On June 6, 2014, Tom & Jackie Burns, owners of Burns Excavating and Concrete Construction, Inc., in Plainview, Illinois received payment in full, plus 10% interest ($59,170.80) for grading and foundation work they performed for George
Kuchar of Kuchar Combines on property located on Sunset Street in Mt. Olive, Illinois. The work was performed between March 6, 2013 and April 9, 2013. The total bill was $92,630.14, of which Kuchar only paid $34,500 leaving a balance of $58,130.14, as of December 6, 2013.
On March 14, 2014, convinced that the time for filing a mechanic’s lien had expired, the Burns consulted Burkart Law to send a collection letter. To their surprise, Burkart advised that the time limit for recording a lien would not expire (as to the owner only) until 2 years after the last day of work.
Burkart’s research revealed there was only a $70,000 mortgage on the property, leaving plenty of owner’s equity to satisfy the Burns’ claim. On April 9, 2014, Burkart filed Burns’ claim for mechanic’s lien with the Macoupin County Recorder, and on April 15, 2014 notified Kuchar and his bank of Burkart’s intent to file a foreclosure suit if the amount due plus 10% interest was not paid. Upon receiving the notice, Kuchar called the Burns and advised them he still would not pay and would see them in court. On June 6, a representative of 1st MidAmerica personally delivered payment in full to Burkart’s office in Hamel, Illinois.
“It is not always this easy,” Burkart said. “Fortunately for the Burns, Mr. Kuchar accurately reassessed his exposure and avoided a costly court battle that would have involved his lender, 1st MidAmerica Credit Union.” Burkart said it was likely the bank’s influenced that changed Kuchar’s attitude. Like most mortgages, Burkart’s research revealed that Kuchar’s mortgage required him to pay not only his, but also his bank’s attorney fees in a lien foreclosure suit.
The descent and distribution laws of your state provide every resident with an estate plan. For a married couple that law gives 50% to the surviving spouse and 50% to the children. If you want your estate to be distributed in a different manner than the way the written law dictates, then you need a customized estate plan.
You customize your estate plan using a will or a trust. A will costs less, but usually requires probate which is more expensive than a trust. Your distribution will be made a public record in the county probate court. If used properly, a trust can avoid probate.
Tax law changes have eliminated taxation as a concern for estates under 4 million dollars. While the federal estate tax exemption is $5.34 million, Illinois decoupled from the federal exemption and starts taxing estates at $4 million. The best way to get started is to schedule an appointment to discuss your unique situation.