Latest from Brooks, Tarulis & Tibble Blog

Eric Wilen was recently asked at the last minute to fill-in for two absent presenters at the National Business Institute’s all-day webinar on Trusts in Illinois From A to Z. Eric presented on the topic of Grantor Trusts highlighting his expertise in federal tax issues for the very specialized Grantor Trusts. He also presented an overview of the essential tax issues that trust and estate practitioners need to know in trust drafting and administration in his second topic Trust Tax Essentials.  In the roundtable session, Eric provided attendees with practical advice on the Basic Tax Issues in Estate Planning.
Continue Reading Eric Speaks at National Business Institute

While most states require you use the complete legal name of your business when conducting official business, including a designation of your business’ entity type, such as Inc., Ltd., P.C., LLC, NFP, and the like, the full legal name is often cumbersome and less attractive in the marketplace. As a result, most states allow your business to establish a business alias, also known as (“a/k/a”), or a doing business as (“d/b/a”) name. For example, Apple is a d/b/a for Apple, Inc. and Walmart for Wal-Mart, Inc.
To obtain a d/b/a you must register it with the Secretary of State, pay
Continue Reading Your Business Name

Elizabeth Bacon was re-appointed to the Illinois State Bar Association’s Privacy and Information Security Law committee for 2024-2025. In light of Illinois’ leadership in state laws protecting privacy and the collection of biometric data, including the Illinois Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA), a subject of numerous lawsuits and substantial settlements, this committee is very active and involved in litigation, legislation, and education relating to privacy and the collection and usage of personal information.
Continue Reading Elizabeth Bacon re-appointed to the Illinois State Bar Association’s Privacy and Information Security Law Committee

Employers with over 100 Illinois employees and required to file an Employee Information Report (EEO-1) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are also required by the Illinois Equal Pay Act to obtain an Equal Pay Registration Certificate (EPRC), even if no notice was received from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). To obtain the certificate, a required employer must complete the IDOL Compliance Statement, provide a wage record report with detailed pay information, and pay a $150.00 fee.
If your business is required to obtain an Equal Pay Registration Certificate and you have not already complied, please do so
Continue Reading Illinois Equal Pay Registration Certificate

In November, Eric Wilen was a co-panelist on a Speaker Panel for a seminar presentation to members of the Illinois State Bar Association Trust and Estates Section.  Eric and his co-panelists from the legal department of CIBC Bank USA presented on the topic of “Why Won’t the Bank Accept my Client’s POA?” The presentation focused on some of the reasons why a bank or other financial institution might reject a Power of Attorney and Eric provided perspective and tips for drafting Powers of Attorney and working a client’s financial institution to resolve any problems so the agent can be granted
Continue Reading Eric Wilen Quoted in Illinois Bar Journal

In any relationship where the parties intend to jointly own or use property, legal advice is recommended to ensure that their intentions are clear and enforceable during their relationship and at its end by death or otherwise. Proper planning not only provides peace of mind but protection from the often unwanted “default provisions” of state law that will decide for you if you do not.
If you fail to plan to protect paramours (unmarried couples) or friends, they may have no or limited rights on your death or disability. If you fail to plan for your spouse at death, the
Continue Reading Property Ownership for Couples

While the unique and complex provisions of contracts are generally the focus of concern, discussion and negotiation, drafters also need to pay attention to the more mundane and standard terms that every contract needs. If enforcement or interpretation is needed in the future, these standard terms provide guidance to the parties, arbitrators, judges and juries.
These provisions include:

  • Contract information of all parties, attorneys and others involved.
  • Definitions of the special or unique terms and the contract’s subject.
  • Consistent terms, language, tenses and punctuation, with changes only in sections that need different treatment or interpretation.
  • Spelling out details such as

Continue Reading The Importance of Standard Contract Terms

Being served with a summons, subpoena, citation, claim, notice, lien or lawsuit is never good, but they cannot be ignored. As quick action is usually required, you should be prepared. Some initial steps in response to receiving one of these documents include:

  • Stay calm. Most situations are amicably resolved.
  • Docket it. Determine and calendar when a response is required.
  • Report it. Your employer, partner, attorney, accountant or insurance carrier may be better equipped to handle it and respond.
  • Get help. Hire an attorney or consult with other experienced relevant professionals.
  • Gather up. Secure all documents, and information and identify all

