Recent Blog Posts

What to Look for in a Home Inspection

 Posted on February 07, 2024 in Real Estate

IL real estate lawyerThe home inspection conducted by a licensed professional is a critical part of the home-buying process. Whether you are buying your first-ever family home or have been through the process several times already, it is important to know what types of issues to look out for in the inspection report. Unless you are purchasing a brand-new home and will be the first person living there, the house you are interested in likely has some level of damage from years of wear and tear. The question is, what types of damage or issues should you be concerned about, and which are entirely normal? Few lived-in homes are in perfect condition, so there is no reason to be alarmed just because the inspector has identified a problem or concern. However, some types of damage or issues could be unsafe for your family or lead to costly repairs soon. An Oak Brook, IL, real estate lawyer can help you decide whether a property is right for your family. 

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How Can a Lawyer Help You with Foreclosure Defense?

 Posted on January 29, 2024 in Real Estate

DuPage County real estate lawyerFacing foreclosure can be an incredibly stressful experience. You may feel intimidated by the process. Having an Illinois foreclosure defense attorney on your side can strengthen your side of your case.

Understanding Your Options

The foreclosure process can be confusing, with endless letters and notices from lenders. An attorney experienced in this area can help explain the meaning of each notice and your options at each stage. That includes tools like forbearance agreements, loan modifications, short sales, and deeds instead of foreclosure. An attorney can also advise if bankruptcy may help and what type - Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 - may be best suited to stop the foreclosure sale.

Negotiating on Your Behalf

Lenders and servicers often reject initial requests to adjust mortgage terms. A lawyer knows what loss mitigation programs the lender offers, what you likely qualify for, and how to negotiate effectively on your behalf. This can include highlighting extenuating circumstances, pointing out errors in their process, and exhausting every option before the foreclosure moves forward.

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What Should You Know About the Foreclosure Process?

 Posted on January 19, 2024 in Real Estate

DuPage County real estate lawyerIf you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, you may be at risk of foreclosure. This legal process allows lenders to seize and sell your property to recoup their losses from your defaulted loan. Foreclosures can be complicated, stressful experiences, so it is essential to understand the critical steps in the process. An Illinois real estate lawyer can help protect you and guide you through the following steps.

When Does the Foreclosure Process Start?

If you miss a payment, the foreclosure process cannot just begin. There has to be a process that your lender follows, such as the following:

  • Delinquency Letter- The first sign of foreclosure trouble usually comes in the form of a delinquency letter from your mortgage lender. If you miss a mortgage payment, expect to receive written notice within 30 days informing you that you are behind. At this early stage, keeping your mortgage current can stop foreclosure.

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What Happens During the Probate Process?

 Posted on December 28, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerWhen a loved one passes away, you are grieving and likely overwhelmed. Knowing what to expect can ease some stress if they leave behind property requiring probate. An Illinois estate planning lawyer can provide insight into what happens at each step so you feel informed and empowered.

Filing the Initial Petition

Formal probate begins when an appointed executor or estate representative files paperwork with the county probate court. This includes a certified copy of the will (if one exists), the death certificate, and a petition to open probate and appoint the representative. Filing fees must also be paid.

The court reviews the petition and supporting documents. As long as everything looks valid, they officially open the estate and issue a document called “Letters of Office” naming the estate representative and authorizing them to conduct transactions on behalf of the estate.

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When Do You Need Deed Drafting?

 Posted on December 15, 2023 in Real Estate

DuPage County real estate lawyerTransferring real estate requires properly documenting the exchange through quality deed drafting. However, with multiple deed types and complex transfer issues, confusion abounds around necessary occasions for professional legal help. An Illinois real estate lawyer can help you make the deed drafting process less complex.

Purchasing Property

Perhaps the most obvious need for legal deed drafting arises when purchasing a property. Sales contracts contain promises to convey land title from seller to buyer. Trained lawyers utilize precise legal terminology and required elements to transform sales contracts into enforceable warranty deeds. This legally conveys ownership rights to obtain clean title insurance policies. Any ambiguities or missing details during deed drafting could nullify the transfer or spark future claims against ownership. Simply using template deeds or listing services forms fails to adequately protect buyers’ interests in the land purchase.

