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Three Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

For most people, buying a piece of real estate can be one of the largest purchases that they will make. Not surprisingly, making this investment can be stressful to many first-time homebuyers due to the seemingly overwhelming number of details that will need to be addressed. As a result, it may be possible for these people to make simple oversights that could lead to serious complications. To help you avoid these issues, you should make sure to keep the following tips in mind when you are in the process of purchasing your first property.

Invest In A Title Insurance Policy

Buying real estate can be risky due to the chances that its value changes or discovering that your new home needs major repairs. However, these are not the only threats that your investment may face. It may also be possible for there to be a lien against the property from a previous owner. Unfortunately, you will be responsible for paying this lien or you may risk losing your property to foreclosure. To protect yourself against this risk, you should make sure to purchase a title insurance policy. When you buy this policy, the insurance company will thoroughly research the property to verify that there are no current liens. In the event a lien is later discovered, these policies will pay the costs with lifting it.

Have A Property Survey Completed

Prior to deciding to purchase real estate, you should make sure to have a survey performed. These surveys will help to ensure that you are purchasing the property that you think you are. Without a survey, you may find that a piece of the land that you thought you owned is actually controlled by a neighbor. While there will be a small fee in having a survey completed, it can be the best option for ensuring that you understand exactly what you are buying.

Have The Well And Septic System Professionally Inspected

It is common for homes in rural areas to have septic systems and water wells. However, these features can represent liability issues for you. If the well or septic system is compromised and releases contaminants into the groundwater, you may be liable for expensive fines as well as the cost to repair the problem that led to the contamination. To help you minimize this risk, you should have professional well and septic system technicians thoroughly inspect these systems. If problems are discovered, you may be able to negotiate to have the price reduced by the cost of the needed repairs.

For more information, contact a company like Lee Roche & Kerr Real Estate Law.

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5 Estate Planning Tips For Young Adults Under 30

If you think it’s too early to begin planning for your future in your 20s, you are wrong. In reality, the sooner you begin planning your wills and estate, the more prepared you will be as life events happen. Still, it makes sense that you want to simplify the process. Here are a few ways you can do that:

1. Just start.

Oftentimes, the hardest part of the process is just getting started. No matter how much money you are making each year, it pays to put some money away for the future. It also makes sense to create an estate plan, even if you do not have many assets at the moment. It does not matter what you have or what you owe; you still need a plan.

2. Make your wishes known to family members and friends.

You should never jump into the planning process without first deciding what you want and what your family needs. Easy transitions come when family members are aware of these things. This also prevents inter-family bickering about different interpretations of your will and estate plan.

3. Know what you need.

The most basic components of a plan include life insurance, power of attorney, living will, and will. Of course, you may opt out of some of these elements if you don’t think they are necessary at this time, but it is important to remember that you just don’t know if or when something could change your entire world. The earlier you decide to invest in life insurance, the more affordable it will be.

4. Designate a trustee you can count on.

The trustee, sometimes called the durable power of attorney, is the person in charge of distributing your assets. Additionally, your trustee may be in charge of getting into your financial accounts and selling property you own. In some cases, an estate planning professional is the best person to step in and handle this job.

5. Update your plan regularly.

Just as you need to implement a plan, you also need to update it. This is especially important when you are young and you reach different milestones at work or in your personal life. You need to update documents about every five years, especially as laws change. If your salary changes, you buy new property, or you decide to have children, you definitely want to make sure your estate plan is up to date.

It’s never too early to begin planning for your future, especially if you have a family that counts on you. Get started before you need to begin worrying about them. For more information, contact a company like Kobewka Stark Law Office.

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5 Mistakes To Avoid If A Bailiff Arrives At Your Home

A bailiff can be sent out to your property by a creditor in pursuit of an outstanding debt that you owe. How you respond to the arrival of this bailiff is often a determining factor in how quickly and smoothly the debt is resolved. 

Any wrong moves you make when the bailiff arrives at your house can have both financial and legal repercussions that can aggravate an already difficult situation. To get through the situation as smoothly as possible, avoid the following five mistakes:

Letting the bailiff into your home without requesting documentation

It’s possible that a bailiff could arrive at your house without the documentation necessary to legally justify his or her presence.

You do not have to allow a bailiff to enter without first seeing a court warrant or writ giving the bailiff the right to enter. The bailiff should also have a document detailing the debt and its delinquency. The bailiff should have identification showing his or her authority. 

