The Gierach Law Firm

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More and more couples are choosing to share their lives together without being legally married. There are many different reasons that a couple may decide not to get married. Some may feel like marriage is an outdated concept while others cite divorce fears as the reason for not tying the knot. Other couples simply do not believe that they need a marriage certificate to validate their relationship. Whatever your reason, if you are in a committed but unmarried relationship, there are several estate planning concerns you should be aware of.
Your Significant Other Will Not Automatically Have Inheritance Rights
Continue Reading 3 Important Estate Planning Issues Every Unmarried Couple Should Consider

Running a small business is no easy task. Not only do you need to offer a unique product or service, abide by all tax laws, and cover the cost of your overhead, but you must also ensure your employees are happy. To accomplish this, you need to know how to pay them properly. For most employees, this means offering them competitive hourly wages. Regarding sales staff, however, there are generally two types of compensation: salary and incentive, and determining which one is right for your business can be a tough choice.
Laws May Dictate Your Decision
Ideally, you want to
Continue Reading Should I Offer My Sales Staff Salary or Incentive-Based Pay?

Well-written business contracts are the backbone of a successful business. If you own a business, you may deal with sales-related contracts such as purchase orders, bills of sale, and warranties. You probably manage employment contracts such as employee agreements, independent contractor agreements, confidentiality agreements, and non-compete agreements, as well. Whatever types of contracts your business uses, it is essential that these contracts be written accurately and in a way that makes them legally enforceable. It is easy to make a mistake in a contract that changes the nature of the contract or renders it unusable.
Avoid These Pitfalls During the
Continue Reading 4 Common Mistakes Business Owners Make When Drafting Contracts

Google, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, Foursquare, and a host of other websites allow customers to leave reviews about the businesses they frequent. While customer feedback is a valuable resource for any business owner, online review websites are also vulnerable to misuse. A person can leave a review for a business even if he or she has never interacted with the company. In addition, there is little stopping customers from posting reviews that are completely unfounded. If you are a business owner, you should be aware of how online reviews can affect your business and how to
Continue Reading How Fake and Exaggerated Online Reviews Can Affect Small Businesses

The last six weeks or so have been like nothing any of us have ever experienced. In fact, most of us could never have imagined a real-world scenario in which our city, state, and country would need to be shut down almost entirely. Illinois has been under a shelter-in-place order since March 21, and many other states have similar orders in place.
Unfortunately, the stress and uncertainty of the situation have caused many people to behave in ways that are uncharacteristic. Social media, for example, is full of emotionally-charged political rants and name-calling. Similarly, some people simply refuse to turn
Continue Reading People Helping People in the Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis

If you have already developed an estate plan, congratulations! You are in the minority, but you have taken the steps toward providing security for your loved ones. However, it is also important to understand that there are certain situations or life changes that may require you to update or make amendments to your estate plan. As a Naperville estate planning attorney, I can help you know how to recognize the need for such updates and will work with you in utilizing new tools and developing terms to meet your evolving needs.
Getting Married or Divorced
When you get married, your
Continue Reading Life Changes That May Require an Estate Plan Update

Business contracts are some of the most important elements of a successful business. However, when one party does not uphold its end of a business agreement, the other party can suffer considerable harm. A breach of contract occurs when one party does not fulfill the obligation it agreed to in a contract and the non-breaching party, or injured party, suffered financial harm as a result. The breaching party may be required to “remedy” the situation though one of several means. If your business has suffered due to a breach of contract, speak to an experienced Naperville business lawyer to learn
Continue Reading What Are the Possible Remedies for a Breach of Contract?

