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DuPage County Residential Real Estate LawyerIf you are in the process of buying or selling a home, you may be wondering what to do if you come across a mechanic's lien during your transaction. A mechanic's lien is a claim that a contractor or subcontractor has against a property for unpaid work. If you are the buyer, this can be a huge problem because it means that the property you are interested in purchasing may have a debt attached to it. If you are the seller, a mechanic's lien can also complicate things because it may reduce the amount of money you ultimately receive from the sale.

What is a Mechanic’s Lien? 

A mechanic's lien is a claim that a contractor or subcontractor has against a property for unpaid work. For example,  if you hire a contractor to build a deck and the contractor is not paid for their services, they may put a mechanic's lien on your property. This means that if you try to sell your home, the contractor can come back and claim the money they are owed out of the proceeds from the sale. Unfortunately, some homeowners find themselves facing mechanic liens even if they believe they have already paid their contractor in full. 

Addressing Mechanic’s Leins During Residential Real Estate Transactions 

If you are selling your home, but there is a mechanic’s lien on the property,  the first thing you should do is try to negotiate with the contractor who placed the lien. You may be able to come to an agreement about how the debt will be paid off so that it does not interfere with your sale. Work with an attorney who can advocate on your behalf during negotiations and provide the step-by-step guidance you need. If you are buying a home and there is a mechanic's lien on the property, you may need to work out an agreement with the seller about how the debt will be paid before you can close on the home. 

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Wheaton Probate AttorneyThe last will and testament is the fundamental estate planning document. However, there are many other estate planning tools that can better meet unique financial needs and personal objectives. Unlike a will, a trust is a separate legal entity that can own assets and distribute them according to the terms of the trust agreement. A key advantage of a trust is that it can help avoid probate, which is the legal process used to validate a will and distribute a deceased person's assets.

There are two main types of trusts: irrevocable and revocable. As the name suggests, an irrevocable trust cannot be modified or revoked once it has been created. A revocable trust, on the other hand, can be modified or revoked at any time by the grantor, as long as they are alive and competent. Both types of trusts have their own advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before deciding which is right for you.

Advantages of an Irrevocable Trust

Asset Protection - One of the main advantages of an irrevocable trust is that it can protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits. Once you transfer assets into an irrevocable trust, they are no longer legally owned by you. This means that creditors cannot go after them to satisfy your debts.

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IL business lawyerAs any business owner can tell you, running a business means constantly having a lot on your plate. From paying employees to making sure contracts get completed on time, to running inventory and making helpful community connections, the life of a business owner rarely involves downtime. In the hustle and bustle of everyday commerce, it can be easy to lose track of exactly how much a business is worth. How do you know your business’s worth, anyway? Will it depend on who you ask and which method of valuation you use? An Illinois business law attorney can help you answer these questions while ensuring that you have the legal representation you need.

Methods of Valuing Businesses

There are many ways to determine a business’s value. The right one for you will depend on the type of business you own and your goals. For example, determining a business’s value for the sake of securing a loan may be done differently than determining the value for the sake of getting a divorce. The three primary methods of business valuation are:

  • Comparable analysis - Also known as the market value approach, this method compares the value of your business to other similar businesses in the area
  • Asset-based approach - This method calculates a business’s value by comparing the business’s total assets to a business’s total liabilities
  • Earnings approach - This approach assesses a business’s value by determining how much revenue the business has the potential to produce in the future, looking at past earnings, existing contracts, and expected future cash flows
  • Whichever method you use, be prepared to gather extensive documentation on things like:
  • Your business’s reputation
  • Your business’s age
  • Trademarks
  • The uniqueness of the product or service your business offers
  • Past tax filings
  • Employee pay records
  • Expense records and invoices

When Does a Business Owner Need to Assess a Business’s Value?

There are many situations in which a business owner may need to assess the exact value of her business. These include, but are not limited to:

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IL divorce lawyerPeople usually envision their wedding day as being a moment full of hope and joy. And while for many couples it is exactly that, the days and months following the wedding may be equally full of surprises and disappointments. It can be hard to know someone without living with them, and even then, people can be surprisingly good at covering up important information when it suits their purposes. In times like these, it can be useful to know when it may be possible to declare your marriage invalid. Also known as getting a marriage annulled, a declaration of invalidity of marriage can end your relationship without going through the hassle of a divorce.

When Can Someone Get an Annulment?

Not everyone who gets married and quickly regrets it can get an annulment. Unlike a divorce, in which someone does not need to declare grounds at all, there are only four grounds for annulment in Illinois. These are:

  • Illegality - A marriage is illegal if one spouse was already married or if the spouses are too closely related. Siblings and first cousins cannot get married in Illinois unless the first cousins are over 50 years old or are infertile. Although most annulment grounds have time limits, a couple who discovers they are too closely related can annul their marriage at any time.
  • Age - If one spouse was under age 18 and did not have parental consent, the marriage may be declared invalid. Even with parental consent, someone cannot get married in Illinois before age 16. An annulment must take place before the age of legal adulthood or parental consent.
  • Consent - If a spouse was incapable of consenting because of mental illness or drug or alcohol use, a marriage can be annulled. This occasionally happens when a drunk couple decides to wed in a spur-of-the-moment ceremony, but it can also happen when a partner was having a psychological breakdown or was unmedicated and did not understand the full implications of getting married. An annulment for lack of capacity to consent must take place within 90 days.
  • Lack of consummation - If a couple gets married and discovers that one spouse is not capable of consummating the marriage through sexual intimacy, as long as the other spouse did not about the physical incapacity, the marriage can be annulled. An annulment for lack of physical capacity must take place within a year.

Call a Wheaton, IL Annulment Attorney

At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, we know that sometimes the unexpected happens. That is why our DuPage County annulment attorneys are committed to helping you explore the available options to end your marriage as soon as possible. Schedule your comprehensive consultation by calling us today at 630-665-2500. We are available for consultations over the phone, in person, or by teleconference.

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Selling a home can be a stressful, chaotic experience. On top of making expensive changes to a home to make it more attractive, sellers are typically also busy looking for a new residence, negotiating with both the potential new homeowner and the owner of the home they wish to buy, and managing kids, careers, and more. While both the homeowner and a prospective buyer have time to request changes, negotiate the price, and make up their minds once and for all, once a purchase agreement is signed, things get real.

But what happens if a buyer suddenly pulls out of a deal, leaving the seller scrambling to clean up the mess? If you are in this situation, it is important to act quickly. Read on to learn more about what you can do, and then contact an Illinois real estate law attorney.

What Happens if a Buyer Backs Out of a Residential Real Estate Contract?

Whether a buyer can face legal consequences for backing out of a home buying contract will depend on several factors. For example, buyers can back out of real estate contracts if either the seller or buyer did not meet the contingencies in the contract, such as a satisfactory home inspection, financing terms, or required repairs.

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