Who Has Legal Claim to a Property Based on Adverse Possession?

Who Has Legal Claim to a Property Based on Adverse Possession?

Whether you are the owner of a Chicago townhouse or a Champaign County farm, your home is likely to be the most valuable item you own, so it is in your best interests to protect it and the land surrounding it. That includes paying close attention to what your neighbors are doing, because if their land use crosses onto your side of the property line they may be able to gain title to parts of your land under the legal doctrine known as adverse possession. In addition, an unknown trespasser could even squat on your land and make a claim to legal ownership under this doctrine.

The Right of Adverse Possession

To ensure that all of your land remains your own and that others are unable to assert their right to portions of it, learning about the Illinois rules on adverse possession is imperative. Adverse possession involves an individual publicly moving into an abandoned property and making improvements to the property, thus being given legal title to it after a certain period of time. Illinois adverse possession laws require that claimants need to occupy a given property for at least 20 years and to provide either “color of title” or payment of property taxes for at least seven of those years.

Let Us Help You Understand Your Rights

Also known as “squatters’ rights,” adverse possession laws are often brought into play by squatters who occupy land or structures that are left vacant or unused. The term “adverse” refers to the fact that those who are claiming the land or structures are doing so against the wishes of the real title holder(s).

Illinois laws are continually changing, and adverse possession laws, which are anything but clear-cut, are no exception. Thus, it is easy to miscalculate and/or produce a costly procedural error when attempting to interpret these laws, making it essential that you contact an experienced Illinois real estate attorney to handle your adverse possession case. Call 773-635-0355 or go to Bellshah.com today to receive our top-tier, personalized counsel on the ins and outs of adverse possession. We look forward to hearing from you.

Did You Know Real Estate Attorneys Can Help If You Have a Bankruptcy in Your Past

Did You Know Real Estate Attorneys Can Help If You Have a Bankruptcy in Your Past

If you have declared bankruptcy in recent years, you may be concerned about your ability to purchase a home. While it is true that bankruptcies will stay on your credit report for up to ten years, they don’t necessarily make it impossible to get a mortgage. In fact, bankruptcies are designed to help you get your finances under control so you can repair your credit in order to qualify for mortgages and other loans. Here are some of the ways a real estate attorney can help you deal with your bankruptcy.

They Can Offer Reassurance

The first, and many might even same the most important, thing a real estate attorney can do is to reassure you that your bankruptcy isn’t going to stand in your way of homeownership. If you provide your lawyer with information regarding your finances, assets, and credit history, they will be able to determine how likely it is you will be able to secure the mortgage for the home you want at the terms you want. While the myth is that a bankruptcy makes getting a mortgage impossible, the truth is that it truly depends on your unique financial situation. A legal expert who understands real estateand lending laws can walk you through your finances and offer reassurance.

They Can Point You Towards the Right Resources

There are a number of mortgage companies and other programs out there that will work with those who have bankruptcies. Some of these programs will assist you with rebuilding your credit. Some lenders will even work with you to get the best rate or may offer options such as a two-year adjustable rate mortgage that can later be converted over to a conventional loan if your finances remain strong. If you’ve built your credit up enough, you may even be able to qualify for a prime rate mortgage now. FHA and VA loans, for example, can often be secured in as little as a year after your bankruptcy is finalized.

Looking for a real estate attorney who can help you secure financing for your dream home? Contact Bell & Shah Law today.

Redefining Your Estate Planning Following a Life-Changing Event

Redefining Your Estate Planning Following a Life-Changing Event

Your estate plan, which includes your will, any trusts you create, and other documents, is typically not something that is set in stone. This is because you may experience a number of life-changing events after you complete your estate planning that require you to make some updates to these documents. Here are a few of the life-changing events that could occur and how they could impact your estate plans.

You Get Married or Divorced

If you get married, you’re going to need to completely revamp your estate plans. While your spouse will typically inherit your entire estate if you die, you may not necessarily want that to occur. For example, if you have children from a previous relationship, you may want to make certain they receive specific parts of your estate. You might also want to leave specific assets to a charity or other organization. You may now need to create a trust or at least update your will.

Getting divorced is another reason to change your will and other documents. You may have planned your estate with the idea that your spouse would inherit all or most of your assets, and that’s no longer the case now. You will need to designate heirs for those assets and may need to designate a new executor for your estate.

You Have Children

Another major life change that requires you to update your estate plans is if you have children. If this is your first child, you may need to change much of your plan. If you already have children, there may not be as many changes needed, but you will still want to acknowledge them as an heir in the paperwork. You may also want to set up specific trusts for your children to ensure that they use some of their inheritance for college or other specific purposes.

Finding Legal Assistance to Redefine Your Estate

No matter how your life has changed, you need to make certain your estate is updated. You also want to make certain your estate plan is fully valid legally and covers everything it should. To that end, you will want to work with the legal experts at Bell & Shah Law to plan out your estate. Contact us today to schedule a visit.

