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Madison County Legal Issues Blog

Questions to ask before preparing for estate administration

Most Illinois residents know they need to prepare for the future. They understand that they could suffer an injury or illness that could incapacitate or even kill them, but few people actually want to sit down and contemplate these events long enough to prepare for incapacitation and estate administration. For those who come to the conclusion that it is a necessary evil, it may help to have some direction regarding how to structure a plan.

Before any documents are created, an Illinois resident needs to make some determinations regarding what will happen under particular circumstances. For instance, if any loved ones have special needs, any provisions made for that person in an estate plan would need to follow certain rules in order to avoid an inheritance preventing him or her from receiving much needed services and funding. Thereafter, others that the individual wants to provide for after death should be identified.

What drives up divorce filings at the beginning of the year?

It seems as though the beginning of a new year is a time for people to start over and make changes in their lives. How many Illinois residents make resolutions at this time of year to better themselves in some way? They take stock in their lives and look to weed out anything that did not serve them in the previous year. For some people, including many here in Illinois, this includes filing for divorce.

Illinois couples who began realizing last year that they no longer wanted to be married may have decided to table the subject until after the holidays, especially if they have children. No one wants to be the 'Grinch who stole Christmas' by announcing something this life-changing during the holiday season. In fact, this is the reason numerous sources say that the number of divorce filings increase dramatically in January. 

Learn more about breach of contract in business litigation

Many Illinois business owners already have some understanding of what a breach of contract is. However, there is more to this often-cited reason for business litigation than just not meeting the obligations in an agreement. Gaining a better understanding of whether a breach actually occurred could help avoid going to court or at least provide the potential for other avenues of dispute resolution.

For instance, is one party expecting the other to fail to meet the obligations outlined in the contract? An Illinois business owner may take the time to discuss any concerns with the other party before a breach actually occurs, which could avoid a confrontation entirely. In addition, anticipating that the other party will not fulfill his or her end of the bargain does not mean that neither party has to follow through.

How to protect your business with a prenup

More couples than ever before have begun to rely on prenuptial agreements. There are many reasons why couples about to marry should get this paperwork signed, such as one spouse having significantly more assets than the other. 

Prenups are incredibly useful when a married couple has complicated finances. In a divorce, one spouse could lose a substantial amount of money, especially if that person owns his or her business. Many people start their own businesses prior to marriage, which is why it is a good idea to include certain terms about the division of business-related assets in the prenup. 

What do per stirpes or per capita mean for estate administration?

Most Illinois residents strive to be as fair as possible when it comes to distributing their property after death. They want to take care of their families while making estate administration as smooth and simple as possible. One of the decisions to be made involves how heirs and beneficiaries inherit those assets.

For many Illinois residents, there are two primary options. The first involves leaving an inheritance with the intention of it benefiting generations. For example, if an inheritance is left to one heir or beneficiary, but if he or she passes away before the estate holder, then it goes to that person's children, and so on down the line. Those secondary individuals receive equal shares of the assets the deceased person was to receive. This is referred to as per stirpes.

A name could mean everything in business formation

Creating a new company here in Illinois or elsewhere requires numerous decisions. One of the most important is the name it will take. This aspect of business formation could prove to be one of the crucial steps leading to success.

Making this choice requires answering numerous questions regarding the business itself. What does the owner intend to accomplish? What important information about the business can the name convey to the public? Is the name easily recognizable and spoken? These and other questions could lead an Illinois entrepreneur in the search for the right name.

Dividing debts in an Illinois divorce

Many people here in Illinois can attest to the fact that ending a marriage affects the financial stability of both parties. While some of this is attributed to the division of assets and the increase in bills that come from supporting two households instead of one with the same monetary resources, that is not the only source of an economic downturn. The division of debts is another consideration in a divorce that many people tend not to want to think about, or forget about in the beginning.

First, debts that each party had prior to the marriage, if any, are typically the sole responsibility of the party to which they belong. The same principle generally applies to any debt one party incurred after the couple separated. Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, a judge will more than likely find a way to divide up a couple's debts as fairly as possible.

Beer companies settle contentious business litigation

Times are tough for everyone as many individuals and businesses here in Illinois can attest. A leaner economy appears to be behind some contentious business litigation between MillerCoors and Pabst Brewing Company. The matter recently went to trial, but instead of waiting for a verdict, the two companies recently reached a settlement.

Pabst uses Miller facilities to brew several of its most popular beers. The current contract between the parties expires in 2020, and the Pabst wanted to go ahead and exercise its option to extend the arrangement until 2030. The only problem was that Miller said it did not have the facilities available to handle the capacity from Pabst any longer.

5 signs you should skip mediation for your divorce

When you walked down the aisle, you were probably full of optimism for your marriage. Unfortunately, not every marriage ends in happiness. Because you have worked hard to get where you are in life, you may not want to give your spouse more than she or he deserves. 

If you are heading toward divorce, your spouse may want you to dissolve your marriage through mediation. While mediation can be an effective way to reach an agreement, it is not right for everyone. Here are five signs you should skip mediation and head straight to Illinois divorce court

Now may be the time to enter that divorce settlement

It is December, and the year is rapidly drawing to a close. Even though the holidays tend to take up a significant amount of time, couples still attempting to resolve their divorce issues may want to speed up the process. If Illinois residents started out battling over their settlements, they may want to take a second look and perhaps make a more concerted effort to get that settlement completed before the end of the year.

The new tax laws take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, and that means that the rules regarding alimony change. Those who pay alimony will no longer be able to deduct it on their income taxes. In many cases, this means that alimony payments could drop, which could put the receiving party in a difficult financial position post-divorce. Therefore, the advantage of not having to pay taxes on alimony received may not make much difference.