Grandparents and Estate Planning in Florida

At Grimaldi Law Firm, a firm focusing on estate planning in Florida, we know that there is nothing quite like the grandparent/grandchild relationship. For those of us lucky enough to experience it, it is clear why this relationship is considered to special.

But as with any relationship, things can change when you least expect it.

What happens when, in the case of an extreme emergency, the grandparent needs to become the parent? Or if there is a divorce in the family that affects a grandparent’s ability to have visitation with their grandchild.

Believe it or not, these instances are becoming more common with each passing year.

This is particularly an issue you’ll want to be aware of if your child has a close relationship with your parents, or if you are a grandparent who wouldn’t want something like this to affect your relationship with your grandkids.

On the flipside, you may choose not to have a relationship with your parents, and want the same for your children. It is important to consider that in the that event something happens to you, rules must be put in place so that your child or children are not handed off to their grandparents.

How do we cover all bases so that we can avoid one of these situations?

Organized planning by way of an Estate Plan with Grimaldi Law Firm of course.

Here are a few scenarios to consider when deciding how you’d like to maintain, handle, or protect the grandparent relationship you’ve established for your family:

Grandparents as guardians

If your child as a close relationship with your parents or in-laws that you are happy with maintaining, put it in writing. Nominating the grandparents as legal guardians of your children in the event that something were to happen to you, will ensure that they will be able to enforce that through the courts. Remember, without this nomination, grandparents are not necessarily entitled to legal rights of their grandchild.

Steering clear of the grandparents

Lots of things happen within families that could lead you to want to put the lid on a potential relationship between your children and your parents. In that event that both you and your partner pass away or become incapacitated, it’s likely that the set of grandparents you’re trying to steer clear of would become the first option as caregivers by the Court system. This is yet another reason to name legal guardians for your child or children in the event of a tragedy.

If you did choose someone else and wanted to avoid having your parents find out about this we could help you prepare a plan for this as well.

Finally, if you are a grandparent who takes care of your grandchildren on a regular basis, a health care surrogate designation is an important tool so that you would be able to take your grandchild to the doctor or hospital if the parent is traveling or unavailable.

There are so many things to think about as a parent, and so many more to consider when thinking of the best possible future you can create for your child. Let’s sit down for a Family Planning Session and create a plan that helps put you at ease knowing that your children will be cared for according to your wishes and desires.

At Grimaldi Law Firm, your future is our present.

We can be reached at (954) 491-8707

or

melinda@grimaldi-law.com

Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

If You're the Parent of a High School Graduate, READ THIS!

In the blink of an eye, our children grow up. No matter how old your child is, it’s as if each time you glance in their direction your first thought is,

How does time fly by so quickly?”

This is especially true if you’re the parent of a recent high school graduate.

First, congratulations. At Grimaldi Law Firm, a law firm that focuses on helping families through various changes in their lives, we know what it takes to make it to this point in your child’s life.

It takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication to raise a child through their adolescence into early adulthood. Now that they’re on to this next major step in their lives, we’re sure you’re going to want to protect your child just as you did for the last 18 years.

Before you send your child off into the world, whether it be to their dream university or a job across the country, it’s important that you understand the legal rights your child will now have. Turning 18 brings about a hefty dose of responsibility in the legal sense.

Even though they will always be your babies, a child is not longer considered a child once their 18th birthday rolls around – at least not in terms of the law. Unfortunately, even though Mom and Dad may know best, you will no longer have the legal right to make some of the decisions you once made for your children. This includes access to their health care information, school records, and even financial records, at least not without their permission. 

Here are some steps you should take before your child flies the coop, that will help ensure your peace of mind and their safety once they are out in the world on their own:

Add the ICE app to your child’s phone.

Speaking of phones, you’ll want to take advantage of an app called Ice, which stands for In Case of Emergency. This is another way to ensure that you will be contacted should your child have an emergency. Add the ICE app to the home page of your child’s phone and make sure that it lists your contact information.  Your child is more likely to always have their phone with them than to carry a printed card or document with the same information.

