Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
The only thing we love more than getting asked a question is answering them.
If you cannot find what you are looking for please use the form below and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
What does a closing attorney do?
That’s a loaded question… 🙂
The title examination aids the purchaser and the lender in evaluating title to the real estate. Both buyer and lender will want a clear title for property being purchased, so the closing attorney will check the title to the property being sold. The attorney also determines if any restrictions of use, easements, and encroachments exist or whether the title is marketable and clear for the seller to transfer the property to the buyer. The closing attorney will also identify any existing mortgages, judgments or liens against the real estate that will need to be satisfied in order to transfer clear title.
Title insurance protects the buyer and the lender in the event a future problem is found with the title. Upon completion of the title examination, the closing attorney prepares an opinion on the title that is offered to a title company for the issuance of a title binder, which is preliminary to obtaining title insurance. This insurance may be required by your lender to protect the lender. However, optional coverage is likewise available to protect the buyer.
The closing attorney understands the importance of addressing all issues which may arise before a real estate closing can take place. Therefore, the closing attorney opens lines of communication between all parties involved in the real estate closing. In addition to speaking with lenders, buyers and the sellers, the closing attorney often works with real estate brokers, surveyors, parties who have judgments attached to the real estate, home inspectors, surveyors, contractors, and homeowner associations, etc.to ensure a closing transaction goes smoothly.
During a real estate closing, the closing attorney reviews the various instruments for accuracy and explains each document such as a deed, a note, a deed of trust, a settlement statement, disbursements and loan documentation.
Record and disburse
Once a transaction closes, the closing attorney is responsible for distributing all monies, issuing a final opinion to the title company and recording all necessary documents.
How can real estate attorney help a buyer?
How can a real estate attorney help a seller?
Sellers often rely on their lawyer for help in drafting the terms of their sale and reviewing listing agreements the attorney also offers legal advice on many issues a seller may face, such as whether or not to divide the property, creation of a covenant, and keeping a right of first refusal on a future sale.
What services does a Real Estate Attorney provide?
The real estate attorney will be able to help when it comes to anything legal: zoning problems, guidance with contracts, lease agreements and loan documents to ensure you understand each of your responsibilities as a property owner.
Why should a real estate investor use an attorney?
A real estate attorney often understands and is well versed in local laws and regulations, can help investors ensure their property, and anything done to it, is compliant with state and local regulations.
Real Estate attorney may also help investors structure their business so the business and the investor may be less susceptible to certain liabilities often associated with real estate.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a legal process of preparing for end-of-life issues, such as the management and dispersing of your assets upon your death. It can protect your assets if you or your spouse needs to go into a nursing home.
Through the use of legal vehicles such as trusts and life estate you can be assured your estate planning is under control.
You should contact an attorney to be sure your estate planning is properly completed.
What is Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney are legal documents giving another person authority to handle your personal business and make decisions on your behalf at a time when you may be incapacitated or unable to handle your own affairs.
What is a living will?
A living will also known as a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a legal document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions.
What is a trust?
A trust is an arrangement allowing a third party “trustee” to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Since trusts usually avoid probate, your beneficiaries may gain access to assets held in a trust more quickly than they might to assets that are transferred using a will.
Can you explain wills?
What are last wills and testaments?
Last wills and testaments are documents that state laws recognize as legally enforceable to convey your real and personal property upon your death in whatever manner you direct.
What if I change my mind, how easy is it to change my will?
Revoking your will is as easy as tearing up the original and any copies, but a better way of revoking your will is to make a new one. Most attorneys insert language into a will stating that it revokes any prior wills you might have made. Doing a new will instead of simply destroying your old one is the preferred method of revocation because it does not leave you without a will.
If you want to make changes or additions to your will without revoking it, you can do this with a codicil. A codicil is a legal document that amends or alters the provisions of a will. Codicils must meet the same formalities that the law requires for the preparation and execution last wills and testaments. However, most attorneys suggest utilizing a new Will to eliminate multiple documents.
What is an executor?
An executor is the person you designate in your will to administer your estate. After your death, your designated executor is appointed by the court in your state that handles estates. Once appointed, he or she has the legal authority to carry out your wishes as stated in your will.
Do all assets pass to heirs through last wills and testaments?
Some types of property do not pass to the individuals you designate in a will. For example, jointly owned property, such as the home you own with your spouse, passes to the surviving owner under state law through “rights of survivorship” if this clause is in the Deed.
What happens if a person dies without leaving a last will and testament?
When a person who dies without a will is said to have died “intestate.” Each state has intestacy laws that determine how the assets of a person dying without a will are to be distributed. Any assets that could have been passed to your heirs under a will are distributed according to the states intestacy laws.