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Unfortunately, many businesses are confronted with extraordinary losses and may be forced to choose between a creditor workout or a reorganization bankruptcy in order to survive. Some of the differences between workouts and bankruptcies include.

  • Timing. A creditor workout is generally faster than a bankruptcy and can involve only a few major creditors as opposed to all. Bankruptcies also take longer because of the required notices and formalities.
  • Cost. A creditor workout is usually less expensive than a bankruptcy as there are fewer filings and professional fees.
  • Disruption to Operations. Unless a company is publicly, traded, owned, or has publicly

Continue Reading What is the Difference Between Creditor Workouts and Bankruptcy?

Almost all employers in Illinois are subject to the Illinois Equal Pay Act, and any employers subject to the U.S. Minimum Wage Act are also subject to the Federal Pay Act, that ensure women are paid equal to men for the same job, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, that prohibits gender discrimination. While the determination of what constitutes equal pay is complex, violations, particularly shown to be in bad faith, can result in government enforcement actions and individual civil suits to recover compensatory damages, costs, attorney’s fees, and possibly punitive damages. As enforcement and
Continue Reading Equal Pay Act

Eric Wilen presented his program “Navigating the Estate Planning Client Through Common Myths and Competing Voices” to the lawyers of the DuPage County Bar Association in June 2022. Eric discussed how estate planners can filter, evaluate and address clients’ most frequent misconceptions, fears, misinformation and “free” advice they receive from social media, family and friends about estate planning probate, taxes and inheritances before their first meeting with a competent, committed and capable estate planner, in order to meet the clients’ needs and exceed their expectations. As a distinguished estate planner and tax advisor, Eric often addresses groups of attorneys, accountants,
Continue Reading Eric Wilen presents program: ‘Navigating the Estate Planning Client Through Common Myths and Competing Voices’

Operating your business as a limited liability entity generally protects your personal assets from claims of business creditors, but the informal operation of small to mid-sized and family-owned businesses can sometimes weaken that protection when things go bad, allowing a business creditor to reach the owners’ personal assets. Some of the areas where the risk is highest include:

  • Signing Documents/Guaranties. Avoid personal guaranties, recourse loans and providing your personal information for business credit, and always sign as a representative.
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duties. Officers, directors, employees and sometimes shareholders owe fiduciary duties to the entity and their improper conduct gives

Continue Reading Avoiding Personal Risk From Your Business

Blended families bring unique challenges to wealth, retirement, financial and estate planning. Divorce decrees, second families, new in-laws, stepchildren and a whole new clan are some of the issues to address. Using experienced counsel can ensure your wishes are honored and family disputes after your death are minimized. Some of the planning tools available for blended family planning include:

  • Will.  The ultimate planning document and the final backstop to ensure your wishes are honored. While there are formalities, it can be changed by codicil or replaced when your wishes or situation change.
  • Living Trusts. They hold your assets during life

Continue Reading Planning for Blended Families

Asset protection planning is taking proactive steps to protect your personal or business assets and income before there is a legitimate threat or claim against you or your business. This is not giving away or transferring your assets to other parties, that carries its own risks, nor hiding your assets, but organizing and compartmentalizing your assets in order to isolate and protect them from creditor claims. Some asset protection planning you can do include:

  • Insurance. Liability, property, life, auto, business, E&D, D&O, cyber and other types of insurance should be considered and acquired to protect you and your assets in

Continue Reading Asset Protection Planning

Unexpected supply-chain tie-ups, price increases, delivery delays and product shortages recently plagued many businesses. If they are not bad enough, handling the situation poorly can also result in contract breaches, customer/supplier losses, damages and lawsuits.
To minimize these unfortunate results, we recommend that you try to get ahead of the situation and offer these tips:

  • Communicate with your customers/suppliers to let them know you have some supply/cost issues and may not be able to meet your deadlines/pricing.
  • Be proactive and encourage customers to order early, suppliers to confirm inventories and deliveries, and to lock in current prices when possible.
  • Buy

Continue Reading Supply Chain, Product Increases and Shortages

Manufacturing delays, transportation shortages and overall supply chain issues caused problems for many businesses from manufacturing to retail. These situations outside of your control can also result in further problems for your business if you fail to supply, provide or have in inventory sufficient products for your customers. There are steps you can take to avoid, limit or minimize claims against you in these situations.