When you think about the type of security your business needs, your first thoughts may turn to installing surveillance cameras or an identification card entry system. Of course, these kinds of physical measures can help you protect your company, particularly if you own a retail outlet or run an office that works with sensitive information. What about your more intangible security concerns? How can you protect ideas, works, designs, symbols, logos, and other intellectual property?
In my practice as a business law attorney, I have helped many entrepreneurs and business owners register for trademarks, copyrights, and other forms of
Continue Reading Naperville Business Attorney Discusses Trademarks and Copyright Protection

When debts become overwhelming, a person may have no other choice but to file for bankruptcy. Through bankruptcy, an individual may find relief from crushing debts and enjoy a fresh start. However, bankruptcy may also have an effect on estate plans. If you are struggling financially and are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, you might also be wondering what will happen if you were to die while you are in bankruptcy. You may wonder, “What happens if a person passes away while he or she is in bankruptcy?” As an experienced estate planning lawyer, I can help you understand
Continue Reading Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer on How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Affect Estate Plans

For an entrepreneur, one of the most important decisions to be made in the early stages of business ownership is the selection of an appropriate business entity structure. With a number of options from which to choose, deciding on the best one requires careful consideration of the advantages and potential drawbacks of each, as well as the associated legal requirements or restrictions. Many business owners find that structuring as a limited liability company, or LLC, offers an ideal balance between risk and reward.
An LLC is Not Necessarily a Corporation
One of the most common misconceptions regarding LLCs is
Continue Reading Naperville Business Attorney Addresses Advantages of an LLC

Throughout the business world, there are many stories of family-owned companies that started small and grew to become social and corporate icons. Famous examples include The H.J. Heinz Company, S.C. Johnson, and the Ford Motor Company. However, owning and running a family business can be extremely challenging, and determining appropriate roles within the company for family members is often particularly difficult. Several of my clients recently addressed this very topic with me, so here are few things to keep in mind as you work toward the success of your family business.
An estimated 60 percent of family-owned businesses fail or
Continue Reading Naperville Small Business Attorney Discusses Potential Family Business Hazards

The last few weeks have been some of the most challenging that most of us have ever dealt with. The state of Illinois has been under a stay-at-home/shelter-in-place order since March 21, which means that residents are only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons, such as to buy food or to care for a family member. Non-essential businesses have also been closed for several weeks, and while many people have started working from home, many others are unable to do so and are now out of work.
With so many challenges surrounding us, it is easy to get
Continue Reading Naperville Business Lawyer Recognizes Companies That Have Stepped Up to Help Deal With the Coronavirus Crisis

Your path to success in a business venture begins long before your ever open your doors to the public. For most entrepreneurs and would-be business owners, the journey begins with an idea for a new product or service, or a variation of an existing one. A raw concept, however, is rarely a sufficient foundation upon which to build your investment; it must be developed, reviewed, amended, and tested. Then, the cycle should be repeated several times as the idea gradually transforms into a legitimate business plan or strategy.
During the process, you and your team should also be conducting market
Continue Reading The Basics of Market Research from a Naperville Business Attorney

When you are looking toward the future and beginning the process of developing a comprehensive estate plan, it is easy to look at account statements, insurance policies, and other documents that list physical assets to determine what property will need to be considered in your will, trusts, or other planning instruments. In today’s increasingly digital world, though, you probably have a number of other assets—whether you choose to think of them that way or not—that are only accessible through electronic means. This may include downloaded songs or apps on iTunes, available funds in a PayPal account, or simply valuable
Continue Reading Naperville Estate Planning Attorney Discusses Protecting Your Digital Assets

Over the last few weeks—and especially the last few days—we have all experienced things that we never imagined would be a part of our lives. Local, state, and national leaders have taken unprecedented action in efforts to keep our country as safe as possible from the threat presented by the novel coronavirus strain (COVID-19) that has spread around the world.
Just a couple weeks ago, we were all going to work and school like normal. We were seeing increased encouragement to wash our hands and avoid touching our faces, but life went on. Today, most of us are inside. School
Continue Reading Together, We Can Get Through This Trying Time

Family businesses are a valuable part of the American economy and provide jobs for countless individuals. If you own a family business, you are probably well aware of the challenges and difficulties that go along with this unique and fulfilling lifestyle. One continued challenge that all business owners face is planning for the future of their business. They know that they will eventually need to choose a successor to take over the business when they retire who understands the business and can manage it in a way that brings continued success. There is no perfect way to choose a
Continue Reading Naperville Business Lawyer on Choosing Your Business Successor