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b2ap3_thumbnail_stimulus.jpgThere is no denying that the spread of COVID-19 caused a health and economic crisis throughout the United States. Fortunately, the United States House of Representatives recently passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which contains $1,400 stimulus checks for individuals (who make up to $75,00 annual gross income), unemployment benefits extension, and billions of dollars in federal aid to help small businesses and non-profit companies. President Biden is expected to sign the bill, and Democrats consider the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 not just a bill to combat the financial downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic but also an anti-poverty measure in general.

Financial Assistance for Business Owners

With several brands of vaccines being administered across the country and certain restrictions lifted, the economy has shown signs of rebounding. However, millions of Americans are still unemployed. The American Rescue Plan Act will provide $350 billion to cities and states and $130 billion to schools to aid in reopening them. In addition, the stimulus bill will devote billions more to a national vaccination program, expanded COVID-19 testing, food stamps, and rental assistance, to name a few. As more and more people are vaccinated, non-essential businesses that were temporarily shut down may be allowed to open their doors for customers again. This can include salons, casinos, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, concert venues, as well as other small businesses.

The Act also includes several provisions for small business owners. It allocates an additional $7.25 billion for forgivable loans in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Additionally, it provides grants targeted to small businesses in those areas of the economy that have been hit the hardest by coronavirus-related shutdowns. Specifically, the bill will provide the following in financial relief funds:

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IL real estate lawyerCommercial and residential real estate matters can be complicated since they often involve a lot of paperwork and legal terminology. However, it is important to understand all of the terms to avoid losing time or money. One such real estate issue many people may not be familiar with is a mechanic’s lien, which is a legal document that is filed against a house or other similar type of property. Mechanic’s liens are a means by which subcontractors and suppliers can seek payment for upgrades or enhancements that were performed on a property if they are not getting paid per the terms of their contracts.

Making Home Improvements

Homeowners can face a mechanic’s lien even if they do not miss repair or home improvement payments. For instance, if you have your kitchen remodeled and the contractor does not pay the material supplier, that individual or company can put a lien against your house as a way of recovering the money they are owed. You are then responsible for paying any subcontractors, suppliers, or workers for their labor (time) and materials.

Many homeowners do not know that even if they already paid a contractor for work, if the other parties or tradesmen involved in the project are not paid by the main contractor, the subcontractors can come after the property on which the work was performed, such as a house. Ultimately, if you own a home, you may be required to pay for the work a second time, or worst-case scenario, you may have to sell your house if you cannot afford these extra costs.

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IL probate attorneyEstate matters can be complicated since they involve emotional attachments to people and things. Creating a will helps make sure a person’s wishes are carried out after he or she passes away. For those individuals who are single or married with no children, a Last Will and Testament allows them to specify how their assets should be distributed to their heirs upon death. For people with children, a will can be used to address how they would like guardianship of their children to be handled. In addition, certain medical treatment that someone does or does not want to receive at the end of life can be specified. However, it is difficult to please everyone all of the time, and some relatives may not agree with the terms of a will. An experienced estate planning attorney can help families avoid contentious disputes over the contents of a will or trust.

What Is Probate?

Losing a loved one is hard under any circumstances, and it can be especially challenging when you believe your family member’s will is not valid. If you have concerns about a will, you can file what is called a will contest when it goes through probate. When someone dies, his or her estate usually must go through the legal process of probate. Probate is required for the following reasons:

  • To authenticate the decedent’s will.
  • To identify and locate all of the assets within the estate.
  • To give creditors a chance to file claims against the estate.
  • To ensure that any and all taxes on the estate are paid.

Challenging a Will

In order to contest a will in Illinois, one must typically take the below steps:

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IL business attorneyIf you are an entrepreneur, you may have a dream of opening your own business someday. Being your own boss can provide a flexible schedule and control over daily operations. In addition, it can be rewarding to build a company from the ground up. Regardless of the type of industry or field you go into, it is imperative that you research and take the necessary legal steps before launching your business. An experienced Illinois business law attorney can explain what you need to do to get started off on the right foot.

Things to Do Before Opening Your Doors

There are numerous issues to address before you can say you are officially open for business. Here are several steps to take with the help of your attorney to make sure you are successful:

  • Build a business plan: Develop your pitch, determine your business structure/entity, create a budget, address desired markets.
  • Register your business: Once you decide on the type of business formation, you need to register it with the state of Illinois so it is legally recognized as a business organization.
  • Consider tax obligations: Depending on which county your company is located in, the tax codes may differ.
  • Obtain required licenses and permits: Licensing requirements may depend on if you are opening a retail store versus a restaurant or a bar.
  • Open a business account: It is important to keep personal assets separate from business assets by having different bank accounts for each. This is also essential for accurate record keeping.
  • Choose a location for your business: Consider your target customer base when selecting a place for your company’s headquarters. Some people may want it to be located in a city or metropolitan area instead of a more rural town.
  • Finance your company: You will need money to rent space, buy inventory and supplies, and hire personnel, which can be obtained by taking out small business loans, or state and local grants.
  • Build your brand: To stand out from the crowd, create a dynamic online presence with an engaging website and social media pages to market your brand.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Business Lawyer

Becoming a business owner is no small endeavor. It requires careful planning and attention to detail. An experienced DuPage County business law attorney will ensure that your rights are protected when drafting your business contracts. The qualified team at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC is prepared to take on your case and handle the legal details of your business so you can focus on the day-to-day tasks. Call us today at 630-665-2500 to set up a confidential consultation.

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IL divorce lawyerAlthough there is light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine for coronavirus being administered now, the economic impact may be felt for some time. Many non-essential businesses such as bars, restaurants, casinos, fitness centers, and salons were closed to stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result, workers across the country, including Illinois, had to file for unemployment for the first time in their lives. The financial impact of this can be especially difficult for a divorced person.

In some cases, an individual may either pay spousal maintenance (alimony) or receive it as determined in the divorce decree. Spousal support refers to the legal obligation to provide financial support to an ex-spouse in a legal separation or divorce. The purpose of this maintenance is to help the ex-spouse eventually become self-supporting. However, if either spouse loses his or her job, it is important to understand how this unemployment can impact the support payments moving forward.

Spousal Maintenance 101

According to Illinois divorce law, spousal maintenance is intended to help the supported spouse maintain a similar financial situation as he or she had during the marriage. It is often awarded to the lesser-earning spouse or one who did not work outside of the home. Before this type of financial support is awarded, the court will review certain factors, including each spouse’s income, if child support will be paid, and whether one spouse needs financial assistance. A judge can order maintenance for a short or indefinite period with a periodic review depending on the details of the marriage and divorce. For example, if a couple was married a long time and one person has medical issues that prevent them from working, the support may be permanent.

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