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February, 2016 Archives

Archives for February 2016

Why you need to update your estate plan

You've taken the time to plan for the future and create your estate plan. After working with a Chicago estate planning attorney to make sure all assets are accounted for and all contingencies are covered, you're feeling the satisfaction of a job well done. (Article continues below Infographic) In reality, there is still work to do. An estate plan is a living document that requires care and attention to stay current. Consider these reasons to change your estate plan and how they apply … [Read more...]

How you can defend an eminent domain action

The activist group Castle Coalition gives Illinois a D+ rating when it comes to protecting property owners against eminent domain. That doesn’t mean there aren’t defenses available, as it is often possible to beat eminent domain with the help of an Illinois real estate attorney who specializes in eminent domain defense. (Article continues below Infographic) How Eminent Domain Works The agency interested in acquiring property will assess it to determine its value. Next, an offer will … [Read more...]

New Regulations Affect Illinois Realtors in 2016

Of the more than 600 bills crossing the governor’s desk in 2015, several dealt with real estate issues. New programs regarding property foreclosures, fraud alert systems, and other changes went into effect as of January 1st. Both realtors and those looking to buy property should take a moment to understand the changes, some of which are listed below. Property Foreclosure Pilot Program Cook County now has a pilot program that permits documents recorded against properties in foreclosure to … [Read more...]

Digital Property Creates New Questions In Estate Planning

Estate attorneys are facing a new and difficult challenge: the division and distribution of digital assets after death. Illinois is one of many states struggling to draft legislation to protect digital property for intestate estates, but 2015's Senate Bill 1376 faced significant opposition from online companies. These companies argue opening digital assets to an estate violates the original property holder's right to privacy, and is therefore impermissible. Right now, the only way to … [Read more...]

Will Governor’s Move Bring More Business to Illinois?

Governor Rauner made good on his State of the State pledge to empower his newly formed Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation (ILBECD) with an executive order recently. With it he ordered the Illinois Department of Commerce to work with this new private non-profit corporation to attract more businesses to the state. ILBECD is similar to other private economic development corporations that exist in many other states, including nearby Ohio and Indiana. These organizations aid … [Read more...]

Capital Markets Improvement Act (HR 1675) Aims to Help Small Business

Small businesses are important to building a healthy economy. They provide access to goods and services that consumers want, which helps to stimulate the economy. But most importantly, they help fuel job growth. Times have changed, and being a small business owner has become increasingly difficult. Having to deal with all the federal and state red tape that comes with owning a small business can be costly and time-consuming, which can be overwhelming for small business owners. A business … [Read more...]

The Evolution of Estate Tax

The Estate Tax has gone through numerous changes throughout the past 100 years. Rates of taxation have changed, along with attempts to repeal or reform the law. Probate lawyers must constantly follow changes to the laws to advise their clients on how to best plan their estates. The Revenue Act of September 8, 1916 As an effort to bolster government coffers before entering World War I, the Revenue Act included provisions to enact an estate tax at the rates of 1 to 10 percent for taxable … [Read more...]

New Business Owners Stumble Through Paperwork

Starting a new business is an exciting time, but that excitement can turn to horror quickly for business owners who fail to file the proper paperwork. Every business, from a part-time operation out of a person's garage to a multi-national corporation must file a series of documents with the state and federal government to achieve legal status to operate. With the assistance of a commercial attorney, new business owners can navigate the treacherous waters of business creation and protect their … [Read more...]

Commercial Renters Fight For Greater Protection

In a commercial lease there is a lot more at stake than just rent money; the success or failure of the business can hinge on the lease. Renters who do not take the time to consider carefully the terms of their agreement may face hefty maintenance costs, discover themselves responsible for unexpected taxes, or even find their business without a home. Illinois protects commercial lessees in three areas of particular importance. Habitability To protect residential tenants from exploitation by … [Read more...]

Same Sex Marriage, Divorce and Division of Property

Same-sex marriage has been one of the most polarizing issues in recent years, and its legality on a national level was not resolved until only last year. Before that, its legality was decided one state at a time. This means that many couples had to leave their own state to legally wed. While the first same-sex marriage licenses in the United States were issued in 1975, gay marriage did not become officially legal in any state until 1999. Policy on same-sex marriage varied widely between then and … [Read more...]

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