 Create an advance healthcare directive

A healthcare directive that will allow you to access their medical records and make medical decisions for them in case your child becomes incapacitated is critical once they reach adulthood.  You will need this in case of an emergency. At Grimaldi Law Firm, we can help you create an advance healthcare directive and modify it down the line if need be.

For more information on protecting your baby now that they’ve reached adulthood, call our office to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about a Family Planning Session. Together, we can identify the best ways for you to ensure the security of your children as they go off into the world on their own for the very first time. This is one instance in life where you’ll certainly want to have all of your bases covered.

 Visit us anytime this Summer for a Family Planning Session and we’ll waive our $750 planning fee PLUS create a free healthcare directive for your young adult child.

 At Grimaldi Law Firm, your future is our present.

We can be reached at (954) 491-8707

or

melinda@grimaldi-law.com

Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

 

Naming a Beneficiary for Your Life Insurance: What NOT to Do

Life insurance is important piece of your estate plan.Naming a beneficiary for your life insurance policy is a generous and caring act.  When you make the decision to meet with an estate planning attorney, it is crucial to have your beneficiary designations for your policies reviewed.

That’s why, as a leading estate planning law firm in Hollywood, we take our time to carefully educate our clients on best practices for naming beneficiaries.

Even though your intentions are good and you simply want the best for the ones you love, mistakes are easy to make if you are not educated on the matter. If you aren’t choosing beneficiaries appropriately, you could end up having an estate planning nightmare!

Here are nine common errors to avoid when assigning a life insurance beneficiary:

1.     Naming a person with special needs

Not only might this person be unable to handle money on their own, if a special needs person receives a lump sum of money in the form of an inherited life insurance policy, they are at risk for losing eligibility for government assistance.

2.     Naming a minor child

Even if this is your only child, you do not want to leave an entire life insurance policy to someone who is underage – life insurance companies will not pay out your policy to a minor child. The best way to leave money for anyone underage is to set up a trust account, and have it managed by an adult that has a relationship with your child.

3.     Using Your Will to designate who will benefit from your life insurance

Your will is one document, and your life insurance policy is another. Your will cannot override your life insurance policy. Despite what your will says, the life insurance money will be paid to the beneficiary listed on the policy.

4.     Forgetting tax implications

For the most part, life insurance proceeds are income tax-free, however, they are subject to estate tax. It is important to consult a professional, such as Grimaldi Law Firm, with any questions related to estate taxes and life insurance policies.

5.     Forgetting to update beneficiaries as life changes

Unfortunately, many people assign life insurance beneficiaries at one point in their lives and forget to update this choice as life changes. For example, in the case of divorce, would you really want your ex-spouse inheriting your policy? Don’t forget to review your policy as change occurs in your life.

6.     Keeping secrets

If you’ve taken out a life insurance policy and named a beneficiary, don’t keep it a secret! It is imperative that your beneficiary or trusted family members are made aware of your policy, where it is, and how to find it, should something happen to you.

7.     Overlooking the details

The deal is in the details, and you’ll want to be as specific as possible when naming your life insurance beneficiaries. For example, naming your “child” as a beneficiary is not a good choice. Naming your “child” Michael is a much better way to ensure there will be no mistakes made in the designation of your monies.

8.     Eliminating strings

When it comes to life insurance policies, it is always good to have strings attached. For example, leaving money to a young adult child without rules is a guaranteed way to have it mishandled. How about someone with substance abuse issues or mental illness?  Using a trust, you are able to assign guidelines and boundaries to how and when money is given to your beneficiary, to ensure it will not be spent frivolously or carelessly.

9.      Naming only a primary beneficiary

We know that for many people, there may only be one true person in your life worthy of your policy. But what happens if they predecease you? It is always good to have a backup plan in any situation, and especially in the situation of naming a life insurance beneficiary.

For more information on how to get your financial affairs in order, Grimaldi Law Firm is happy to answer your questions in a Family Planning Session.