Can a Real Estate Lawyer Help with Negotiating the Price of a Home?

Can a Real Estate Lawyer Help with Negotiating the Price of a Home?

Buying a home can be a fun and scary experience at the same time. What will you do with that spare bedroom? What about the extra room you have in the garage? Can you finally have that mancave or home office you have always dreamed of? While those are all valid questions, the process of getting the right deal should come first. When it comes to negotiating on price; that is where your plans may hit a snag.

Do You Really Want the Hassle?

Although some people may enjoy the process of negotiating, many others do not. And in today’s world of buying everything from cars to art to high-end jewelry online, negotiating is becoming a thing of the past. That is because many companies are posting their best price first and removing the back-and-forth altogether.

What if it Is Your First Buying Experience?

Something else to consider is the fact that if it is your first time buying a home, you probably wouldn’t even know where to begin. How low below asking should you offer? How high should you be willing to come up? What about all of the things that don’t have anything to do with selling price but are still financial considerations such as repairs, furnishings and appliances, and other things?

This Is What Real Estate Lawyers Are Trained to Do

For every one of the questions you have, trained legal specialists who deal in real estate have the answers. They handle negotiations like this every single day and they know what they are doing. Working with a legal partner to help you with your home buying purchase simply makes more sense.

There is no reason to overspend whether you are buying your first home or your retirement villa. With the help of seasoned real estate attorneys like the professionals here at Bell and Shaw, you can rest assured that you are not only getting your dream home but also a fair price with reasonable terms and conditions. Get in touch with our offices today to schedule a consultation or to learn more.

Many Mistakes Are Avoidable; Like Failing to Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

Many Mistakes Are Avoidable; Like Failing to Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

When people find themselves in most legal jams, the first thing that they think about is getting a lawyer. Unfortunately, when it comes to situations where legal help is optional, they often overlook the need for it. One of the best examples of that is real estate law. There are so many benefits people fail to take advantage of, as well as mistakes that could be avoided if they would just hire a property lawyer.

Ways Real Estate Lawyers Help With Property Transactions

Listing every situation in which one of these legal practitioners can be helpful would take its own blog. However, going over even just a few of the ways having this service can benefit you is still very eye-opening. The first big service concerns purchase contracts. Since most real estate companies are limited to standard forms, you may want to have a customized one drawn up for your transaction.

Another common function of real estate attorneys is to appear at closing. With the dozens and dozens of legal paperwork involved, this is a great time to avoid mistakes. Failing to have a lawyer assist with either task could lead to serious financial impact regarding rate, payment or term.

Specialized Circumstances Where They Can Be Helpful

There are also times when a real estate lawyer may be helpful in dealing with unique property situations. Not every purchase or sale is a traditional, by the book process. Some people buy homes from other locations. Others may be waiting on some type of windfall to come in.

Inheritance, legal settlements or compensations, loans, and many other examples of soon-to-come payments can delay closing. Any of these or the many other special cases involving real estate transactions may need expert handling.

At Bell Shah Law, making sure that our real estate clients are properly cared for is our main goal. For more about how we can help with your next real estate purchase or sale, give us a call. We have a team of experienced legal experts who can guard against all of the pitfalls mentioned here today.

The Importance of Having a Real Estate Legal Asset When Buying and Selling

The Importance of Having a Real Estate Legal Asset When Buying and Selling

If there is one type of law which is complicated beyond reason it is financial and real estate law. With not only regulations and rules changing every year but also the financial details themselves changing daily, it is a wonder anyone can even get a fair deal. It is important to understand that the banks and lenders’ jobs are not to get you a good deal. Their sole purpose is to get a favorable agreement for the bank. This oftentimes means a far less favorable deal for you.

Navigating Confusing Legal Language

Legal speak is always difficult to wade through. However, when it is mixed in with countless financial facts, percentages, and numbers, it can be downright indecipherable. This is where you need a trained legal expert who specializes in this type of law. It is the only way you are going to get someone to explain this complex legal dialogue to you. How can you expect to make the best decision if you don’t have all of the information?

Dealing With Complex Financial Details

Each of those numbers and decimals and percentages all mean something in this type of law. They represent interest rates, variations, length of term, monthly payments and so on. Each one of these and many other specifics all need to be documented properly and verified. Also, the fine print and details of any contract should never be ignored, especially on real estate.

These details may be the difference between a balloon payment and flat final payment. They may also list an incorrect detail such as an adjustable rate instead of a fixed rate. There are a number of examples of what a real estate lawyer might catch that you would miss.

Let the team here at Bell Shah Law lookout for you during your next home purchase or sale. With everything from price to rate to term on the line, you need to make sure you get the best deal. We’d be glad to be the ones to safeguard your interests in any real estate transaction. Simply get in contact with us to find out more details!

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