Lisle guardianship and power of attorney lawyerIn the state of Illinois, there are two types of power of attorney: power of attorney for property and power of attorney for healthcare. A power of attorney for property enables you to appoint a person to make decisions regarding your property and finances for you if you become unable to do so yourself. A power of attorney for healthcare will allow you to appoint a person who will make healthcare decisions for you if you become mentally incapacitated.

While creating a power of attorney provides many benefits, people may wonder what will happen if they become mentally incapacitated if they do not have a power of attorney in place. When this happens, a guardianship will need to be established. Guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate mimic the actions of power of attorney for health care and power of attorney for property, respectively; however, there are many pros and cons for both powers of attorney and guardianships.

Guardianships vs. Power of Attorney

While a power of attorney is indeed needed in some situations, it is not always the best option. In some cases, guardianship may be more appropriate.

  • Pros of a Guardianship – A guardianship can provide a higher level of protection for a disabled person, because the process is overseen by a judge, and any interested parties (including the proposed disabled person) will have the opportunity to voice any of their concerns prior to the establishment of the guardianship.  In fact, the guardian, once appointed, must report to the court on an ongoing basis regarding the disabled person’s finances, including how the disabled person’s assets are invested and spent, along with how the disabled person is doing overall (e.g. health, living situation, educational progress, etc.).  A legal guardian typically will also carry more authority with hospitals and other institutions, because they are validated by the legal system.
  • Cons of a Guardianship – Guardianships are often much more expensive to create and maintain, and they require more strict procedures and oversight by the court system.
  • Pros of Power of Attorney – These agreements can be very useful if they are created before a person becomes incompetent. They do not have the same expenses that guardianships do, and they are not typically overseen by outside parties. If the power of attorney is effective, the document can be very valuable. However, if the agent abuses their power, it can become a nightmare for the disabled person and their loved ones, and more than likely, court intervention would be required.
  • Cons of Power of Attorney – These agreements provide little protection for the person that has been disabled, because they can be changed, executed, and abused in secret. For example, family members may attempt to obtain power of attorney for a rich relative in order to manipulate them and control their finances. In addition, because powers of attorney are not overseen by a court, financial accounts that have been mishandled are often difficult to trace and recover.

Can I Execute a Power of Attorney Once I Am Mentally Incompetent?

Many people mistakenly believe that they can execute a power of attorney at any time. However, the law says the person creating and signing the document must have the mental capacity to do so. This means if a person has dementia or a severe mental handicap of some kind, they would not be legally able to execute a power of attorney. If they do sign one, the document would not be legally valid.

Contact a Lisle Guardianship Attorney Today

Determining how to best handle your affairs as you near the end of your life can be a confusing and complicated process. An experienced attorney can help you understand the legal issues involved in these decisions and the options available to you. The skilled DuPage County estate planning attorneys at Momkus LLC can review your long-term goals and help you determine the best methods for making those happen. Contact us today at 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gac/OSG/Pages/Guardianship-Fact-sheet.aspx

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500450HArt%2E+IV&ActID=2113&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=2600000&SeqEnd=-1

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Lisle divorce and business ownership attorneyAnytime a business owner ends up going through a divorce, the value of their share of the business must be evaluated. The reason for this is that the business assets are likely a part of the marital estate and subject to equitable division under Illinois law. The division of such property becomes even more complicated if the other partner worked at the business or if one spouse owned the business prior to getting married.

Valuating a Business

Some businesses can be particularly hard to evaluate, especially if the business is young and has a lot of potential for growth. If marital funds were commingled with business funds, determining what assets belong to the business can also be difficult. To further complicate things, some business owners are concerned about what will happen to their business during the divorce, and this may lead them to attempt to hide assets.

Typically, there are three ways to determine the value of a small business:

  • The Market Approach – This is often best for couples that want to sell their business. In this method, the value of the business is determined by comparing it to other businesses that have sold recently.
  • The Asset Approach – When using this method, the value will be determined by considering the assets and debts of the business. Assets will often go beyond income and operating equipment and may include clout in the community.
  • The Income Approach – This method will use the current and projected future income earned by the business. It is often utilized by spouses that plan to continue to operate their business after the divorce is finalized.