At Grimaldi Law Firm, your future is our present.

We can be reached at (954) 491-8707

or

melinda@grimaldi-law.com

Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

 

 

 

 

 

What You Need to Know About Refinancing Your Home Loan

When it comes to refinancing your home loan in Florida, there are a few specifics to be clear on. At Grimaldi Law Firm, a real estate law firm in Hollywood, educating others on the benefits of refinancing is a common practice.

The first thing to know about refinancing, of course, is what it means.

 Refinancing is the process of swapping out loans, moving debt to a different loan or lender.

Sometimes a refinance is required or sometimes it is a strategic move.  Many people take the refinancing route as things change in their lives, more commonly when looking to:

Save money

Refinancing into a loan with a lower interest rate will help you save big over time. Also, it is  helpful if you are currently paying mortgage insurance.  Mortgage insurance is required by a lender when your down payment is not big enough.  A few years after your purchase, if there is enough equity in your home, you can refinance so you can remove that requirement and lower your monthly bills.

Renovate or update your home

Renovations or home updates can be costly, which is why many people refinance their loan before doing so. If you have equity in your home and can take some out to make any changes that will add value to the home, this is a great opportunity. If that roof is ready to be replaced or your kitchen is still stuck in the same decade you bought your house in, consider refinancing.

Consolidate debts

Refinancing is a great option to consider if you’ve accrued unexpected debts over the years. It makes sense to consolidate loans into one lower-interest loan so you’re not spending a fortune on interest and fees.

Shorten your loan term

Originally took out a 30-year loan term? Refinancing can help you shorten the term, which is a smart option if you’re looking to pay off the loan more quickly.

Change your type of loan

There are benefits to refinancing or changing your loan type that don’t involve saving money, as well. These benefits include choosing a fixed-rate loan if you originally took out a variable rate loan, for peace of mind that your rate is locked in. 

While there are disadvantages to taking out a loan it is always wise to connect with a professional real estate attorney to determine if it is the right move for you.   

If you’re ready to refinance, you are required to get a title insurance policy for your new lender. Grimaldi Law Firm will act as your closing and title agent to ensure your old mortgage gets paid off in full.. Additionally, we will provide your lender with all necessary documentation, such as the title work and issuance of the title insurance policy.  Most importantly, at Grimaldi Law Firm, we will help you reduce your closing costs by repurposing some of the items you used when you purchased your property like your survey or prior title insurance policy.

Make an appointment with us today to learn more about your options and whether or not refinancing is a good idea for you.

At Grimaldi Law Firm, your future is our present.

We can be reached at (954) 491-8707

or

melinda@grimaldi-law.com

Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

 

Diagnosed with Dementia? Here's What to Do Next

A dementia diagnosis affects more than just the person diagnosed. For years, we’ve watched Alzheimer’s disease strike the ones we love, affecting more than five million Americans – and growing.

Often known as “the long goodbye,” Alzheimer’s disease comes with a set of issues that can affect your family for years to come if not dealt with appropriately and in the right time.

 These issues are ones we’d like to help you avoid at Grimaldi Law Firm in Hollywood, Florida.

Maria Shriver, proud champion of Alzheimer’s disease research efforts, knows the devastation of the disease firsthand.  Her beloved father, Sargent Shriver, founder of the Peace Corps and one-time candidate for Vice President of the United States, died of the disease in 2011 after being diagnosed in 2003.

Below are the five things that Shriver recently reported for NBC.com about what Alzheimer’s or dementia victims should do once a diagnosis has been confirmed:

1.     Execute powers of attorney and advance medical directives. 

Before cognitive impairment deteriorates, executing powers of attorney will allow for peace of mind. Appointing a trusted person to take over any financial and medical decisions in your place as the diseases progresses will mean you’ll be taken care of safely and appropriately.

2.     Create a will.

If you have not already created a will that carefully lays out how your assets will be distributed upon your death, now is the time to create one.  If you have already created a will while in good health, it would be wise to make necessary updates to beneficiaries or the addition of any assets you have acquired since creating your first draft. 

