Wednesday, 18 May, 2022

Shielding real estate networth with strong wills during coronavirus era


Protecting networth with solid wills during coronavirus period? Waiting for the ‘unicorn’. Unicorns do not exist in real estate, and finding the perfect property is like finding a needle in a haystack. Looking for perfection can narrow your choices too much, and you might pass over solid contenders in the hopes that something better will come along. But this type of thinking can sabotage your search, says James D’Astice, a real estate agent with Compass in Chicago. How this affects you: Looking for perfection might limit your real estate search or lead to you overpaying for a home. It can also take longer to find a home. What to do instead: Keep an open mind about what’s on the market and be willing to put in some sweat equity, DiBugnara says. Some loan programs let you roll the cost of repairs into your mortgage, too, he adds.

Any Realtor will tell you that homes that do not get shown have a tough time getting sold. The last thing you want to do is make it difficult for your agent to get their clients into your home. If you require buyers to make appointments during a restrictive timeframe or way in advance, they will more than likely go to other places that are easy to get into or even cross your home off the list.

Regardless of the means of meeting with clients for consultations or for signing of wills and powers of attorney, the underlying factors to ensure properly and professional prepared materials remain in place. All requirements to ensure capacity to make or revoke a will or a power of attorney remain. The need to be ever vigilant to ensure that there is no undue influence being exerted against the person making the will or power of attorney remains and is even more important for clients who are vulnerable and isolated due to self-isolation during the COVID-19 period. When the only contact is by way of a video call with the client, the need to ensure that only the client is in the room is even greater than during a face to face meeting, particularly when the client is not technically savvy and someone else has had to set up the call initially. Read additional info at protect myself during coronavirus.

Electronic signatures and counterpart documents are not permitted and all sessions should be recorded if possible. A special ‘attestation clause’ explaining that the Will has been witnessed virtually is advised and further guidance is expected to follow from professional bodies. This more convoluted and long-winded process carries more risk of the Will being ineffective, e.g. if the will-maker dies before the process has been fully completed. However a Will is signed, the basic formalities must still be observed, ie the will-maker must understand what they are doing and not be unduly influenced by anyone; witnesses should also have the requisite capacity and must not be beneficiaries or spouses/civil partners of a beneficiary. Professional advice should ideally be sought in all cases.

Have an Emergency Fund: If you lost your job tomorrow would you have enough money to live off while you look for a new one? If not then you’re not alone. This study found that although Americans are doing a better job at saving, around 24 percent of them (57 million people) don’t have an emergency fund. Now I don’t want to be a negative Nancy or a Debbie downer, but emergencies happen all the time. They may not happen to you, but it’s always good to be prepared. You can’t predict an emergency, but you can prepare for one. The best way to do so is to set up an emergency fund of 3-6 months living expenses. That means if you lost your job tomorrow, you’d be able to live off your emergency fund for 3-6 months while you look for a new one. Net worth can seem like a tricky topic, but it’s quite simple. Your net worth is how much money you are worth. If you were to sell everything you own, then pay off everything you owe, how much money would be left?

Real estate finance transactions have witnessed breaches, and potential breaches, of loan to value ratios (LTV) and/or interest cover ratios. Some lenders have been amenable to agreeing to LTV covenant holidays up to a period of one year (and the waiver of their rights to obtain property valuations at the borrowers’ cost for the corresponding holiday period). This has in particular been the case in the retail sector and in relation to loans that were performing pre-COVID 19. Other lenders have agreed to equity cures of financial covenant breaches, with some lenders acting in a spirit of co-operation and going as far as waiving any prepayment penalties resulting from an equity cure. We have also seen an increase in the use of cash trap and cash sweep provisions under existing facility agreements to preserve cash in the structure and ensure the servicing of debt. See even more details on https://techbullion.com/wills-and-covid-19-safeguarding-your-assets-during-a-global-pandemic/.

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