Real Estate

Who Can Be Held Liable for Toxic Mold

Toxic mold infestation has been an area of concern for property owners and tenants for a number of years. While mold can pose a significant threat to the health of individuals who are exposed to its harmful spores, and property damage can be considerable, many individuals feel forced to remain living in their infested homes, simply because they don't know where to turn, who can be held liable, or how to get out of a legal lease or purchase contract. … [Read more...]

Why you need to update your estate plan

You've taken the time to plan for the future and create your estate plan. After working with a Chicago estate planning attorney to make sure all assets are accounted for and all contingencies are covered, you're feeling the satisfaction of a job well done. … [Read more...]

How you can defend an eminent domain action

The activist group Castle Coalition gives Illinois a D+ rating when it comes to protecting property owners against eminent domain. That doesn’t mean there aren’t defenses available, as it is often possible to beat eminent domain with the help of an Illinois real estate attorney who specializes in eminent domain defense. … [Read more...]

Digital Property Creates New Questions In Estate Planning

Estate attorneys are facing a new and difficult challenge: the division and distribution of digital assets after death. Illinois is one of many states struggling to draft legislation to protect digital property for intestate estates, but 2015's Senate Bill 1376 faced significant opposition from online companies. These companies argue opening digital assets to an estate violates the original property holder's right to privacy, and is therefore impermissible. … [Read more...]

Same Sex Marriage, Divorce and Division of Property

Same-sex marriage has been one of the most polarizing issues in recent years, and its legality on a national level was not resolved until only last year. Before that, its legality was decided one state at a time. This means that many couples had to leave their own state to legally wed. While the first same-sex marriage licenses in the United States were issued in 1975, gay marriage did not become officially legal in any state until 1999. Policy on same-sex marriage varied widely between then and … [Read more...]

Is Property Tax Relief on the Horizon?

Property taxes in Illinois are the second highest in the nation. It's a growing problem. However, Governor Rauner's administration and the General Assembly are going to attempt to tackle it in the coming year. To reduce property tax rates for homeowners, the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force is recommending a number of changes. … [Read more...]

Will New Real Estate Lien Law Prevent Messy Title Issues?

An amendment to the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act should decrease the real estate transaction problems caused by contractor’s liens. Public Act 99–0178 changes the Lien Act as of January 1, 2016. The new provision allows a property owner or “...other person having an interest...” to substitute a surety bond for lien rights. A bond can free the property from a contractor's attachment while allowing him to retain his right to recover payment. The property can be sold while payment disputes are … [Read more...]

New Year’s Resolution #1: Get Estate Documents in Order

The New Year is the perfect time to plan for the future. While your energy is high and your spirits are up, be sure to fit estate planning into your schedule this month. Getting it out of the way now means you won't have to worry about it for the rest of the year. The following are key documents you should prepare, review, then place in secure storage. Living Will. This written statement details your desires should you become incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for yourself. … [Read more...]

2016 Estate & Gift Taxes at a Glance

Estate planning is not something that should be taken lightly. As the rules change, and limits are adjusted, individuals should stay on top of their estate plans to ensure that transfer of their estate is smooth and efficient after their passing. 2016 Estate Exemption Limit The IRS has recently announced the 2016 estate and gift tax exemption. They have increased it to $5.45 million. This means that an individual may leave this amount to their heirs without them having to pay federal estate … [Read more...]

Spike in Deed Fraud An Epidemic in Major Cities

As advances in technology continue to develop and an increasing number of Realtors place properties and sales records online to enhance the transparency of real estate transactions, a spike in deed fraud has become an epidemic in some major cities. The rising threat has begun to target unsuspecting homeowners in cities like New York, Chicago and Detroit. A recent report about Sybil Patrick, whose beautiful brownstone home was sold for $750,000 without her knowing, clearly portrays the … [Read more...]

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