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Recent Blog Posts

Will vs. Trust: What’s the Difference in Illinois?

 Posted on June 26, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Wheaton Wills and Trusts LawyerIf you are planning your estate in Illinois, knowing the distinctions between a will and a trust is important. While both are useful, they have distinct features and benefits. In this blog post, we will explore these differences and assist you in making informed decisions about your estate plan.

Getting Around Probate

One significant difference between a will and a trust in Illinois is how they handle probate. Probate is a legal process that involves the court overseeing the transfer of properties from a person who has died to their heirs. Whether or not the deceased person had a will, probate is usually required. This process makes the will a public record, which means that anyone can view the assets you owned and who they were given to.

On the other hand, probate is not necessary for a revocable living trust. The person who creates the trust (known as the grantor) can manage the assets in the trust while they are alive. Once the grantor passes away, a successor trustee named in the trust documents takes over and distributes the trust’s assets to the beneficiaries specified in the trust. This procedure is private and offers a level of confidentiality that is not available with a will.

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Understanding Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities in Illinois

 Posted on June 09, 2023 in Divorce and Family Law

Wheaton Parenting Time LawyerIllinois legislation went into effect on January 1, 2016 that significantly changed the way the state addresses child custody and visitation. The new legislation created two separate categories of parental duties: parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as legal custody in Illinois).

The change was implemented to reflect the fact that most divorced and unmarried parents share responsibility for their children. Instead of one parent being named the child's legal custodian and the other parent merely having visitation with the child, the new law encourages a joint approach to parenting.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Parental responsibilities refer to how parents make decisions about a child. Illinois law specifically states that parental responsibilities refers to a parent's ability to make decisions about a child's:

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Update: What Is the Difference Between a Title and a Deed in Illinois?

 Posted on May 24, 2023 in DuPage County Real Estate Attorney

Wheaton Real Estate LawyerOriginally Published on March 31, 2021--------- Updated May 24, 2023

One of the most frustrating aspects of a real estate transaction is interpreting legalese and real estate jargon. In this popular blog, we explain the difference between a title and a deed. Essentially, having the title to a home gives you legal authority over the home. One or more parties may hold the title to a real estate property. On the other hand, a deed is a physical document that shows proof of ownership.  

If you are planning to buy or sell real estate, make sure you fully understand your rights and responsibilities. Whether it is a residential property or a commercial property, real estate transactions are loaded with complicated language and complex legal paperwork. Unfortunately, real estate transactions rarely go as smoothly as one would hope.

Boundary disputes, hidden defects, easements, encroachments, and countless other issues can arise that threaten to derail your chances of a successful transaction. To ensure you have access to the legal support and assistance you need during your real estate transaction, work with an experienced Naperville real estate lawyer. 

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Securing Capital: Overcoming Your Biggest Startup Hurdle

 Posted on May 05, 2023 in DuPage County Business Law Attorney

DuPage County Business LawyerA startup often begins as a meager idea. That idea grows and develops, becoming more and more detailed over time. Eventually, what started out as a small, bare-bones idea can grow into a fully-fledged business plan.

If you intend to launch a startup, you are probably familiar with the exciting process of fleshing out an idea and developing it into a business.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs run into the same issue: Starting a business can be extremely expensive. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most common ways that entrepreneurs find startup capital and the advantages and disadvantages of various funding options.

Angel Investors

Some lucky entrepreneurs are able to secure funding from an individual who believes in their vision. These so-called “angel investors” are often individuals with enough financial resources that they can safely afford to invest in a brand-new business.  In most cases, funding from an angel investor is not a loan. Instead, the investor is given a certain amount of equity in the company.

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Understanding Testamentary Capacity in an Illinois Estate Dispute

 Posted on April 26, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

DuPage County Estate Planning LawyerA last will and testament gives an individual the right to specifically dictate how his or her property is distributed to beneficiaries after his or her death. Like any other contract, a will must be entered into willingly in order for it to be legally binding. If someone is forced, coaxed, or tricked into signing a will, the will is not valid.

Testamentary capacity refers to the legal requirement that a person must have mental capacity in order to make a valid will. In Illinois, a person must be of sound mind and memory to execute a legally binding will.

Questions regarding testamentary capacity are often posed when a will is contested. If a family member or beneficiary believes that a testator did not fully understand what he or she was agreeing to in a will, the person can formally challenge the validity of the will in court. The court must then decide whether the testator had the mental capacity to understand the will's contents and implications when he or she made the will.

