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Even though it is the season for giving, this year has been difficult for many people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus has resulted in not only a global health crisis but an economic downturn as well. Numerous individuals across the country may have felt the impact, whether it is a pay cut or a job loss. Many people may be contemplating their financial future, regardless of their job status. Tax issues can be complex, but there are various ways to reduce estate and inheritance taxes. For instance, Illinois tax laws provide tax benefits if retirement funds are left to designated individuals, and certain kinds of trusts can reduce estate and inheritance taxes that an individual has to pay. There are valuable tools that can be utilized in the estate planning process, and an experienced attorney can assist you in creating a comprehensive estate plan.

Monetary Gifts at the End of the Year

These days, many individuals are now doing their Christmas shopping online as a result of COVID-19. Stores all over the country are temporarily closed in an effort to stop the spread of the contagious virus. For those who have a difficult time picking out the perfect gift, a good alternative is to give money. That way, the recipient can buy whatever he or she likes. Giving money to family members or friends this Christmas can also be a smart tax planning move. Gifting cash now can help you reduce or even avoid estate taxes after you die.

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Becoming a business owner takes tenacity and fortitude. Regardless if you run a small or a large company, it takes a lot of time and effort. In addition, societal changes can impact the success of any type of business. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in not only a global health crisis but an economic downturn as well. With many Illinois establishments forced to close their doors, business owners may be taking a long, hard look at their losses and whether or not they can afford to stay in business. For those considering dissolving their Illinois business, it can be a very emotional decision, and there are also many legal aspects to be aware of. A skilled business law attorney can help protect your rights while you navigate the steps of the dissolution of your company.

Illinois Business Laws

Under Illinois law, businesses may be dissolved involuntarily by court order as a result of a lawsuit by creditors, or by the Illinois Secretary of State for failing to file an annual report or pay annual fees. They may also be dissolved voluntarily by shareholder consent.

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When people get married, the traditional vows state that the union is ‘til death do us part. Unfortunately, not all couples live happily ever after. Whether the relationship fails due to outside influences or addictions, or the partners simply grow apart, a divorce may be the best option for everyone involved. During the divorce process in Illinois, a couple must decide how to divide their property and assets. This may be especially important if there is a family-owned business or other high-net-worth assets at stake. If the couple had a prenuptial agreement (prenup) in place, these determinations may already be made, making the marriage dissolution process much easier and faster. However, there are certain factors that can make a prenuptial agreement invalid in Illinois, so it is important to avoid making a mistake when creating this legal document.

Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act

The Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act governs all prenuptial agreements. In order to be legally binding, a prenup must be put in writing and signed by both spouses. If a couple decides not to get married, any premarital agreement they made is voided. Prior to signing a prenup, both parties should disclose all of their financial information to each other, including their income, any property they own, and outstanding debts.

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Buying a house is likely the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime, next to purchasing a business or company. Depending on your wish list and budget, you may consider an older home or new construction. Besides being brand-new, one of the benefits of new construction is getting to pick out all the appliances, tile, flooring, fixtures, and more. However, it is also important to understand the legal details of your construction contract to make sure your rights are protected and you are not taken advantage of as a new homeowner. An experienced real estate attorney can guide you through this major endeavor so you can build the house of your dreams.

Reading the Fine Print

New residential construction contracts are legal documents that typically have been prepared by the builder. They will include many details of the agreement between the builder and the buyer, such as tax information, blueprints and specifications, warranties covering materials and workmanship, zoning ordinances, closing date, and more.

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A special needs trust is typically established by parents for a disabled child, or for disabled adults who are eligible for aid that will be lost if there are assets in their parent or guardian’s names only. It is a legal and fiduciary arrangement that allows a physically or mentally disabled person to receive income without interrupting or interfering with his or her eligibility for the public assistance disability benefits provided by Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, or Medicaid. For disabled beneficiaries, this financial support can make their lives more enjoyable and fulfilling. Also known as a supplemental needs trust, this kind of trust may be a necessary part of your Illinois estate plan. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you draft this essential legal document to protect your family member.

Protecting Your Loved One

According to Illinois law, two types of supplemental needs trusts can be established: third party supplemental needs trusts and supplemental needs payback trusts. Both trusts provide the disabled beneficiary with the ability to improve his or her quality of life through services or assistive equipment that he or she would not receive with government assistance programs.

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