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IL divorce lawyerThe decision to get divorced is just the beginning of what is often a long and complex process. Divorcing couples must address important financial concerns including ownership of marital assets as well as marital debts. If the couple shares children, they will need to determine the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. It can be exceptionally difficult to have a productive conversation about these issues with someone you are in the middle of divorcing. Old hurts and regrets often steer the conversation off course and lead to arguments instead of resolutions. This is where divorce mediation can be extremely useful.

The Mediator Will Facilitate a Productive Conversation

Family law mediators are third parties who facilitate productive, solution-oriented conversations during divorce. A mediator can help you and your spouse identify the issues that you agree on and those issues you disagree on and then find creative solutions you can both approve of. Instead of telling you what to do, the mediator helps you and your spouse explore the advantages and disadvantages of various solutions. The mediator may also step in and redirect the conversation when it goes off track. This can help you and your spouse avoid futile arguments that only lessen the chances of an out-of-court agreement.

Mediation is Confidential and Cost-Effective

When a divorce case is litigated through the court, personal matters may become a part of the public record. Many spouses want to maintain privacy as much as possible during a divorce. Mediation is a great way to discuss divorce issues without the risk of your discussions becoming public. Keeping matters confidential is especially important when a spouse is well known in the community. Mediation is also less expensive than litigation.

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IL estate planning lawyerEstate planning is important for anyone of any age or health. Unfortunately, life is nothing if not unpredictable and none of us know what day will be our last. Although it can be an uncomfortable topic to think about, planning for the possibility of incapacitation and death is crucial to protecting your loved ones and ensuring your final wishes are fulfilled. A living will is an advanced directive used to describe your decision regarding end-of-life care and other essential matters.

A Living Will Ensures Your Medical Wishes Will Be Followed

Most people are familiar with a last will and testament. A will is used to describe how property should be distributed to heirs after someone passes away. However, fewer understand the purpose of a living will. A living will is a document that spells out a person’s wishes regarding medical care at the end of their life. If a person is in a coma, suffers from dementia, or has other disabling medical conditions, he or she may not be able to communicate with doctors and loved ones. A living will is used to make medical decisions about end-of-life care in advance, so there is no question about the types of medical care an individual should receive.

A living will may be used to specify your wishes regarding:

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IL real estate lawyerIllinois law permits contractors, construction professionals, and other parties to place a lien on a residential property for the purposes of collecting past-due payment. The Mechanics Lien Act ensures that contractors and other parties who work on a home are paid for their work. In other words, a mechanic’s lien is collateral for a debt. It is important for any homeowner to understand when a mechanic’s lien may be placed on their home and how to respond to this situation. It is especially crucial for individuals buying a home to understand how a mechanic’s lien can complicate the home-buying process.

What is a Mechanic’s Lien?

A lien is an action used to ensure the collection of a debt. Liens filed against a real estate property give the creditor interest in the property. This means that the property owner cannot sell or refinance the property until the debt is paid and the lien is lifted. The creditor may also be able to ask the court to compel the sale of the property so the creditor can receive payment from the sale proceeds.

Mechanics’ liens are used to pursue payment of construction, renovation, repair, or home improvements projects. The contractor, subcontractor, or the party who provided materials for the project may be permitted to place a lien on the property if they are not paid for labor or supplies. However, a lien must be executed properly in order to be legally enforceable. Illinois contractors have four months after a project is completed to record a mechanic’s lien.

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IL estate lawyerAfter a person dies, issues related to their estate will be handled through a legal process known as probate. If the person had a last will and testament, the executor of their estate will file their will in probate court, take a complete inventory of their assets, pay taxes and expenses on behalf of the estate, and distribute the estate’s assets to the person’s beneficiaries. However, in cases in which a person died without a will, their family members or other heirs may be unsure about how these matters will be addressed.

Intestate Succession

The probate process will usually be required whether a person had a will or not. In cases where the deceased person did not have a will, someone will need to be appointed as the representative of the estate. This may be a family member or another person who was close to the decedent, and they may ask to be appointed by the probate court that is handling the case. The estate representative will carry out the same duties as a person who was named as an executor in a will.

Without a will that provides instructions for the distribution of a person’s assets, an estate representative will need to follow the applicable laws, which are known as the laws of intestate succession. The laws in Illinois state that a person’s assets will be divided equally between their spouse and children. That is, the surviving spouse will receive half of the estate, and the other half will be equally divided among the person’s children. If any of their children have died, their share of the estate will go to their own children or descendants.

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IL business lawyerWhile many entrepreneurs are able to succeed by developing an idea for a business and taking steps to start a new company, there are multiple other options available. For some people, buying an existing business can provide a number of benefits, such as avoiding the costs and complications of the business formation process and being able to take advantage of a company’s existing procedures, personnel, and customer base. If you are considering the purchase of a business, either as a new business venture or as an acquisition that will provide additional value to an existing company, it is important to understand the steps you can take to protect your financial interests and ensure that you will be able to achieve your goals.

Issues to Consider When Acquiring a Business

As a prospective business owner, you will want to be sure to understand your goals as you begin the process of identifying a business to purchase. In addition to considering the financial benefits, including the expected return on investment, you will want to make sure a business aligns with your values, your familiarity with a particular industry, and your knowledge of business practices. This will help you identify the right business that will allow you to succeed in the years to come.

After identifying a business that may be purchased, it is important to gain a full understanding of why it is being sold. If the current owner is selling their business because they wish to retire or are looking to pursue other business opportunities, this may allow you to step in and assume control of a successful company. However, if an owner is selling their business because of debts, legal issues, or an inability to effectively compete in the marketplace, you will need to determine how these issues may affect you and whether you will be able to make changes that will ensure that the business can be successful. Gaining a full understanding of a business’s operations, market share, and strategies can help you ensure that buying the business will be a good investment.

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