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December, 2020 Archives

Archives for 2020

Should You Buy That Fixer-Upper?

Buying a fixer-upper can help a home buyer get a great deal on a new home. However, doing so may come with serious repercussions if the home buyer does not do proper research and understand what the process entails. From accurately evaluating the need for repairs, to ensuring the home’s price is low enough to bring a profit after the purchase, buyers need a clear understanding of what they are facing before purchasing a home that needs a lot of work. Proper Home Valuation Is Needed First, … [Read more...]

Why Advanced Directives Are an Important Part of Estate Planning

Advanced directives outline a person's wishes and designate a surrogate decision-maker to take care of medical and financial decisions if a person becomes incapacitated and cannot make these decisions on his or her own behalf. They also protect an individual's wishes for end-of-life care and interventions. What Is an Advanced Directive? An advanced directive provides a person's family and medical providers with his or her wishes in regard to medical treatment and interventions and … [Read more...]

Including Gift Authority in a Power of Attorney

Gift provisions in powers of attorney limit agents from making gifts if such ability is not desired. All powers of attorney should include specific gift authority clauses to provide the necessary authority to the agents. Failure to include these provisions could subject the agent to action for making an inappropriate gift or deprive the estate of property that was intended for another person or purpose. Issues with Failing to Include Gift Authority A recent court case examined these … [Read more...]

Why Your Estate Needs a Backup Plan

A backup plan is a fundamental part of an estate. When writing a will, it is a common misconception that assets will be shared among all of the listed beneficiaries. However, pandemics, accidents, and crimes can take multiple lives all at once, leaving the need for a contingency plan. Reasons to Include a Back Plan in an Estate Incidents of loved ones passing away in close proximity have risen, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without a contingency plan, such situations could … [Read more...]

When the Health Care Proxy and the Financial Power of Attorney Can’t Agree

When the health care proxy and the financial power of attorney cannot agree, a careful review of and discussion about the power of attorney documents or mediation may help resolve disputes. If an agreement still cannot be reached, conflicts may need to be resolved by the probate court. Many Power of Attorney Documents State How to Handle Disputes If a dispute happens, adult children can look at the power of attorney documents. If they were created by a skilled estate … [Read more...]

The Impact of Chicago’s First-Ever Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Plan

Many residents of Chicago find that the neighborhoods around public transportation in certain communities of the city lack adequate walkable housing. The city's Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Plan aims to change that. This plan has the potential to have far-reaching consequences for property owners in the city. Many will choose to work with a real estate attorney to fully understand the potential impacts. What the Plan Says Transit-Oriented Developments are high-density housing … [Read more...]

How to Choose Your Health Care Power of Attorney

Appointing a health care power of attorney (health care POA) involves an individual choosing a trusted, strong-willed, and assertive person and giving them the authority to make decisions on their behalf regarding their medical care and treatment. A person is free to choose anybody to serve as a healthcare power of attorney based on their relationship, trust, willingness to serve, articulacy, location, and some understanding of medical processes. It’s important to think carefully about the … [Read more...]

Your Retirement Accounts May Not Need to Go Through Probate

Retirement accounts have the potential to bypass the cumbersome process of probate if beneficiaries are chosen strategically. It’s important to name primary and alternate beneficiaries, provide property management for minor beneficiaries, and review beneficiary information annually or after any major life changes to ensure designations are up-to-date. When an account holder dies with funds remaining in his or her retirement accounts, those funds are usually passed to beneficiaries without … [Read more...]

How to Revoke a Power of Attorney

People who establish powers of attorney may take back the authority granted to their named agents as long as they are of sound mind. An essential estate planning instrument, durable powers of attorney give named agents the ability to act as the principals’ personal representatives. The attorney-in-fact can perform certain actions and make certain decisions on the principal's behalf. Since POAs are often created well before a need for them arises, circumstances may change, and principals may … [Read more...]

The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Transforming the Real Estate Industry

The coronavirus is transforming the real estate industry in Illinois, and the Windy City is enduring the pandemic’s wrath. Listings in Suburban Chicago and similar areas, however, are drawing the attention of city-dwellers and home prices in the Burbs are on the rise.  Suburban Real Estate Surge  Fear of coronavirus exposure has prompted city-dwellers across the country to flock to more spacious, less populated suburban areas in recent months. According to data from Realtor.com, … [Read more...]

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