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IL real estate lawyerIllinois law permits contractors, construction professionals, and other parties to place a lien on a residential property for the purposes of collecting past-due payment. The Mechanics Lien Act ensures that contractors and other parties who work on a home are paid for their work. In other words, a mechanic’s lien is collateral for a debt. It is important for any homeowner to understand when a mechanic’s lien may be placed on their home and how to respond to this situation. It is especially crucial for individuals buying a home to understand how a mechanic’s lien can complicate the home-buying process.

What is a Mechanic’s Lien?

A lien is an action used to ensure the collection of a debt. Liens filed against a real estate property give the creditor interest in the property. This means that the property owner cannot sell or refinance the property until the debt is paid and the lien is lifted. The creditor may also be able to ask the court to compel the sale of the property so the creditor can receive payment from the sale proceeds.

Mechanics’ liens are used to pursue payment of construction, renovation, repair, or home improvements projects. The contractor, subcontractor, or the party who provided materials for the project may be permitted to place a lien on the property if they are not paid for labor or supplies. However, a lien must be executed properly in order to be legally enforceable. Illinois contractors have four months after a project is completed to record a mechanic’s lien.


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IL estate lawyerAfter a person dies, issues related to their estate will be handled through a legal process known as probate. If the person had a last will and testament, the executor of their estate will file their will in probate court, take a complete inventory of their assets, pay taxes and expenses on behalf of the estate, and distribute the estate’s assets to the person’s beneficiaries. However, in cases in which a person died without a will, their family members or other heirs may be unsure about how these matters will be addressed.

Intestate Succession

The probate process will usually be required whether a person had a will or not. In cases where the deceased person did not have a will, someone will need to be appointed as the representative of the estate. This may be a family member or another person who was close to the decedent, and they may ask to be appointed by the probate court that is handling the case. The estate representative will carry out the same duties as a person who was named as an executor in a will.

Without a will that provides instructions for the distribution of a person’s assets, an estate representative will need to follow the applicable laws, which are known as the laws of intestate succession. The laws in Illinois state that a person’s assets will be divided equally between their spouse and children. That is, the surviving spouse will receive half of the estate, and the other half will be equally divided among the person’s children. If any of their children have died, their share of the estate will go to their own children or descendants.


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IL business lawyerWhile many entrepreneurs are able to succeed by developing an idea for a business and taking steps to start a new company, there are multiple other options available. For some people, buying an existing business can provide a number of benefits, such as avoiding the costs and complications of the business formation process and being able to take advantage of a company’s existing procedures, personnel, and customer base. If you are considering the purchase of a business, either as a new business venture or as an acquisition that will provide additional value to an existing company, it is important to understand the steps you can take to protect your financial interests and ensure that you will be able to achieve your goals.

Issues to Consider When Acquiring a Business

As a prospective business owner, you will want to be sure to understand your goals as you begin the process of identifying a business to purchase. In addition to considering the financial benefits, including the expected return on investment, you will want to make sure a business aligns with your values, your familiarity with a particular industry, and your knowledge of business practices. This will help you identify the right business that will allow you to succeed in the years to come.

After identifying a business that may be purchased, it is important to gain a full understanding of why it is being sold. If the current owner is selling their business because they wish to retire or are looking to pursue other business opportunities, this may allow you to step in and assume control of a successful company. However, if an owner is selling their business because of debts, legal issues, or an inability to effectively compete in the marketplace, you will need to determine how these issues may affect you and whether you will be able to make changes that will ensure that the business can be successful. Gaining a full understanding of a business’s operations, market share, and strategies can help you ensure that buying the business will be a good investment.


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IL divorce lawyerEnding a marriage through divorce will involve multiple types of legal and financial issues. A couple will need to separate multiple different aspects of their lives that have become intertwined while they were married. As they make decisions about how to divide the property they own and the debts they owe, each spouse will want to take steps to make sure they will be able to support themselves and live comfortably once their marriage has ended. However, this can sometimes be difficult for those who rely on a spouse’s income or who do not have significant financial resources. In some cases, a person may be able to receive ongoing financial support from their spouse that will help them meet their needs. By understanding when this form of support (which is known as spousal maintenance, spousal support, or alimony) may be appropriate, spouses can make sure they will be able to address this issue correctly during the divorce process.

When Will Spousal Support Be Awarded?

A person will not automatically receive spousal maintenance following divorce, and this form of support will generally only be appropriate in situations where one spouse earns a significantly higher income than the other. If a spouse has been a stay-at-home parent during the couple’s marriage, or if they only work part-time so they can devote more time to childcare and other household responsibilities, they may ask for spousal support so that they will be able to cover their ongoing financial needs after getting divorced while also working to ensure that they will be able to support themselves in the future.

A couple may agree that spousal maintenance will be paid when they create a divorce settlement. If an agreement cannot be reached, the party seeking support can ask the judge in their case to decide whether spousal support should be awarded. When considering this issue, a judge may look at how much income each spouse currently earns, the income they should be able to earn based on their education and work experience, and their ongoing needs. Other relevant factors that may play a role in these decisions include whether the spouse seeking support has made sacrifices to their income or career in order to focus on family responsibilities and whether a person has made monetary or personal contributions that have helped their spouse increase their income level or pursue career opportunities.


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IL real estate lawyerThere are multiple different situations where construction may be performed on real estate property. Homeowners may plan to make improvements or renovations to their homes, or a person may plan to build a new home after a residential real estate purchase. Real estate developers may plan construction on commercial real estate property, either by making improvements to existing buildings or adding new buildings that can be leased to commercial tenants. Construction projects can be complicated, and the parties involved in these projects will need to make sure they understand their rights and obligations as they enter into construction contracts. By understanding the types of contracts that may be used in these projects, property owners, developers, and contractors can determine the best options that will protect their rights and interests.

Terms of Construction Contracts

The contracts used during construction projects will typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • Fixed-price/lump-sum contracts - A contractor may submit a bid in which a total amount will be paid for a construction project. While this may allow contractors to maximize profits if they are able to complete the project under budget, it can result in losses due to miscalculations, errors made during construction, or unexpected costs.
  • Cost-plus contracts - A property owner or developer may agree to pay for the actual costs of construction, as well as an additional amount that will allow the contractor to make a profit. These contracts allow for more flexibility if changes need to be made during a project or if unexpected expenses arise.
  • Time and materials contracts - A contractor may be paid for the materials used during a construction project, as well as an hourly rate for the time they have worked. While these contracts allow for modifications as needed, they require detailed tracking of time, and they can sometimes be inefficient.
  • Unit price contracts - A project may be divided into several phases or components, with different prices being established for different types of work. This may make it easier to make changes or additions while a project is ongoing.
  • Design-build contracts - This type of contract will combine the design of a construction project with the actual work being performed. This may be a good solution if a single contractor will be providing architectural designs and ensuring that work is completed properly.
  • Guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contracts - An owner or developer may wish to ensure that the total cost of a project will not exceed a certain price. These types of contracts may lead to increased risk for contractors, and they are typically used for projects that involve repeat work with a low possibility of delays or unexpected costs.

Contact Our DuPage County Real Estate Construction Contract Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, we have represented in multiple types of real estate transactions and development projects. With our understanding of real estate law and contract law, we can help draft and negotiate construction contracts that will protect the rights and interests of the parties involved. Contact our Wheaton real estate attorneys at 630-665-2500 to arrange a consultation and get legal help with issues related to construction contracts.


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