7 Things to Remember While Drafting Your Estate Plan

An estate plan is a way of organizing your wishes for after you pass on. It is a good idea to put these together not when you feel as though the end of your life is near, but early on. You never know when your last day may be and you want your assets divided to your liking, as well as your children being raised by who you choose. It is important to recognize all the important parts of an estate plan and we have listed seven for you to think about.

Letter of Intent

A good way to not only guide your beneficiaries or executor, but also the judge who may divide your assets, is the letter of intent. You can include instructions such as funeral preferences, asset direction or other special requests. This does not count as a legal document such as a will, but it may assist your loved ones with the many tasks that come about after your death.

Wills and Trusts

Trusts are used to cover specific assets. Generally they are used to leave behind certain items, such as property, to underage beneficiaries to claim as they grow of age. Wills, on the other hand, are much more general and larger. You should gather two witnesses to view the will, preferably people who are not beneficiaries. It is also advised to have a lawyer’s assistance with putting together the will. Wills are very important because without them, the outcome of your estate is left up to state officials. 

Asset Inventory

It is best to be organized when putting together important documents such as an estate plan, and the best way to do this is to have an asset inventory. Put simply, this is a list of everything you own. These can be grouped into two different types of possessions, tangible and intangible. Tangible consists of items such as cars, collector items and houses while intangible assets usually include life insurance policies, bank accounts, 401(k) plans and more. 

Financial Professionals

Lawyers, tax advisors or other professionals may prove to be expensive, but you generally get what you pay for. It is advised to confer with experts in a particular subject when putting together something important, to ensure it is the best it can be and accurate. 

Power of Attorney

To avoid having a court in control of your assets and having a say over your life, it is well advised to appoint a power of attorney. This is a person who instructs where your assets go as well as maintaining your estate such as paying bills if you are medically unable to do so. 

Beneficiary Designations

To ensure that your assets are going to the right people, make sure you are up to date on your beneficiary designations. It is a common occurrence for an ex-spouse to still get portions of an asset simply because they were previously on it and it was not properly updated. Frequently review your will or estate plan and make sure you list it to the entirety with a recipient of each item. 

Guardianship Designations

Your children should be your number one priority and having a direction of who would take guardianship in your passing is essential. It is recommended to choose a person who has the same ideas and views as you and would raise them similar to how you had been. Don’t let your children’s fate have to be court decided, make the decision yourself and have a lawyer document it for you. 

Speaking of experts, we know everything there is to know about all of the different insurances! Give us a call at 352-432-1646.

12 Reasons Life Insurance is for the Living

Typically whenever a person hears “life insurance” the first thing that pops in their head is money received after someone passes away. While a payout after a loved one’s death is in fact a huge part of life insurance, it is not the only important thing to know about. Other than protecting your loved ones after death, we have put together twelve other things to think about when it comes to life insurance.

Paying Your Children’s College
While your child talking about college is an exciting thing to hear as a parent, it can also bring on financial stress. College can be expensive and you might find yourself wondering either how you will afford it or worrying about your child being stuck with mountains of debt after graduation. One perk of life insurance is that you can use the payout from your policy to pay off student loans or send your children off to school!

Estate Planning
The common thought many people have when they hear the word “estate” is a mansion or something extravagant. In actuality, your estate is everything you own. This consists of your vehicle, your house, your checking and savings, and more. It is a good idea to plan out what is going to happen to all of your assets in case of death.

Legacy Building
This strategy allows your assets to be passed along to the specified parties in a tax-free way. By using a transfer of single-premium assets, you can secure death benefit protection. This is a great way to look out for your loved ones but not only passing along assets, but doing it in a smart, easier way.

Indexed Universal Life
This particular type of life insurance allows for a permanent policy duration with flexible premiums. One of the best things about this life insurance policy is that it plays on the movement of the stock market and allows for interest to be accumulated based on that. Something that could really grow in your lifetime.