  • Review any and all contract documents to assess your potential exposure and the obligations others owe to you if these problems arise.
  • Redraft or amend your contract documents to limit your exposure in the

Continue Reading Supply Chain and Related Issues

Probably due to the pandemic, the Illinois Legislature passed few laws important to business in Illinois and effective January 1, 2022. They include:

  • Increasing the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour;
  • Making non-compete agreements generally not enforceable against employees earning less than $75,000.00;
  • Enacting new restrictions on vaping sales;
  • Requiring health insurers to cover mental illness and addiction treatment;
  • Barring or restricting early termination fees for many utilities and services; and
  • Making Juneteenth (June 19) a state holiday.

For a more exhaustive list, please visit:
This Brief is designed to provide our friends and clients with information regarding
Continue Reading New Business Laws for 2022

When the owner or owners of a closely held small business decide its time to sell or are approached by a potential buyer, the first order of business should be determining the business’ value or the value of the selling owners’ interest. Innumerable factors are considered in determining the value of a small business, and appropriate professional advice from your accountant, lawyer, business valuator, appraiser, tax adviser, business broker, industry experts and other consultants should not be overlooked. In addition to the book, replacement and market values of your business, other factors to consider include:

  • Legal Constraints. Corporate bylaws, and

Continue Reading Valuing a Small Business for Sale

To many people estate planning is merely preparing a will to tell your executor what to do with what you own when you die. But, estate planning is more than just drafting a will. It includes tax efficiencies, wealth preservation, asset protection, efficient asset ownership, retirement planning and business succession planning.
Estate planning can include:

  • Will.  Appoints and directs your executor what to do with your property after your death.
  • Trust.  Allows you and your successor trustee to handle your assets in private.
  • Special Needs Trusts.  Provides for a disabled person without loss of government aid.
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney. 

Continue Reading Estate Planning is Tax Efficiency and Wealth Management

The recent troubles with acquiring inventory, unexpected price increases, delivery delays and product shortages caused problems for many businesses. It also highlights that it is a good time to review your agreements, purchase orders, invoices, and other contract documents to see what they provide regarding these unexpected and uncontrollable situations, often called force majeure clauses. Learn how they apply to these situations, amend them if necessary, and try to get ahead of problems by informing customers, suppliers and others that there will be delays, price increases or product rationing because of forces beyond your control.
If you have any
Continue Reading Supply Chain-Force Majeure

Each business, or at least its ownership, has a life cycle and particularly with multiple owners it is important to consider at the business’ inception how the business may end or an owner leave. While the law provides a mechanism to end a business or one’s ownership, owners agreeing to some sort of buy/sell arrangement is preferred. Some of the factors to consider in drafting a buy/sell agreement include:

  • Valuation. Any agreement should include a method or formula to value the business at the time of the sale that may change over time and contain discounts or reductions.
  • Situation. The

Continue Reading Buy/Sell Agreements for Small Businesses

The law legalizing recreational cannabis also provided for the expungement (removal) of all court records regarding various prior cannabis arrests, citations and convictions. While each county’s States Attorney was charged with doing the expungements, few did. The Illinois Supreme Court just released forms for do it yourself cannabis record expungement:
If you have any questions, or if we can help you erase any prior criminal records regarding cannabis or other matters, please contact us.
This Bulletin is designed to provide our friends and clients with information regarding the various subject matters covered, it is not designed to take
Continue Reading Cannabis Expungement

As an increasing number of seniors opt to remain in their homes with the assistance of non-family caregivers, there is an increasing risk that they could be victimized by an unscrupulous caregiver. Even if retained from a reputable source, background checked, highly referred and closely supervised, the family could be surprised to learn a caregiver improperly persuaded a relative to make a substantial gift or bequest to the caretaker or his/her family. Since 2014, the Illinois Probate Act provides that transfers of over $20,000 to a caregiver that is timely challenged by heirs is presumed to be void, putting the
Continue Reading Caregivers Concerns

Illinois law mandates all employers to annually provide sexual harassment training to each of its Illinois employees. While there are many consultants and programs an employer can hire or purchase to fulfil this legal requirement, the state also provides a free presentation. The requirements for the training can be found at:  and the state authorized program at:
If you have any questions or problems, please contact us.
This Bulletin is designed to provide our friends and clients with information regarding the various subject matters covered, it is not designed to take place of legal, accounting,
Continue Reading Illinois Employee Sexual Harassment Training