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    Since 1978, in the six county metropolitan Chicago area, I've helped scores of sellers and buyers of both residential and commercial properties to realize their dreams and goals. For many people, their home is the biggest investment they will make in their lives. They deserve to be treated fairly. They deserve an independent advocate to guide them through their real estate journey. It has always been my goal to work with all parties concerned to bring every deal to a satisfactory conclusion.


     If you are buying or selling real estate, I'd like the chance to help you. Contact Me



    Land trusts have become an increasingly popular way of owning real estate. They provide privacy and security. Real estate owned by a land trust avoids probate. The true owner still maintains control over the property. They can be created with a minimum of fuss and are inexpensive. They are easily amended or revoked. 


    I can help you review the benefits of land trust to determine if one would be right for your real estate ownership. I'll help you choose  a trustee and work with its staff to establish your trust according to your wishes and needs. I will draft the trust agreement, prepare the deed in trust, and make sure it is recorded. 


   If you already own property in a trust, I'll be happy to review your agreement to determine whether it is up to date, and, if necessary, to prepare appropriate amendments. My contact information is in the adjoining column.


Illinois permits an owner of real property to use a Transfer on Death Instrument, (TODI), which in some states is called a Transfer on Death Deed (TOD). Instead of bequeathing his real estate to his beneficiary through a will or trust, the owner executes a TODI, records it during his lifetime in the County Recorder's office, and, provided it has been properly drafted, upon his death, the property automatically transfers to the named beneficiary.


The TODI has many advantages: probate avoidance; flexibility; revocability; control remains with the owner during his lifetime; inexpensive to create; does not alter the form of ownership of the property, such as joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety. It does not take effect until the owner's death. For tax purposes, the beneficiary takes the property at its value as of the date of the owner's death - the stepped up basis - which can result in substantial tax savings. 


However, it also has disadvantages, too. It must be drafted properly or else the property may not pass the way the owner intended. It isn't available for business property; real estate owned by a  trust;  property held by tenants in common; commercial or vacant property;  property containing more than four dwelling units (like an apartment building). It doesn't provide the privacy and security of a land or living trust


All owners must execute the same instrument and pass title to the same beneficiary (ies). This might be a problem in the case of second marriages, in which, let's say, the husband wants his share of the real estate to pass to his children by his first marriage, while the wife wants her share to pass to her children by her first marriage.


Other problems may arise in the case of incapacities of either the owner or the proposed beneficiary, for whom trusts and trustees or guardians may be needed. Likewise, since the owner retains the property during his lifetime, it may be subject to reimbursement or ineligibility for Medicaid and other benefit programs. 


Whether a TODI is the right move to make  is a decision not to be made lightly. I'll be happy to review the different possibilities in your situation. If a TODI is appropriate, I can draft one for you and arrange to have it recorded to make sure it accomplishes what you want.  


My contact information is in the adjoining column. 



Do you know that, if your college age son or daughter is sick or injured, you do not have the right to his/her medical information?  Do you know that you cannot make treatment decisions for him/her?  Even though you are the parent, under the HIPPA laws,  doctors and  hospitals are prohibited from discussing your son or daughter's  medical conditions and you have absolutely no say in  his/her care. Your college age son or daughter is no longer your child - but is now a legal adult who is the only one entitled to that information and to make those decisions. Unfortunately, some times the illness or the injury may be so incapacitating that he/she may be unable to communicate wishes to medical personnel in which case it may be necessary to go to court to obtain guardianship. 

         In addition, while most college age people don't have large estates, all need some kind of financial planning in the event of illness, injury, or - God forbid - death. Young people are also wired into the digital world, with social media accounts and music holdings. It's important to have a plan in place to transfer custody of those assets to a person of the owner's choosing.

        Fortunately the law also provides solutions that can obviate the need for a judge's intervention.

        I'd be happy to review the possible options with you and your son/daughter for  medical and financial care and for the management of digital holdings. The choices may be as extensive or as limited as desired. My contact information is in the adjoining column.  


Available in the following areas: live stage productions; music; motion pictures; playwriting; screenwriting; book publishing. My contact information is in the adjoining column. 


Among my services, I can help you copyright your intellectual property; vet  projects for possible violations of the copyrights or trademarks of others,  rights of privacy and/or publicity, as well as for defamatory material; assist  in obtaining the underlying rights to properties owned by others; help  obtain licenses to use the copyrighted or trademarked properties of other persons or entities; review or draft contracts; assist in obtaining reversion of rights; create literary executorships to manage your IP if you are incapacitated or upon your death. My contact information is in the adjoining column. 

                                PERFORMING ARTS COMPANIES

I can organize  production entities, including commerical, non profits, and LLCs; help obtain 501 (c) (3) status from IRS as well as recognition as a public charity by the State of Illinois; obtain sales tax exemptions from the Illinois Department of Revenue; prepare annual reports for IRS and State of Illinois.  I can  advise your management on the continued operations of your company and/or individual productions.  I can help you create policies to prevent sexual harassment and civil rights violations. I can review your operations for potential risks to your non profit status. Contact me and let's discuss your needs.  My contact information is in the adjoining column. 

(Charles Grippo is licensed to practice law in Illinois only and therefore accepts only Illinois matters.)