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February, 2016 Archives

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 Year’s Resolution #1: Get Estate Documents in Order

The New Year is the perfect time to plan for the future. While your energy is high and your spirits are up, be sure to fit estate planning into your schedule this month. Getting it out of the way now means you won't have to worry about it for the rest of the year. The following are key documents you should prepare, review, then place in secure storage. Living Will. This written statement details your desires should you become incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for yourself. … [Read more...]

What to Expect During Probate

If probate is necessary, it begins when the executor of a will files the will with the local circuit court. Once filed, the executor's attorney will send a notice of proceedings to the deceased's heirs. If an individual passes away without a will, the executor's attorney will send these individual's notice regardless of the fact they were not formally named within a will. Creditors The executor's attorney will also publish an announcement of the individual's death in a local newspaper. The … [Read more...]

2016 Estate & Gift Taxes at a Glance

Estate planning is not something that should be taken lightly. As the rules change, and limits are adjusted, individuals should stay on top of their estate plans to ensure that transfer of their estate is smooth and efficient after their passing. 2016 Estate Exemption Limit The IRS has recently announced the 2016 estate and gift tax exemption. They have increased it to $5.45 million. This means that an individual may leave this amount to their heirs without them having to pay federal … [Read more...]

Creating Effective Non-Compete Clauses

One of the easiest ways for a competitor to gain a competitive advantage is for them to acquire a company's most valuable asset; the employees. They have the skills, experience, and knowledge competitors are eager to acquire. Effectively drafted non-compete clauses can reduce the risk that employees will end up on the competition's payroll. Non-compete agreements should be independent of other clauses and covenants. Ideally, it should be a standalone agreement. This limits the ability of a … [Read more...]

The Planning Stage of Advanced Care

Estate planning accomplishes several objectives, including the deferral or reduction in estate taxes, avoiding probate, and ensuring that the defendant's assets pass on to heirs of his or her choosing. What happens to that person medically is another aspect of estate planning, and these details can be contained in an advance care directive. This part of estate planning is a legal document that is created while the person is still mentally and emotionally capable. It indicates their decisions, … [Read more...]

Trucking Companies, Owner-Operators and the Dangers of Incorrect Paperwork

It is common for truckers to own their own business, both owning and driving a truck. Large trucking companies often engage in business partnerships with owner-operators, a practice that can prove rewarding for both parties. When the partnership is not properly documented, however, problems can arise, leading to legal disputes which are thoroughly avoidable. Illinois Transportation Laws In order to keep drivers and all who travel the roads safe, Illinois transportation laws include … [Read more...]

New Rules for Commercial Drones

From medical deliveries to real estate surveys, an increasing number of business transactions and practices now involve the use of commercial drones. However, as the world adjusts to this new technology, government regulations continue to evolve too. Because these small, unmanned aircraft continue to interfere with airplane flight paths, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is introducing new requirements to enforce existing rules for recreational and commercial drone use. Registration … [Read more...]

Spike in Deed Fraud An Epidemic in Major Cities

As advances in technology continue to develop and an increasing number of Realtors place properties and sales records online to enhance the transparency of real estate transactions, a spike in deed fraud has become an epidemic in some major cities. The rising threat has begun to target unsuspecting homeowners in cities like New York, Chicago and Detroit. A recent report about Sybil Patrick, whose beautiful brownstone home was sold for $750,000 without her knowing, clearly portrays the … [Read more...]

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