Policy Review
Life is full of changes, unexpected and intentional. A policy review is a good way to take a look at anything that may have changed in your life and could affect your policy and ensure that you are getting the best and most appropriate policy.

Executive Bonus
This is an option to offer to the most valuable employees at a business. It does not necessarily have to be offered to the entirety of your staff, but just the top-performing ones. By doing this, you can reward and retain vital assets to your company.

Family Needs Analysis
Like we stated earlier, life changes and people change. By taking a quick look at your books and documents, it may be very evident that your clients’ needs have changed. By running a family needs analysis, these can be evaluated and altered as needed.

Retirement Planning
Another sales concept that is useful during a client’s living years instead of just something to benefit their family in passing. A client’s policy may have cash value growth potential, especially during retirement years. This can be used towards income that is tax-free.

Single Parent Term
Single parents could be one of the most vulnerable groups of people in need of life insurance. What is going to happen to their children when they pass? Especially if only one parent is involved? It is highly recommended to have a life insurance policy set up in case of tragic circumstances.

Wealth Transfer
Yet another strategy to benefit the living! Many people have a savings account or accumulation of assets over time. This strategy allows the assets to be passed down to the specified recipient while maintaining cash value.

Term vs Permanent
Two different life insurance policies are term and permanent. Permanent life insurance policies have a cash value component while term does not. As their names state, term is set for a certain amount of time while permanent stays the same. Finding which policy best suits you is ideal when picking a policy.

Mortgage Protection
Everyone needs a roof over their head, and many have grown attached to the one they have grown up in and/or made memories in. Life insurance ensures that the survivors of a lost loved one will be able to keep making the mortgage and stay in their home.

Bridging the Gap
It is never a good idea to go without life insurance or to not have enough or the right policy. With all the information we have given today, we hope yours is in place or that you are planning on setting one up.

Have more questions about a Life Insurance Policy or are you ready to sign up for yours today?
Email an agent here!

15 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying A House

Buying a house is a huge milestone in someone’s life and can be very exciting as well as
overwhelming. We understand that when you find the home of your dreams your first instinct is
to jump on it and secure it for your family! Although, it is wise to think about and question certain
things before making such a big commitment. We have put together fifteen questions you
should ask when you are considering buying a house.

How Long Has The House Been Up For Sale?
Typically if a house has been on the market for a long time, one can suspect there are some
problems with either the property or the house itself. Although, if the house has been for sale for
over 90 days, it is acceptable to make a low offer. If it has been up for sale for less than a
month, your low offer is most likely to be declined, so you should increase it.

How much will EVERYTHING cost?
Many first time buyers assume that the price the house is selling for is all they have to pay. This
is not the case because buying a house comes with a lot of other expenses. These expenses
include inspection, appraisal, mortgage insurance, mortgage interest, taxes, HOA fees and
homeowners insurance. If you take the time to incorporate the price of each of these in with how
much the house is selling for, you will have a better understanding of the final and TOTAL cost
of buying the home.

WHY is the home for sale?
Often someone may be selling their home due to job relocation, a growing family or maybe even
retirement, but this may not always be the case. Questioning why the prior homeowner is
moving out may reveal information that may make or break your decision. Legally, if there is
something wrong with the home or property it must be disclosed. Although, anything unknown
should come up in the home inspection as well.

What does the sale include?
Sometimes a person selling the house may be generous and leave some things, such as
appliances or furniture, behind for the next buyer. It is a good idea to know what exactly is
included in purchasing the home so you can get a better understanding as to what else you
need to buy if you decide to make an offer on the house. This way you can budget and know
exactly how much you will be spending in total.

What is the general cost of utilities?
It is a common mistake when either buying or renting a home that the buyer only considers the
monthly mortgage or rent payment into their bills and budget. Specific utilities you should
question are internet, heating and cooling, water, trash, sewer and electric expenses. These
may vary based on the location or the home and asking can help you plan out your monthly

Do you have a responsive mortgage broker?