Trying to force the bailiff to leave after he or she has already been granted entrance

Once a bailiff has shown the necessary documentation, you are legally required to grant him or her access to your property. After the bailiff has come into your home or onto your property, you should not try to force him or her to leave. The bailiff has a legal right to be on your property at this point. You would therefore be infringing on this right by trying to evict him or her. 

Preventing the bailiff from seizing goods if he or she has proper documentation

With the proper documentation, the bailiff also has the right to seize goods as detailed by the creditor that he or she is representing. If you want to try to prevent the seizure of goods, you can try contacting the creditor directly and negotiating a repayment solution. 

Not keeping track of possessions that the bailiff seizes

You need to carefully make note of everything that the bailiff seizes so that you have an idea of the value of repossessed property.

While there may not be anything you can do to keep your property once the bailiff arrives, the value of seized property should be subtracted from your outstanding debt. Keep track of what’s being seized and discuss how much you still owe (if anything) after these possessions have been seized with the bailiff or your creditor. 

Making any declarations to the bailiff that could be interpreted as threats

It’s easy to become upset and get carried away when a bailiff arrives at your property with the intention of seizing your belongings. However, you might run into legal trouble if you react with anger or threaten to take any countermeasures. Keep your cool and respond appropriately to the situation.

To learn more, contact a business like A Lower Mainland Bailiff.

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Registering A Vehicle In Canada: Key Considerations

Registering a vehicle in Canada usually involves going through a private companies known as registries. These entities are authorized by the Canadian government to handle certain functions of the country’s provinces. One of the most important services they offer is vehicle registration. This article examines some key considerations related to the vehicle registration process in Canada.  

Uniformity  

The procedures for registering an auto are not uniform throughout Canada. Each province has its own regulations and the registries must adhere to these rules. Although in many instances the regulations are similar from one province to another, important differences remain.  

Documents  

You will typically need to present certain documents to the registry when you register the vehicle. One of the most important is the bill of sale. This should have your signature and the seller’s signature. If you do not have a bill of sale, then other documents that prove your ownership, such as a lease agreement or a Transfer of Ownership document might be accepted. You may also need to show that you have insurance for the vehicle.  

Safety 

In some cases, the auto you are attempting to register must a pass safety inspection to ensure that it’s safe to drive. For example, an inspection is required for vehicles in Manitoba and British Columbia. Manitoba, however, will register vehicles that have passed safety inspections in certain other provinces such as Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, in addition to British Columbia.  

New Resident

The amount of time you have to register your vehicle in a province can vary. For example, in British Columbia, vehicles must be registered within 30 days of purchase. In Manitoba, new residents are required to register their autos within 3 months of the date they establish residency. This rule applies to passenger cars and small trucks that are not used for commercial purposes. By contrast, new residents of New Brunswick must register their vehicles immediately.  

Just Visiting 

If you are just visiting a particular province for an extended period, then you may not be required to register the vehicle. British Columbia will allow you to tour the province for up to 6 months without requiring a registration. If you are not touring, the time limit only 30 days. People visiting New Brunswick have up to 6 months before vehicle registration is required, as long as the visit does not involve business. 

For more information about vehicle registration in Canada, contact the appropriate provincial registry. 

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4 Benefits Of Hiring A Lawyer To Plan Your Estate

If you’re looking to get your affairs in order for the future, you may be thinking about taking the time to plan your estate. You can have full control over your affairs now so there are no surprises in the future. It’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to hep with the planning process so that you have a great plan that meets all of your needs. Take a look at the following information to better understand the benefits to working with a lawyer to plan your estate. 

Have a Plan That Meets Your Needs

One of the best benefits to hiring a lawyer to help you plan is that you can have a completely customized plan. Your lawyer will work with you to better understand your current life situation as well as your future needs and goals. If you attempt to create your own generic plan without professional help, you may find out too late that it doesn’t doesn’t cover your needs. 

Better Understand All Options

With so many planning documents and tools out there, it can be confusing knowing what they all do and mean. You want to make sure that you fully understand all of your planning options. Working with an estate planning lawyer makes this possible. Your lawyer can explain the differences between documents and the benefits of using certain tools. Having someone that understands and knows the law is important when choosing between different options. 

Make Changes Throughout Life

Having a trusted lawyer on your side is also beneficial in that you have someone to help make changes to your plan as you go through your life journey. As you go through different experiences, you will find that your needs change. Whether this includes having children, getting married, or retiring, an estate planning lawyer can help you make planning changes that fit with your new goals. 

