Robert D. Paulbeck, Attorney at Law
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Trenton Legal Issues Blog

A short sale property is not always economical in the long run

If you're considering buying a home, then you may have found yourself attracted to a short sale property because of its lower price. Generally, homes that are listed for short sale are those that have declined in value. A bank often agrees to let the homeowner sell the house for only a portion of what's owed on the mortgage. The bank then simply writes off whatever the difference is between what it sells for and what's owed to them.

While many homebuyers find both short sale and foreclosed homes irresistible because of their price, many real estate experts warn that it causes them future expenses they may be forced to pay. One of the more common reason buyers seem to find themselves in a financially disadvantageous position has to do with buying a property in a much poorer condition than they anticipated.

What should you do for your children after you get divorced?

There's a good reason why the courts focus on the best interests of the children during a divorce. For parents, the goal is to make sure that life is as enjoyable and stable as possible for the kids. Focusing on their best interests when considering things like custody arrangements, parenting plans and child support needs is an excellent place to begin.

But what about after the divorce gets finalized? What else should you do to help the kids during this new stage in their lives? A few things you can do to help them include:

  • Being reliable and dependable. Life is complicated. They need to know they can trust you to be there when you say you will.
  • Keeping negative thoughts and comments to yourself, even if they're about your ex. The kids don't need to see you fight or hear you complain about adult problems when they're trying to form relationships with both parents.
  • Considering all options to help them cope. For some children, this could mean working with a therapist or a counselor.
  • Splitting time between you and your ex. Unless there are worrisome issues, such as abuse, it's typically best for the kids to stay involved with both parents.
  • Being honest. Talk to your kids openly about these changes and the reasons behind them. Of course, you can cater your honesty based on their ages, but don't lie.
  • Never making the children feel bad or guilty. They didn't choose this, so don't put them in the middle or act like any of it is their fault.

Requesting a hearing for a denied disability claim

Michigan readers know that the process of seeking and actually obtaining Social Security benefits can be an arduous process, even with a valid disability. The process requires a significant amount of paperwork, gathering of medical documentation and more, and many claims do not gain approval. 

If your initial claim came back denied, that does not mean it is the end of the road for you. You have the right to continue to seek rightful disability benefits by requesting a reconsideration of your claim. If that does not work, you may be able to seek an administrative hearing. Many people find it beneficial to seek qualified guidance when dealing with denied claims and the complications that come with continuing the fight for benefits.

Why might your Social Security Disability claim be denied?

If you've applied for and have been denied Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, then you've just joined the ranks of 70 percent of all applicants that are denied the first time they apply for them. Only 15 percent of those who ask the Social Security Administration (SSA) to reconsider their case actually win on appeal.

In the likely event you're wondering why your claim was denied, then it may simply boil down to you not having provided enough medical reports to substantiate the severity of your disability. Another reason you may not have qualified to receive disability payments is because you didn't move forward in appealing your case.

Women initiate divorce in a staggering majority of cases

Thinking that divorce initiation is likely split 50-50 between women and men? If so, you will be surprised to learn that women are those who officially end the relationships in around 70 percent of divorce cases.

This information comes from a study that looked at over 2,000 married couples. All couples in the study were heterosexual couples to keep the statistics accurate. They ranged in age from 19 years old to 94 years old. While age has been linked to divorce in the past, this study showed that all age ranges averaged out to a higher divorce initiation rate for women.

The single biggest reason to do estate planning quickly

Estate planning is one of those things that everyone knows they need to do, but most people still tend to put it off.

Why? There are many reasons. Most people don't feel like they need it. They assume they're planning for when they pass away at 80 or 90 years old. If they're 55 years old, that seems impossibly far away. Other people just don't like to bring up the subject of their own passing, and they'll avoid it even if it means leaving estate planning undone.

The 6 main duties of a real estate agent

A real estate agent has certain duties to his or her clients that must be upheld throughout every transaction. These include:

  • Loyalty. The agent must always put the best interests of the client first.
  • Obedience. The agent has to carry out any lawful instructions that he or she is given by a client, and must do so in a prompt fashion.
  • Confidentiality. The agent cannot give away secrets or information that may make it harder for the client to bargain and negotiate.
  • Disclosure. The agent has to tell the client any and all relevant information, hiding nothing.
  • Accounting. The agent has to keep track of all documents, money or other related property that the client entrusts to him or her.
  • Diligence and reasonable care. The agent has to use his or her skill and expertise, working diligently to pursue the proper outcome for the client.

In short, the agent really does need to be working for the client and not for himself or herself. The client's desires and goals have to come first, and it's the agent's job to work toward those ends.

Are you living with COPD and are unable to work?

Perhaps you thought you had asthma or just couldn't shake a case of bronchitis. In any case, you went to the doctor who told you that the wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and tightness in your chest mean you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which your doctor said would only get worse.

Over time, your COPD began keeping you from enjoying activities with your family and friends. Then, it became obvious that you could no longer work. While you await a determination regarding receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you need to adjust to a new way of life.

Disclosures in a property contract

You're buying a new home and you must sign off on the disclosures concerning the property. Your offer has already been accepted and the earnest money has been paid.

What should you expect in those disclosures? Don't just sign anything that is set before you. Take the time to really consider each disclosure since this is a legally-binding document.

Social Security is no longer just a retirement program

In 1935, the Social Security program was established. The goal at that time was to cut back on the poverty rates seen by the elderly, which were very high. Granted, the 1930s were a challenging economic time for the entire country, but the elderly also faced the challenge of not being able to work. Those who had lost their savings had nothing and no income.

Over the years, though, Congress has changed the program and added new goals. Today, its main focus is not just retirement, but lost income protection.