Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Regina Financial Advisor Shares a Tip on Estate Planning Strategies

John Barabe with Assante Financial Management Ltd. has an unwavering commitment to quality and service which has enabled him to build and retain a successful practice in Regina. He and his team believe that planning with honesty and integrity are cornerstones to improving clients' quality of life. He applies his knowledge to help clients make the right choices when considering all the product and service options that exist in today's marketplace.

Here he shares a tip on Estate Planning Strategies.

Estate Planning Strategies



Many families are not aware of the estate planning options necessary to ensure their intentions are carried out on death.  Estate planning is complicated enough without adding family dynamics into the mix making preparation important.


With the current trend of living together without getting married many couples think that the same marital status that applies to taxation also applies to estate.  It does not.  

Upon death, without a valid will, a common law partner is not recognized as a spouse and would be excluded from a share in the estate.

Consideration and selection of an appropriate nominee guardian for minor children is an integral part of the estate planning process.  Why risk courts and government agencies intervening to make decisions.  You need certainty that the care of your child’s life is in the right hands.  Emotional toll is only compounded with the potential of inheritances that may be tied up and or depleted in the process.


Although a will only makes up a portion of an estate plan, there are many unintended mistakes that are commonly made.  For example, many people enter into identical wills with their spouse or partner.  

What few are aware of is by law the survivor may not change or revoke his or her will after the death of their partner.  Changes could be contested causing family problems and unintended beneficiaries.  

What if the surviving spouse develops additional needs?  What if one of the children divorce and both are beneficiaries?  What if a surviving spouse wishes to make special arrangements for a caregiver or charity that helped either party in a time of need?  The variations are endless.  This common problem is solved by adding a simple provision to your wills. 


Sometimes seemingly small word changes can have unintended but substantial legal ramifications that result in dramatic changes to the distribution of assets from what was planned.  Small changes can undo best intentions and unfortunately family conflict can result.


The process John follows for estate planning includes:


  1. Complete an estate planning checklist.
  2. Meet with you and your spouse or partner and clarify and confirm desires and objectives
  3. Ensure the people involved with your estate are aware of the intentions.  This can include beneficiaries, executors (or executrixes), trustees and guardians.  
  4. Then implement.  All the other steps are not valuable without action.

Make sure your beneficiaries are taken care of, according to your wishes. 

John Barabe with Assante Financial Management Ltd. and his team carefully consider your needs, goals and dreams in order to implement a well-constructed financial strategy, so that you can have peace of mind about your hard-earned money and financial future. They can simplify your life by addressing your complete financial well-being, which encompasses everything from:

John Barabe with Assante Financial Management Ltd. is a Trusted Financial Advisor

Trusted Regina Realty Lawyer shares a tip for home buyers on how to avoid real estate mistakes

MacKay & McLean provides the professional services of a large Regina law firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. MacKay & McLean is with you every step of the way.

MacKay &  McLean are TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS

When looking to buy, sell, or refinance a property, you need to hire somebody who is not a stranger to addressing the real estate needs of individuals and families. 

How to avoid realty mistakes

If you are selling or Investing in a home can be overwhelming and stressful. It is, perhaps, one of the most important decisions you will ever need to make.  It is fraught with potential pitfalls and you must do everything you can to avoid making costly mistakes. the following is list of the biggest mistakes we all make when buying and selling our homes.


Failing to Showcase Your Home and Making Small Cosmetic Changes

When you are selling your house, you have to really look at it objectively and think about it from the viewpoint of the house hunter. Make minor enhancements to the house and maybe hire a professional stager to come and arrange your furniture. 

Staging is about decorating your house for the buyers' taste, not yours.

 A great place to start is with the front of the home and the main entryway. Home staging is designed to increase the potential selling price and reduce the amount of time the house stays on the market.


Setting Too High of a Sale Price

As a seller, it's really important to do your research. To come up with your sale price, look up what comparable homes in your neighborhood have sold for. Figure out what the going price is and try to put yours right in the middle of that, unless you have something extra-special to offer. It's always better to price a home that way than to start too high and have to reduce. Once you reduce, it always looks like something is wrong with the home.


