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Do I always transfer assets through probate court?

If you learn that you are tapped to be an executor, the responsibilities that come with administering an estate can be overwhelming. After all, the process of legally transferring property and assets from the deceased to heirs or beneficiaries (and even creditors) is not something that people do every day. Also, if there are disputes over who is entitled to receive the property, this can be daunting.

However, it may be comforting to know that not everything identified in a will must be probated (i.e. declared transferable, or transferred, by order of the court).  This post will identify some common assets that need not be probated. 

What's causing the CRE slowdown?

When the main fundamental underpinnings of a successful commercial real estate market are flourishing (low unemployment, steady wage growth) you would expect that growth in the market would increase as well. However, according to a recent globest.com report, commercial real estate activity has fallen to a three-year quarterly low.

In the first three months of 2017, there has been less than $100 billion in activity for the first time since 2014. Fortunately, this type of decline was expected, as the market is inherently cyclical. However, this decline is viewed differently because of the uncertainty in the market. 

The basics of self-directed IRAs

If you have not heard of a self-directed IRA, you are certainly not alone. Most people who are building wealth through IRAs, use the traditional means (i.e. Roth, Inherited, SEP or SIMPLE). However, most are unfamiliar with the concept of self-directed IRAs and the benefits of having them.

With that, this post will highlight the basics of self-directed IRAs and how they can be beneficial as an estate planning tool. 

The importance of refinancing commercial properties

Making a real estate transaction work on a long term basis involves choosing the right property, making timely renovations and ensuring that financing works in order to make money on the right investment. This means that timely refinancing packages can be just as important as the property itself.

The refinancing of the General Motors building at 747 Fifth Avenue is a classic example of this. According to a recent globest.com report, Boston Properties closed on a $2.3 billion refinancing of the property. Lenders involved in the refinancing include Wells Fargo, Deustche Bank, and Citi. 

Uneven inheritances may throw a family off balance

Raising a family in New York can be exciting and unpredictable. With the wide range of cultures and experiences, your children may constantly surprise you by the choices they make and directions they take in life. At holidays and family gatherings, you may look around the table at a very eclectic group of people.

While this may make for interesting conversations, it may complicate your decisions when you begin to undertake your estate planning. Some of your children may be struggling to raise their own families or working for meager pay in noble professions. Others may be doing quite well and wanting for nothing. Perhaps you are leaning toward an unequal distribution of your assets.

German real estate family makes initial purchase in Brooklyn

Much has been said over the past few years with commercial real estate investment by investors from China. However, as multifamily properties continue to increase in value, a purchase by a German real estate company is creating headlines.

A recent globest.com article highlighted the purchase of a multifamily property in the South Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. The 41-unit building was acquired by BCB Property Management in 2014 for $12.75 million. However, just over two years later, a German real estate family bought the property for $23 million. The deal marked their first purchase in New York City.

How to protect digital assets with proper estate planning

If you created your estate plan before 2005, chances are that it did not have any provisions dealing with the handling or distribution of digital assets. Don’t worry, if this describes the current state of your plan, you are not alone. Most estate plans created before then did not deal with these assets, since they are a relatively new aspect of estate planning. However, a large majority of people have now have email accounts, digital copies of important documents (such as deeds and contracts) as well as pictures and videos stored on a hard drive or in a cloud storage mechanism. 

Options for handling inherited homes

Inheriting property from a loved one may bring about a range of emotions. On one hand, you may be saddened by a reminder of what he or she left behind. On the other hand, it could be an opportunity to keep a part of your family’s history relevant for another generation.

Regardless of your feelings, there are a number of things you should know before deciding to keep the property, sell it or rent it. This post will highlight a few.

Can you prevent an inherited IRA from being lost in bankruptcy?

People in the midst of creating an estate plan understand that the ultimate goal is to provide for others (especially vulnerable adults and children) when they are no longer able to do so. But part of the difficulty of estate planning is that the future cannot be predicted.

Nevertheless, savvy people can merge their generosity with their beliefs to create best-case and worst-case scenarios so that options remain available to deal with unanticipated circumstances. 

The basics of conservatorships

If you have aging parents whose mental faculties are fading, or you have special needs children who need additional measures of guidance after turning 18, you may be wondering how you may help them avoid catastrophic financial issues that can ruin their lives.

One way to achieve this is through a conservatorship.  For those unfamiliar with what a conservatorship entails, it is permission by the court that allows one person to manage the affairs of another adult person who cannot manage these affairs themselves. Conservatorships are known as the relationship between the conservator (the person who requested to manage the affairs) and the vulnerable person for whom the conservatorship applies to.

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