Do I Need an Estate Attorney to Handle My Parent’s Estate?

Reason Why You Need an Estate Attorney to Help Administer a Will

A common situation in estate planning is where a parent has chosen, in their Will, to have one of their children act as Executor – take on the responsibility of Probating and meeting the wishes expressed in that will. The Executor may consider seeking estate attorney assistance with the probate administration process. The question that arises in their minds is: “Do I Need an Estate Attorney to Handle My Parent’s Estate?”

The answer to whether you need estate attorney assistance in settling an estate is different for every estate. The quantity, value and location of assets in every case is different. Further, each Executor is different, with different levels of knowledge and available time for each person. Therefore, it is each Executors duty to decide whether they can properly handle their role.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if you, as Executor, can handle the estate on your own, or whether you need an estate attorney:

  1. Is it likely that the validity of the Will is going to be challenged?
  2. Does the Executor want the responsibility?
  3. Does the Executor have available time to handle the process?
  4. What is the value of the estate? A simpler Probate process is available for Estates with a total value less than $40,000.
  5. Are there a lot of assets? Multiple Bank accounts, multiple real estate properties, lots of cars can take a lot of time to take control of.
  6. Are there unusual assets? Assets such as firearms need special care.
  7. Are some assets, such as real estate, held in common with other tenants.
  8. Is the Executor prepared to process and handle complex tax issues?

In probate administration, where Estates can be worth lots of money, mistakes that lead to angry beneficiaries can result in financial liabilities for the Executor. While it may not be necessary in all case, it is always a good idea to hire an experienced estates attorney to assist in resolving legal matters and limit personal liability as executor.

If you are an Executor and need an estate attorney to help with administering an estate, contact The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal for a free consultation. Let us show you why we are the right estate attorney to help settle your loved ones estate.

I Have The Will of a Deceased Person What Should I Do?

If you found the will of somebody who has passed away, or “Testator”, such as a friend or family member, you need to make sure the will makes it into the hands of the proper authorities.

If you are the “Executor”, or the person specifically chosen in the will to probate it, you need to deliver the will, within 30 days of the Testators death, to the proper Probate Court. The proper Probate Court will be dependent on the location of the domicile of the Testator at the time of their death.

If you are not the named Executor and are in possession of the will, you should deliver it to the named Executor or the Probate Court within 30 days of discovering the will or if you were holding the will for the Testator, within 30 days after becoming aware of their death.

There may be criminal penalties for failing to deliver a will to the respective parties.

If you need to bring a will to probate in Fairfield County, contact The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal, LLC. We can handle Probate matters on behalf of the fiduciaries who would otherwise have the responsibility. We charge reasonable fees and often differ our fees until the estate is settled, so there is no out of pocket expense.

Buying a Condominium – Greater Danbury Area Real Estate Closings

Are you buying a condominium in Danbury or one of the surrounding towns such as Brookfield, Bethel, New Milford or New Fairfield?

I would like to point out two difference between buying a house and buying a condominium that some people do not consider.

The first difference is that condominiums have by laws. As opposed to a house, where you can pretty much do whatever you want (within reason), a condominium complex will have by laws, or rules, that every owner or tenant must follow. They can contain guidelines as to parking, noise, pets, and even where you can place a grill. Every condominium complex has it’s own by laws. Breaking by laws can result in fines. When you are buying your condominium, your real estate attorney will request these by laws and provide you with a copy.

The condominium complex will also have a master policy for hazard insurance and liability insurance on the property. This means that when you are buying your condominium, you will not need to buy additional insurance to satisfy your lender, as you would have to buy with a stand alone house. Also, you will be covered for any injuries suffered by guests that are visiting and hurt by defects in the property. When you are buying your condominium, your real estate attorney can request a declarations page and certificate of insurance contain the coverages of the master policy.

 

 

 

Connecticut DEP Prohibits Running Bamboo

Connecticut Law Creates Liability for Growing Running Bamboo

Do you have bamboo growing on your property? Is there bamboo growing on a property you are looking to purchase?

A new Connecticut law, Public Act 14-100, prohibits owners of real property from growing “running bamboo” (i.e., bamboo in the genus Phyllostachys, including yellow-groove bamboo) within 40 feet of adjacent property or a public right of way.  The new bamboo law came into effect on June 6, 2014 and created two forms of liability for property owners growing running bamboo.

The first liability makes the property owners subject to a $100 fine per occurrence with each day of a continuing violation as a separate occurrence. Either The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, any duly authorized municipal constable, municipal tree warden, zoning enforcement officer, or inland wetlands and watercourses enforcement officer may enforce the 40-foot buffer zone.