Continue Reading What to do if Sued

The Corporate Transparency Act requires all existing “business entities” and “beneficial owners” to file a Beneficial Ownership Information Report with the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) Beneficial Ownership Secure System (“BOSS”) on or before January 1, 2025, and entities established thereafter with 90 days of establishment. The stated purpose is to identify money laundering, tax evasion and other financial crimes, and the BOSS database will be accessible only to crime enforcement and tax collection entities.
By January 1, 2025, Beneficial Ownership Information Reports will be required from:

  • All non-exempt business entities, including trusts, authorized to or conducting business,

Continue Reading New Corporate Transparency Law

With over 300 new laws taking effect January 1, 2024, some that could have a substantial impact on your business include:

  • The Federal Corporate Transparency Act requires a business to file with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
  • New criminal penalties for doxing, deep faking and cyberbullying.
  • New residential construction requires EV compatible parking.
  • Multi-occupancy business bathrooms may be used by any gender.
  • Minimum wage increased to $14.00 per hour.
  • Paid leave for all workers at 1 hour for every 40 worked.
  • Extended bereavement time off.
  • Picketing protections and limitations.

If you have any questions or if problems arise, please contact
Continue Reading New Illinois Business Laws

In conducting workplace investigations of personnel situations or other events, employers or those hired to conduct the investigation walk a tightrope to avoid causing more problems and creating potential liability. With “at will” employees, those without a contract and not unionized, unless you have policies or procedures requiring an investigation, it may be better to act without an investigation and proceed to termination or other action as appropriate. But, when employment laws, rules, regulations, policies, or agreements require an investigation or you believe one may be advisable in the situation, in order to limit or avoid future liability you should
Continue Reading Workplace Investigations

The Illinois Genetic Information Privacy Act of 1998 410 ILCS 513/25(c)(1) (GIPA) prohibits inquiries into a person’s family medical history and obtaining genetic information. Like the federal Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) that regulates the collection of genetic information, both allow private lawsuits, including class actions, to prevent and punish violations. The predicted wave of class actions against employers, potential employers and insurance carriers that request or obtain such information appears to be growing.
Before you ask, be sure you can and if you do, be sure you comply.
Please call us with any questions or concerns.
Continue Reading Requesting Genetic/Medical History Information

A fiduciary is a legal term identifying a person or entity with a special legal relationship with another, imposing an obligation that the fiduciary act in the best interests of the other, its client. Parents, trustees, guardians, advisors, counselors, caretakers, attorneys and persons using a Power of Attorney are often held to be fiduciaries. Not only can improper conduct (defalcation, self-dealing) land a fiduciary in trouble, but even someone doing their best can be held responsible if they fail to fulfill their duties or are unable to adequately demonstrate they did.
Some actions to avoid liability as a fiduciary include:
Continue Reading Fiduciary Duties

Insurance trade groups report an increasing number of loss claims arising from inventory and product loss – often employee theft. As these losses increase premiums increases will follow. Be sure that any steps taken to prevent such losses are legal, defensible, effective and consistent with employment policies and union contracts. Don’t let your efforts to control or eliminate one problem cause others. Retain proper professionals and obtain competent advice.
If you have any questions or problems in this regard, please contact us.
This Bulletin is designed to provide our friends and clients with information regarding the various subject matters covered,
Continue Reading Inventory/Product Loss

Almost every parent’s dream is to create a family business that will be a legacy to and source of wealth for his or her heirs. However, almost every successful entrepreneur spends more time growing the business than considering how the growing family will successfully operate and profit from the business after the founder is gone or retired.
Some traps to prevent your children, grandchildren and other heirs from killing your “golden goose” include:

  • Not everyone can or should be employed in the family business.
  • Each family employee must be properly trained, screened, and possess the necessary talent for their assigned

Continue Reading Avoiding the Traps of a Family Business

As of November 1, 2023, Illinois employers with five or more employees are required to participate in the Illinois Secure Choice Program. The Program, launched in 2018, is designed to address the retirement security crisis, offering an Illinois sponsored retirement savings account managed by the Treasurer. 

  • As of November 1, 2023, unless exempt, employers with five or more employees are required to facilitate the Program and employers that fail to comply face penalties of $250 per employee for the first year and $500 per employee for each subsequent year.
  • Employers who have fewer than 5 employees, have been in business

Continue Reading Mandatory Compliance: Illinois Secure Choice Program