3.     Create an estate plan. 

Preserving your assets is a critical step once you are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. An estate planning attorney can help you preserve these assets for the future which will ensure any long-term care you may need will be covered.

4.     Communicate

Receiving any diagnosis is not easy, but now is the time to openly communicate with family members, for emotional support, and especially to make important decisions for your care. Let them know where important documents are stored and be honest about your wishes and needs.  Part of our planning together will mean creating a recorded copy of your wishes for your family, to achieve clarity on your plan.

5.     Do not procrastinate. 

Receiving a progressive disease diagnosis such as Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases means time is of the essence. Regardless of your age and current health status upon diagnosis, dementia will not wait until you have your financial affairs in order. Immediate action is necessary to put these protections in place for you and your family. 

More information and inspiration on dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases can be found at MariaShriver.com.

Call Grimaldi Law Firm to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about a Family Planning Session, where we can identify the best ways for you to ensure your legacy remains protected and financial security will be guaranteed for your family.

At Grimaldi Law Firm, your future is our present.

We can be reached at (954) 491-8707

or

melinda@grimaldi-law.com

Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs

As a leading estate planning attorney in South Florida, we are often faced with many questions regarding how to best plan for your financial future when children are involved. One important issue that must be prepared for properly, is how to set up your estate plan when you have a child or children with special needs.

At Grimaldi Law Firm in Hollywood, Florida, we make sure to not only educate parents about their rights and best practices, we ensure that your estate plan will have your child’s best needs at heart.

First things first: all parents, no matter their children’s age, learning capabilities or physical abilities, must have an estate plan.

 But just having a plan is not enough.

Here are three ways to ensure that your child with disabilities will be properly taken care of when you are no longer around.

1.     Do not leave anything directly to your child with special needs

One of the most important things to bear in mind when assembling your estate plan is that if your child needs to be cared for by you now, they will likely need caring for once you aren’t around, especially when it comes to handling finances. Instead, your estate should, at a minimum, flow through your own will into a special needs trust for your child's benefit. A properly drafted special needs trust will protect your child's benefits and allow your estate to be utilized as you intended without interference from outside sources.

 2.     Appoint a guardian carefully

Now is the perfect time to appoint someone that will be responsible for taking care of your child in the future. Because this kind of care will involve more time and attention than a typically-developing child would need, it is important to ensure you are choosing someone not just based on their relation to your child, but on how capable they are of caring for someone with special needs.

3.     Don’t forget about life insurance

You may have innocently listed your special needs child as a beneficiary to your life insurance policy, and that’s okay – this is common! While you are getting your financial plans in order, it’s important to remember that your life insurance policy should also be protected so that your child will not have outright access to its sum. Instead, place your child's share of these important assets into a properly configured special needs trust. And make sure to address these complicated tax issues first

Lastly, don’t forget to have this conversation with family members as well. While they may feel they are doing the right thing in leaving your special needs child money or property, you’ll want them to also understand the intricacies of estate planning for children with special needs.

And of course, for all your estate planning needs, Grimaldi Law Firm is here to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up a Family Planning Session.

At Grimaldi Law Firm, your future is our present.

We can be reached at (954) 491-8707

or

melinda@grimaldi-law.com

Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

Five Reasons to Never Give an Outright Inheritance To Your Children - and What to Do Instead!

Did you know that giving outright ownership of your assets to your children could put everything you’ve worked so hard to leave behind at risk?

Don’t worry, though. Grimaldi Law Firm is committed to ensuring your assets are taken care of safely and in the best way for your family. We are here to ensure you don’t run into any problems with ensuring your children are well-taken care of once you are no longer here.
Here are five reasons to hire an estate planning attorney in Florida to properly handle your future financial goals:

1.     Your Child’s Future Divorce

I know it’s not pleasant to think about, but considering recent statistics, it’s 42% likely your child will divorce during their lifetime. In most divorces, property is divided evenly. This means, if you have a married child, and you leave them an inheritance, as much as half of their inheritance could go to their ex-spouse should they choose to divorce.

