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IL estate lawyerFor many people, the process of creating an estate plan will involve decisions about how a person’s assets will be passed to their heirs after their death. However, estate planning may also address a person’s needs throughout the remainder of their life, including ensuring that they will receive the proper medical and personal care and that their finances will be managed correctly. One way of doing so is through durable powers of attorney. By understanding how these agreements can be used and the benefits they provide, a family can make sure a person’s wishes will be followed, no matter what happens.

Reasons to Create Durable Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Finances

A power of attorney is an agreement in which a person (known as the “principal”) will give someone else (known as their “agent”) the authority to make decisions for them. A power of attorney for healthcare will address issues related to the medical care a person receives and other personal needs, while a power of attorney for finances or property will address issues related to a person’s income, assets, financial resources, and expenses. Powers of attorney are considered to be “durable” if they contain provisions that state that the agent’s authority will remain in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. That is, if a person becomes unconscious due to an illness or suffers from dementia or other mental health issues that affect their ability to make their wishes known, their agent will continue to have the authority to make decisions on their behalf.

Benefits of a durable power of attorney include:

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IL business lawyerIf you are a business owner, you probably have entered into multiple different types of contractual agreements, such as vendor or supplier contracts, employment contracts, licensing contracts, or contracts to provide goods or services to customers. These agreements are meant to protect your rights and interests by ensuring that both parties fully understand their obligations, the timeframes for completing work or delivering products, the restrictions that apply to either party and the amounts and methods of payment. If one party to a contract fails to meet their contractual obligations or otherwise violates the contract’s terms, the other party may pursue business litigation to address the alleged breach of contract.

Issues Addressed During Breach of Contract Litigation

To be valid, a contract must include an offer made by one party, the acceptance of that offer by the other party, and consideration provided by one party to the other. This consideration may include a monetary payment or any other benefits received in exchange for agreeing to the contract’s terms.

A contract will fully detail the obligations that apply to each party, and any failure to meet these obligations will be considered a breach of contract. Litigation will typically involve material breaches of contract in which a party’s failure to uphold the terms of the contract defeated the purpose of the contract. However, litigation may also address a minor breach of contract in which a party only violated some of a contract’s terms or an anticipatory breach in which one party will be expected to fail to uphold some or all of their obligations.

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IL divorce lawyerProperty division is one of the key issues that spouses will need to address during the divorce process. All of a couple’s marital property, which includes any assets or debts they acquired during their marriage, will need to be divided. While Illinois law does not require property to be divided equally between spouses, each spouse should receive a fair and equitable share of the marital estate. As spouses determine how to divide property in a way that will provide for their ongoing needs, ownership of their family home will be one of the most important matters to address. By understanding their options, spouses can make decisions that will allow them to move forward with their lives while maintaining financial stability.

Options for Ownership of a Family Home

Real estate property is likely to be one of the most valuable assets owned by a couple. Both spouses may have emotional connections to their home that may make it difficult to decide how to handle ownership going forward. It can often be beneficial to receive an appraisal of the home to ensure that the spouses fully understand its value. After gaining a complete understanding of the full value of the marital estate, spouses can make decisions about how ownership of the home and other assets will be handled.

When addressing homeownership during the divorce process, spouses can generally choose from one of the following options:

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IL real estate lawyerBuying or selling your home is a massive undertaking – financially, emotionally, and legally. The consequences of residential real estate transactions can affect your life for years or even decades after the transaction. Furthermore, the complexities associated with buying or selling a home can make anyone feel overwhelmed. For these reasons, many buyers and sellers seek professional legal guidance from a real estate attorney.

Benefits of Working With a Real Estate Lawyer

State laws regarding residential real estate vary. In Illinois, you are not required to hire a real estate lawyer. However, there are many advantages to working with an attorney when buying or selling a home, including:

  • A deeper understanding of the terms of the sale or purchase – Anyone who has bought or sold a home can tell you that real estate documents are complicated and difficult to read. Your lawyer will interpret any “legalese” and explain the terms of the contract in plain language. This ensures that you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
  • Legal advocacy and guidance – Your lawyer’s job is to advocate for your best interests during the transaction. He or she will review the contract and make sure that the contract is fair and reasonable. If needed, your lawyer may request a modification to the contract. Your lawyer will check for any encumbrances or title defects on the property. A skilled attorney will also ensure that all the necessary paperwork is properly completed and deadlines are met. It is customary in Illinois for buyers and sellers to have a lawyer review the purchase agreement before it is finalized.
  • Reduced likelihood of litigation after closing – Poorly written contracts, misunderstandings, and mistakes can lead to post-closing disputes. Working with an experienced real estate lawyer can help you avoid these types of issues.
  • Reduced stress – Did you know that moving to a new home is considered one of the most stressful life experiences you can go through? Having a strong legal professional on your side can give you the peace of mind you need.

Contact a Wheaton Real Estate Lawyer

If you are buying or selling a home, you cannot afford to make mistakes. Contact a knowledgeable DuPage County real estate attorney from Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC for help. Our team understands the challenges of buying or selling a home and how to properly address these challenges. We can help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Call 630-665-2500 today for a confidential consultation.

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IL estate lawyerEstate planning allows you to decide how your property is distributed upon your death. Whether you want to leave college money to your grandchild or pass along a treasured family heirloom, your estate plan is the vehicle through which you make those wishes a reality. However, estate plans can involve much more than leaving assets to loved ones. A strong estate plan enables you to leave a legacy while simultaneously supporting the causes you care about. Read on to learn about incorporating a charitable trust in your estate plan.

How a Charitable Trust May Benefit You

Charitable trusts are irrevocable trusts that allow an individual to leave money and property to 501(c)(3) organizations. You can bequeath money, stocks, real estate, and other types of property through a charitable trust. The beneficiary of a charitable trust may be a church or other religious organization, hospital, and school, or other not-for-profit organization.

Gifting assets to charitable foundations is one way individuals can support the causes they care about – even after they have passed away. In addition to the personal significance of donating to a charity you believe in, charitable trusts also have tax-related benefits. Charitable lead trusts reduce your income and therefore your tax liability. You may also enjoy reduced estate taxes.

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