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.

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.

 

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.

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.

What Does a Buyers Attorney Do? – Real Estate Closing

Role of Buyers Attorney in Real Estate Closing

Whether you are looking to buy a home or a business location, you will need the services of a buyers closing attorney. A buyers closing attorney can make sure their client is protected legally and financially. What does a buyers closing attorney do?

A buyers closing attorney helps coordinate the purchase of the property by making sure all laws are followed, his client is getting the property as promised, and by managing the finances. A buyers closing attorney performs the following functions:

  • Review the agreement between the buyer and their real estate agent (if hired soon enough);
  • Reviews preliminary title report for mortgages, liens, restriction, taxes and ownership;
  • Review and negotiate contract of sale with sellers closing attorney;
  • Review mortgage commitment issued by the mortgage company;
  • Prepare or review the title search;
  • Prepare buyers closing documents such as power of attorney;
  • Review sellers closing documents;
  • Review loan documents;
  • Attend closing with, or on behalf of, the client;
  • Handle all funds through escrow;
  • Provide an accounting of funds to the client; and
  • Record all documents at Town Hall.

A sellers closing attorney can relieve the stress of buying a house or business property by making sure the client is protected. Buying a home or business location? Make sure the seller is 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.

How Can Business Owners Limit Personal Exposure for Business Liabilities?

Shield Yourself from Personal Responsibility for Business Liabilities

In the business world, liabilities can arise in many forms and at any time; liability on long term leases, business loans, costs of inventory and accidents that injure clients, just to name a few. One of the common goals of entrepreneurs is to limit their personal exposure to such liabilities. That is, they don’t want their pockets emptied due to mistakes by the business. So, how can an individual limit their personal liability when opening or buying a business?

There are a number of ways a human owner can gain personal protection against the liabilities of a business of which they are an owner. Some of these strategies include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Make sure your business is owned by some type of corporate entity. The most common type is a Limited Liability Company. In Connecticut, with some exception, “a person who is a member or manager of a limited liability company is not liable, solely by reason of being a member or manager, under a judgment, decree or order of a court, or in any other manner, for a debt, obligation or liability of the limited liability company, whether arising in contract, tort or otherwise or for the acts or omissions of any other member, manager, agent or employee of the limited liability company.” You need to contact your attorney and accountant to make sure you are complying with all laws and requirements to reduce the chances of an injured party piercing the corporate veil;
  2. Speak to your insurance agent about purchasing large limits of liability insurance and strongly consider adding an umbrella policy or obtaining excess liability insurance. Contact your attorney for a review of the insurance policy;
  3. Constantly inspect your real property and perform all required maintenance, cleaning and repairs in a timely manner. Correct situations that create health and safety risks to avoid injuries. If you are not sure which maintenance, cleaning or repairs are required, or which situations create risk of injury, contact your attorney;
  4. Immediately notify any third parties of any problems, conditions or defects that are the responsibility of that party, such as your landlord or tenants. Be sure to comply with the terms of any lease in how notice is provided. If you are not sure which party is responsible for which problems, conditions or defects, or how to provide them notice, contact your attorney; and
  5. For advanced asset management, consider shielding personal assets from potential lawsuits by holding assets in other corporate entities or by transferring them to other family members. This should be done only after meeting with an attorney and a tax professional. If you wait until after a liability arises, then this transfer could be viewed as a fraudulent conveyance.

Limited personal exposure for business liabilities is not a trick, it is a shrewd business technique employed by many successful entrepreneurs. At The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal, LLC, we help our clients reach their goals in limiting personal liability while staying compliant with all laws and regulations within their industry. If you are starting a business or buying an existing business, contact us to discuss how you can proceed to better limit you personal exposure.

Which Services Are Subject to Sales Tax in Connecticut?

Taxable Services in the State of Connecticut

If You are Having Issues with the DRS
Click to Call Attorney Glouzgal

1-203-740-1400

Do I need to charge sales tax for my services?

One of the obligations when setting up a new business is registering your business with the State of Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. Business owners will then need to remit tax payments to the State through the online portal. The two most common taxes that business owners are responsible for remitting are 1) the entity tax and 2) quarterly sales tax. It is common knowledge that any business that sells goods (for example books, cars, clothing, etc.) needs to charge sales tax. What about businesses that offer services? What about Doctors, Repairmen, house keepers and dog walkers? Below is a list of taxable services in the State of Connecticut which should help business owners answer the common question: “Do I need to charge sales tax for my services?”

