Construction Defects: Understanding Your Purchase Contract

construction defectBefore construction began on your new home, a purchase contract was established between you and the builder. The agreement specified the expectations for the construction of the home, closing of the purchase, and likely included plans or detailed specifications to be followed during the building process. What happens, however, if the builder fails to meet the terms of the contact or the home is found to have construction defects? While you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the builder, it important to first examine your contractual agreement, as it may potentially limit your available courses of action.

Implied Warranty of Habitability

As a purchaser of new construction, you generally have the right to expect that the construction will be completed in compliance within industry standards. Illinois courts have established over time an Implied Warranty of Habitability that offers a level of protection to new home purchasers who find latent defects in the home’s construction and have no other legal recourse. The scope of the implied warranty, however, is fairly narrow and applies only to defects that make the home reasonably unsuited for its intended use.

Express Warranty Offered by the Builder

Your contract may be accompanied by a clearly-defined guarantee of workmanship and materials known as an express warranty. As a condition of this type of warranty, you may be asked to waive your rights under the Implied Warranty of Habitability. In its place, an express warranty can clearly specify all of the terms and conditions of the builder’s potential liability. It may include specific types of covered construction defects, non-covered defects, your responsibilities for maintenance, and the procedures for filing a claim. Additionally, an express warranty typically limits the timeframe in which the purchaser’s rights are guaranteed, often one year.

Binding Arbitration Requirement

It is important to read your contract and express warranty carefully and to have them reviewed by your attorney prior to agreeing to their terms. Either document may include a clause waiving your right to file suit in a jurisdictional court. Instead, if the builder fails remedy a construction defect claim made under your warranty, you may only take your case before an arbitrator. An arbitrator is a third party with industry expertise hired to resolve disputes between purchasers and builders, and is often named by the builder in the contract or express warranty. By signing such a document, you agree that the arbitrator’s decision will be binding and that avenues of additional recourse will not be available.

A DuPage County Real Estate Lawyer Can Help with Your Purchase Contract

If you considering a new construction purchase or have questions about filing a construction defect claim, contact an experienced real estate attorney in Wheaton. Our knowledgeable team can help you review contracts, negotiate terms, ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/directories/construction_industry_knowledge_base/meetings/2015-annual/an15-wg-paper.pdf

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Binding+arbitration

When to Consider Contesting a Will

contest, Wheaton estate planning attorneyIf you have recently experienced the death of a loved one, it is understandable that you may have needed some time for things to get back to normal, especially if you had a close relationship with the person who died. Unfortunately, when the person’s will is presented for probate, there is the possibility of new problems. What happens, for example, if you discover that your loved one has made some unexpected changes or decisions regarding his or her will? In such a situation, you may have the option of contesting the will, but there are some considerations to address before you file.

Disagreement Is Not Enough

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that in any situation involving a will or the transfer of a decedent’s assets, it is practically guaranteed that someone will feel slighted or left out altogether. That someone may have expected to receive a particular part of the deceased person’s estate only to learn that the expectations were never written into the will. While you might be disappointed or hurt by how your loved one decided to distribute his or her property, hurt feelings are not grounds for contesting a will.

Grounds for a Will Contest

Under the law in Illinois, there are several situations in which challenging a will would be appropriate. These include:

  • The will was not executed properly: In Illinois, two separate people must witness the signing of the will. Named beneficiaries cannot be witnesses;
  • Lack of testamentary capacity: If your loved one was not of sound mind or otherwise did not understand the terms and implications of his or her decisions, the will could be invalidated;
  • Undue influence: Estate planning decisions are extremely personal and should be made voluntarily. If another person—including a family member or caregiver—pressured or coerced your loved one into making changes or writing a new will, the resulting document could be set aside by the court;
  • Fraud: During the process of estate planning, there are often many documents that must be signed and executed, many of which are prepared by another person. If your loved one, for example, signed the will believing it to be a different document—such as a medical directive—the court could decide that the will was procured through fraud.

In order for your will contest to be successful, you will need to prove your allegations. Doing so can be extremely difficult, but it may the only way for you to ensure that your loved one’s estate is handled as he or she intended.

Call a Wheaton Will Contest Attorney

Filing a will contest can have a dramatic effect on your family dynamics, so it is not a decision to made lightly. Before you take action, contact a DuPage County estate planning lawyer at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation, and get the help you need.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60

https://www.thebalance.com/what-are-the-grounds-for-contesting-a-will-3505208

Choosing the Right Person for a Business Partner

partner, Wheaton business law attorneyIf you are starting a new business or thinking about a potential deal that could have a dramatic impact on your existing company, it is critical to choose your partners carefully. Selecting the right partner is especially important if your business is still in its infancy.

Perhaps the best way to think of a business partnership is as similar to marriage: the two of you are uniting your interests and efforts with the idea of building something that will be successful. The comparison to a marriage is even more appropriate when you consider that you will probably be spending more time with your business partner than you do with your spouse. An experienced business lawyer can assist you in selecting the right partner for your new enterprise.

Do You Need a Partner?

The first thing that you should consider when looking for a business partner is whether you even need a partner or not. To determine your needs, you should carefully analyze your business plan, your finances, and the current state of the market. In a partnership, both—or all, as the case may be—partners must take on certain risks and work with very little financial return for a period. Depending on your situation, it may be possible for you to stay in that role by yourself and to hire an employee that you trust but who is not invested financially in the company.

What Will Your Partner Do?

Before you select a partner, you should have a solid idea of what you need from him or her. If you only need capital and investors are not a viable option, you might wish to take on a silent financial partner. Conversely, you might need a great deal of assistance with certain parts of your company. If you have good sales and marketing skills, for example, your business may need someone with a more technical background to focus on product development.

It is also helpful to understand the level of personal investment that you expect from your partner. You may be fine with working 16-hour days, but will you want your partner to do the same? It is patently unfair to surprise your partner with your expectations only after you have signed a partnership agreement. Your attorney can work with you in identifying your needs and expectations for your ideal partner. From there, you can start your search for someone who fits the bill.

Compromise May Be Necessary

While you should develop an idea of what your perfect partner would be, keep in mind that you might never find a person who checks all of the boxes on your list. For example, you might find someone whose skills complement your own almost perfectly but who cannot commit to working long hours every week. In such a case, you might need to compromise on some of your expectations. With the help of your attorney, you can customize the compensation and risk structure of your partnership to account for your compromises.

Call a Wheaton Business Lawyer for Help

If you are considering a new partnership, an experienced DuPage County business law attorney can help you address all of the important details. Call Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC at 630-665-2500 today for a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/how-to-tell-if-youve-found-the-right-business-partner.html

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/300168