What Is The Difference Between A Living Trust And A Will?

Thinking about creating either a living trust or a will may be a bit macabre to some people since it reminds them of their own mortality.  However, it is something that should be considered by all individuals who want to ensure that his or her property and assets are distributed in a manner they see fit after he or she passes away.

What is the right option for you?

Many people are using the online do-it-yourself forms for estate planning. We highly recommend against this, as there are many ways to go wrong if you are not experienced. When you work with the Law Office of John Iaccarino, we use our experience and legal knowledge to help make sure you get all the benefits possible from your estate plan:

  • Optimize tax outcomes: We can make sure you are minimizing tax consequences and maximizing the benefits you can receive.
  • Avoid probate: You want your wills and trusts to be legally effective so that your beneficiaries and executors are not disputing over your intentions. After handling probate law and litigation for many years, we know that this is something you want to avoid.
  • Expedite administration: When your intentions are made clear in your will, there is no chance for dispute. Your wealth is distributed the way you desire and the entire process is as simple as possible. A well-drafted will is a great gift for your family because it helps them know exactly how to hand on your wealth and minimize inter-family disputes.

In addition to the common will and testament, there are many types of trusts and other estate planning documents we can use to help you reach these benefits:

If you are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact The Law Office of John Iaccarino.

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Figure out your legal risk

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With the increase of information readily available on the internet and the rise of DIY legal tools, many individuals fall prey to situations where they end up handling their legal matters themselves which result in unfavorable situations for them in the end.

To determine what your legal risk may be, click on the image above to take the free risk assessment through ARAG.

The Law Office of John Iaccarino accepts clients who are members of ARAG.

From the Living Dead – Zombie Mortgages?

Zombies are supposed to only exist in the movies and on TV shows.

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However, it seems that the zombie trend has transcended to the world of finance and the housing market.  Many news outlets have been reporting about “zombie mortgages”.

According to CNN, “[s]ince the housing bubble burst seven years ago, almost two million properties have started but never completed the foreclosure process, according to RealtyTrac…it’s estimated that tens of thousands could be zombie foreclosures.”

What is a Zombie Mortgage?

A “zombie mortgage”, according to CNN writer Les Christie, is when “borrowers move out after their bank schedules a foreclosure auction only to learn months or years later that the auction never took place or the bank never transferred the deed. That means the borrower still technically owns the house and is on the hook for property taxes, fees and homeowners’ association dues.”

From the chaos that has arisen from the housing market crash, many individuals have been left to deal with these debts that they believe have disappeared and they are no longer responsible for repaying.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.  In some instances, there are people who have multiple mortgages on their home.  In California when a first lien holder forecloses and there is a second mortgage or HELOC on the home, the second mortgage becomes a sold out junior lien and can still collect on the debt.

Is there a solution? 

Many people who are in this unfortunate situation do not have the means to escape from these mortgages and are unable to pay for them due to their financial situation.

However, one possible solution to assist these individuals is to file for bankruptcy.   Here at The Law Office of John Iaccarino, we have been assisting our clients in the San Francisco Bay Area with filing for bankruptcy (Chapter 7, 11, 13)  for over 20 years.  If you are currently dealing with a mortgage from a foreclosed home, we can assist you to determine what solution you have available to your situation.