You have likely heard the term power of attorney, but you may not know exactly what it means, how it is used, or any of the specifics. Essentially, it is a type of legal authorization that allows a person to have the power to act for another person. The person who is given the power of attorney is typically called the agent, while the person they can make decisions for is called the principal.
A power of attorney is often used when the principal has a temporary or permanent illness or disability, or when the principal is not available to sign certain documents.
Common Types of Power of Attorney
The types of power of attorney include general, limited powers, and durable. A general power of attorney allows the agent to act for the principal in any matter that is allowed by the laws of the state. For example, they could manage assets, handle bank accounts, sign checks, or file taxes for the principal.
A limited power of attorney on the other hand narrows what the agent can do. For example, it might state that the agent only has the power to manage certain types of accounts or to make certain types of decisions. The limited aspect could also refer to the power only being in effect for a set amount of time. For example, you might leave the country for six months or a year and allow someone else power of attorney during your time away.
When you are setting up a power of attorney, you will want to determine the scope of power that you want to provide to another person. Naturally, this will vary from case to case. You should talk with your attorney about your options.
A durable power of attorney handles some of the legal, property, and financial matters when someone is mentally incapacitated. The agent with a durable power of attorney can pay medical bills on behalf of the principal, but they can’t make major medical decisions.
However, if a principal wants an agent to have this power, they can choose to sign a healthcare power of attorney, where they can become a healthcare proxy. Financial power of attorney is another type of durable power of attorney. This can allow the agent to manage the business and financial affairs of the principal.
The best way to set up any sort of power of attorney in Chicago or elsewhere is to get in touch with Bell & Shah, who specializes in Wills & Trust Law.
Property law can be extremely confusing and often hinges on minor details. When it comes to arguments over property, the cases literally can depend on a matter of inches.
There are many times when property lines are contested, and it’s important to be aware of what could happen. Did you know that property lines can change over time?
This could end up influencing property cases that go to court. This article will discuss when these lines can change and how they may affect you as a property owner.
What Is a Property Dispute?
A property dispute is a situation that includes two property owners battling in court over who has rights to a certain portion of land. These cases can include large parcels of land or smaller pieces, sometimes measured in feet or inches.
At certain times when a property is damaged or a portion of a building is erected over a property line, these cases are taken to court if owners can’t resolve them. The judge will make a decision, and in many cases, the losing party must pay for damage or ends up losing a small portion of their property.
Can Property Lines Change?
Property lines can change over time without a sale taking place. When this takes place, it’s usually the result of the situation described above.
When someone’s property is damaged because of a neighbor, the case goes to court. If the party who received the damage is victorious, the property line may be altered in favor of the plaintiff to compensate for any damage done to their land initially.
However, the precise boundary lines must be highlighted before any changes are made. This process includes the items below.
Outlining the Property
First, a surveyor must be scheduled to outline the property and give a precise report of where the boundary lines are. The survey’s report will include the following elements:
- A physical drawing or map of the property
- A detailed description of all of the surrounding properties
- Improvements that have been made to the property over time
When the surveyor performs the assessment and creates the report, they use the current deed as a guideline. This describes the original boundaries with location information regarding the land in question.
After completing the report, the land is marked with small flags, so both owners are aware of the boundaries. The surveyor takes the report to the court, and if it’s warranted, the judge may change the property line in favor of one party or the other.
If you have questionable property lines, the best course of action is to keep projects and new structures a few feet away. This can avoid any issues and save you a lot of headaches in the future.
Contact the professionals at Bell & Shah Law, we can help you navigate the process of your home’s property line and what the steps are to take in the future.
When two individuals are both present on the same deed, they have equal rights to the property in question. Decisions must be made jointly, and no one person has a majority say in any matter regarding the deed.
Many people question whether one party has the power to remove the other from a deed. In this article, we’ll discuss whether this is possible and what type of ramifications take place as a result.
If you own property jointly with someone, you might want to read this article. It’s important to protect yourself from potentially damaging situations when you’re invested in property with anybody.
Anyone can be removed from a deed without consent from the other party. However, in most cases, this is done illegally.
When these situations take place, the most common occurrence is a forgery of an individual’s signature. However, when this happens, it’s easily identified by the court, and the situation will be reversed.
It’s important to note that certain LEGAL situations may include the removal of a party from a deed. However, this must be done through a court order.
The following situations are examples of when a person can be legally removed from a deed without their consent.
- If the property is foreclosed on
- If partition takes place
- If the government seizes all or part of the property for non-payment of taxes
- Criminal forfeiture through things like drug cases and other charges
- Eminent domain
If you believe that you are potentially part of any of these situations, you must contract the services of an attorney immediately. This is especially true if you’re the party being removed from the deed.
It’s possible that with the right counsel and the situation surrounding the matter, the decision for removal may be reversed. Alternatively, if you’re the party left on the deed, you need to know how to move forward to keep your claim on the property.
It may be a situation that requires simple action on your part, and an attorney can help you navigate the situation until you come to a resolution.
If you receive a notice for any of the situations mentioned above, your first course of action should be to contact your lawyer, then the county. Obtaining the information surrounding the situation could be the only way to preserve the property.
The last thing you want to do is lose your rights to a house or piece of land, especially through no fault of your own.
When it comes to property law, the potential outcome is all in the details. The specifics of the case will set the table for things to come, and it’s important to have the right information and proof to receive a favorable outcome.
If you have a neighbor giving you trouble regarding the property, you should consider contacting your lawyer just to be prepared. It’s possible they could move forward with legal action at any time, especially if you’ve built anything close to the property lines.
