Many people wonder why they need a real estate attorney in Illinois. Let me briefly describe what we do in real estate transactions so that you can understand why you need a real estate attorney.

For the real estate purchaser, we review the Real Estate Sales Contract, the Title Report and other documents submitted by the seller used to the transfer of the property. We modify the terms of the contract to your benefit if possible and maintain deadlines. We review the closing statement, lender documents, and other related financial documents. We stay involved with the lender if you have one, determine compliance with all agreements between the parties, and ensure that all financial aspects of the purchase are reconciled at the time of closing. Finally, we attend the closing and review all of the documents with the purchaser.

For the real estate seller, we review the Seller’s Residential Disclosure Statement, the Lead Paint Disclosure Report, and the Real Estate Contract. Then we modify the terms of the contract if possible and maintain deadlines. We also prepare the seller’s closing documents, order the title insurance commitment, assist the seller in clearing the title, order the survey and mortgage payoff letter from the lender, and prepare the closing statement. Finally, we schedule and attend the closing, and review the documents with the seller, if the seller chooses to attend. We can save the seller a trip and attend the closing without the seller.

As you can tell, you need a real estate attorney in Illinois because there are many contract terms, deadlines, documents, and negotiations that should be addressed by a real estate professional, during your real estate transaction. Please call The Evans Williams Law Group to discuss how we can help you with your real estate needs.


Estate planning is the process to plan for certain death and the possibility of mental incapacity. There are many tools that can be used to develop your estate plan. I will very briefly describe six of them.

First, is the Transfer on Death Deed. This deed allows the property owner to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries, who will receive the property upon the death of the owner.

Second, is the Testamentary Will. It allows the person who drafted the will to transfer their estate upon their death, select an Executor, and appoint a Guardian for minor children.

Third, is a Land Trust. The land trust company serves as trustee to hold the recorded title to real estate while you retain all rights of ownership as the beneficiary. Although there are annual fees with the land trust, when you pass away, you seamlessly transfer ownership to the person or people you name as successor beneficiaries, without having your estate go through probate.

The fourth estate planning tool is a Revocable Living Trust. This trust is like a land trust, but you are your own trustee, there are no annual fees, it’s more flexible, and it can hold real estate and personal property. You can name your trust as the beneficiary on investments, bank accounts and life insurance policies so that you can dictate when the beneficiary receives the money, and the purposes for which the money can be used.

Unlike the first four tools I just talked about that transfer property upon your death, the fifth tool is to be used while you are alive. This tool is called a Power of Attorney for Health Care. It allows you to designate someone to make medical decisions for you should you be unable to make them yourself. It also allows you to dictate your life sustaining treatment wishes.

The sixth tool, just like the fifth, is to be used while you are alive. It is called a Property Power of Attorney. It allows you to designate someone to make important business decisions on your behalf, like communicating with your bank, the social security administration and other agencies, and creditors.

If you have people or organizations in your life that you care about, have worked hard for what you have and want it distributed per your instruction, and you desire to leave a legacy and help your loved ones avoid drama, call The Evans Williams Law Group to schedule a consultation to discuss your estate plan.


Divorce in Illinois is complex. The considerations include:

Whether to get a divorce, where the minor children should live, if any, and the associated parenting plan, how much child support should be paid, how much college contribution should be paid and how it is should be allocated, how property should be divided, who should pay certain debts, and whether maintenance should be paid.

A divorce can be uncontested or contested. An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on all of these issues. If that is the case, a Marital Settlement agreement can be drafted, attached to the Judgment for Dissolution. If they have children, the parties must attend a mandatory parenting class, and then the divorce can be entered. On the other hand, a contested divorce is when the spouses do not agree on any one of the considerations previously mentioned. If that is the case, a potentially long and costly divorce process begins.

If the parties have children, they will be ordered to attend the mandatory parenting class. In addition, if they can’t agree on the child related issues, the court will order the parties to attend mediation to try to develop a parenting plan. If they can’t agree on a parenting plan, a Guardian Ad Litem or Child Representative is appointed to help the judge determine what is in the best of the children.

