden Retriever Mom, I understand the desire to ensure your pets would be cared for properly if you cross the Rainbow Bridge before they do. Estate planning will help you accomplish this. Leaving a letter or talking to your family is not legally binding and opens the door to the possibility that your wishes will be ignored and your pets given away, or worse.Read More
An unfortunate reality of today’s corporate world is restructuring, outsourcing and downsizing. For many hard-working employees, the result is lay-offs. One day you go to the job you’ve devoted yourself to for years and the next you find yourself unemployed with a standardized letter letting you go, along with a request to sign a ‘Release’ in exchange for a severance package. You are reeling and have no idea if the package they are offering you is what you are entitled to. This is where an employment lawyer comes in. Many lawyers, including myself, are happy to meet with people in your shoes to review your situation and give some basic advice as to whether or not the severance package offered is within the acceptable range.Read More
A simple ‘texting and driving’ google search generates statistics that goes on for pages. It’s simple logic – if you’re looking at something other than the road when you’re driving, you are more likely to have an accident. One stat pops up repeatedly, and paints a pretty scary picture. A driver’s eyes are diverted from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds when reading or sending a text. In 4.6 seconds, with its driver not looking at the road, a car travelling 100km/hour travels the length of a football field. It doesn’t take a lot of creativity to imagine the deadly situations that might crop up on the road in that span. Not surprisingly, the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that you are 23 times more likely to crash if texting while driving.Read More
Deciding where to live can seem overwhelming. There are a lot of factors that contribute to that choice. What you may not know is that it is not simply a choice between renting OR buying, there is also a third option: buying a home on leased land. This blog focuses on some pros and cons of each to help you decide.Read More
George Costanza, on an episode of Seinfeld, dramatically quit his job during a meeting. Regretting his impulsive decision, he decides to act like it never happened and simply shows up to work the next day. As was often the case, things went badly for George and he did not get his job back.
Employment disputes can be very tricky to deal with because our work is a fundamental part of our identity. Not to mention that jobs are how we put food on the table and a roof over our head. To make matters worse, there are plenty of myths, out of context advice, and some just plain wrong information floating around out there.Read More
Whether it is time to incorporate is a question often pondered by business people. There are two primary reasons to incorporate a business:
1. Your business can realize tax savings through utilizing a corporate structure; and
2. Your business activities are risky and you would like to place this risk on the corporation’s shoulders instead of your own.Read More