What to Do With Your Business After Valuation

Once a business has had a value placed on it, the parties will have a better view of the assets that must be divided during divorce. Of course, the parties will not always agree on what they should be entitled to, and the court may have an entirely different idea than they do. In addition, parties may figure out that lengthy litigation will only endanger their business, which makes it imperative to work with an experienced attorney who can help negotiate a settlement that will protect the interests of everyone involved. Options may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Co-ownership of the business. However, this is not recommended for couples that are not able to work together.
  • Buying out the other spouse. This may deplete any liquid business assets, but it may allow for the retention of the business by one party.
  • Selling the business and splitting the proceeds. This method will dissolve the business but may provide both parties with liquid assets.

Contact a Lisle Divorce Lawyer

While you may have an idea of what you think is best for you and your business, an experienced attorney can help protect your rights and advocate for your interests throughout the legal process. Divorce is complicated, and as a small business owner, you have additional things to take into consideration. A divorce attorney who has experience in business law will be able to help you reach the outcome you need and deserve. Contact the skilled DuPage County business valuation attorneys at Momkus LLC by calling 630-434-0400 today to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+IV&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3800000&SeqEnd=5300000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

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Lisle divorce lawyer tax deductionsWhen a couple gets married, there are numerous tax-related consequences that go along with the event, but what many people do not realize is the same thing happens when a couple gets a divorce. If you are in the process of ending your marriage, or if have recently gone through a divorce, you need to know what the tax implications are.

Decisions made about issues such as spousal support, parental responsibility, and the division of marital assets will all have an effect on the finances of divorcing spouses, and it is important to understand how changes to tax laws will impact these decisions. Some of the recent changes which could affect you include:

  • Changing Net Incomes – The standard deductions have increased for individual taxpayers, but personal exemption deductions for dependents have been removed. There are also new caps on the amount that is allowed for deductions such as mortgage interest and local and state taxes that were paid. Tax rates and brackets have also been changed. Any of these changes could result in a significant adjustment to your net income, especially if you have a higher income level. State child support guidelines are based on net income, so these changes could also impact the way that child support is calculated.
  • Expanded Child Tax Credit – Who will claim the tax deductions for children is usually an issue that must be resolved during divorce proceedings. This deduction is often alternated between the parents. Going forward, the child tax credit is $2,000 for each eligible dependent. People filing single with incomes up to $200,000 and those filing married with an income up to $400,000 will be able to claim this benefit.
  • Expanded Use of 529 Plans – Families that have a 529 plan to save for college for their children can expect to have an expanded use of these types of funds to pay for educational expenses.
  • Elimination of Alimony Deductions – For couples who have finalized their divorce on or after January 1, 2019, spousal maintenance (alimony) will no longer be an allowable tax deduction for the payor, and the payments will not be taxable for the payee. This will likely become a significant factor during divorce negotiations. Divorcees who signed their paperwork before 2019 will not be impacted by these new laws. These laws will also not impact any post-decree modifications, as long as the original divorce was finalized before 2019.

Contact an Experienced Lisle Divorce Lawyer Today

The dedicated DuPage County family law attorneys at Momkus LLC have extensive experience handling divorce and related family issues. With the new laws having just been implemented, it is important to understand how they may impact your current situation or any decisions you make for the future. Contact us today at 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2018/12/06/alimony-deduction-divorce-2019/2225887002/

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/get-ready-for-taxes-heres-how-the-new-tax-law-revised-family-tax-credits

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Illinois commercial real estate lawyerIf you are a small business owner who is planning on leasing a space, you need to be certain that you review your potential lease very carefully. Often, commercial tenants are so focused on the terms related to the amount of rent that will be paid that they forget to focus on other important aspects of the lease. However, it is important to be aware of a number of factors, such as whether the landlord or the tenant will be responsible for maintaining common areas and landscaping or taking care of other work that needs to be performed.