Your business must register for a Sales and Use Tax permit and remit sales tax on a quarterly basis if your business provides:

  • Advertising;
  • Business analysis and consulting;
  • Cable and satellite services;
  • Computer and data processing;
  • Contractor services;
  • Cosmetic medical procedures;
  • credit information and reporting;
  • Employment agencies;
  • Extermination services;
  • Flight instruction and chartering;
  • Furniture repair;
  • Health and athletic club services;
  • Intrastate transportation services (taxis, limos, etc.)
  • Janitorial services;
  • Landscaping and horticultural services;
  • Lobbying or political consulting;
  • Locksmith services;
  • Maintenance services on real property;
  • Manicure, pedicure and other nail services;
  • “Miscellaneous personal services” including Babysitting bureaus, Bartering services for individuals, Birth certificate agencies, Buyers’ clubs, Car title and tag services, Checkroom concessions or services, Coin-operated service machines, Comfort station operations, Consumer buying services, Dating services, Debt counseling to individuals, Depilatory salons, hair removal or hair waxing, Diet workshops, Escort services, Genealogical investigation services, Hair weaving or replacement services, Locker rental, Marriage bureaus, Massage parlors, Porter services, Quilting for individuals, Rest room operations, Scalp treatment services, Shopping services for individuals, Steam baths, Tanning salons, Tattoo parlors, Turkish baths, and/or Wedding chapels;
  • Mooring and storage;
  • Motor vehicle repairs;
  • Motor vehicle towing and road side service;
  • Packing and crating;
  • Painting and lettering;
  • Parking;
  • Personnel training;
  • Pet grooming, boarding and obedience training;
  • Photographic studio services;
  • Piped-in music for businesses or professional establishments;
  • Prepaid telephone calling;
  • Private  investigation, protection, patrol, watchman and armored car services;
  • Radio or television repair;
  • Refuse removal on commercial or industrial property;
  • Renovation or repair to commercial or industrial property;
  • Repair of electrical or electronic devices;
  • Repair or maintenance of personal property, or sale of warranties/guarantees to repair;
  • Sales agent for the sale of tangible personal property;
  • “Services to industrial or commercial real property” including management, repair, renovation, and/or voluntary evaluation, prevention, treatment, containment or removal of hazardous waste or contaminants;
  • Sign painting and lettering;
  • Spa services;
  • Stenographic services;
  • Storage and mooring of non-commercial vessels;
  • Storage space;
  • Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance;
  • Telecommunications services;
  • Telephone answering services;
  • Warranty and service contracts for tangible personal property; or
  • Window cleaning.

The above list is based on information obtained from the CT DRS website as of the date of this article (March 7, 2014). The laws governing the taxable services in Connecticut are constantly changing. There are also additional regulations imposed by the State on many industries. Therefore, any new business should seek the assistance of an experienced Connecticut business attorney to make sure they are fully compliant with State Tax as well as all other regulations of that business.

If you are being audited by the DRS, or if DRS is threatening to close down your business, contact our law office for a Free Consultation. We can discuss your issues and advise you on how we can help you or your business moving forward. You can contact us by phone 1-203-740-1400 to discuss your options.

What Information is Needed to Start a Limited Liability Company in CT?

Necessary Information for Starting a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) in CT

Created by the Connecticut Limited Liability Company Act (Chapter 613 of the Connecticut General Statutes), a limited liability company offers it’s members and/or managers a level of protection from the liabilities of doing business. The “limit” on liability is defined in CGS § 34-133 titled “Liability of members and managers to third parties”. In general, the liability of the members or managers is limited to the money already invested in the company.

Even with the obvious benefits of limited liability, the most common form of business organization is still the sole proprietorship, which offers absolutely nothing in the area of limiting owner liability for actions of the business. If you are starting a new business, you should seriously consider forming a Limited Liability Company.

What information is necessary to start a Limited Liability Company? We created a worksheet for our clients to help them provide us with all of the information we need for filing the Articles of Organization in the State of Connecticut. Click here to download our CT LLC Formation Worksheet. Please note the worksheet does not cover Agent for Service or the drafting of an Operating Agreement for multi member limited liability companies, both of which we handle on behalf of our clients.

What is Title Insurance?

What is Title Insurance?

What does Title Insurance cover?  Why do buyers need Title Insurance?

