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Families that would rather avoid probate court due to the costs and time frame of a court proceeding can take advantage of small estates affidavits to obtain a decedent’s assets. These include assets such as vehicles, bank accounts, certificates of deposit and corporate stocks standing in their name alone. The maximum amount of non-probate personal assets that a decedent can own at the time of death, and still qualify for the use of a small estate affidavit is currently $100,000. This does not include life insurance payable to a named beneficiary, joint tenancy accounts, payable on death accounts, real estate
Continue Reading Illinois Small Estate Affidavits

If you are a family member who cares for someone with a disability, whether a child or an adult, a Special Needs Trust is an estate planning tool that can be used when a client or client’s family member may be entitled to government benefits. A properly drafted Special Needs Trust, funded with an adequate amount of assets, and administered properly by a competent trustee can make an extraordinary difference in the life of the beneficiary.  It can also provide a higher standard of living for the beneficiary and bring relief to their family members. A Special Needs Trust should
Continue Reading The Differences Between First Party Special Needs Trusts and Third Party Special Needs Trusts

Commercial leasing disputes can be costly. Not only can they sour a relationship between a landlord and a tenant, they are often very expensive. Between legal fees and lost rent or services, a lot of time and money can go into a commercial lease dispute. Thankfully, many commercial lease disputes can be avoided through careful drafting and communication. But, in any event, disputes can still arise and elevate into full-blown lawsuits. In this article, we discuss some common things causing commercial lease disputes and what parties can do to work through lease disputes when they happen.
What Can Cause
Continue Reading Solving a Commercial Lease Dispute

Spousal Alimony Modifications
In a divorce, courts go to considerable lengths to figure out how much spousal support one spouse should pay to the other. This initial decision is based on a variety of factors. It might include the parties’ financial situations and any non-monetary advantages that one partner may have provided to the marriage. But what about after that? What if one former spouse suddenly starts making drastically higher income, years after the divorce? Conversely, what if a divorced spouse’s income decreases? Simply put, alimony may change as well. This article explains spousal alimony modifications in greater detail.
What is
Continue Reading Does Alimony Change as Income Changes?

LLCs and corporations are important tools in our legal and business system. These legal entities allow business owners to protect themselves from personal liability in many cases. This encourages entrepreneurs and business owners to take risks since liability is contained within the business itself. However, LLCs, corporations, and other entities are not indestructible. If you do not carefully follow the rules for maintaining your business entity, a court may “pierce the corporate veil” in a potential lawsuit against the business, and you might still be held personally liable. In this article, we’ll go over some tips to avoid piercing the
Continue Reading How to Avoid Piercing the Corporate Veil (Corporations & LLCs)

Traffic court supervisions are one way that a driver can be punished for a traffic violation. A supervision is different than a conviction. Generally, the information with a supervision is less public, meaning that it will often not affect a driver’s insurance rates. But court supervision is not always a given. So how does traffic court supervision in Illinois work in the first place? Let’s take a look at the mechanics of court supervision below:
What is a Traffic Court Supervision?
A person may be convicted or given court supervision if they are found guilty of a traffic violation.
A guilty
Continue Reading How Illinois Traffic Court Supervision Works

Illinois Truck Accident Wrongful Death Actions
Fatal truck collisions are a rather common occurrence on Illinois’ highways and roads. Trucking companies are responsible for vetting their drivers, adhering to local and federal laws, and encouraging safe trucking. Tragedies may occur when trucking companies or drivers fail to follow those standards. If a loved one has died as a result of another person’s or company’s negligence, you as a beneficiary may be entitled to compensation under the law. In any event, a fatal truck accident can be difficult to resolve. This makes consulting an experienced attorney the best course of action if you are
Continue Reading Illinois Truck Accident Wrongful Death Actions

The only constant in life is change, and usually after a significant change, an individual may face the strenuous task of adjusting their estate plan. An estate plan may consist of a revocable trust, a will, or powers of attorneys. Below are the following ways in which an individual may revoke each of the following documents:
How do you revoke a Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust is a financial entity that allows the individual who creates it, also known as the grantor, to change, remove, or alter such assets. This alteration can be done at any point during the grantor’s
Continue Reading How to Revoke Estate Planning Documents

Do I Need an Irrevocable Trust?
We are often asked by potential clients whether it makes sense to create an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust is a trust that is set up for a specific purpose and cannot be undone under most circumstances. Therefore, it is a permanent trust until the trust purpose has been fulfilled and it can be closed out. The vast majority of people do not need irrevocable trusts, but for some, they can be extremely beneficial. There are two main purposes of establishing an irrevocable trust, namely creditor avoidance and tax avoidance.
Irrevocable Trust Creditor Avoidance
Continue Reading Do I Need an Irrevocable Trust?