Another critical issue that needs to be addressed is liability. Every commercial lease should contain an indemnity clause that outlines the landlord’s and tenant’s responsibilities for any third-party claims that occur. It should also address what types of coverage are required.

What Types of Insurance May Be Required?

The types of insurance that may be required in a commercial lease will likely vary depending on the nature of the business that will be renting the space. The greater the risk is for potential third-party claims or contamination or damage to the space, the higher the limits for the insurance coverage will likely be. The most common required forms of insurance in a commercial lease agreement include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Property – This will provide coverage for any damage that is done to the property. In some cases, the landlord may cover this type of insurance, especially if the building is a multi-tenant property. It is important for the landlord and tenant to discuss who will have the responsibility to rebuild the property if it is ever destroyed. In most cases, the landlord will have at least some responsibility for the property, and the tenant will have responsibility for at least the damage that they caused to their space.
  • Liability – This type of insurance will protect the parties from any claims made by a third party, such as a customer that is injured while on the leased premises.
  • Business Interruption – Many business owners will choose to carry this type of insurance, because it will replace their income that is lost while the property was untenantable and when the business could not operate. Most commercial leases do not require this type of insurance, but many business owners will carry it for their own protection.
  • Additional Insured – Most commercial leases will require the landlord to be listed as an additional insured on the liability and property insurance policies of the tenant. This means that any loss that the landlord sustains on the rented promises will be treated the same as a loss for the tenant. This type of provision is very important to ensure that the insurance company will pay claims quickly. Without this type of clause, valuable time could be lost while the insurance company attempts to sort out which party suffered the loss and which loss will be covered by the policy. This issue becomes even more of a problem if the landlord and tenant each have their own policy with their own insurance company.

Contact an Experienced Illinois Commercial Real Estate Attorney

The skilled DuPage County commercial real estate lawyers at Momkus LLC have years of experience helping business clients ensure that they are protected by the terms of their commercial lease. Before you sign on the dotted line, contact us today by calling 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073500050K2-406

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Lisle last will and testament lawyerMany people think that just because they are young, single, and have very few assets, that they do not need to have a last will and testament, but that is not true. The following are eight reasons why you should consider creating a will and other estate planning documents, such as a power of attorney, even before you are married and have accrued significant assets:

  1. You are joining the military – Anyone that is entering the military, whether they are 18 years of age or older, should be certain that their affairs are in order. While we like to think that all servicemembers will perform their duties and return home safely, sadly, that does not always happen, and it is important to have plans in place should the unthinkable occur.
  2. You have received an inheritance – You may not view your inheritance as an asset, but without an estate plan, the disposition of that money will be a complicated and slow process for your family members.
  3. You have a pet – Many people include plans for their pets when they draft a will. Do you know what would happen to your pet if you died unexpectedly? In your will, you can even direct for specific assets to be used to care for your pet.
  4. You can protect your family – If you die without having certain documents in place, your loved ones will have to go through a long court process called probate to take care of your estate. Having an estate planning attorney draft a few basic documents can keep that from happening.
  5. You use social media – Many of us spend time on social media talking to friends, storing photos, and even managing our finances. Without leaving instructions for your family, they may not even know about your various online accounts, let alone what do with them.
  6. You want to give possessions or money to charities or friends – Without a will, certain laws will dictate who receives your assets. The recipients will include your parents, siblings, spouse, and other family members. If you want friends or charities to get your assets instead, you need to state your wishes in a will.
  7. You care about what happens if you are in a coma – Many of us have heard stories about families that cannot decide what to do when a loved one is in a vegetative state. If you write your will and include a health care directive (living will) and a healthcare power of attorney, this will keep that from happening. This is especially important if you have a partner that you are not married to. This will enable them to make decisions on your behalf.

Contact an Experienced DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney Today

As you can see, it is important to have a last will and testament, even if you are young, unmarried, and do not own many valuable assets. But where do you begin? The skilled Naperville estate planning attorneys at Momkus LLC have years of experience helping our clients make their wishes known, and we can help you too. Contact our office by calling 630-434-0400 today to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt%2E+IV&ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=5300000&SeqEnd=6750000

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