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January, 2021 Archives

Rising Home Prices Are Straining the Real Estate Market

With home prices rising exponentially, the supply of affordable homes has dropped significantly over the years. The scarcity of safe and reasonably priced housing is hurting more potential homebuyers almost daily. Potential effects go past individual prospective homeowners, with increasing consequences for the society as a whole. How Rising Home Prices Are Affecting Home Buying Successful homeownership fosters economic well-being. Homeowners have a high likelihood of investing in their … [Read more...]

What Is a Probate Caveat?

A probate caveat is a formal notice questioning the authenticity of the will and requesting the court to halt the probate process until the issue is resolved. The purpose of this notice is to keep the proposed administrators or executors from obtaining permission to administer the deceased person’s estate assets until the dispute raised by the person who filed the caveat is resolved. Who Is a Caveator? A caveator is a person who lodges the probate caveat. The caveator presents his or her … [Read more...]

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...]

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