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Estate Planning for Owners of Illinois Vacation Homes

 Posted on November 30, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerWhen families have many treasured vacation homes full of memories, ensuring these unique properties remain in the family for generations should be an estate planning priority. You must know how to do this properly. An Illinois lawyer can help you make sure you fill out the correct documents and make sure you use the proper terms so there are no hurdles later.

Choose Beneficiaries Wisely

Carefully select who should inherit your vacation home upon your passing. Jointly owned homes often transfer automatically to a co-owner. For sole owners, name beneficiaries in your will or living trust to receive the home. Weigh family dynamics and relationships when deciding on the best recipients.

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How to Avoid Probate for Illinois Real Estate Holdings

 Posted on November 15, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerIf you own residential or commercial real estate in Illinois, ensuring your properties transfer smoothly to chosen beneficiaries without getting tied up in probate should be an estate planning priority. You should be aware of your options that can help you avoid the time-consuming and public probate process for your real estate holdings. An Illinois lawyer can help you figure out the best option for you.

Understand Probate's Drawbacks

In Illinois, probating a will can take six months to two years. During this period, your properties may sit idle while beneficiaries wait to take ownership. Probate records are also public, making details about your estate accessible.

Name Payable-on-Death Beneficiaries

Illinois allows payable-on-death (POD) designations on real estate deeds. By naming POD beneficiaries, your property can be transferred to them outright upon your passing without probate. Update deeds to list desired beneficiaries. Make sure you monitor regularly, as your circumstances can change, and this is one area people often overlook.

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Managing Digital Assets in Your Illinois Estate Plan

 Posted on October 27, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerNowadays, most of us have tons of valuable digital assets - from social media accounts to cryptocurrency wallets. Making sure these all get adequately handled after you are gone takes some planning. Working with an Illinois lawyer to include digital assets in your estate plan is wise to ensure it is all legally done right.

Why Digital Assets Matter

Digital assets can have financial and sentimental value, so they are important to address in your estate plan. Online accounts, photos, videos, and domain names are valuable and should be managed carefully. Leaving behind an unfinished online presence can also complicate things emotionally for grieving loved ones.

Take Inventory of Your Digital Assets

Start by making a thorough list of all your digital assets, such as:

Navigating a Property Dispute Case

 Posted on October 16, 2023 in Real Estate

Cook County real estate lawyerDealing with property disputes can be a complex process. With the right help by your side, you can work to resolve these issues and protect your interests. An Illinois lawyer can help you with property disputes so you do not feel overwhelmed. There are a few things that you should know to make sure you are handling your dispute correctly.

Reviewing Relevant Documents

An important part of resolving property disputes involves reviewing relevant documents such as deeds, property surveys, plats, titles, easements, covenants, and prior contracts. These records often contain pivotal details regarding intended property boundaries, easements, ownership interests, rights of use, and other information that provides context to evaluate and address contested issues comprehensively.

 Being able to produce valid documentation that supports your position will substantially strengthen your case. Therefore, extensively gathering pertinent documents and reviewing them closely is highly recommended when asserting property rights.

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Common Real Estate Transfer Mistakes to Avoid in Illinois

 Posted on September 29, 2023 in Real Estate

DuPage County, IL real estate lawyerWhen transferring a property title, even small mistakes can cause major legal and financial headaches down the road. Here are some of the most common Illinois real estate transfer mistakes to avoid under Illinois law and how a lawyer can help.

Signing Before Final Walkthrough

Do not sign final closing documents until completing a final property walkthrough to ensure no changes or new damage has occurred. It is tempting to sign closing papers early to get one step closer to moving in, but this risks major unnoticed problems. 

Sellers could cover up or fail to disclose issues like roof leaks, foundation cracks, faulty wiring, or plumbing that arise at the last minute. Signing too early leaves you legally bound without recourse. Always insist on a final walkthrough within 24 hours of closing to check the property thoroughly before signing.

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