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Madison County Legal Issues Blog

Contracts are a common source of business litigation

Illinois companies that enter into contracts with others agree to fulfill their part of them. When they fail to do so, they are said to have breached those contracts by failing to act in accordance with the terms in them. It is not hard to imagine that these disputes would be a common source of business litigation.

Most Illinois companies cannot afford to breach the contracts they enter into for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that their reputations tend to suffer, something that potentially could irreparably damage the business. Moreover, the amount of money, time and effort expended resolving the breach would probably be more than simply complying with the agreement. Nearly every business relies on relationships in order to thrive.

'Family-proofing' the estate administration and probate process

TV shows and movies in decades past often depicted close families who, even if they argued, always ended up presenting a united front with no sibling rivalry or other family squabbles. As many Illinois residents know, times have changed. While many families do remain close, some never quite see eye to eye, which could complicate the estate administration and probate process.

When it comes time for parents to create their estate plans, they may hesitate doing so because they know that no matter what decisions they make, someone is not going to be happy. The last thing they want is for all of their planning to be for nothing and their children to end up in litigation. There are ways to help limit this eventuality, if not eliminate it all together.

Dissolution is necessary when a company closes its doors

An Illinois company could have a variety of reasons for shutting its doors. Even so, simply closing the doors is not enough to cease operations. Instead, a formal dissolution process must occur in order for the business to be considered legally closed.

All the owners and members of private companies need to agree to the dissolution. Publicly held companies must obtain the agreement of shareholders after creating a resolution to dissolve. At the very least, a company needs to file articles of dissolution with the Illinois Secretary of State or whatever state in which the original organizational documents were filed.

Is your trust ready for estate administration?

Many Illinois residents conclude that they need a trust to properly execute their plans for their surviving family members upon their deaths. A trust can simplify the estate administration process if everything goes according to plan. However, if an individual fails to take one crucial step -- funding the trust -- those plans could fail.

A trust document is only paper if an individual fails to transfer assets into it. A trust becomes the legal owner of some assets and the beneficiary of others. Which assets fall into a particular category depends on their type. Homes, cars and other tangible property require a transfer of title into the name of the trust, but retirement accounts and life insurance policies can list the trust as a beneficiary of the proceeds.

Behaviors couples exhibit prior to wanting a divorce

Some Illinois residents may be on the fence regarding whether they need to end their marriages. They feel that something is not right, but may not yet be ready to file for divorce. It may help to understand some of the common behaviors couples exhibit that could indicate that they want a divorce.

Resentment is often a running theme in marriages that are not doing as well as they should. Regardless of the event that precipitated the negativity, one party just cannot let it go. Instead, the resentment continues to grow, and communication, which is vital to any relationship, breaks down to a point where the parties may not even talk much anymore.

Construction contracts, change orders and liens

When an Illinois construction company enters into an agreement with a commercial or private property owner, it attempts to cover all eventualities that could lead to not being paid. One area that many construction contracts address is change orders. However, doing so does not preclude the need for the proper documentation when one arises.

When the project is completed, it is time to settle the bill. When the property owner refuses or otherwise fails to pay for the work done on change orders, the construction company may decide to file one or more liens in an attempt to get paid. However, without the proper documentation, that could present a problem.

Don't skip estate planning just because you are single

Many Illinois residents are not married and do not have children. This may make them believe that they have no need for estate planning. In reality, it could be argued that single people actually need it more than others do.

For example, who will make financial and health care decisions if a single Illinois resident is unable to do so due to an injury or illness? Powers of attorney allow an individual to choose someone they trust to fulfill this role if needed. Otherwise, family members will need to go to court in order to obtain the right to make such decisions, which could take time and result in someone making choices that the incapacitated individual would not have made.

Will you have to pay alimony in your divorce?

No matter how financially stable you are, divorce is a big hit to your bank account, from paying court fees to hiring business valuators. If you have children, you likely will have to add child support. 

What about alimony (or spousal maintenance)? With everything else you already have to pay for, it is no wonder you feel worried about yet another expense, especially one that goes to your ex. Understanding how Illinois addresses alimony can help give you an idea of whether alimony is even a factor in your divorce.

Did the seller fail to tell you about the construction defects?

You think you found the home of your dreams here in Glen Carbon. You love the home, the price was right, and the seller seemed eager to close the deal. It was only after you moved in that you realize some construction defects exist on the property. Now what do you do?

Illinois law requires sellers to disclose defects to potential buyers. In some cases, a home inspection reveals these issues. For instance, there could be water damage traceable to a defect such as a leaky roof, defective plumbing or faulty ground drainage. However, if the water damage is somehow concealed long enough to sell the home, you could be the one dealing with the problem.

Why do second and third marriages have higher failure rates?

Any marriage is difficult to manage, but the risk of divorce is higher in second and third marriages. If you get a divorce once, statistics show that your chances of doing it again increase if you re-marry. But why, exactly, is this the case?

Many reasons exist as to why subsequent marriages have a higher divorce rate. If you are in your second or third marriage, you may have a lot of questions about this phenomenon. Understanding the causes of divorce in second and third marriages will help you understand your situation.