Everything you should know about your Kane County Tax Bill

Everything you should know about your Kane County Tax Bill

When it comes to issues with local real estate, one of the hardest things for people to understand is the property tax billing process. In Illinois, our property tax bills are billed in arrears. For instance, if you owned property in the year 2016, you will be paying the real estate tax bill for 2016 in 2017. Whenever I am with my clients at the closing table, I understand this is one of the most confusing aspects of the transaction, and I make sure to explain and answer every question regarding the property taxes. When I am reviewing real estate closing statements prepared by other attorneys, the real estate tax proration is the biggest mistake I find. If you do not have an attorney who handles real estate transactions regularly, it can cost you. How does the county figure the value of your property? The Illinois state property tax code requires that your property-assessed value should be about one-third fair market value of the property (based on sales from the previous three years of surrounding properties). What can you do to lower your tax bill? There are a few exemptions that are available if the property is the principal residence of the owner. Available exemptions include: General Homestead Exemption, Senior Citizen Exemption, Senior Citizen Freeze, Home Improvement Exemption, Persons with Disabilities Exemption, Veterans with Disabilities Exemption, and Returning Veterans Exemption. Each exemption has its own qualifications so please visit KaneCountyAssessments.org/exemptions.htm for further information. Need a copy of your tax bill? Visit KaneCountyTreasurer.org How can you pay your tax bill? Most individuals have their tax payments rolled into their mortgage...
Top five reasons why your real estate appraisal could come in low.

Top five reasons why your real estate appraisal could come in low.

If you are in the process of buying a home, I am sure there are a lot of unanswered questions you have. One such question is: will the home appraise out? Everyone on both sides of the transaction wants the home to appraise out for what was offered on the contract, but what happens when it doesn’t appraise out? There are ways to deal with a low appraisal – but only if you know why it happened.   Below are the top five reasons why a home might not appraise out. There isn’t enough data on sales of similar homes in the neighborhood. If the home is in an area where the house might be one of a kind or has different features of other houses, the appraiser might have to have a larger search area to find similar houses that have sold in the last six months. If that is the case, the appraiser is comparing different neighborhoods as well, which could be a huge factor. Does the home have a large beautiful basement? Unfortunately, appraisers use much lower to value per square foot for space below ground. Although this might be a big selling point, in the eyes of the appraiser it could be different. A pool or professionally landscaping are attractive features, but they don’t lead to a much higher valuation on appraisals. Although these homes will have a slightly higher price tag than a home without those features, it won’t be worth what the actually cost of them to be put in is. Home prices in the area are increasing so quickly the comps are not...
Are you starting an LLC in Illinois?  Start here

Are you starting an LLC in Illinois? Start here

A Limited Liability Company or LLC is a business structure that is both easy and affordable to form in Illinois. There are specific steps and details that you must know when starting one: Decide on a name There are some naming requirements when choosing a name but the biggest factor is that the name must be recognizably different from the names of other business entities already on file with the state. If I form your LLC, an online search will determine if you can use the name that you are thinking of. Assign an agent Registered agents accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC and make sure its members are notified. An agent may be an individual who resides in Illinois, or a domestic or foreign corporation authorized to do business in Illinois. Get an EIN number If there are two or more members in your LLC, you will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS. Register with the Illinois Department of Revenue Create an Operating Agreement This is not a requirement but I would strongly argue for drafting one, especially if there is more than one member in the LLC. Annual Reports Each year you must report to the Secretary of State. The report is due each year prior to the first day of the LLC’s anniversary month (the month in which it was organized). If you would like legal advice on starting a Limited Liability Company in Illinois, please contact us. Also, if you have a trust, putting the LLC ownership interests in the name of the trust might be the best course of action...
Can your life insurance company take advantage of you?

Can your life insurance company take advantage of you?

Recently, I watched a 60-minute news story about how some of the largest life insurance companies don’t pay benefits even when they know the policyholder has died. Insurance companies claim that it is up to policyholders’ beneficiaries to contact the insurance company and to file a claim in order to collect whatever death benefit may be due them. But if beneficiaries are unaware of the policy, they don’t know to file a claim. Do you want to know another scary fact? The news reported that on some whole life insurance policies, even when the insurance company knew the client was dead, they still deducted the monthly premiums from the client’s account. So, what is the point of paying years of insurance premiums when your family may not collect the death benefit? This is just another example of why it pays to be organized with your estate planning. After I draft my clients’ estate plans, I encourage everyone to make a list of all accounts that are in their name and keep a copy with their estate planning documents. That way if something happens, the executor or trustee knows where to look and what companies to contact. For one reason or another, many people are afraid to tell their friends and family members exactly what their estate planning documents say. You really do not have to tell everyone everything. At a bare minimum, you should tell the person whom you have listed as trustee or executor of your estate where are your estate planning documents located and how they can access them. There is no point for you to spend...
FREE Financial & Estate Planning Retirement Workshop

FREE Financial & Estate Planning Retirement Workshop

I have partnered with Scott Sirens from Sierens Financial Group and we will be hosting two financial and estate planning retirement workshops on Monday, April 24th and Wednesday, April 26th.  The workshop will be a comprehensive two-hour presentation covering everything from financial planning in retirement through common estate planning techniques.  Please come out to this free event for an informative time. Reservations are required and please call us to reserve a spot at (847) 714-2866 or Sierens Financial at (847) 235-6989. Details are below but you may always contact us with any questions. Monday, April 24th 1pm-3pm Bartlett Community Center – Program Room #3 700 S. Bartlett Road Bartlett, IL  60103 Wednesday, April 26th 10am-12pm Park Place Family Recreation Center – West Meeting Room 550 S. Park Blvd. Streamwood, IL ...