October, 2017 Archives

Archives for 2017

Choosing the Right Probate-Avoidance Method

The probate-avoidance strategy decedents use can determine if their heirs are burdened with debt. The heirs of a person who dies with debt are responsible for settling those debts. The estate is responsible for settling the final affairs (i.e., debts, tax obligations, etc.) of the decedent and the remainder is distributed to the decedent’s heirs in accordance with the decedent’s instructions or state law if there is no will. However, in some circumstances, the heirs can be saddled with the … [Read more...]

Don’t Sign A Franchise Agreement Containing These Clauses

Many franchise agreements include “deal-breaker” provisions such as insufficient start-up support, liquidated damages clauses, mandatory arbitration stipulations and more. Before signing a franchise agreement, entrepreneurs should carefully review the agreement and be wary of those that contain certain components. A franchise is an independently owned and operated business that is part of a larger network of related businesses under the umbrella of a large parent company. The parent company … [Read more...]

Will Estate Tax Be the Death of Your Small Business?

While estate tax isn’t necessarily the “death” of a small business, it could result in a significant burden for a handful of small businesses. The estate tax is sometimes levied on an estate upon the death of the decedent. An estate is a collection of assets and monies left behind by someone who passes away. The estate tax is decried by political opponents for causing double taxation because the assets composing the estate are post-tax dollars. Proponents of the tax argue that the estate tax … [Read more...]

Due Diligence for Your Growing Business

Due diligence is a critical stage in any commercial acquisition. It is the comprehensive and necessary review in a commercial acquisition to ensure that the deal meets the needs of all companies involved. Due diligence involves the rigorous evaluation of a company’s financials, personnel, liabilities, technology, intellectual property, sales, strategic vision, and other operations concerning the health and future of the acquisition. What Is Due Diligence? The composition of a due diligence … [Read more...]

Check With HOA For Defects Before Buying A Condo

Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) are valuable resources when checking for possible defects before purchasing a condo. Because the HOA is not incentivized by the possibility of a large payout or to lie, deceive or mislead a prospective buyer, consumers may be able to access more detailed and honest information than they might otherwise. Sellers are incentivized to paper over defects in the building or other issues that are currently being contested because their goal is to sell the unit and move. … [Read more...]

Treating Children Differently but Fairly in a Will

Parents sometimes leave unequal inheritances to their children and just because these amounts are uneven doesn’t necessarily mean they are not fair. Decisions are often based on the needs of adult children, their achievements, major gifts that were already given, and alternative forms of estate planning. The Unequal Situation Parents often create their wills with the current financial situations of their children in mind. The following is an example of a scenario that a Chicago will attorney … [Read more...]

3 Common Myths About Probate Law

Probate is a technical and often misunderstood area of the law. Here are some of the more popular probate law myths. 1. There Will Be a Reading of the Will Many fictitious depictions of probate law include a reading of the will, but in reality, there won’t be an actual reading with your attorney or representative. While readings may have taken place more often in days of illiteracy, they are far less likely to be done today unless it’s absolutely required for the beneficiaries. Typically, … [Read more...]

Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples

Same sex couples often have unique circumstances that can sometimes result in more complicated or creative estate planning techniques being implemented to ensure that their wishes are followed. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that LGBT couples and their estate planning attorney can take to avoid potential pitfalls in the future. According to the pros, same sex couples should: Review their legal marital status ahead of time In Illinois, same sex marriage has been legally … [Read more...]

Choosing the Best Fiduciary for Your Will

Choosing a qualified trustee to oversee a will can have a big impact on divisions of assets after a person’s death. A will attorney can address questions and concerns of family members and beneficiaries. Choosing an Estate Fiduciary A fiduciary is an entity or person who manages another person’s affairs if that person is incapacitated or deceased. The word fiduciary is a general term referring to agents, personal representatives, or trustees. When choosing a fiduciary to oversee an estate, … [Read more...]

The Truth About Zestimates in Illinois

Zillow’s property value estimates, commonly referred to as “Zestimates,” may be misleading Illinois home buyers. With a median error rate of approximately 8 percent nationwide, and even higher in some areas, these inaccuracies can equal disparities of tens of thousands of dollars. In some situations, the difference between a Zestimate and a true property appraisal is more than $100,000. Zestimates Are Not Actual Appraisals A Zestimate is a very popular consumer tool used to estimate a home’s … [Read more...]

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