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IL real estate lawyerWhen you are a first-time homebuyer, the experience of shopping for your home can be confusing and overwhelming. While you are probably excited to find a place that you can make your home, you are also likely to be very cognizant of the financial side of things. Things such as the interest rate of your mortgage, taxes on the property, and the cost of the home itself can all affect how much you can expect to pay for your home. However, there are also other costs that many people forget about during the home buying process - closing costs. Understanding what your closing costs are and what the funds are used for is an important step toward purchasing a home.

What Are Closing Costs?

When you purchase a home, there are certain fees associated with the closing, or finalization, of the purchase. These costs together are typically referred to as closing costs and include a variety of fees and charges. In general, closing costs usually total to be around 2 to 5 percent of the total purchase price of the home, though the final costs largely depend on the location you are purchasing the home and other factors.

What Is Covered by Closing Costs?

There are a variety of things that the closing costs pay for. You will be able to see all of these itemized costs listed out on the estimate given to you by your lender, but typically they include things such as appraising the home, the cost associated with performing a title search, etc. Items that are often lumped together under the umbrella term of closing costs can include:


Il business lawyerThere are several reasons why contracts are used in business. Contracts are commonly used when a business is formed, when it is sold or purchased, when it buys supplies and goods from other vendors, and when it sells its own goods or services to its customers. A contract spells out what each party should expect to give and to get in a certain situation. For a contract to be enforceable and upheld, it must be valid. There are certain specific elements that a contract must contain in order for it to be considered valid, which is why consulting with a business lawyer is a smart idea when forming or signing a contract.

Elements of a Contract

In the business world, a contract can appear for a variety of reasons. However, not all contracts are enforceable or even valid. When you do business, you should be sure that your contracts are clear and unambiguous to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion. When creating a contract for any reason, the contract should contain:

  • The parties addressed in the agreement - The first element that should be included is the parties that are included in the agreement. If you are creating a sales agreement, you would include your business’s name and your customer’s name, indicating who is the buyer and who is the seller. If you were creating an employment agreement, you would include your business’ name and the name of your employee. This section typically also addresses the “consideration” of the contract or a simple explanation of what the contract is to do for each party.
  • The main purpose and terms of the contract - Next, the meat and potatoes of the contract are included -- the main terms and conditions. Typically, this portion of the contract is extremely detailed and specific. This is where the actions of each party are written out and explain what each party is expected to do. If you are creating a sales contract, you would include the price of the goods or services, a description of those goods, how delivery is to take place, any warranties included with the product, and how payment is to be made.
  • Any additional terms in the contract - You can also include additional terms in a contract that are supplementary to the main terms. Things such as how the contract can be terminated or how disputes arising from the contract can be handled are typically included here.
  • How the contract is to be signed and accepted - Here you can include stipulations as to how the contract must be signed. In some cases, a person may need to sign the contract in the presence of certain people in order for the contract to be valid. In other cases, multiple signatures may be required to ensure the contract is valid.
  • Which state’s laws govern the contract - If you and the person you are entering into the contract with are in different states, it is important that you designate a specific set of laws that govern the contract. State laws are not always the same when it comes to business issues, which is why you should specify how the contract is to be governed.

Our DuPage County Business Contract Lawyers Are Here to Help

At Stock, Carlson & Duff, LLC, we will not only help you create your business contracts, but we can also assist if any disputes arise related to those contracts. Our skilled team of Wheaton, IL business contract attorneys have the experience needed for swift and effective action in any situation. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 630-665-2500.


IL estate planning lawyerWhen you think of estate planning, many people jump directly to a will. While a will can be an important part of your estate plan, you should also consider implementing a power of attorney and adding it to your plan. Many people may not be familiar with powers of attorney, but they can be an essential part of any estate plan. A power of attorney is a document that allows another person to make a decision on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. There are various types of powers of attorney that you could enact depending on your situation and your needs. If you are thinking of adding a power of attorney to your estate plan, hiring a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer is your best option for creating a valid and enforceable power of attorney.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

In basic terms, a power of attorney is a document that gives another person the power to make certain decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. The person you give these powers to, usually referred to as your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” is a person of your choosing. In many cases, a person may designate their spouse or child to be their power of attorney. You can also customize your power of attorney to include (or exclude) certain decision-making powers.

The extent of a Power of Attorney

If you create a power of attorney and do not specify which decisions they cannot make, your agent is usually able to make most decisions if you are rendered incapable of making those decisions yourself. Your agent will also be the decision-maker about the rest of your estate if you pass away if you include a durable clause in the document that allows your power of attorney to continue after death.


IL divorce lawyerPrenuptial agreements have always had some sort of societal taboo on them, but in recent years, society’s opinion of prenuptial agreements, or prenups for short, has evolved and more people have accepted their role. A prenuptial agreement is a document that both people sign before they get married that spells out the terms of their divorce if they were to ever get one. As a legal agreement, your prenuptial agreement is subject to certain standards and rules in order to be enforceable. If the agreement violates any of those standards or rules, those sections may be invalidated, if not the entire agreement. If you are thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement, it is important to make sure your agreement follows the rules, so it will be enforceable if you ever need to use it.

Not Having Full Financial Disclosure From Both Spouses

Before you sign a prenuptial agreement, both you and your spouse are supposed to disclose all of your financial information. This includes any property that you own, inheritances you expect to receive, and any liabilities you may have, such as student loans or credit card debt. Without full disclosure, the argument could be made that you did not fully understand what you were agreeing to when you signed the agreement.

Making the Agreement Extremely One-Sided

Another issue that stems from the previous issue is having an “unconscionable” agreement. While there is no legal definition of “unconscionable” in Illinois, it typically means extremely unfair or heavily favoring one spouse over the other.


IL real estate lawyerShopping for a new home is an exciting process, especially once you find a home that fits everything on your checklist. Purchasing a home is a big accomplishment for many people, but the process that you must go through can be confusing and overwhelming for many people. Before you can move into your new home, there are a few things that you need to take care of on the legal side. No home sale can be completed without a contract, also referred to as the purchase agreement, in addition to an array of other forms and documents. Your purchase agreement is one of the most important documents involved in the home-buying process. Once you and all applicable parties sign the agreement, it is considered to be legally binding, which is why you should know what is included in the agreement you are signing.

Components of a Home Purchase Agreement

Once you have found your dream home, you will have to submit your offer to the buyer in written format. Certain information is always included in the purchase agreement, such as the contact information for both the buyer and the seller, a description of the property, including the property’s address, the purchase price, the condition of the property, and any items that may be included in the sale, like the appliances. In most cases, there will be other conditions that need to be met before the agreement can be valid. These are called contingencies, which spell out the rights and obligations of both the seller and buyer. Some of the most common contingencies include:

  • Being able to obtain certain financing terms
  • Any requested seller assist, which usually involves closing costs
  • Results of the home inspection
  • Your desired closing date
  • Your date of possession
  • Selling your existing home

If certain contingencies are not met, your sale will not be completed. You can have your attorney write the terms of the contingencies into the contract, such as your right to walk away from the sale if the contingencies are not met.

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