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Attorneys At Law

Attorneys practicing in and around the Chicagoland area. Experienced in the practice areas of Real Estate Law, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Litigation, Business Law, & Estate Law.

Attorneys At Law - Attorneys practicing in and around the Chicagoland area. Experienced in the practice areas of Real Estate Law, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Litigation, Business Law, & Estate Law.

Probate: attorney help for navigating the system

Probate is the legal process that determines who gets what after a person’s death. When someone close to you passes away, you want to know that their wishes are respected and protected and that your loved one’s intent is carried out. Due to a number of circumstances, however, these desires can become difficult to deal with as family members try to navigate their way through the courts.

Resolving issues among and between beneficiaries and heirs, addressing will contests– the issues of a lack of a will or an invalid one, letters of office, administration bonds, or the complications of Illinois probate law, make it hard to maneuver through the system.

If the deceased has a will, the process begins when the executor nominated by the decedent in the will, presents the will for probate in a courthouse in the county where the decedent lived or owned property. If there is no will, someone must ask the court to appoint an administrator of the estate, usually the spouse or an adult child of the decedent.

The purpose of probate is to prevent fraud after someone’s death. Probate is also a public notice of death and lets creditors file claims against an estate. After any creditors are paid, the remainder of the estate goes to the beneficiaries.

If there is not a will, the court will decide how to distribute the property. This is why it is so important to have a will.

Laws will vary by state and not all assets or estates need to go through probate. Some assets can transfer automatically at the death of an owner with no probate required.

If you decide to avoid probate, some assets can automatically escape probate and be paid directly to the beneficiary you have named. These include insurance policies, IRAs, retirement plans and some bank accounts.

One reason to avoid probate is because it is a long process that can take six months to a year or more to settle with the state.

The best solution is to speak with a trusted attorney who can help you craft a solution for your personal situation.

Advertising Material: To the extent that the information on this Facebook profile page is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules, and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material. 

Advertising Material: To the extent that the information on this Facebook profile page is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules, and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material. 

Estate planning: end of life planning

Estate planning is important… if you don’t plan for what happens to your estate upon your death, the government and/or a judge will make those decisions for you. When you are ready to plan for end of life, here are some tips:

Seek professional help

It might seem outside of your comfort zone, but seeking the help of a mental health professional for guidance could be helpful to you. It could also help your family as well.

Get financial documents in a single place

Social Security Retirement Couple

It’s important to begin getting your financial documents together. We recommend you gather them all in a single place and put them together in an easy to get to a location such as a three-ring binder.

This will save your relatives the struggle of trying to find all the information they need.

Start by getting your will. If you don’t have one, make a list of your assets: financial accounts, real estate, and any retirement accounts.

A will is the best way to ensure your assets get distributed to the person you want them to. Without specifying your wishes, there can be family disputes and even court cases. Property distribution is best spelled out in a will

Choose your beneficiary

Loan Modifications and Workouts

One of your first tasks should be designating your beneficiaries on your financial accounts.

It may be basic but it is more powerful than a will. It can save time and money for your assets going through probate.

Your brokerage will let you attach transfer-on-death instructions to your non-retirement account. Transfer-on-death deeds can also be used in real estate in Illinois.

After you have designated beneficiaries, detail your liabilities, for example, mortgage, loans, credit card debt, and insurance policies for health, home, and vehicles.

Create a contact list of people your family can reach out to for help. This should include your lawyer, accountant, insurance agent and financial advisor. Write down the name and contact information of everyone who needs to be involved.


Even if you’ve already done estate planning , it is a good idea to consult with an attorney experienced in estate planning. In the time since you made your estate plan, laws may have changed or even your financial goals or beneficiaries.

Decrease the tax burden

Cook County Property Tax Assessments

There are ways that you can decrease the tax burden on your beneficiaries.

One way to leave money to heirs is through a Roth individual retirement account.

Another is a brokerage account because any capital gains tax will be wiped out due to the step-up in basis on the original price paid.

Here is how this works: If the owner sells a stock that has gained in value, they would have to pay capital gains based on that higher price. If the owner leaves that stock to an heir, the new owner receives the stock at the new price. They will only have to pay taxes on any gains in price after that point, not the original price.

If some asset has dipped significantly in value, though, you might consider selling the stock, mutual fund or ETF. As the original owner, you can deduct the losses by selling and deducting the loss. Your heirs are not able to take this step-down since they’d inherit the stock at a new, lower basis.

If you are older than 70½, take any required minimum distribution from your retirement accounts. Heirs may not know to do this, and there is a significant penalty for not taking it.

Another way to minimize taxes for your inheritors is through charitable donations. While your heirs would have to pay tax on the money in a retirement account, a charity would not.

Paying off a mortgage

Property Tax Assessment - Calculator

Many people consider paying off a home mortgage, but because individual circumstances vary greatly, this is not always the best course.

Consider the amount of funds available, the current tax bracket and the size of the mortgage balance. It would be a good idea to have a financial planner run several scenarios to see how you can minimize the tax hit from withdrawing a large sum from a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan – or if you should leave it as a loan to be transferred to your heirs.

Have a record of password for your heirs

Collect all of your passwords in your binder with your financial records. Include a copy of the previous year’s tax return. When a final tax return is prepared, there might be some carryover items, such as long-term alternative minimum tax or long-term gains buildup.

List all service agreements, such as landscaping, utilities, cleaning and insurance, and auto payments. Arrange for their continuation or cancellation.

Keep track of your pension and Social Security benefits, since there could be survivor benefits that flow from those.

Other areas to consider in your binder: arrangements for your pets and talking to the financial aid office if you have a child in college. You’ll want to inform them of your change in financial status.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer Today!

Advertising Material: To the extent that the information on this Facebook profile page is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules, and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material. 

