Monday, August 13, 2012

Are YOU Making A Legal Mistake?


In speaking to churches and civic groups, I hear and see mistakes that regular folks are making that can hurt their family.

1. Carrying “Only Liability” is a BIG MISTAKE.  I know that auto insurance is expensive, and UM is not legally required, but always make sure you have plenty of Uninsured Motorists (UM) Coverage. Even on your old cars, or the bike you hardly ever ride.  UM covers you, your family or passengers from injuries caused by unknown, uninsured, or underinsured at fault drivers.  These type of drivers cause many more crashes than others, and are often drunk drivers.  You get to select the amount to insure you and your family for, and it is NOT expensive compared to what you may get.  I recommend at least $100,000 worth.

2. Buying things as “investments” that are not worth it. While there are examples of people having some success with the following items, most folks I talk to really regret buying investments that do not usually appreciate in value.  These often include timeshares, whole life insurance, universal life insurance and many popular collectables.

3. Co-signing.  If you are asked to co-sign a loan, you might be flattered. Another way to look at it is this: No one trusts them enough to loan them money, so instead your home, assets and good name will be risked so they can get something that cannot earn themselves. Consider the following verses:
a. Proverbs 17:18: One who lacks sense gives a pledge and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
b. Proverbs 22:26-27: Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?
c. Proverbs 6:1-35: My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler. ...

4. Fearful or hasty decisions. While it is not technically a legal mistake, making decisions from a place of fear or in a hurry is almost always a bad call. Fear is what makes people often pay too much for a “new” car because they are afraid of a “used” one.  Being in a hurry is what high-pressure sales guys rely on to make you sign a deal fast.  The old saying- “Think long, think wrong” is itself – Wrong!  Be the person who takes advice, and seeks wisdom before you make a decision. Be the person who gets a second or even a third opinion.  Whether it is surgery, a new air conditioner or a car repair, get more advice.

These mistakes can be very expensive.  Seek counsel and move slowly.  A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. ~Proverbs 1:5.