Divorcing spouses will also have to participate in the discovery process. Discovery is when the assets and liabilities of the parties are identified.

After discovery, we try to settle the matter. If the parties don’t agree to a settlement, hearings on interim issues occur. Interim hearings can happen on matters like child support, parenting time, maintenance, and anything else that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

After the interim hearings, the court may set a pretrial. A pretrial is when the court reviews the desires of the parties and recommends a way to settle the case. If the parties agree with the settlement, the settlement agreement is drafted, attached to the judgment, and the parties can be divorced. If not, a trial is scheduled.

There is no way to know exactly how long it will take to get a divorce. The length of time depends on many things. If both spouses can agree on how to settle issues in the divorce case, the process will be shorter. If not, the divorce process will take much longer.

I can tell you that divorce law can be one of the most confusing, stressful, and costly areas of the law; you should choose your representation wisely. I am a family law mediator, collaborative law attorney, litigator and I practice transactional law. My attorneys and I have the ability and temperament to navigate you through the changing face of divorce law, and we will work with you to educate you on the law, inform you of the process involved, and explain your options. If you need assistance with your divorce matter, call The Evans Williams Law Group to schedule a consultation.


Recently, Illinois changed the way that child support is calculated by adopting the “income shares” model of child support. According to the income shares model, courts determine the amount of combined child support owed, by taking into account the combined income of the parents, the cost of living, and the number of children involved.

The next step is to determine how much each parent contributes. Basically, the child support is going to be based on who makes more, and whether one parent spends a lot more time with the child than the other parent. However, if both parents spend at least 146 overnights with the child, child support is calculated differently.

Illinois courts can deviate from the guidelines if the court finds that doing so would be in the best interest of the child. In order to determine whether deviation from the guidelines would be in the best interest of the child, courts weigh the following five factors:

1. The child’s own financial resources and needs;

2. Each parent’s financial resources and needs;

3. The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the parents not separated;

4. The physical and emotional health of the child; and

5. The child’s educational needs.

If one parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court can consider that parent’s potential income to determine their child support obligation. You can go to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services website and use their child support calculator, to get an estimate of the amount of child support you may owe or receive. They also have other helpful resources to explain how the Income Shares Model works. To talk to an experienced attorney about your child support matter, please call The Evans Williams Law Group to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you.

Business Formation

The sole proprietorship requires no formalities, no documents to execute, and no separate bank accounts or tax returns. Many new business owners think about choosing to operate as a sole proprietor because it’s easy to get started. But since there is no separate legal identity from its owner, the sole proprietor will be personally liable for many things that can happen in the business, even if the business no longer exists. Now we’ll look at General Partnership. A General Partnership is an association of two or more persons or entities that conduct a business as co-owners. The partners invest capital and share in the profits and losses of the partnership. The partners are agents for each other, which means that if a partner enters into an agreement, it binds the other partner as well. The partnership is a separate legal entity, but partners can be liable on the partnership level and in some situations, on the individual level. Just as a note, limited partnerships allow one partner to have less liability and responsibility than the other.

A more complex option is a Corporation. Corporations allow the business owner to create a separate legal entity to conduct business. The corporation can raise money for the business by issuing and selling shares of stock that are owned by the corporation. The purchasers of the shares then become shareholders in the corporation but are not personally responsible for the corporation’s liabilities. The corporate form protects the business owner by shielding their personal assets from liability.

Finally, let’s discuss the Limited Liability Company. The LLC blends elements of the corporation and a partnership. LLC’s are very flexible and business owners can spell out virtually all aspects of the company’s management structure in its operating agreement. The profits and losses flow through to the personal tax return of the members of the LLC. Many start-up or small businesses today, choose the LLC because of its flexibility, limitation of liability, and reduced formalities.

There are many types of for profit and non for-profit business entities. The kind of business entity that you choose, and the people you choose to go into business with, are very important decisions to make. For more information on forming your for profit or non-profit business entity, please call The Evans Williams Law Group to schedule a consultation. We look forward to doing business with you.