Attorney for real estate: along for changes in practice

attorney-for-real-estate-mask

Working with an attorney for real estate in Illinois is a unique experience right now. Illinois has not followed some other states in moving the process for in-person closings online for a purchase that involves a mortgage loan, as it requires that borrowers verify their identities with a notary as a witness.

For title companies and those involved, this has created changes in practice. An attorney for real estate and the homeowners may have identical documents, but in cars parked next to each other. Title companies have found this to be a common occurrence, noting that the attorney and the buyers may be the only attendees during a closing.

Our lawyers assist buyers and sellers in the negotiation and closing of real estate purchases and sales involving residential and commercial properties and businesses of all kinds. Your health, personal goals, and business goals matter.

For Information Call 630-858-0090

The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including loan modificationsbuying and selling legal assistanceshort sales and deeds in lieumortgage foreclosure defense, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

Advertising Material: To the extent that the information on this Facebook profile page is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules, and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material. 

Attorney assistance for you…new homeowners

attorney-new-homeowner

Attorney help for new homeowners, or those who are on top of updates, comes in the form of your last tips as we exit October. Fausett Law PC is an experienced and respected real estate firm. Our attorney representation extends to all aspects of real estate transactions both commercial and residential. These services include real estate acquisition, disposition, financing, leasing, development, environmental and hazardous waste, and construction.

We represent private individuals, investors, business owners and developers in the acquisition, development, financing, sale, and leasing of real estate. We provide our clients with quality service and advice in a quick and efficient manner.

Buying your first home, or updating an existing one, can feel like an overwhelming experience. Since it’s a large investment, you’ll want to stay on top of what you need. We’ve got some practical items that you could use.

  • Candlewick trimmer: This might go overlooked, but it is very important. Not only could it make a great gift for a new homeowner, but it is also important when it comes to safety.
  • Home journal: If you are a new homeowner, you’ll notice from the purchase process that there was quite a bit of paperwork. That will build up more as your homeowner paperwork accumulates! A journal will keep you organized.
  • Loppers: Yes, that’s right, loppers! If you have a garden, these will be your step up from pruners. They can help trim trees and plants with thicker branches, up to about 2 inches in diameter.
  • More essential tools

The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including loan modificationsbuying and selling legal assistanceshort sales and deeds in lieumortgage foreclosure defense, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090

Advertising Material: To the extent that the information on this Facebook profile page is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules, and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material. 

Lawyer help for you: Short Sale Vs. Deeds in Lieu

Lawyer help from the attorneys at the Law Offices of Lora Matthews Fausett, P.C. is here to provide excellent legal counsel to help you find a solution to your issue – whether that be a matter in real estate law, mortgage foreclosure defense litigation, business law, or estate law.

lawyer-help-fall-foreclosure

Today we will be discussing a couple of the options for those who may be facing foreclosure on their homes. Short sales and deeds in lieu are very similar and often get confused, but they are both helpful methods that can help prevent you from going into foreclosure.

Short Sale

A short sale is when the homeowner sells their home to a third party for less than the money owed on the mortgage. The lender agrees to accept the proceeds made in the sale, in exchange for releasing the lien on the property.

Short Sale Process

The lender’s loss mitigation department must approve of the short sale before a transaction can occur. The seller must submit a loss mitigation application to be approved for a short sale and this includes:

  • A financial statement, in the form of a questionnaire, that provides details regarding monthly expenses and income
  • Proof of income (if applicable)
  • Most recent tax returns
  • Bank statements (two recent statements for all accounts)
  • A hardship letter

More than likely you will need to provide that there is an offer from a potential purchaser as well on the application. Lender’s usually want there to be an offer before they consider a short sale. An exception to this is with the government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA). This aids the lender in approving of the short sale terms before the home is listed and the lender accepts the short payoff in full satisfaction of the mortgage. HAFA also prevents the lender from coming after the seller with a deficiency judgement.

Deficiency Judgements

The deficiency is the difference between the amount received in the short sale and what is actually owed on the mortgage. Many states prohibit deficiency judgments after foreclosures, but not many do for short sales. Deficiency judgments by state. To avoid a deficiency judgment, the short sale agreement must expressly state that the transaction is in full satisfaction of the debt and that the lender waives its right to the deficiency.

Deeds in Lieu

Deed in lieu is another option to help you avoid foreclosure if you can’t sell your home through a short sale. A deed in lieu of foreclosure is a transaction where the homeowner voluntarily transfers the title to the property lender in exchange for release of mortgage obligation.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Process

Like a short sale, the borrower must request a loss mitigation package from the lender. What you will need to provide the lender with:

  • A financial statement that provides detailed information about your monthly income and expenses
  • Proof of Income (if applicable)
  • Most recent tax returns
  • Bank statements (two recent for all accounts)
  • A hardship letter

If you are approved, you will receive two documents from the lender, one is a deed that transfers ownership of the property to the lender and an estoppel affidavit. The estoppels affidavit sets the terms of the agreement. It will include a provision that you are acting freely and voluntarily. It may include provisions about the transaction and if it’s in full satisfaction or if the lender has the right to a deficiency judgement.

Deficiency Judgments

In the case of a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the deficiency is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the total debt. In most cases, a deed in lieu of foreclosure will release borrowers of all liability and obligations under the mortgage, but not always. Most states do not have a law prohibiting a lender from seeking a deficiency judgment. HAFA deeds in lieu are considered full satisfaction of the debt owed. To avoid a deficiency judgment, the agreement must state that the transaction is in full satisfaction of the debt.

The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including loan modificationsbuying and selling legal assistanceshort sales and deeds in lieumortgage foreclosure defense, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090

Advertising Material: To the extent that the information on this Facebook profile page is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules, and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.