While you are waiting for your mortgage to close, it is much easier to have a mortgage broker
who answers your questions and is responsive when you call on them. Generally, you will be
waiting approximately 40 days for the mortgage to close, and it would be very frustrating to not
have answers to your questions in that time period!Is the home susceptible to natural disasters?
Earthquakes, floods and tornadoes are natural events that we have no control over. Although,
there are some precautions you can take to learn how the house you are purchasing may be
affected by these occurrences. FEMA has a floodplain map in which a homeowner can search
their address and uncover the history of flood exposure the home has had.

Are there any hazards that may not be found in the inspection?
This is a very important question because there are certain things that could be overlooked by
the inspection but still pose a risk to you or your family’s health or safety. Try to find out if the
home has asbestos, mold, lead paint, radon or infestations before you make your final decision.
The presence of these may be the dealbreaker in your deciding factors.

Were there any additions or renovations done to the home?
While this may add value to the house or make it more appealing, sometimes renovations are
not always what you would expect. There is a possibility that whoever did the renovation cut
some corners to save time or money or simply did not do a very good job. You can ask the seller
for the contact information of the person or company who renovated the home and find comfort
in asking them questions for yourself.

What is the age of certain necessities in the home?
The older an appliance is, the sooner it would need to be replaced. It is a good idea to know
how old things such as the water heater, furnace or condenser are and if they have been
serviced like they should. It is also wise to ask how old the roof is to try and avoid problems
such as holes and leaks.

What is the size of the water heater?
This question is definitely important, but can be a necessity if you have a large family, especially
teenagers. Nothing is worse than your warm water suddenly turning cold during a nice, hot
shower. A family of four would likely need at least a 50 gallon water heater to ensure everyone
is allowed a decent, warm shower.

How are my neighbors?
The people around you will have a big impact on your day to day life. It is a good idea to find out
what kind of people are going to be living near you. For example, a group of college boys may
play loud music throughout the night when an adult couple is trying to sleep. Or there may be
really helpful and kind neighbors that you have things in common with. It is simply wise to know
what kind of people are around you.

Is this house haunted?!

Okay, this may sound silly, especially if you are not superstitious or do not believe in ghosts.
Believe it or not, if your house is rumored to be haunted, it may attract a great deal of attention
you would not want.

What is the neighborhood like?
This question could also make or break your decision. If you have small children, it would be
beneficial to know if there are other small children who play in the neighborhood. Or, like
previously mentioned, if it contains a lot of college kids who like to party! This could go many
different ways, but regardless, it is a good thing to know before purchasing a home.

Can I have the original plans for the house?
If the previous owner kept these, it is a good idea to secure them for yourself. They could be
valuable to you as a home buyer! If the owner who is selling does not have them, try to find out
the architecture firm and contact them.

Most importantly, finding home insurance should be one of your top priorities when purchasing a
new home. We understand that this is a very complex and difficult time for home insurance here
in Florida. Our team is on your side and we are here working hard to provide you with the best
possible experience. For more tips, assistance with your claims and more, contact us today. Call
us at 352-432-1646 or send us an email at info@singhinsurancegroup.com to get in touch with
one of our Insurance Experts. Looking for an instant quote? Click here.

Our Top Hurricane Season Preparation Tips

We are now in June, which means warmer weather and unfortunately, hurricane season. No need to worry, at Singh Insurance and Financial Services we offer home insurance, flood insurance and car insurance so you can ensure all of your assets are covered. To further assist our customers, here are some tips to readily prepare for hurricane season.

Stock Up On Batteries

Don’t get stuck in a power outage late at night! Check your flashlights to see which kind of batteries they require and make sure you have plenty. It is also a good idea to stock up on smoke detector batteries as well as any other battery operated equipment you can put to good use, such as fans for example, in case of losing power.

Keep An Eye On the Weather

One of the best ways to prepare is to observe weather alerts. This way you will know plenty ahead of time if bad weather is to come and you know to prepare! You can either watch the news on TV or just simply check your phone…yup, there’s an app for that!