Secondly, the law creates a civil liability for running bamboo that grows beyond a person’s property boundaries by considering it a nuisance. Therefore, any person who violates the statute is liable for any damages caused to any neighboring property.

Further, businesses who deal in bamboo must also become aware of this law. Retailers of running bamboo must provide a warning to potential consumers that discloses that running bamboo is a fast growing plant that may spread if not properly contained, and must provide recommendations on how to properly contain running bamboo.

This law creates considerations that must be addressed by current or potential property owners. Owning or buying property with running bamboo can potentially cost the property owner a lot of money. An experienced real estate attorney can help their clients avoid such pitfalls of owning property.

Download the complete act below:

What is a Mortgage Contingency?

What is a Mortgage Contingency?

Mortgage Contingency in a Real Estate Contract

For the purchase and sale of a property, it is necessary to have a written contract. The contract will contain many terms, but the binding nature of the contract will be dependent on a range of “contingencies” that may or may not be necessary for a particular transaction. The most common contingency is a mortgage contingency. A party to a real estate closing may ask: “What is a Mortgage Contingency?”

Unless the Buyer is paying cash, they will need to get a mortgage to pay for the real estate property. Most parties want to have the contract signed as soon as possible, so the contract is usually signed before a mortgage is acquired. However, the Buyer will not want to be stuck with having to purchase the property if they cannot get a mortgage. Therefore, the contract would contain a mortgage contingency, stating that the Buyer will not be forced to follow through with the purchase if they cannot acquire a suitable mortgage, of a certain amount, by a certain date.

A mortgage contingency is satisfied when the Buyer receives a Mortgage Commitment Letter from their lender. The Mortgage Commitment Letter might contain it’s own contingencies, so it is important to have a real estate attorney review the Mortgage Commitment Letter to make sure it really is a commitment.

If a mortgage cannot be obtained by the specified date, a reasonable extension may be requested. If an acceptable mortgage cannot be attained at all, the contract can be cancelled, but the Buyer may be forced to pay a fee to the Seller or the Seller’s Attorney for the preparation of the contract. it is the responsibility of the Buyer’s attorney to inform the Seller’s attorney of the inability to acquire the financing, or the contract will become binding.

A Mortgage Contingency is a wonderful tool in the hands of a Buyer. It allows them to make sure a property is theirs to buy before they go through the hassle of lining up financing, and allows them to avoid the purchase if they cannot get a mortgage. There are consequences to failing to meet a mortgage contingency, so it is important to act reasonably.

 

Residential Property Condition Disclosure Report

Residential Property Condition Disclosure Report

In Connecticut, the seller of a residential property must provide the buyer or their agent a Property Condition Disclosure Report. This is pursuant to Connecticut General Statute § 20-327b, which applies to the sale of 1 to 4 family residential property, including sale of units in a condominium or common interest community. A copy of the Disclosure Report, signed by seller and buyer, must be attached to the purchase contract. A copy of the Property Condition Disclosure Report form can be found on the here:

Residential Property Condition Disclosure Report

Some transactions are exempt, and sellers do not have to provide a Property Condition Disclosure in the following situations (list not exhaustive):

  1. sale of newly constructed residential real property to which statutory warranties apply;
  2. sales by executors, administrators, trustees or conservators;
  3. sales by the state or Federal government or government agency; and
  4. sales of property acquired by deed in lieu of foreclosure or by a judgment of foreclosure.

Failure of the seller to provide a Property Condition Disclosure Report results in a $500 credit to the buyer as a matter of law.

Red Light Running Motor Vehicle Accidents

Red Light Running

Many drivers can relate to squeezing through a yellow light. However, there is a thin line between pushing a yellow and running a red, and red light running causes many accidents: between multiple motor vehicles, with pedestrians and with cyclists.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were an estimated 133,000 injuries from motor vehicle accidents caused by red light running. Red light running also resulted in 683 documented fatalities in 2012. The drivers involved in fatal red light running accidents were more likely to be male, younger, and have prior crashes or alcohol-impaired driving records. Red light runners were more likely to be speeding or alcohol-impaired at the time of the crash.

If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a red light running motor vehicle accident, you need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Seek medical care, but do not contact the insurance companies. Speaking to the insurance company or signing their paperwork could make your injuries unrecoverable. A personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the entire personal injury recovery process.

At The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal, we offer free consultations to all our prospective clients. Not sure if you have a claim? Contact us today so that we may review your case.

Dual Agency Real Estate Transaction – Can One Real Estate Agent Represent the Buyer & Seller?

Dual Agency Real Estate Transaction

Can One Real Estate Agent Represent the Buyer & Seller?