Get Help Choosing Trusted Helpers

Choosing trusted helpers can be a confusing and stressful process. This includes choosing a guardian for the care of your children, if you’re not able to provide care anymore. Your lawyer can help explain all of the set responsibilities and can help you go through potential people so that you choose great trusted helpers. Your lawyer can also help you talk with these people to see if they would feel comfortable with the duties. 

It’s a good idea to hire an estate planning lawyer as soon as you start to think about creating your own estate plan.

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3 Legal Steps To Take After Your Divorce

If you are currently going through a divorce, you may be hoping that it will go through quickly so you can move on with your life. You should realize, though, that once it’s complete, there may still be a few legal steps you must take to protect yourself and your assets. Here are three additional legal steps you may need to take after your divorce is finalized.

Create a new will

If you and your spouse had a will, one of the first things you should do after your divorce is create a new one. When couples make wills, they are generally created jointly. This typically means that if one spouse dies, the other spouse inherits everything that belonged to both of them.

After your divorce, you probably will not want your ex-spouse obtaining all your assets, which is why you should create a new will. Your new will can reflect your wishes regarding your assets, and this will offer the opportunity for you to remove your ex-spouse’s name from the will entirely.

Change your power of attorney

Another good step to take is to change your power of attorney (POA), if you had one designated. A POA is a legal document that gives another person the right to make decisions for you. This can often include decisions about your finances and medical care.

You can easily modify the name of the person you select as POA by visiting an attorney. The attorney will draw up a new POA form, which will accurately reflect the name of the person you want to be your POA if needed.

If your ex was not the person originally listed as your POA, you may not need to have this form changed after your divorce.

Update your life insurance policies

Updating your life insurance policies may also be a step you should take after your divorce, but this is only necessary if your ex was listed as the sole beneficiary on your policies. Changing the name of your beneficiary is not typically something that requires the help of an attorney. In fact, you can probably do this simply by calling your insurance company or filling out a form.

If you do not make this change, your ex could end up receiving the proceeds from your life insurance if you die, because life insurance companies are legally required to distribute proceeds to the listed beneficiaries. 

A lot of people go through divorces and forget to make these necessary changes, simply because they are just so glad to get the divorce process over. Making these changes is important though, and you can find out about other steps you should take after a divorce by talking to a Cunningham Law Professional Corporation divorce lawyer or one from another firm. 

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Suprising Times When The Average Canadian Might Need A Drug Offence Lawyer

The use of marijuana is relatively high in Canada. According to statistics compiled by the Minister of Health, around 40% of Canadians have used marijuana at some point in their lifetimes. With numbers this high, it is wise for the average person to have knowledge of the trouble that can arise in association with the drug.

Though it is common to assume that smoking marijuana is not a serious matter, the act is still illegal, except for those with medicinal licenses who the Supreme Court of Canada says have a right to use the drug. Depending on the charges, one can face a misdemeanor or felony that leaves a criminal record. So, to help inform readers who erroneously believe that they are in no danger of a marijuana arrest, here are some situations where ordinary citizens might find themselves in trouble with the authorities.

  • When Caught in the Proximity of Drugs

Drug dealers and others with a lot of marijuana in their possession tend to stash the product in places near, but not on, themselves. These offenders seem to think that if the police find the drugs somewhere else, the blame will go elsewhere.

The assumption is true to an extent. A conviction is less likely in this circumstance but still not unheard of. Moreover, these criminals put innocent bystanders in jeopardy. Police may decide, unfortunately, to arrest all in the vicinity, or the one closest to the drugs. These people may be totally unaware of the situation but nonetheless must now fight a “constructive possession” charge. This offence implies that although they had no physical possessions of the drug, the mere presence of the banned substance near them is enough to warrant an arrest and conviction.

  • When Residue is Found on Property

In this age of forensic criminal investigations, the police prove quite adept at testing surfaces. Innocent people might find themselves under indictment for a serious offence unwittingly.

Someone may have stored marijuana in another’s car leaving significant residue. In another scenario, a regular pot smoker might leave unfinished butts in an ashtray in a friend’s home. Upon investigation, the police are well within their power to make an arrest, especially if there is paraphernalia associated with drug use, such as water pipes and cigarette papers, on the premises.

Contact a Drug Offence lawyer

As shown here, the average law-abiding citizen can wind up in a Canadian court or jail on a drug offence. If so, it is time to contact an attorney with experience in handling these types of cases, like those at Mackay & Company Drug Offence Lawyer.

 

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