Research Local Disaster Aid

Typically your local community will provide resources in case of power outages or a natural disaster. This includes water, charging stations or even temperature controlled resting areas. Contact your local community center or look on your city or county’s website to find out more!

Make Sure You Have Enough Gas

If you have a generator, ensure you have gas to fill it up. Also make sure your vehicle has a full tank in case you need to leave your house. Try not to get too much gas, just enough for whatever you initially need it for. Your neighbors will need some too!

Singh Insurance and Financial Services has you covered with tips and all the insurances you would need in case of a disastrous hurricane. Call us today at 352-432-1646 for more information on our services or visit http://www.singhinsurancegroup.com today!

FAQ: Can I Use Life Insurance for Tax-Free Distributions?

Our priority and goal is to educate our customers and provide you with the best value, knowledge and industry updates! Today we’d like to share with you a few of the many ways you can use Life Insurance for Tax-Free Distributions.

Many people assume Life Insurance is only a benefit when a death occurs, but our mission here at Singh Insurance and Financial Services is to share the many additional benefits that Life Insurance can bring to the table. 

Here are a few questions to get you started…

  • What is your tax liability in retirement?
  • Will all your 401K be taxed in retirement?
  • Did you know that your social security can be taxed in retirement?
  • Have you maxed out your Roth?
  • Don’t qualify for a Roth?
  • Do you think taxes are going up?

Contact us to have a discussion about your Life Insurance policies. 

CALL 352-432-1646
EMAIL info@singhinsurancegroup.com

Florida Home Insurance Update & Ways To Get Involved

April is here and the growing concerns for the Florida Homeowners Insurance situation are still here, too. Our goal here at Singh Insurance & Financial Services is to keep Floridians informed and up to date with the latest insurance news. With that goal in mind, we have decided to dedicate our recent monthly blog posts to keeping you up to date and in the know. Please keep reading for an update and direct links to contact our legislators. 

The Issue At Hand: 

Our state is in the midst of a hardening property insurance market. Due to excessive litigation, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding adequate and affordable rates – resulting in unplanned and necessary double-digit increases, restrictions in coverage, and re-evaluation of policy acquisition expenses.

More Details:

Here is an excellent resource that outlines, in depth, more about the current state of homeowners insurance in Florida – Home insurance benefits could shrink to head off the ‘spiral towards collapse’ | Florida Tort Reform (fltortreform.com)

You may be wondering…how can I get involved? 

The Florida Legislature is currently considering proposals to address the fraudulent abuse driving up homeowners insurance costs. As your local trusted Insurance Agency, we have put together a few resources that you can use to contact our State Representatives and Senators to have your voice be heard.  

You can use the following link to express support of property insurance litigation and fraud reforms, such as Senate Bill 76. 

Click Here To Reach State Representatives and Senators

If you have any questions about your Homeowners Insurance policies, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help you and walk with you during this challenging time. Phone: 352-432-1646 or email us info@singhinsurancegroup.com

Confused About Your Homeowners Insurance Rates Rising in Florida? Read This!

We understand that the current Homeowners Insurance situation in Florida is frustrating and confusing. Here at Signh Insurance & Financial Services we are doing all that we can to continue providing our clients with the best possible service & best possible rates. We also take great pride in providing you with pertinent information on important topics like this. Check out this blog post to learn more about the current homeowners insurance situation in Florida and remember, if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. 

