An attorney is critical for several reasons. First, buying or selling real estate requires compliance with state and local laws. Second, an attorney will be in a better position to advocate on your behalf and ensure your interests are protected. Third, you will be signing a lot of documents to complete the transaction. An attorney can explain each of the documents to you to ensure you have peace of mind.
When you sign a contract to purchase a home, the clock starts ticking with respect to several time-sensitive deadlines including contract review, property inspection, tax proration, securing financing, checking for a clear and lien-free title, and ensuring all requirements have been met prior to closing.
An experienced real estate attorney can you help you review the sales contract, respond to any contract modifications proposed by the purchaser, ensure all state and county laws have been complied with during the sale, and explain all of the required documentation to you at closing, among other things. Our lawyers will work with you every step of the way to ensure your closing is smooth.
Once the buyer and seller agree on price and sign the real estate contract, the contract is in full force and effect. The signature date is known as the “Date of Acceptance” and is important to keep in mind as implementation of some of the contract provisions are tied to this date. Additionally, there are other provisions which you must take note of so that the closing can occur as scheduled. Whether you are selling or purchasing your home, you need to immediately retain a lawyer. In fact, we recommend you contact a lawyer before you sign the contract so the attorneys can begin advising you of what lies ahead in the process.
All of the money and property owned by a particular person at the time of death is referred to as the person’s “estate.”
Estate planning is the process of designing a comprehensive plan for the division and administration of an individual’s estate both during that individual’s life and after death. An estate plan can be as simple or as complicated as each individual’s case merits. An estate plan should only be created after consultation with a lawyer who can review your personal, familial and financial circumstances to determine the best process to manage your estate.
A trust is a method of holding title to an asset wherein the grantor transfers possession of the asset to a trustee along with instructions on how to hold, manage and distribute the asset.
An heir is someone who has a right to inherit a share of the estate upon a person’s death via intestacy laws. A legatee is someone who is designated in an estate plan to receive a gift. A beneficiary is an heir or legatee who receives benefits from a benefactor pursuant to an estate plan or some other legal instrument.
A decedent is someone who has just passed away. A decedent who dies “intestate” is someone who passes away without a will. A decedent who dies “testate” is someone who passes away having a valid will gifting the assets of his estate.
A legatee is a person who receives property pursuant to a will or estate plan.
Probate is the court-supervised process of administering your estate and transferring your property at death. Every state has different probate requirements and identifies who must go through probate before assets can be distributed to heirs. In Illinois, for example, a decedent’s estate must go through probate if they owned real estate or if the decedent had assets totaling over than $100,000. Where one of these factors is met, the beneficiaries/heirs (typically a surviving spouse or one of the children) must file a petition with the probate court to open the estate, prepare an affidavit stating the proper heirs of the decedent, give notice to all heirs and legatees, publish notice in a local newspaper, and, oftentimes, provide an accounting to the court. One way to avoid probate and many of its costs is to create an estate plan that includes a trust agreement.
MST offers services that can help protect you and your family in the instance you become disabled or are unable to attend to your financial matters for any other reason (traveling abroad, deportation, etc.). Among other things, MST will guide you through this process and draft the appropriate paperwork necessary.
Yes. An estate plan properly executed pursuant to the laws of any states will be valid in all 50 states.
If you do not have an estate plan, your beneficiaries are designated by the Illinois Probate Act and your assets will be distributed through the state’s intestacy laws and possibly through court-supervised probate proceedings.
There are several compelling reasons to have an estate plan executed. These benefits include, but are not limited to: (1) it allows you to distribute your assets in a manner you prescribe, instead of the default distributions provisions set forth in the Illinois Probate Act; (2) it avoids conflicts within the family in regards to your estate; (3) it allows your heirs to receive the assets faster than if they went through the probate court; (4) it can allow you to avoid probate court altogether, and the administrative costs and attorney time associated with it; (5) it may help you protect your assets from your or your beneficiaries’ creditors; (6) it may help you avoid estate taxes (for higher-value assets); and (7) it may help your heirs save money on their income taxes.
It depends. A will is the most basic estate planning document, but it is not appropriate for all persons. Depending on your personal, familial and financial situation, a basic will may not be an appropriate estate plan for you and you may instead need to create trust agreements to manage your assets. In fact, executing only a basic will may do more harm than good if not created with the advice of sound legal counsel. By way of example, if you have a beneficiary who is receiving government assistance, a distribution made through a will without a special needs trust agreement may leave your beneficiary ineligible for further government assistance, resulting in the loss of a significant source of future income in the future. There are numerous other examples that may apply to your situation.
Yes, a premarital agreement (commonly referred to as a “prenuptial agreement”) is often a critical component of proper estate planning, especially for couples who are marrying later in life. The attorneys at Islamic Wills USA can help you draft a premarital agreement that complies with secular law and ensures assets are properly classified prior to the marriage.
