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Latest from Lauren Jackson Law Blog

If you are trying to find out if a probate case has been opened for a deceased individual, there are a few steps you can take to find out that information.  If a probate estate has been opened, it will be with the county court for the county where the deceased party was residing when he or she died.  Here is a link for helpful websites if you are doing the research on your own.…
Occasionally, I have a case brought to my practice where a homeowner has died and had no known family members to whom the house should transfer.  In this case, there are a few different options for how to handle the future ownership of the house. If the homeowner created a trust before the death, and the house was properly transferred into the trust, then the successor trustee is responsible for making sure the mortgage payments…
Yes, if you are named in a trust as a beneficiary then you are entitled to a copy of the trust and an accounting annually of the entire estate. A lot of people keep their estate plan private for a multitude of reasons.  However, when someone dies and you have been named as a beneficiary you may want to know your rights.  Whether, the trustee of the trust likes it or not they have to…
Many cities and villages in Chicagoland and throughout Illinois require you to obtain a real estate transfer stamp before you can complete the sale of your property. If one is required, title companies will not complete the transaction unless a transfer stamp is provided the day of the sale. What is a real estate transfer stamp and how do you get one? A city or village that has a transfer stamp will have some, or…
An Executor for an estate is the person or entity chosen to carry out final wishes as stipulated in a will. Some of an executor’s responsibilities include: filing the will with the county clerk after the death of the testator, ensuring all debts/claims have been paid, ensuring all specific personal property distributions as directed in the will are made, distributing all remaining funds to the people named in the will after the payment of claims…
If you are selling a house, what exactly happens the day of the closing? First, the buyer will need to accomplish a final walk-through of the property. Before this can happen, all of your possessions must be out of the house. The buyer and their realtor will then visit the property one last time before heading to the closing meeting. I would estimate that over 75% of my clients who are selling, opt to not…
In the estate-planning world, there are many different requirements (depending on the state) for a last will and testament to be valid. One of the main reasons to make a Will is for it to set forth the final distribution of your assets. There is no point in having a Will if it is not deemed valid in the event it is challenged in a court of law. Each state has its own requirements, but…
When you are selling your home (or any type of property for that matter) sellers are always curious what their closing costs are going to run. Sometimes the costs can make the difference as to whether you get money back or have to bring money to the closing. A lot of people do not realize how expensive it can be to sell their home.   Below is a breakdown of the typical closing costs you will…
If you are in the process of buying a home or piece of property, one thing I advise my clients to do as soon as the ink on the contract is dry is to set up an inspection of the property performed by a certified home inspector. A lot of individuals think they can have any “handyman” walk through the property. However, if you plan on negotiating with the seller and asking for things to…