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What to do before closing on a property

Prior to closing on a new home in Pennsylvania, it's a good idea to have the property inspected by a professional. This provides an opportunity to spot any problems before a buyer becomes the official owner. While there may be a warranty on a new home, many items could be excluded from it. Therefore, it's important to make sure that those items are in good condition before closing.

It's also a good idea to learn more about any statutes of limitation that may exist on a home warranty or other guarantee. Knowing the statute of limitations can be important because a defect may not become apparent for many years.

How to select the right trustee

Trusts are often viewed as a tax planning tool and, if there is a family business, they can protect family assets from creditors. Those are two good reasons to establish trusts, but they can accomplish many things, including managing and preserving wealth for generations.

With such an important objective, selecting the right trustee is critical. Given that a grantor - the person creating the trust - wants someone they trust to serve as the trustee, a spouse or child may seem like the obvious choice. However, this can create numerous complications. For starters, a spouse who is about the same age as an elderly grantor may be susceptible to the same physical and mental health issues as the grantor.

Climate change could affect real estate values

The commercial real estate market in Philadelphia can be affected by a range of external and social factors. Experts note that climate change could be among these factors. Therefore, investors should consider preparing for changes in order to preserve profitability in the sector. Larger real estate companies are calculating climate risk measurements and how they may affect the long-term property values of different types of property. Of course, climate change is not just linked to global warming; it could have an array of impacts, including increased likelihood of extreme weather like hurricanes or rising sea levels that could make waterfront property more dangerous.

While experts warn that changes could be damaging to commercial real estate property values, they also say that investors who paid attention to the issue could outperform the market as a whole. Of course, weighing risk and opportunity is part of calculating any real estate investment. Climate change is simply introducing another issue on the risk side of the balance sheet for any real estate project.

What happens when a commercial lease is terminated early?

There are few certainties in business. Consolidation and dissolution are baked into the risk of entrepreneurship. Often, a business will close its doors and must decide what steps to take regarding a lease agreement. Even in today's virtual world, renting space remains one of the biggest expenses for many businesses.

If a company closes its doors while a long-term lease is in place, the tenant is liable for the remaining portion of the contract unless the lease agreement states otherwise. Pennsylvania law does not require landlords to mitigate losses by using commercially reasonable efforts to look for a new tenant. It is wise for renters to include such a clause when entering into a lease agreement.

Do-it-yourself estate planning documents may cause issues

Estate planning offers several wealth protection and asset distribution options to Pennsylvania residents. That's why many people download estate planning documents from do-it-yourself websites. Although DIY legal websites cost less money, oversights can cause problems. Many individuals do not even know if their estate plans contain errors. Plus, people who take advantage of using online services need to pay more money to consult with an attorney.

One benefit derived from using a DIY website is that the consumer can download affordable documents in a short amount of time. Even simple estate planning documents are often better than having no valid will or plan in force. At the least, an estate plan purchased via an online website may offer consumers basic legal forms, including a will and a power of attorney document. An estate plan purchased via an online service can cost a few hundred dollars for a complete plan or under $100 for a will.

All about revival trusts

Some Pennsylvanians may have heard of cryonics -- the freezing of a person after they die in the hopes that someday their body will be revived. Though it may sound like science fiction, there are around 400 people currently being preserved in a frozen state, and some 1,500 living individuals plan to be frozen when they die. But if someone leaves all their money to heirs after they die, what happens if they are frozen and then one day revived? Anyone who is even thinking about the possibility of being cryonically preserved might want to learn about revival trusts.

A revival trust, also called a future income trust, sets aside a person's assets for the possible time in the future when they might be brought back from death after being frozen. Because the day when a cryonically preserved person can actually be revived may never come, however, some say all revival trusts should have expiration dates.

Estate planning with revocable trusts

The estate plans created by Pennsylvania residents will vary from family to family. However, many issues that can be addressed by having a properly worded revocable trust in an estate plan.

The probate process can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Individuals can use a revocable trust to avoid the process after the death of the grantor.

How truckers can curb rise in truck crash fatalities

In Pennsylvania and across the U.S., more and more fatal crashes involve large trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that the percentage of fatal crashes involving one or more large trucks went up each year from 2015 to 2017. The same period saw an increase in large truck occupant fatalities. From 2016 to 2017, there was a rise in fatal large truck and/or bus crashes.

The years 2015, 2016 and 2017 also experienced a rise in fatal large truck crashes in work zones. Whereas in 2015 the percentage of such crashes was 26.8 percent, in 2017, it was 30.4 percent. Truckers may be interested to know about the annual National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is to be held April 8-12, 2019.

Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Spring is prime time to sell your home, so now is the perfect time to get ready. With the holidays behind us and the improving weather, people start to look at homes to move to. According to Zillow's Home Seller's Guide, The best time to sell a home is in May. It states, "Nationally, homes listed for sale in this window sold almost two weeks faster than average, and for $2,500 more." Another reason that spring is an optimal time to sell your home is that families with children want to be moved in before the school year starts.

How to update an estate plan to include digital assets

As technology evolves, it is likely that individuals in Pennsylvania and throughout the country have digital assets. These assets could be anything from credit card reward points to a social media account. There are many reasons why they need to be accounted for in an estate plan. One reason is that accounts left open could be used by others to commit identity theft. Thieves may gather information from dormant or unprotected accounts to open credit cards or take other actions in another person's name.

Failing to provide usernames or passwords to digital accounts may make it impossible to pay bills or access a bank or brokerage account. However, it can be difficult to determine how to share usernames or passwords. This is because there is no clear mechanism to do so without violating a Terms of Service Agreement (TOSA). While the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA), its rules don't always apply.

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