First off, congratulations on taking the necessary step to protecting yourself and your loved ones. After you have executed a will or estate plan, store original copies in a safety deposit box and provide copies to your loved ones, as needed. Be sure to inform your loved ones about the location of your will as they will need to file it with the probate court upon your death. Trust documents are confidential and do not need to be filed with a court.
I already used a “do-it-yourself” website (e.g., Legal Zoom or Rocket Lawyer) to create my will. Can I modify it MST Law?
You may revoke, renounce or modify an existing estate plan at any time by following certain formal procedures. We strongly recommend you schedule your free consultation with us to review your existing will or estate plan as soon as possible.
MST Law can help you navigate through the many considerations you will need to take prior to conducting business in Illinois, including the most cost-effective and strategic form of organization, and registering with the appropriate local, state and federal government agencies. MST Law will take the time to understand your business and provide tailored advice to ensure your business starts off with a strong compliant and strategic foundation.
What are the Illinois Secretary of State’s requirements for my business and do I need a lawyer to help me with compliance?
The answer depends on a variety of factors, most notably, your choice of legal entity. For example, if your business is structured as a corporation, we would need to ensure that your business complies with all provisions of Illinois’ Business Corporations Act (805 ILCS 5/1 et seq.). In contrast, if your business is structured as a limited liability company (LLC), we would need to ensure that your business complies with Illinois’ Limited Liability Act (805 ILCS 180/1 et seq.). Sole proprietors, on the other hand, may not need to register with the Secretary of State, but may have publication requirements and registration requirements with other Illinois, municipal and/or county departments. Domestic and foreign businesses also have different requirements, as do businesses involved in professional trades or design. You may also need to register with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations (IDFPR) and the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR). While forming your own business without a lawyer is possible, you may not know if you are overlooking certain required registrations.
A contract is a legally binding document that defines the relationship between an employer and its employees from the time of hiring through termination and beyond. A carefully drafted employment agreement is critical regardless of whether the employee is full time, part time, or an outside contractor. Among other things, you would want to ensure: (1) the parties’ expectations and conditions are unambiguous; (2) post-employment restrictive covenants, including non-competes, non-solicits, and non-disclosure provisions are carefully drafted to ensure they are not overbroad; and (3) the contract permits enough flexibility to accommodate changes in circumstances. An attorney can ensure your interests are safeguarded while limiting your exposure.
Commercial litigation refers to litigations involving business matters. The types of cases that fall under this practice vary greatly, and could include breach of contract, business torts (such as unfair competition or tortious interference), and trademark infringement.
You should consult an attorney right away to understand your rights and your obligations. Prior to speaking to a lawyer, however, you should carefully review the “summons” (the court document ordering you to appear in court) and the “complaint” (the written allegations that identify the basis for why the plaintiff is suing you). Be sure to also collect all documents and other evidence you have relating to the matter so you can show it to your attorney.
It depends on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the case, the number of parties involved, the strength of the evidence weighing in favor of one side or the other, and the parties’ willingness to resolve the matter outside of court.
As a general rule: no. Each side bears their own legal expenses. However, a party may be entitled to its attorneys’ fees and costs if the parties’ contract allows it, or an award of fees and costs is authorized by a state or federal statute. Your attorney will be able to advise you if this is possible in your case.
The Cook County Assessor's Office assesses your property every three years based on several factors, including uniformity of area, uniqueness of the property, the recent sale prices of properties in your neighborhood, and possibly other factors. Does MST Law also handle appeals outside of Cook County? Yes. In addition to properties located within Cook County, MST Law also handles tax appeals in the collar counties, including Lake, DuPage, McHenry, and Will Counties.
Yes. Whether you are in a reassessment year or a non- reassessment year, it is to your benefit to file a tax appeal because you could be overpaying your taxes for that particular year.
No. MST Law will handle your tax appeal with no money up front. You only pay a percentage of the tax savings for the first year of savings, only if we are successful. If we are unable to reduce your taxes, you will not pay anything.
You must first determine which township your property is located in. The township can be found on your tax bill or on your Notice of Assessment. You can then determine your reassessment year by visiting the Cook County Assessor's Office, at www.cookcountyassessor.com or by calling the Assessor's Office at 312.443.7550.
For most residential properties, you do not need an attorney. However, the appeal process can be unwieldy and time sensitive. Therefore, it is in your best interests to hire an attorney to handle your appeal. Inexperience can hurt your chances of reducing your tax bill. If you own commercial property, industrial property, or own the property (residential or commercial) through a corporate entity (e.g. a corporation or LLC), an attorney must file your appeal.
Please call us during business hours at 847.916.7800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to discuss your property tax appeal.