Here’s an explanation of the rate increase:

  • There are lawsuits being filed by trial attorneys with fee multipliers equal to 2-3 times the hourly rate for an average attorney. They are able to earn six-figure fees on a $10K settlement…none of which is shared with policyholders.
  • Thousands of claims are being reported with roof damage that appears to be general wear-and-tear or maintenance-related as opposed to damage with causes covered by peril insurance (including fire, lightning, windstorms, etc.). 
  • Costs are rising due to lawsuits being filed for damages caused by a hurricane that made landfall three years ago

Thankfully, there are actions we can take as citizens to try and combat these rate increases. Here are some simple ways you can make an impact:

  • ·Reach out to your legislators today and let them know how much your premium has increased this year!
  • Encourage their support of legislation that aims to achieve much-needed reforms.
  • Follow the Floridians for Lawsuit Reform Advocacy Group and sign the petition to make your voice heard.
  • Tell your family and friends about the cause–if they live in Florida, their premiums are also going up.  
  • Spread the word by sharing this blog post on your social media pages

If Florida does not act on these issues, unfortunately your homeowner rates will continue to increase over time. Getting involved, taking a stance and taking action will only take a couple of minutes of your time while the impacts of your help will go on to support the millions of Florida homeowners experiencing these rate increases.

If you’d like to review your current policy or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Signh Insurance & Financial Services. We look forward to helping you during this situation and beyond!

Everything You Need To Know About DP1 and DP3 Home Insurance Policies

Everything You Need To Know About DP1 and DP3 Home Insurance Policies by Singh Insurance and Financial Services – Central Florida

DP1 and DP3 are two types of dwelling fire policies. The DP1 policy is used for vacant property insurance and this option offers the minimum coverage amount. The DP3 is used for landlord insurance where the homeowner rents out the property, but does not actually live there.

In the DP1 policy, the house structure is insured at cash value, not at the replacement cost. This means that if your home burns down, you are most likely not going to get a full home back, but instead you will receive a check that compensates you for the depreciated value of the house.

The DP1 also only covers “named perils” – which means it only covers the hazards or risks listed in the policy. These are usually:
● Fire, Smoke
● Wind, Hail
● Lightning
● Explosion
● Aircraft, Vehicles hitting the house
● Volcanoes
● Vandalism, Riot

This means that the DP1 could leave a lot of important things out. Here’s what the DP1 is missing that you will want to have coverage for:
● Water damage (especially here in Florida)
● Theft
● Weight of ice, sleet, or snow
● Freezing pipes
● Appliance-related damage
● Falling objects, falling trees
● Power surge

The DP3 is usually an open perils policy. This means that everything listed above would typically be covered unless your policy documents state exclusions. An open peril policy generally is given for all types of damage outside of the perils not included in the policy documents. It is very important to read your policy documents to understand what specific coverage you have.

The most common exclusions in an open peril policy are…
● Flooding
● Mold
● Replacement Costs
● Personal Umbrella
● Sewage Backup / Sump Pump
● Identity Theft
● Home Sharing
● Lateral Lines Coverage

● Earthquakes
● Home Daycare

If you are wondering what is NEVER covered in DP1 or DP3 policies, here is a general list:

● Pollutants
● War
● Cracking
● Damage By Government
● Wear & Tear
● Vandalism On A Vacant Property
● Snow On Outdoor Property
● Birds, Vermins, Insects
● Power Interruption
● Intentional Losses
● Vacant / Freezing
● Nuclear Hazards

While this topic may be confusing, just remember…if someone is living in the home full time and you are renting it out in a landlord arrangement, you will need a DP3. If the home is vacant and will remain empty for the next 30 days, you will need a DP1 policy.

For more information about these policies or for questions on your existing policies, contact our team of Insurance Experts today!

Setting Yourself Up for Financial Success in 2021

It is no secret that 2020 was a challenge for the economy globally – unemployment rose to its highest level in history, the world went into lockdown, and millions of unfortunate deaths occurred. Insurance is needed now more than ever, and we are here to help. It is always
important to get educated about your finances and set some goals so that you can stay organized in the new year. Here are our 4 tips to help you set yourself up for financial success in 2021.

Tip #1: Make a List of New Year Financial Goals

Think of this as New Year’s Resolutions for your wallet. Setting some goals will help you create a plan and stay organized. Take some time to think about what you want this year to look like for you and write it down. Whether it be a debt-free future, owning your own home, or retiring
early, setting goals will help provide a plan, as well as motivation, for you in the new year.