When buying a home there are multiple costs associated with closing the real estate transaction. One of the items that a buyer will see on their closing summary statement, and something their attorney should discuss with them before the closing, is the purchasing of title insurance. What is Title Insurance? What does it cover? Why do buyers need it?

What is Title insurance?

In short, title insurance is a policy that protects the purchase of real estate for owners and their mortgage companies. The Title is the sum of all the documents that create the legal history of the ownership of the underlying property. With any purchase, the attorney or a title searcher will perform a title search, to check for existing defects such as mortgages, liens, easements, servitudes, etc. The title search will tell you exactly how the property is currently owned, so that a buyer knows exactly what they are purchasing…or so it would seem. This is where title insurance comes in.

What does Title insurance cover?

A title search can only show those defects in title that are properly recorded. Title insurance covers the unknown and undiscoverable defects which might eventually lead to another person make a claim against the buyers ownership of the property. This includes:

  • Errors in the title search
  • Mistakes in indexing the land records
  • Fraudulent or forged documents on the land records
  • Deeds or documents that were not properly executed and recorded
  • Mortgages and liens that were not properly released
  • Claims by unpaid contractors (aka contractor liens)
  • Claims by heirs of a selling estate
  • Claims by CT DRS for unpaid estate taxes of selling estate
  • Claims from prior owners or lien holders of foreclosure properties
  • Claims by tax collectors for unpaid property taxes
  • Theft of funds paid at closing, and
  • Attorneys fees and legal expenses for defense of covered claims.

Expanded Owner Policies, only available for owners, will add additional protection including:

  • Cost of moving or repairing a house forced by zoning violations or lack of building permits
  • Costs of removing structures because they encroach on neighbors
  • Claims that the property is not properly zoned for single family residential use
  • Expenses if neighbor builds structures on your property
  • Expenses created by violation of restrictions on the property, and
  • Expenses if your house is not located on the property described in the title.

Title insurance not only covers you while you own the property, but even covers any liability you may have to future owners.

Why do buyers need Title insurance?

Title insurance is mandated by lenders (mortgage companies) because they want to make sure the money they are lending is actually going to buy the property as described, since that acts as collateral, and the title insurance makes sure that the lender is protected from any mistakes, errors, and omissions in the title search or land record. Shouldn’t home owners have the same type of guarantee that their newly purchased home is, and will be, theirs? We believe so, and we recommend that all our clients purchase title insurance.

What is the cost for Title Insurance?

unlike most insurance policies which require a continual annual premium paid in monthly payments, title insurance is a one time premium that is paid at closing and can be added to the mortgage amount for the property. The cost of title insurance (the “premiums”) are regulated by the State of Connecticut Insurance Department. The prices between the multiple title insurance companies are similar if not identical, only varying by a few dollars.

Title Insurance can do a great deal to put a home owners mind at ease. Many times we hear horror stories of driveways driveways built on a neighbors property or additions built without zoning permits. Title insurance can cover the unknown risks of home ownership, with a one time premium that can be added to the mortgage amount, that protects you even after you sell the property, and that covers all attorneys fees and legal costs. The Law Office of Eugene Glouzgal, LLC offers all of it’s clients access to CATIC title insurance. CATIC, or the Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Company, is the national leader and provides superb service and support. If you are purchasing a home and have any questions, about title insurance or otherwise, please give us a call at 203-794-6691. We are looking forward to helping you effectively purchase your new home./

Which Probate Court Do I Attend?

If a loved one has passed away, whether they left a will or not, their estate will need to be settled through Probate Court. Probate Court allows for the admission and authentification of wills, and then appoints administrators and conservators to make sure the wishes of the decedent, or the intestacy laws of the State of Connecticut, are followed.

If you are a named beneficiary, a named administrator, or are challenging a will, you will need to have a high level of involvement with a Probate Court so that your interests are protected.

The first question you will ask yourself is; Which Probate court do I attend?

Connecticut has 54 separate Probate Court districts, each of which covers anywhere from 1 to 9 towns. The districts, and the towns that they service, can be found by visiting the Probate Court website.

While the Probate Court process can be navigated by individuals themselves, the process is long and complicated. It is time consuming and mistakes can make the process last much longer. A knowledgeable and accurate estate attorney can make the probate process far less painful than it has to be, and fees can be differed until they are paid from the Estate. If you need representation in an estate or probate matter, contact us today.