2.     Extreme Debt/Bankruptcy

Debt happens – whether for reasons that involve student loans or even credit card debt, your child may incur such extreme debt that the only possible relief will come through bankruptcy. 

In the event of extreme debt, the inheritance you worked so hard to leave behind for your child could be compromised by debt collectors. The only way to ensure this is to protect this inheritance with legal help.

3.     Lawsuit

Unintended neglect that injures someone’s person or property could wipe out the inheritance you leave your children.  For example, ACE Financial Services, Inc. in 2012 found this lawsuit judgment that caused some unexpected inheritance drama:

●      $49 million in California for an automobile accident where the family of 21-year-old college student sued drivers of two vehicles involved in the multi-vehicle crash. The plaintiff was in a coma for one month and is expected to require lifetime 24-hour care. 

This is a prime example how, well-intended, but neglectful behavior on the part of your children could affect their financial futures forever.

4.     Mismanagement

According to Prof. Jay L. Zagorsky of Ohio State University, 40% of individuals inheriting less than $100,000 will spend or lose the entire inheritance and 18.7 % of individuals who inherit more than $100,000 will spend or lose the entire inheritance. If you’re worried about your child mismanaging their inheritance, you’re not alone.

    5. Lost Work Ethic: 

Vic Preisser, of the Institute for Preparing Heirs, has reported that unprepared children who inherit money are susceptible to excessive spending, identity loss, and guilt over receiving money they didn't earn. Additionally, Preisser says, "In a year to 18 months, everything falls apart -- marriage, finances -- and if there is a drug problem it becomes worse."

Clearly, outright inheritance for your children is not the best way to go.

Further, if the children are minors, they are not able to inherit!
We’ve got a plan for your family that is far, far better.

The Alternative:

An alternative to an outright inheritance to your children) is to gift your assets to your children at the time of your death via a Lifetime Asset Protection Trust.

A Lifetime Asset Protection Trust can be drafted to give your children full control of their inheritance (if you choose), but ensure they never own the inheritance. You are gifting your children with airtight asset protection, of the kind they couldn’t give themselves at any price. If your children ever get divorced, file bankruptcy, or are ordered to pay damages in a lawsuit, they can’t lose the inheritance, simply because they never owned it.

When you come in for a Family Planning Session at Grimaldi Law firm, if you desire to provide the most airtight form of asset protection for your child, and set up a structure that incentivizes them to invest and grow their inheritance rather than squander and waste it, we will discuss all the options with you then.

Because at Grimaldi Law Firm, your future is our present.

We can be reached at (954) 491-8707

or

melinda@grimaldi-law.com

Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

Summer Safety Tips for Families in Florida

Take one step outside and you’ll immediately know that it’s almost summer in south Florida. Warmer weather, school vacation, and time off with the kids brings a whole new excitement and energy to any household – even my own.

At Grimaldi Law Firm, a leader in helping families safeguard their futures through estate planning, keeping kids safe and well-taken care of is a top priority.

As we all gear up to unofficially ring in the start of summer this Memorial Day Weekend in Florida, here are a few critical safety tips for children when the days get longer and the weather gets hotter.

1.     Master Water Safety

Water safety is a must when it comes to raising children in south Florida. If you plan on bringing your children around water, it’s important to know that just one second or glance in another direction is all it can take to bring about a tragedy. Some ways to keep your child safe amidst all the pool and beach excitement, according to this list from the CDC, include:

  • Always supervising children when in or around water. A responsible adult should constantly watch young children.
  • Teaching kids to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning.
  • Learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
  • Installing a four-sided fence around home pools.

2.     Say NO to Bugs

As the weather heats up, the mosquito bites start appearing with more frequency – a combination of the humidity that insects love so much, and more outdoor time with the family. With the recent Zika, West Nile, and Lyme Disease scares, all transmitted by insects it’s critical to arm yourself and your children with insect repellent and make a regular habit of checking your children for ticks.