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Can I Change My Child Custody Order?

 Posted on April 03, 2023 in Child Custody

DuPage County Child Custody LawyerDivorced and unmarried parents who share custody may experience changes in their lives that require a modification of the child custody agreement. In Illinois, child custody is called the allocation of parental responsibilities. Parental responsibilities refer to decision-making authority regarding the child's education, religion, and other significant Issues in a child's life.

Changing the parenting time schedule, or the time that each parent has the child, is much easier than changing the allocation of parental responsibilities. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to petition the court to change parental responsibilities and provide evidence for why the change is immediately necessary.

How to Modify the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

When it comes to divorce and child custody cases, Illinois courts are primarily interested in protecting the child's well-being. In order to promote stability in a child's life, the court limits when parents may change the allocation of parental responsibilities.

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What Can I Do About Substandard Construction on My Home? 

 Posted on March 29, 2023 in DuPage County Real Estate Attorney

DuPage County Home Construction Defects LawyerYour home is likely the most valuable asset you own, both in the financial sense and a personal sense. When problems such as leaky roofs, cracked foundations, and unsafe electrical systems arise due to substandard construction, it can be extremely frustrating and very expensive. In some cases, construction defects like these may even put your and your family's lives at risk. 

Shoddy construction work lessens the value and functionality of your real estate property. It is important to take swift action to protect your rights and hold the at-fault party responsible.

Poor Workmanship and Mistakes During Construction Can Cost You Dearly

When a homeowner hires a construction company or contractor to do work on their property, they have certain expectations, including having the job done on time and within budget, as well as to a certain standard of quality. Unfortunately, mistakes can be made during construction that result in serious flaws and dangerous conditions.

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Using a Special Needs Trust to Provide for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

 Posted on March 15, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County Estate Planning LawyerAbout one out of every 44 children in the United States has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The condition varies significantly from individual to individual. However, some of the most common symptoms of autism include difficulty with social interactions, communication, and behavior. Just over 30 percent of people with ASD have an intellectual disability.

If your child has ASD and requires extra help, you know that this can be quite expensive. It is important for parents of children with autism to plan for their children's long-term financial security. A special needs trust is one way to do just this.

How Does a Special Needs Trust Work?

If your child is nonverbal or struggles to complete everyday tasks, he or she may need significant care and assistance. What happens when you are no longer around to provide this assistance or provide financial support to your child?

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Is Your Business Protected Against Cybercrime?

 Posted on February 15, 2023 in DuPage County Business Law Attorney

DuPage County Business Litigation AttorneyIf you own a business, you probably already recognize the crucial role that technology plays in any company. Yet, as technology evolves and develops, so do the threats of cybercrime. Cybercriminals can use malicious software or bots to gain access to confidential data or even hold business information for ransom. Whether you own a small LLC or a large corporation, cybersecurity needs to be a top priority. Unfortunately, many business owners do not realize the importance of protecting their systems and data from cybercriminals until it is too late.

How Cybercriminals Use Technology to Steal From or Threaten Businesses

One of the most common methods used by cybercriminals is phishing. In this type of attack, cybercriminals send emails that appear to originate from legitimate sources, such as a respected organization or government body. These emails look authentic and contain links that lead to malicious websites or download malware. Phishing attacks can be very effective, as the emails usually appear to come from a trusted source and contain information that appears relevant or important to the recipient.

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Undisclosed Income and Assets in Your Illinois Divorce 

 Posted on February 07, 2023 in Divorce and Family Law

DuPage County Divorce LawyerWhen an Illinois couple files for divorce, the spouses are asked to provide information about their employment status, income, and property. This information is used to guide asset division negotiations, calculate child support, and determine any spousal maintenance obligations.

Divorcing spouses who hope to reduce their financial obligations or increase their financial support may lie on their financial disclosure forms. If you are getting divorced, it is essential that you remain vigilant for this type of financial deception.

Undisclosed Income and Getting Paid "Under the Table"

Income that is concealed in the form of cash payments, investments that are not reported to the IRS, or other forms of payment can be difficult to detect.

If you are concerned about your spouse's financial activities, it is important to thoroughly investigate the situation. An experienced divorce lawyer may obtain records from employers and banks, serve subpoenas for document production, and use other discovery tools to find all sources of income.

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