During these unprecedented times, it is normal for you to want to take every necessary measure to make sure your family is always prepared. Imagine not being able to make legal decisions for your child going away to college. Without a power of attorney (POA), a parent cannot handle certain matters on behalf of their college student.
What exactly is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a document that allows you to assign a person or entity to manage your college student’s property, financial, or medical affairs when they become unable to do so. In case
Continue Reading Powers of Attorney for Students Going Away to College

In Lake County, property taxes are some of the highest in the country. Every homeowners’ tax bill gets recalculated every year. Thankfully, you can take steps to try and lower your tax bill by appealing. Filing a tax appeal can be intimidating, but it’s a crucial step towards potentially lowering your tax bill in a given year. Let’s go over how the property tax system works in Lake County and the steps you can take to try and lower your tax bill.
How Lake County Property Taxes Work
The property tax assessment and appeal process can be confusing. There
Continue Reading Why 2021 is a Great Year to Appeal Your Lake County Property Taxes

Illinois child custody rules are not always straightforward. Needless to say, in a divorce proceeding, a lot is potentially on the line. Understanding the child custody rules in Illinois is critical for ensuring the best outcome for you and your children. Let’s review the basics of child custody below:
Illinois Child Custody Rules
Child custody generally falls under state law. This means that practically every state will have different rules, although many of those rules end up being quite similar.
As a general rule, child custody rules are very flexible. The court enjoys broad discretion in creating child custody arrangements.
Continue Reading Illinois Child Custody in Divorce Proceedings

A qualified domestic relations order, or a QDRO, is a court order used to divide retirement plans between divorced spouses. They are an important tool for preserving a retirement plan’s tax advantages when its benefits are split. The process to get one can be complicated, so it’s definitely worth speaking to an experienced family law attorney. But how do you get a QDRO in the first place? Before we go over the process, let’s review the basics of qualified domestic relations orders.
What is a QDRO?
QDRO is short for “Qualified Domestic Relations Order.”
QDROs are court orders that
Continue Reading What is a QDRO in Illinois Divorce Proceedings?

A wrongful death claim can be difficult to navigate. The law is not always clear about what a person is entitled to. Thankfully, wrongful death law is fairly broad in its wording, giving wrongful death claims wide latitude in the compensation they can recover. But this can complicate things at the same time. Especially if you are thinking about pursuing an Illinois wrongful death claim, this article should help to clarify some of the basics.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Generally, wrongful death claims can be raised when someone is killed because of another person’s negligence or recklessness. Some of
Continue Reading Illinois Wrongful Death Claim Basics

Domestic asset protection trusts (DAPTs) are powerful tools for shielding your assets from potential creditors. Understanding how DAPTs work can help you create a formidable, secure estate plan. However, they can be misused as well. This article aims to provide a brief overview of domestic asset protection trust basics and how to set one up properly.
What is a Domestic Asset Protection Trust?
A domestic asset protection trust is an irrevocable trust that can shield your assets from creditors when used properly.
It’s a special type of trust that offers unique benefits. The most important benefit over other types of
Continue Reading Domestic Asset Protection Trusts

1031 Exchange Rules & Benefits
A 1031 exchange is one of the most powerful tools available to real estate investors. The 1031 exchange allows a real estate investor to avoid paying taxes on the sale of his or her property by rolling the proceeds into a new one. However, 1031 exchange rules can be tedious, and missing a step can cost you a lot in lost tax benefits.
Let’s go over the basics of 1031 exchanges and the rules to watch out for:
What Is a 1031 Exchange?
A 1031 exchange is a creature of the tax code.
Section 1031
Continue Reading 1031 Exchange Rules & Benefits