Using your attorney for these situations will leave you better prepared, and in these situations, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important to have a lawyer for property line disputes.
Why Would Your Neighbor Take You to Court for Property Line Disputes?
There are several reasons your neighbor could take you to property court. Sometimes these situations may seem trivial – but normally, they’re well within their rights.
It’s not uncommon for these cases to be a headache more than anything, and often the reason for the court case is generally a waste of time. However, you still need to show up to prove your case.
Neighbors may take these cases to court for the following:
- If something you’ve built extends even a few inches over the property line
- If you have trees or other landscaping that extend over the property line
- If you’ve cut down a tree or a limb on their property, thinking it was yours
You might be asking how your lawyer can help with these situations.
Contact Your Attorney
Your attorney can help by documenting the situation in great detail. They will pair this documentation with property information obtained through the county that has detailed maps outlining the boundaries.
Additionally, your attorney will be well-versed in property law and what you can and can’t get away with, and how much legal ground your neighbor has to stand on.
Evidence and Documentation
Equipped with things like photos, detailed maps, as well as deeds, your lawyer will attend court and make a case for you. Whenever items like this are introduced professionally, it looks good on your part.
This is why it’s always critical to have a quality attorney who is well-prepared for the case. If the judge rules in your favor, you can potentially avoid paying fines and even losing small portions of your property to cover damage to the neighbor’s land. In the end, these court cases may be a headache, but they’re worth showing up to and proving your point if for nothing else, to keep a troublesome neighbor off your back. Contact the professionals at Bell & Shah Law, we can help you navigate the process of your home’s property line and what the steps are to take in the future.
In real estate, long-term property lease situations (30–99 years, with options for lease extensions) are typically referred to as ground leases. Ground leases and subsequent property transfers can be especially tricky for several reasons.
The specifics of a ground lease are as follows: A landowner leases a piece of property (with no improvements or excavations made to the land) to a tenant. The tenant is allowed to construct a building of any form on the land during the lease agreement.
Improvements and Depreciation
Normally, during fresh construction on untouched land certain excavation changes must be made to prepare the land for subsequent building. The problem is that when excavation takes place the improvements will cause an increase in the property value.
What happens in these situations?
During the specific terms of the ground lease, any improvements made to the land will be owned outright by the tenant. The improvements will be depreciated from the rent. The improvements will transfer to the property owner at the end of the rental term.
In rare situations, the landowner will require the tenant to remove the improvements made to the land that satisfy the construction requirements.
During ground lease situations, the landlords and tenants can potentially reap the benefits in the occurrence of the former situation. Depending on how much value was accrued during the lease term, both parties stand to profit a substantial amount from these improvements.
No Longer Tax-Free
In the past, these transactions weren’t grounds for taxation. This was recognized as a type of tax-free loophole that existed between property owners and renters. However, this changed in most states around 2014, depending on the specific geographic location.
If you’re a current landowner who takes place in the beneficial interest of a land transfer that takes place after a lease of 30 years or more (specifically targeting ground leases), you’ll have to pay taxes at a rate of 50 cents for every $500 of property value added to the land during the leasing term.
In many locations, not only are you required to pay a tax on the added value but an additional transfer tax for the mere creation of a ground lease. Additionally, the situation becomes more complicated when a mortgage is involved on the part of the tenant to finance the construction of the building.
If you’re a landowner or tenant involved in a ground lease, it’s important to be aware of the laws regarding these taxes in your location. Each state is unique in the figures and specifics surrounding these situations, and being aware is critical for compliance.
Turn to the experienced lawyers here at Bell Shah Law when you have any type of real estate attorney questions. We will put our years of experience to work for you and ensure you and your real estate are properly represented.
Often, people don’t think about hiring an attorney when they are buying or selling real estate, but this could be a big mistake. Attorneys that specialize in real estate can provide you with more benefits than you may realize at first. Let’s look at some of the biggest reasons to work with a real estate attorney in Chicago.
Drafting and Reviewing Contracts and Documents
Buying and selling real estate involves a substantial amount of paperwork and documentation. Some of these papers and contracts can be complex and difficult to understand. Your real estate attorney in Chicago can help you get a full understanding of everything that you have to sign, and they can keep you from making mistakes. Additionally, they can draft various types of documents when they are needed.
Attorneys Could Help Negotiate
Rather than trying to negotiate on your own or having a real estate professional do it, you could opt to have an attorney help with the negotiations. Lawyers negotiate and argue as part of their daily work. They know how to talk to people and have the potential to get you a better deal than you could have if you were trying to do it on your own.
Dealing with Leins and Title Searches
Before closing, a lien and title search needs to take place. This ensures that no one else has a financial claim on the property and that the seller is legally allowed to sell the home. Real estate attorneys can help with the lien and title search. However, one of the best things about working with attorneys is that they can help to resolve any title and lien problems that are found.
Ensure Proper Deed Filing
Deeds are legal documents, and you will want an attorney to examine the deed and make sure it is filed properly. This ensures no mistakes are made with the deed, and it can provide you with some peace of mind.
Preparation of a Closing Document
The attorney can prepare your closing document, which is an account of the financial transactions that occurred during the sales process. This could include things like the amount the buyer paid in earnest money, when they paid, when the escrow account was funded, and then the seller received the final payment, for example.
Now that you have a good understanding of why you should work with a real estate attorney, it’s time to find the right firm for the job. Turn to the experienced lawyers here at Bell Shah Law when you have any type of real estate attorney needs. We will put our experience to work for you and ensure you and your real estate are properly represented.