Real Estate Law

Zoning Laws and the Will

Overview Owners of a fee simple estate have ownership of their property “forever,” which means that they can pass their property to their descendants and keep the property in their family forever. Transfer of property through a will is known as a devise. However, you must also remember that private citizens do not hold perfect title to real estate, and even though property has been in the family for years, the government still has significant control over the property through police power. In this assignment you will deal with both of these issues. You will need to research county zoning laws and laws regarding wills to see how these two issues affect each other.

Scenario (fictional):

Silus Porter died and willed a parcel of 10 acres with a house and barn on it, to his relative Carol and her two grown children in Oswego County, Illinois, because even though Carol has a brother, he has no wife or children. Carol wants to install wind turbines on the property for energy generation for her home and to sell extra power back to the utility company. She will live on the property about 6½ months a year. The two grown children will work and live in Chicago, and their mother Carol will also stay in the city during the winter. The rest of the year Carol will spend in Oswego County, and her children will visit. Carol has a dog and therefore also wants to put up an electronic fence around one-half of an acre of her property. Carol’s son recently got married, and they are going to have a baby within the year. Due to this expansion of her family, Carol is thinking of converting the barn that is currently located in acre #2 to be a vacation house for her son and his children so they can have some privacy.

Access the Oswego County, IL, zoning for this assignment:

Assignment Details

6/11/2020 Sample Content Topic 2/2

Explain the zoning with which Carol will need to comply for her wind turbine farm.

Explain the zoning with which she will need to comply for the electronic fence.

Determine the feasibility of converting the barn to her intended use.

Based on the three distribution types on pp. 482–483, diagram the relationships involved.

Describe how Carol could go about changing her will (using your chosen distribution method) to leave the main house to her daughter and brother while leaving the converted barn to her son and his family.

Explain what additional considerations there might be regarding the way she wants to distribute her estate. How could Carol address them?

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