Big News…We are expanding

Big News…We are expanding

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I announce a second office location for my clients. Over the past couple of years I have tried my hardest to give my clients a great legal service along with a friendly and accepting environment. Well, my past clients have spoken loud enough with numerous positive reviews and the professional world has noticed. Starting immediately, I have taken a position as, Of Counsel, for VLK Law Firm located at 200 West Main Street, Suite 102, St. Charles, IL 60174. What does this mean for you and for me? It means that you will be getting a better client experience with the option of meeting me at two different locations: downtown Elgin or downtown St. Charles. It means that I will have a better support staff with VLK on my side. And finally, it means that if you have a legal problem of any kind, think of Lauren Jackson Law, and we will be able to find the right attorney for your...
How is money disbursed at a real estate closing?

How is money disbursed at a real estate closing?

Two common questions I get from my real estate clients who are selling property are: how and when do I get my money? In Illinois we make sure all parties to the transaction (buyer & seller) are safely covered with title insurance.   Title insurance protects the homebuyer and his lender from the possibility that the seller doesn’t – or previous sellers didn’t – have free and clear ownership of the property and are thus unable to transfer full title ownership to you. In order to obtain title insurance you must have your closing at a title insurance agency office where the policy is provided. The title insurance company has an interest in making sure the closing is handled correctly. Therefore, the title insurance agency conducts the closing. One of the benefits of using the title insurance company is that the title insurance agency acts as the “middle man” for the transaction and collects all of the monies from the buyer and lender. Once all of the money has cleared, the title company then disburses checks to all parties that need to be paid to complete the deal. In most transactions, checks will be given to the real estate agents, real estate attorneys, and the seller’s lender and/or lien holders. Any remaining proceeds are disbursed directly to the...
Why you should never let a real estate buyer move in during the short sale process.

Why you should never let a real estate buyer move in during the short sale process.

Based on my experience, you should not assume anything with a short sale until the offer has been accepted and funding has been approved (all documents have been signed).  If you are the selling party during the short sale process, you should never assume anything until it is completed.  Although you think you might be helping the buyer out by letting them move in early and get work done, there is always a chance your lender will reject the buyer’s offer and you don’t want to be in a position where the buyer is looking to you for compensation for money they spent on the property they will not own.   You are also running the risk the buyers will have work done on the property and then not pay for it, exposing the property to potential mechanic liens.   In the case you really trust the buyer and want to help him out, you may be able to have a good real estate attorney draft an agreement between you and the buyers to limit your liability exposure on some of these issues, but it would clearly be safer for you to make your buyers wait to make repairs or improvement until after they actually own the property.  With the improving real estate market, short sales are taking longer for bank approval because the banks are making sure they are getting the what they deserve for the property.  Any questions regarding a similar situation feel free to reach out and contact...
When selling real estate, do I have to attend the closing?

When selling real estate, do I have to attend the closing?

For most of the real estate transaction sales that I handle, I am able to arrange it so that the client does not have to show up at the closing. This is a huge benefit for my clients because they don’t have to take off from work and they can focus on getting out of their old home and into the new one.   The process for not attending the sale closing is that I draft all the sale documents ahead of time, the client comes to my office some time prior to the closing to pre-sign the documents. Additionally, the client also must give me power of attorney to sign the closing statement along with a few other title documents at the closing. The power of attorney also gives me the authority to make any last minute decisions regarding the sale that may be necessary.   What about if you are buying a house and don’t want to attend the closing? Well, that depends. If it is an all cash deal I can easily handle the closing with a power of attorney. However, if you have to take out a loan to purchase the property you will need to attend the closing to sign the loan documents. That is something I will not sign on your behalf.   I have been handling real estate transactions for over a decade. Whatever your situation we can find a solution together. Just give me a call....
What is a transfer on death instrument?

What is a transfer on death instrument?

Did you know that Illinois gives you an easy way to transfer your real estate while keeping it out of probate without having to transfer it into a trust? It is called a transfer on death instrument or TODI. Once you decide who you want to have the property, I can help you fill out the document, get it recorded with the appropriate county, and upon your death the real estate will transfer to the party or parties named in the document without having to go through a long probate process.   Keep in mind this document is revocable and you can change your mind at any time. You can always change the names of the people who will get the property and it has no effect on the property until after your death so you can sell or mortgage the property in the meantime. You can also name multiple people to split the ownership of the property after your death.   What’s it worth to have piece of mind for your family?  Please contact me today for help in completing your estate...
How do I find a trust that was left for me?

How do I find a trust that was left for me?

Trusts are private documents.  They are not filed anywhere and nothing is reported to any court of law when the trust is signed or when the grantor of the trust passes away.  Your only option for finding out if you are named as a beneficiary in a trust is to determine who was nominated the successor trustee in the trust, contact that person and request a copy of the trust. If you are named a beneficiary of the trust you are entitled to a copy. However, keep in mind if you are not named in the trust the trustee does not have to give you a...