3.     Prevent Injuries

Longer days, better weather, and more free time almost always lend itself to activity that could potentially cause injuries. Summer is a very popular time for playground falls, bicycle scrapes, and even worse, head injuries. Make sure to:

·       Check to make sure that the surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft, and well-maintained.

·       Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, such as stairs and playground equipment.

·       Use stair gates, which can help keep a busy, active child from taking a dangerous tumble.

And of course, sunscreen. ALL the sunscreen. Your children should make sunscreen a part of their daily routine in Florida, with frequent reapplications throughout the day.

At Grimaldi Law Firm, your future is our present, and we are happier knowing your children will have a safe and enjoyable summer!

We can be reached at (954) 491-8707

or

melinda@grimaldi-law.com

Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

 

Answers to the Top 6 Most Commonly Asked Mortgage Questions

As a real estate lawyer in Florida, I am asked a ton of questions about next steps when it comes to getting a mortgage for your new home.

At Grimaldi Law Firm, we are always happy to answer these questions and remain a trusted partner in this process. We know how challenging it may feel to get the right mortgage information in Florida, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer.

 In the interest in helping you move full speed ahead towards the home purchase of your dreams, here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions about the mortgage process.

1.     Should I bother trying to get a loan if my credit isn’t perfect?

Of course! Perfect credit is not very common, after all. If you’ve had any hiccups in your credit past, an FHA loan is what you’ll need to consider. Federal Housing Administration-insured loans are appealing because they're widely available to borrowers with imperfect credit. You need a credit score of 580 or higher to get an FHA-insured mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent. If your credit score is between 500 and 579, you need to make a down payment of at least 10 percent to get an FHA mortgage.

2.     How much can I afford to borrow?

The golden rule here is that you should never borrow more than you are able to repay.  A common mistake first-time home buyers make is that they often stretch themselves thin to pay a mortgage that is higher than they’re able to pay, thinking they’ll be bringing in higher salaries over time. While this is a nice thought to have, you can’t buy a home based on what you don’t yet have, otherwise you end up house-poor, and this is not a fun place to be.

3.     How long will underwriting take?

Underwriting is the process between applying for your loan and finding out whether or not you are approved. Yes, this can take a while, and yes, you will be on the edge of your seat the entire time – this is normal, though! If your underwriting process is taking longer than usual, this isn’t a bad sign – it’s just the nature of the mortgage beast. Expect to wait a few weeks and in the interim, keep your credit as steady as possible by avoiding and extreme credit card purchases.

4.     Do I need to have money in the bank to secure a mortgage approval?

Yes! And this means a savings “reserve” that is not depleted once you purchase your new home. Lenders want to know that there will be enough money in your name to cover the mortgage payments they are approving you for so give yourself a little wiggle room and don’t spend your entire life savings on your new home’s down payment.

5.     What kind of down payment should I be prepared to make on my new home?

This is probably the most common question of all. Many people are under the impression that 20% is a typical down payment percentage, however this is not always the case. In some cases, some loan programs allow qualified buyers to make no down payment at all, or will even accept down payments as low as 3%.

 The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees zero-down VA mortgages for qualified borrowers: veterans, active-duty service members and certain members of the National Guard and Reserves.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantees zero-down mortgages as part of its Rural Development program. The loan guarantees are available in eligible areas -- mostly rural areas, though some are suburban.

Navy Federal Credit Union offers zero-down mortgages for qualified members to buy primary residences.

6.     Do I need to hire a Real Estate Attorney?

This is a given. Any time you are dealing with large sums of money when it comes to buying or selling property and signing contracts, it’s always best to have a trusted attorney on your side. Grimaldi Law Firm works with all types of lenders to ensure that all the lender's request are satisfied and the ensure that the property is free and client of any liens to protect the buyer and lender's investment in the property.

For answers to any more of your mortgage questions, contact us today!

At Grimaldi Law Firm, your future is our present.

We can be reached at (954) 491-8707

or

melinda@grimaldi-law.com

Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.