What Are My Next Steps After Severely Damaging My Car After a Car Accident?

If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you know that there are many negative consequences that can occur. Personal injuries are common, but what’s even more common is having your vehicle be seriously damaged or possibly completely totaled. A total loss auto accident can occur from a deadly collision with another vehicle, or with hitting a deer, but it will ultimately depend on the value of your car. A total loss accident is unfortunately more difficult to process than just getting your vehicle repaired, so it’s important to know what you should do if you’re found in this situation.

What Are the Steps Involved in Closing a Total Loss Claim?

  1. Report your claim to the insurance company immediately: If you believe you have a total loss auto claim, you should act as soon as possible. These kinds of claims can take a long time to finalize and eventually close, depending on your insurance company and how fast they can start working on your claim.
  2. Get your vehicle towed to your insurance company’s chosen shop: If you think that your car will probably be totaled, you should have it towed to the shop that your insurance company works with. This will help speed up the process for your insurance company because they already have direct connections with the towing shop, plus most of those shops will hold your vehicle for free (unlike a tow company’s lot).
  3. Find your title: Locate your title during this process, just so you don’t have to worry about it later. If you’ve lost your title, file for a lost one at the DMV. This is important, because if your vehicle is a total loss, you’ll have to sign your title over to the insurance company.
  4. If you have a loan, find out how much you owe: Determine how much you owe on your auto loan just in case your loan is greater than your vehicle’s current value. Total loss auto claims are not paid out based on what you owe but on the actual cash value at the time of the total loss.
  5. Find out the value of your vehicle: You can check resources like Kelly Blue Book and other vehicle listings sources to find out the value of your vehicle on your own. Doing this research will give you a better idea of whether or not the insurance company will have a good final payout amount.

Our personal injury attorneys at Fiore & Barber, LLC can help you if you were injured in a car accident, and we will give you further advice on recovering from any vehicle damages that occurred. Contact us today.

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Why Do I Need Title Insurance for My Commercial Property?

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There are many important aspects of buying commercial real estate property, and so there are key components of the commercial real estate process that are crucial to get the best deal on your property. One key piece of any commercial real estate transaction is title insurance. Title insurance has been a beneficial real estate option for many years, but not all business owners actually take advantage of it.

What is Title Insurance?

Having a title is having the right to owning a piece of real estate. Title insurance is insurance that protects a real estate buyer from any issues with the chain of title to a property. This type of insurance can be helpful in both residential and commercial real estate transactions. Keeping track of titles associated with real estate finances can get very complicated, so title insurance plays a crucial role in the buying and selling of property.

How is Title Insurance Used in Commercial Real Estate?

Title insurance is a huge part of the due diligence phase and closing process in commercial real estate deals and transactions. There is more at stake for these types of deals because there are more parties involved in the transactions, such as the buyer, the seller, and the lender(s). If there is a loan lender involved, the buyer will almost always pay for the loan title insurance policy. Buyers are almost always solely responsible for the title insurance costs because the seller will usually just add the cost into the purchasing price. Sometimes, however, there will be issues in trying to determine who benefits the most from the insurance policy, which is why many buyers want their own separate owner’s policy.

Without title insurance, it would be almost impossible to get lenders to risk big amounts of capital on complicated deals and difficult transactions, and buyers would also be more reluctant to buy property. Contact our skilled real estate attorneys at Fiore and Barber, LLC to learn more about commercial real estate titles.

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How to Prepare an Efficient Finance Plan for Your Business

The financial plan section of your business plan is one of the most important components for your company’s overall game plan. This section will determine whether or not your business is operable, and it will help establish if your plan is going to be able to attract any investments for your business idea. Your financial plan should consist of three main sections: the income statement, the cash flow projection, and the balance sheet.

Income statement: This financial statement will show your expenses, revenues, and overall profit for a certain period. It should prove whether or not your business is profitable at that specific point in time. Many businesses prioritize creating their income statement each fiscal quarter, but to ensure you’re getting the best snapshot of your business’ financial state, you should make one monthly for the first year.

