Ryan M. Mynard, Attorney at Law, P.A.

Crestview Probate and Estate Planning Law Blog

Residential real estate located inland drawing more buyers

With the start of a new decade just under one month away, experts in the property market are already seeing a major change in where people in the United States want to live. Specifically, they are searching for residential real estate in places that are not too hard on the wallet. For this reason, it may not come as a surprise that several cities in Florida are among the top 25 metropolitan areas for Americans in 2020.

Based on a new forecast of the most popular residential real estate markets, Americans are losing interest in living in the biggest cities. Instead, they are looking for residential real estate in places where their dollars will go farther. They are also looking for homes in cities where life will be less hectic.

Misunderstandings about estate planning can be risky

People often put off making plans for the future, or they may think that their previous efforts to get protections in place were sufficient. Misunderstandings about the estate planning process are widespread, and they can be costly for Florida heirs and beneficiaries down the road. It is worthwhile to review plans to ensure that certain mistakes and incorrect assumptions do not cause problems down the road.

One of the most common misunderstandings about estate planning is that it is assuming death is forthcoming or that drafting a will is somehow tempting fate. This is simply not true. Planning for the future is smart and practical for people of all income levels and estate needs. Another incorrect assumption that people have is that their estate plan cannot or should not be changed once it is in place. In reality, significant life changes likely necessitate updates and adjustments to an existing estate plan.

Digital assets can be added to estate planning documents

In today's world, asset owners generally have rather robust digital lives. For this reason, it is critical that they integrate their digital lives into the estate plans they create for themselves. Here is a rundown on how people can incorporate their digital assets into estate planning documents in Florida.

Examples of digital assets include online services or accounts that require user names and passwords to get into. For instance, a social media account, email account or online subscription is a digital asset. Other types of digital assets range from computer files to smartphone apps and even digitized medical records.

Going into business? First, choose a structure

There are many decisions to make when you open a business. Will you run it yourself or take on a business partner? How will you structure your company to get the most advantages from it?

Keep in mind that while each type of business formation has benefits and drawbacks, typically one will meet your needs more than the others. Let's examine the differences of some common business entities.

Now may be a good time to buy, sell residential real estate

Home prices across the United States, including in Florida, appears to have increased in August. However, in bigger markets, residential real estate prices are starting to lose momentum. This is a possible godsend for would-be buyers. Still, the market also appears to be promising for home sellers at the moment.  

Reportedly, home prices nationwide rose from 3.1% back in July to 3.2% this past August. However, in some of the larger cities, price gains dropped from 1.6% back in July to 1.5% in August. This is excellent news for buyers. However, sellers can also take consolation in knowing that it appears that the residential real estate market is picking up steam compared with the beginning of the year, when the market was weak.

Mistakes related to estate planning can be costly

It's important to take steps in order to prepare for unexpected events in life, including death. Unfortunately, this process is often placed on the back burner in Florida and elsewhere. In addition, when people do actually engage in estate planning, they often make some costly mistakes in the process. Here are some major mistakes that are critical to avoid when planning an estate.

The top estate planning mistake is not creating a will at all. Research shows that half of Americans lack wills, which are designed to spell out how various assets are to be distributed when the estate owner passes away. Ideally, people should create wills when they are young and then update these documents as they age.

Some residential real estate projects may be lucrative

Before selling their homes in Florida, some homeowners may naturally wonder whether they should update their houses or sell the properties as is. For example, would upgrading a kitchen lead to a better sale? What about the bathroom? Let's take a glimpse at some common residential real estate remodeling projects and whether they generally provide good or poor returns on a homeowner's investment.

For starters, the kitchen may cost nearly $70,000 to fully update. When it comes to resale, though, researchers reported that homeowners generally recoup less than 60% of their investments. The same is true for bathrooms, where remodeling projects may cost half as much but yield a return on investment of less than 60%.

Keeping estate planning documents safe is critical

Individuals in Florida typically see the value of storing their critical documents in safe places. These documents range from birth certificates to passports, for example. Likewise, it is important that estate planning documents are maintained properly. Here are a couple of important steps for securing wills and other related documents.

For starters, people who create estate plans would be wise to tell others, such as their loved ones, where these plans are being stored. This is vital because documents like powers of attorney, powers of attorney for health care and living wills might be needed right away. Furthermore, filing a will with the local probate court might be necessary after the will creator passes away.

What is the purpose of a quiet title action?

Handling a loved one's assets when they pass away is part of the estate administration process. Some people might not realize just how much work goes into this. The administrator must locate assets and heirs, ensure that everything transfers to the new owners appropriately and handle the taxes for the estate.

Real property is one thing that requires careful planning. If there is a chance that any other party might stake claim to it, a quiet title action might be in order. This effectively cancels other claims, so the rightful owner won't have to worry about someone coming to claim the property.

Residential real estate pricing expected to increase

Many homeowners and potential homebuyers believe that housing prices in Florida and elsewhere have already gone as high as they can go. However, research shows that this is not the case. According to a brand-new report, residential real estate pricing is expected to grow even more next year.

Researchers recently said that housing prices should grow by more than 5% by next July. This is a dramatic change from what took place in 2019. The report shows that sales activity is indeed picking up, at least in a modest way.

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With offices in Crestview, we advise and represent clients throughout Northwest Florida. To speak with a dedicated and compassionate estate planning and probate lawyer, please call 850-634-4656 or contact us via email. We would be honored to speak with you about your concerns.

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Ryan M. Mynard, Attorney at Law, P.A.

Ryan M. Mynard, Attorney at Law, P.A.
420 East Pine Avenue
Crestview, FL 32539

Phone: 850-683-3940
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