Recent Blog Posts

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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Break Your Illinois Home Lease Legally - What Tenants Should Know

 Posted on September 11, 2023 in Real Estate

DuPage County real estate lawyerEnding your residential lease early can be complicated in Illinois. While the law does allow tenants to break a lease under certain conditions, you must follow proper protocols. Tenants who terminate illegally risk financial penalties and eviction. A lawyer can help you, but it is important you also follow the proper legal steps. Here is what you should do for a lawful process for early lease termination in Illinois.

Review Your Lease Agreement Carefully

The first step is to thoroughly read your entire lease agreement, paying close attention to any provisions about early termination. Many leases outline specific notice periods, fees, or conditions required for legal early move out. Failing to comply means defaulting.

Proper Notice to Your Landlord is Key

In most standard Illinois residential leases, tenants are required to provide 30 days' written notice to legally terminate early. The notice period commences at the start of the next rental period after notice is given. Inform your landlord in writing as soon as possible once you decide to leave.

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What Types of Assets Can Be Placed in a Trust?

 Posted on August 31, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County, IL estate planning lawyerOne of the most popular estate planning tools that are available is a trust. There are a number of different types of trusts that can be utilized, depending on what your needs are. Many of the clients who meet with our Illinois estate planning attorneys are often surprised at the number of assets that can be protected by placing them in a trust. The following touches on some of the benefits a trust offers. Contact our office for more detailed information.

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legal instrument that protects assets from various risks that could ultimately lead to some sort of loss of those assets. Some of the more common risks include:

What Should Be Included in an Illinois Real Estate Contract?

 Posted on August 09, 2023 in Real Estate

Cook County residential real estate lawyerOne of the most critical pieces of documentation in a real estate transaction is the purchase contract between the buyer and seller. This contract is usually drafted once the buyer has made an offer on the property and the seller has accepted that offer. This contract outlines all of the terms and conditions of the transaction, providing protection for both parties. The following are some of the key components that should be included in the contract. For more detailed information regarding a real estate transaction you are considering, make sure to consult with a qualified real estate attorney.

Basic Information

Every real estate contract should clearly state the identification of the parties entering into the agreement, including names, current addresses, and contact information. This will eliminate any confusion about who the contract applies to should issues come up in the future.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Legal Guardian for Your Child

 Posted on July 26, 2023 in Family Law

Cook County Estate Planning LawyerOne of the most crucial decisions parents will need to make is choosing who will be their child’s legal guardian in the event they are unable to care for their child because of illness, incapacity, death, or other unexpected circumstances. The person they choose will need to step in to provide the love, support, and guidance that every child needs.

When deciding who this person should be, the following are some of the factors that parents should consider.

Shared Values and Beliefs

When choosing a legal guardian for your child, you want to make sure it is someone who shares your values, beliefs, and parenting style. It is important to choose someone who will uphold the same principles and provide a similar upbringing to what you would want for your child. Consider their moral and ethical values, as well as their approach to discipline, education, and religion.

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What Are the Benefits of a Pour-Over Will?

 Posted on July 07, 2023 in Estate Planning

Cook County Pour-Over Will LawyerThere are many estate planning tools available that will ensure your family is protected when you are no longer here. One of those tools is called a pour-over will. A pour-over will is a type of will that works in alliance with a revocable trust (also referred to as a living trust). The purpose of a pour-over will is to make sure that any assets that the decedent did not get the opportunity to place in the trust before they die are transferred into the trust upon their death.

Integration with a Revocable Trust

A pour-over will is designed to work alongside a revocable trust, which is a legal entity created during a person's lifetime to hold and manage their assets. The assets are placed in the trust, with the contents passing to the named beneficiaries when the person dies. The pour-over will acts as a safety net, ensuring that any assets not transferred to the trust before death are still included.

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