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Crystal Lake Family Law Attorneys for Prenups and Divorce Cases

Crystal Lake Family Law Attorneys for Prenups and Divorce Cases

For many people, a prenuptial agreement is thought of as something that is only used by the rich and famous, and the idea of putting terms and conditions on one's marriage may seem tasteless. However, these agreements can provide benefits that apply in a wide variety of situations and for many different types of couples. Before getting married, a couple should consider whether this type of agreement would be appropriate for their situation.

A prenuptial agreement, which is also known as a premarital agreement or prenup, serves as a legal contract between spouses, and it can be used to make decisions about how certain matters will be handled during the marriage and if the marriage ends, including through divorce or the death of one of the spouses. By creating a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married, spouses can address obligations from a prior marriage, protect their financial independence, and take some of the uncertainty and conflict out of a potential divorce.

Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving McHenry County, Illinois

Illinois drug induced homicide defense lawyer

Under Illinois’ drug-induced homicide law, it is possible for an individual to be charged with a Class X felony even if he or she did not intend to kill another person. The law defines drug-induced homicide as unlawfully delivering a controlled substance to another individual that then results in death, either to the direct recipient or another party, from the injection, inhalation, absorption, or ingestion of the substance. Charges of drug-induced homicide can be complicated, and the penalties for a conviction are severe. If you are facing such charges, discuss your case in detail with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to ensure that you understand exactly what may lie ahead during the criminal justice process.

Recent Illinois Drug-induced Homicide Cases

In March 2017, four Kane County individuals were charged with drug-induced homicide after a victim died from overdosing on fentanyl-laced heroin they had provided. In late 2016, another Kane County woman was charged with this offense after a male victim died from the same cause: heroin laced with fentanyl.

McHenry County Lawyers for Asset, Debt and Real Estate Division

Every divorce is unique, yet they all have one factor in common: division of assets. The assets that a couple obtains or develops over the course of their marriage are considered marital property, except for assets specifically designated as separate property and those acquired as gifts or through inheritance.

Marital property must be divided equitably in an Illinois divorce. For some couples, this process is simple. For others, it can be far more contentious. Even for couples who can agree on their property division, it can be a long process if they have many assets to divide. Broach the conversation about dividing your property with your divorce lawyer soon after you begin working with him or her. In doing so, you will be equipped to pursue your property goals in the divorce and understand how these determinations are made.

McHenry County Real Estate Lawyers

A real estate lien is a legal claim that grants the lienholder payment from the proceeds resulting from the sale of the liened property. Often, they are used as collateral to ensure that a lender receives a repayment of the debt the borrower owes. The most common example of this is a mortgage. Although liens can be placed on properties of delinquent borrowers, they are not always used in this manner.

Before purchasing real estate , it is important to work with an experienced real estate lawyer to help you become familiar with the types of liens that may exist on the property you intend to buy.

McHenry County Real Estate Lawyers

Why Your Real Estate Assessment Matters

A staple of the American dream is the ownership of property. Whether it is the dream home that you have always wanted, or purchasing a plot of land to retire on later, owning property can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of life. Purchasing property without the guidance of an experienced real estate lawyer, however, could result in unintended adverse consequences with long-term effects . From the moment you sign a contract, all the way through closing, having the advice of an experienced attorney is imperative.

What Is a Real Estate Assessment?

A real estate assessment is the process by which the government values your property and the land that it sits on. Township tax assessors calculate this value using recent sale prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood or community and the equalization rate in your area. The equalization rate is the ratio of assessment value to the market value of your property. The government calculates the assessment value. Conversely, the market value is the price a buyer in a given market would likely pay for a particular property.

Why Is a Property Assessment Done?

A property assessment is used by the local government to determine how much you owe the government in taxes for owning your property. In short, the assessment determines what your property taxes will be. As a rule of thumb, in this area the rate is commonly set between 2% and 4% of your home's assessment.

Understanding and tracking your property assessment may seem unimportant; however, it can have a sizable effect on how much money you pay in property taxes. For example, if the prices of the homes comparable to yours have steadily dropped since you bought your property you could be paying too much in property taxes. If you are paying too much, you may consider appealing your assessment to reduce your property taxes.

Why Do You Have to Pay Property Taxes?

Property taxes are an inescapable reality of owning real estate. Property taxes are earmarked for local government and social services in your community. For example, your property taxes can be allocated to:

  • Public schools in your neighborhood
  • Maintenance of public roads
  • Parks
  • Libraries
  • Police
  • City snow plowing

Throughout the State of Illinois, real estate taxes are paid one year in arrears. In other words, property taxes attributable for the previous year are due in the current year. They are collected twice each year. Depending on the type of mortgage you have, your property taxes may be built into your escrow account with your lender.

Is a Property Assessment the Same as an Appraisal?

A property assessment is not the same thing as an appraisal. Your property assessment is calculated by your local government and is a valuation for the purposes of determining taxes. An appraisal, however, determines the fair market value of your property. The value is calculated using factors such as:

  • Comparable sale prices of homes in your community
  • The condition of the property
  • The location of the property
  • The size of the property
  • The number of rooms in the property
  • The style of construction

If you are purchasing a property, the appraised value will be a significant factor used by your lender to determine how much money it is willing to loan to you. You may appeal an appraisal value and you may have more than one survey completed.

Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

If you currently contemplating or already in the process of purchasing real estate, you will want an experienced attorney to help you understand each step of the process. The law firm of Botto Gilbert Lancaster, P.C. has been assisting clients in Illinois for over 30 years. Our Real Estate Practice Group currently has four attorneys who represent clients in real estate matters. In addition, we have a full support staff, including an experienced and dedicated real estate paralegal. This structure enables us to provide an exceptional level of service to our clients. Contact our Crystal Lake office at 815-338-3838 to schedule your free consultation today.

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