 
Overlooking the Extra and Hidden Costs
  
Buying a home is not just about the money that you spend upfront; it's  about all the rest of the money you have to spend beyond that. Find out what the property taxes are, what your water bill might be and what a standard electric bill is in that home, especially if you have electric heat instead of gas heat. You also need to factor in furnishings you may need to purchase before you can move in.



Buying a Home Without a Professional Inspection

There are a lot of things a home inspection can reveal about a property that are not visible to the naked eye. Be sure to hire someone who comes with a good referral basis, who's been in the business a while and knows what to look for. Look up  Home Inspectors and get a list of qualified home inspectors in your area. 


Be sure to hire a home inspector to thoroughly check out a house you are interested in purchasing.

Once you find an inspector, insist that they compile a written report, complete with photos. Photographs are important because there are areas a home inspector will go that you might not look at.

Falling in Love With the First Property You See

Many homebuyers, particularly first-time homebuyers, fall into the trap of falling in love with the very first house that they see. You need to at least look at three more houses in the area to get an idea of what the comparables are in that price range. You want your real estate agent to show you homes comparable to what you saw. At the end of the day, re-evaluate.

Skipping the Loan Pre-Approval Step

When you are pre-approved, the bank is saying, "we will give you a mortgage of up to this amount, so now all you have to do is find your home." Some sellers only allow real estate agents to show their house if someone has a pre-approved letter. That indicates that the shopper really is serious about buying a home.

Not Hiring an Agent

There's a lot more to selling a house than just putting a sign on the front lawn. If you don't have an agent, you will not get on the multiple-listing service (MLS). That means that other agents are not going to know that your property is for sale. Another thing to consider is if you are willing to show the house each time someone wants to come by and look at it. If you do plan to sell your house on your own, be sure to have a lawyer present at the closing. It's really important to have someone on your side who understands all the complexities.


Not Thinking About Resale

When you are decorating and renovating your home, you need to think about what is going to appeal to a broad section of buyers when it comes time to sell it. Buying houses and being in the real estate market is like chess: You always want to look two or three steps ahead in the game.

Not Researching the Neighborhood

It's absolutely critical that you research the neighborhood before you buy. Check out the area, amenities and the school system to be sure that your address corresponds with the correct school district. Also attend a community meeting, if possible. You're not just buying a house, you're buying a piece of that real estate and the land around it.

Buying a House for Its Decor

Remember that you are buying the house, not the things inside it, so make sure you see beyond the decorations and look at the bones of the home. Focus on the floor plan and the square footage. You also might want to measure the dimensions and graph out how that's going to work with your belongings.

Not Providing Easy Access for Showings

Make your house easily accessible to potential buyers. If there's nowhere to park or it's difficult to get into, buyers may just skip it and look at someone else's property.

When you go about buying your home the right way, you can make it less difficult and ensure success. For more questions and help with any legal property issues consult with our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay

Here is a list of more consumer tips by Robert MacKay 


Robert MacKay's team provides professional, personalized service and with their assistance, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be handled with the utmost consideration and care.

They  provide a full range of legal services including:

  • Real Estate & Mortgages
  • Wills & Estates
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Commercial & Corporate Law
  • Litigation & Personal Injury

ROBERT Mackay is your TRUSTED REGINA REAL ESTATE LAWYER!


Trusted Regina Lawyer gives us some advice about why you should consider fighting Traffic Tickets

MacKay & McLean provides the professional services of a large Regina law firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. MacKay & McLean is with you every step of the way.

MacKay &  McLean are TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS

Should you fight your traffic ticket?

Here are some important points to consider when deciding if you should fight your traffic ticket.


Did you ever feel that when you received a traffic ticket you were already considered guilty?


If you were told you were cheating on an exam, would you simply accept it? 

If your bank told you that you’re being charged a fee because you overspent, when you didn’t – would you just “pay it?” 

Would you just accept being over charged at the grocery store and not say anything?

The average person’s experience with the police is nearly always with a traffic stop. Most of us are nervous with this singular encounter. The expectation is that you have been caught doing something against the law and the expectation is that you will just take the punishment of paying the fine.
Make no mistake Traffic Tickets are an industry and the only significant revenue source, besides taxes, for the court system. Most cities and towns with a police force place the amount expected from traffic tickets as part of its yearly budget. Conflict of interest bleeds through the entire system.