Recently, a potential client came into our office for representation in a commercial real estate transaction. He had contacted a real estate agent who told him the perfect property was already listed with his real estate agency, and negotiations on the real estate property had begun. That would make that real estate agent both the listing and selling agent on that transaction. The potential client had a question: Can one real estate agent represent the Buyer and the Seller on the same transaction?

Usually, the listing agent works for the seller and owes a duty of loyalty and confidentiality to the seller. Similarly, the selling agent works for the buyer and owes a duty of loyalty and confidentiality to that buyer. In a dual agency real estate transaction, the seller and buyer have the same agent, or both agents work for the same broker, creating a conflict of interest.

However, in Connecticut that conflict of interest is not a complete bar against dual agency. Dual agency is permitted in Connecticut, pursuant to C.G.S. § 2-325g. The statute says that Dual Agency is allowable as long as all parties are informed, and both the Buyer and the Seller waive the conflict of interest in a Dual Agency Consent Agreement. Yes, one real estate agent CAN represent both the seller and buyer in the same transaction.

In Dual Agency real estate transactions, it becomes even more important for clients to retain the assistance of a real estate attorney as soon as possible. First, the buyer or seller will want somebody to review the Consent Agreement. Secondly, they will need more protection since the agent is not solely looking out for their best interest.

If you are buying or selling a home, condo, apartment or place of business, contact The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal. We charge very competitive flat fees on closings and our client oriented approach alleviates the stress involved in real estate transactions. Contact us today by phone at 203-794-6691 or by e-mail at Glouzgal@CTAttorney.us.

Fatal Bicycle Accident Statistics : Two Percent of All Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths are Bicyclists

Fatal Bicycle Accident Statistics

Including Bicyclist Motor Vehicle Crashes

 

As the summer begins, bicyclists will begin to hit the streets to enjoy the beautiful weather. As the number of cyclists on the streets increases, so will the chance for, and occurrence of, crashes between bicyclists and motor vehicles. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, two percent of all motor vehicle deaths nationally are bicyclists.

In 2012, the last year for which data is available, there were a total of 722 bicyclists killed in fatal bicycle accidents that involved crashes with motor vehicles. This amounted to a six percent (6%) increase from 2011.

Here are some fatal bicycle accident statistics that should help cyclists and motor vehicle drivers:

1. Eighty three percent (83%) of cyclists killed in fatal bicycle accidents are persons older than 20 years of age;

2. Deaths among bicyclists older than 20 years of age have increased by one hundred ninety three percent (193%) since 1975;

3. Deaths among bicyclists younger than 20 years of age have decreased by eighty four percent (84%) since 1975;

4. Sixty nine percent (69%) of fatal bicycle accidents occurred in urban areas, while only thirty one percent (31%) of fatal bicycle accidents were in rural areas;

5. In 2012, fatal bicycle accidents were highest in the months of July, August and October; and

6. In 2012, fatal bicycle accidents were lowest in the months of January, February and December.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bicycle motor vehicle crash, you need to contact a personal injury attorney. The injured party or their family is entitled to compensation for their losses. After seeking medical care, the next concern is preserving your claim. This includes contacting an attorney before you speak to the insurance company and before you sign any documents.

The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal offers free consultations to all of our prospective clients. Not sure if you have a claim? Let us review your case and advise you accordingly. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 203-794-6691.

What Does a Seller’s Closing Attorney Do? – Real Estate Closing

Role of the Seller’s Attorney in a Real Estate Closing

If you are looking to sell your home, you may or may not want to hire a real estate agent, but you will definitely want to hire a real estate attorney. While the marketing of your home to potential buyers is something you might be able to handle yourself, the services of a sellers closing attorney are essential to a legally compliant real estate sale. However, many sellers ask themselves: What does a sellers closing attorney do?

A sellers closing attorney offers an array of services to their clients that legally legitimize the sale and make it binding, while at the same time protecting the liability and financial interests of their client. A sellers closing attorney provides the following services:

  • Reviews listing agreement with real estate agent/broker (if hired early enough);
  • Drafts contract of sale;
  • Negotiates contract terms with buyers closing attorney;
  • Prepares closing documents such as disclosures and power of attorney;
  • Obtains payoff statements from current mortgage companies;
  • Attends the closing with, or on behalf of, the client;
  • Handles cash flow in escrow, receiving purchase funds and paying off existing mortgages; and
  • Secure and record releases for mortgages paid at closing.

A sellers closing attorney can save a seller of real estate property a lot of stress and worry. Selling a home or business location? Make sure you are legally compliant and your liabilities are limited by contact The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgall, LLC to handle your real estate closing matters. We charge flat rate fees on closings, and we offer FREE consultations, so you can make sure we are the right attorney for you.