Tip #2: Investigate and Review Coverage Plans

During this time, it is especially important to have insurance to financially protect you from any unplanned circumstances. We highly recommend starting a life insurance plan because it is always good to be prepared. Also, now is a great time to review your coverage plans and see what you are paying for. Keeping up to date with your coverage plans and reviewing them from time to time is a great habit to bring into 2021. For all of your insurance needs, contact our skilled team of experts today!

Tip #3: Get Educated with Your Money

Getting educated on what to do with your finances is always a good skill to have, especially in a new year. Speaking with someone who is organized with their finances for some tips is a great place to start but if you are looking for an expert experience, we are here to help. Contact us to learn more about our financial services and how we can help you get your financial health on track in 2021.

Tip #4: Organize Your Finances

The best thing to do with money is getting organized, and it is better to start earlier rather than later. An organized personal budget is a smart way to make sure you are spending your money wisely by planning for your future. There are tons of great podcasts, websites and virtual resources to help you with budgeting, household financial quick tips and more! Take a look around online and see what you can find. If you come across any great tips, share with us on Instagram!

Consider This…Is your money protected by creditors? Let’s Talk!

5 Tips To Enjoy Your Holiday This Year + Bonus Quick Tips From Michael Singh

The holiday season is a hectic time for everyone, so Singh Insurance & Financial Services is here to make sure you and your family have a perfect holiday while staying safe. Here are 5 quick tips to help keep the holidays secure and fun!

Tip #1: Property Protection
Many homeowners decorate their homes for the holidays, so you will certainly see homes with tons of Christmas lights. However, the holidays only come once a year, and then after it’s over we toss all the lights and decorations into a storage bin until next year. Before you decorate your home, check to see if the lights still work – you may never know what might have happened during its time in storage. Make sure to cover all wires and light boxes to prevent any tripping hazards and also be sure to set your lights to a level that will not blind passing drivers.

Tip #2: Turn Off All Lights at the End of the Day
Having your holiday lights and decorations on 24/7 is not the safest idea. Keeping your lights on for a long time will wear out your wires, creating a fire hazard that you do not want. It is
important to set a timer on the lights, so it automatically turns on and off during the day. If you have old-fashion lights, then set a reminder for yourself to turn off the lights before you go to bed.

Tip #3: Keep the Tree Watered and Safe
Most homeowners purchase fake trees during the holidays because it is easier to decorate and clean up, but some prefer going out every year and purchasing a real living tree. Dry trees are a major fire hazard, so make sure to water it daily.

Tip #4: Stay Alert in the Kitchen
You can’t have a Christmas dinner without mom’s oven roast beef or grandma’s pumpkin pie!
The holidays are always a time to have fun and create delicious foods in the kitchen, but how
much is a little too much? Make one dish at a time and monitor the cooking times to reduce the possibility of a fire. Too much kitchen usage can and will create an unsafe environment. Plus, nobody likes a burnt pie!

Tip #5: Always Have Receipt with Your Gift
Holiday shopping can be difficult if you do not know what gifts to get. If you are planning on
purchasing a gift for someone that you do not know too well, always provide a gift receipt, so
they can go and exchange it for something else. Another benefit of having a gift receipt is
allowing yourself to replace the item if it were to be damaged or misplaced.

Bonus Quick Tips From Michael Singh
● Making a big purchase such as a car or boat this year for a Christmas or Hanukkah gift?
Remember to get the vehicle insured as soon as possible. We offer car insurance,
motorcycle insurance, boat/watercraft insurance, classic car insurance policies and
more! For all of your Insurance Needs, contact us today.
● Are you looking towards 2021 and feeling stressed about your financial future? We
understand and we are here to help. For retirement planning, financial services & more
contact our team today to learn more about how we can help you feel safe and secure
this holiday season and always!

From all of us at Singh Insurance & Financial Services, we are wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday season!