Cash flow projection: This will show how cash is expected to surge in and out of your business. This is a crucial tool for cash flow management, and it will let you know when your payments are too high or if you need to make any short-term investments to deal with a surplus.

Balance sheet: This will illustrate your business’ net worth at a particular point in time. It serves as a summary for all the financial data about your business, which is broken down into your assets, liabilities, and equity. Usually, businesses will make a balance sheet once a year, because it ultimately summarizes what data you’ll have from your income statements and cash flow projections.

You should also prepare all of your start up business expense data, which could include any registration fees, licenses, permits, inventories, rent deposits, down payments, or utility fees. Make sure you’re keeping track of any operating expenses too, such as salaries, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, loan payments, or any other regular expenses.

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, or you would like to modify your current financial plan, our business attorneys at Fiore & Barber, LLC are ready to help. Contact us today to get you started in mending your business finances.

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What’s the Difference Between Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts?

Trusts are legal documents used in the estate planning process, and they are held in a fiduciary relationship by one party for the benefit of another party. A trust can be created during a person’s lifetime and survive after death, or it can be created by a will and carried on after death. Any assets that are placed in a trust actually belong to the trust itself, and they remain subject to any rules or agreements of the trust contract. There are two main types of trusts; one type is revocable and the other is irrevocable.

What Are Revocable Trusts?

The word “revocable” means alterable or changing, so a revocable trust is created during the lifetime of the trust maker and can be altered or modified entirely. Also referred to as a living trust, these are trusts that allow the trust maker to transfer the title of a property to a trust and remove the property from the trust while he or she is still alive. A revocable trust is a great option if you want to avoid probate and you want to protect your assets from being subject to probate. However, revocable trusts do not protect your assets, because the assets inside of the trust will remain available to the trust maker’s creditors.

What Are Irrevocable Trusts?

Irrevocable trusts are the opposite of revocable trusts, so they are trusts that cannot be altered, changed or modified after its creation. Once any property is transferred to an irrevocable trust, no one can take the property out of the trust, including the trust maker. However, these trusts do provide asset protection, because the grantor no longer owns the assets. The assets would only belong to the independent trustee, who then can manage the assets for any beneficiaries involved in the trust.

The attorneys at Fiore & Barber, LLC can help you through the complicated estate planning process, including helping you decide which trust might be right for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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How Do I Adopt a Child In Pennsylvania?

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Every state has its own unique set of procedures and guidelines when it comes to child adoption. Families in Pennsylvania that are interested in adoption should be aware of the required documents, costs, and preparations involved in the adoption process. Pennsylvania courts take this series of actions seriously, and your family should too if you’re ready to have a new child enter your life.

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What Are the Licensing Requirements?

To adopt in Pennsylvania, you must be 21 years or older as a state resident.  A necessary requirement for the adoption process is to attend 24 hours of training of “parent preparation.” This training will teach new parents how to adapt to your adopted child’s needs, and to realize that their past experiences and history will affect your relationship with them. There are different parenting techniques required as an adoptive parent, so this training will really help give you an inside look at the different conditions relating to this system. Next, the adoptive parents, and any other family members living in the home, need several state and federal background and criminal checks. You’ll also need physical tests, non-family member references, and a safety check of your home. Finally, you’ll need to create a family profile that highlights your family’s strengths and preferences, and a social worker in the adoption agency will help you build this. The state of Pennsylvania does not care about your marital status, income, or residential status.

How Much Does It Cost?

Depending on the adoption agency and/or the child’s foster care agency, you’ll have to pay a collection of agency fees up front. These fees cover the required training and family profile, as well as any other fees that are dependent on the specific agency you’re working with.

If your family is interested in adopting a child in the state of Pennsylvania, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Fiore & Barber. We specialize in family law and can offer you applicable adoption-related services throughout the process.

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