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

Share
Posted in Estate Planning, Illinois Estate Planning Attorneys | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lisle spousal maintenance lawyerIf you live in Illinois and are contemplating filing for divorce, or if you are currently going through the process of divorce, you need to know about some recent changes to Illinois laws that deal with spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. These changes went into effect on January 1, 2019.

Is Spousal Maintenance Appropriate?

Before the court makes a finding regarding maintenance, it will look at the facts of the case. This is not new. However, the question of whether maintenance is appropriate must be answered before determining the details of the maintenance award. In the past, the length of the marriage was often a deciding factor, but it is now just one of many factors that will be considered when deciding if spousal support is appropriate.

Spousal Support Amount and Duration

If the court decides that maintenance is appropriate, then it will be time to determine how long support will be paid and in what amount. Guideline maintenance may be awarded if the parties’ gross combined income is under $500,000 and the payor does not have to pay child support or maintenance from another relationship. Starting January 1, 2019, maintenance will be determined by calculating 33 1/3 percent of the annual net income of the payor, then subtracting 25 percent of the annual net income of the payee.

The duration of the maintenance will be determined by calculating a percentage of the length of the marriage. For marriages of less than five years, maintenance will last 20 percent of the length of the marriage. Marriages of five to six years will use 24 percent, marriages of six to seven years will use 28 percent, marriages of seven to eight years will use 32 percent, and so on. When a marriage lasts 20 years or more, the court will have the discretion to order maintenance equal to the length of the marriage or for an indefinite amount of time.

Maintenance Safeguards

The new statute will still ensure that the payee will not receive more than 40 percent of the combined net annual income of the parties after adding the award for maintenance to their individual income. In the event that the payor’s guideline-based child support and maintenance exceed 50 percent of their net income, the court may then order non-guideline child support and/or maintenance.

Contact an Experienced DuPage County Family Law Attorney Today

If you have questions about how maintenance and/or child support could be ordered in your divorce, or any other family law related questions, the dedicated Naperville divorce lawyers at Momkus LLC can help you understand your rights and legal options based on these new laws. Contact us today by calling 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k504.htm

Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Illinois employment law attorney independent contractor employeeAs an employer, it is important to know the difference between when a worker is considered an employee and when they are considered an independent contractor. There are tax implications for both types of workers, and it is important that they be classified correctly. An experienced employment law attorney can help you determine how to correctly classify your workers.

Differences Between an Independent Contractor and an Employee

In most situations, a worker will be classified as an employee if you have the right to supervise the job that they will be doing, as well as the methods they will be using and how the job will be done. An independent contractor, on the other hand, will retain control over the means and manner in which they perform their work.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses three key areas to determine which type of worker is an employee and which type is an independent contractor:

  • Behavioral Control – Does the worker have the right to control or direct all the aspects of the work they are doing, such as when, how, and where the job will be done?
  • Financial Control – Does the employer have control over the financial business aspects of an employee’s work? For example, does the employee determine whether business expenses will be reimbursed or not, when the worker will be compensated for their work, what investment the worker will make in the amenities they use on the job, the cost and type of benefits offered, or any other financial aspects of the job?
  • Type of Relationship – The IRS will examine the working relationship between the worker and employer through the written contracts that detail whether the worker is eligible for benefits such as insurance, vacation pay, pension plans, or sick pay, as well as whether the relationship between the employer and worker extends beyond the duration of one job.

Many employers incorrectly classify their workers as independent contractors to avoid the expenses of retaining employees, such as overtime and minimum wage requirements, payroll taxes, and more.

Cost of Misclassification

While there are expenses associated with having employees that can be high, the cost of misclassifying workers is even more costly. Misclassification of workers is on the radar of all government agencies, including the IRS, state unemployment agencies, and the Department of Labor. All of these entities are eager to find extra sources of revenue.

If you get caught misclassifying any of your workers, whether unintentionally or intentionally, you may face both financial and legal consequences. You will be required to reimburse payments such as unpaid wages, workers’ compensation benefits, overtime wages, employee benefits, retirement contributions, health insurance, unemployment insurance, Social Security and Medicare contributions, and back taxes, just to name a few. You may also be required to pay interest and penalties imposed by state and federal agencies for violating their laws.

Contact an Experienced Chicago Business Law Attorney Today

If you are uncertain how your workers should be classified for your business, an experienced employment law attorney can help you make this determination and avoid the possible penalties involved in misclassification. Call the dedicated DuPage County business attorneys at Momkus LLC at 630-434-0400 and let us ensure that you are handling all aspects of your business within the limits of the law.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2898&ChapterID=68

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/understanding-employee-vs-contractor-designation

Posted in Business Law, Employment Law | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lisle parenting time attorney holiday child custodySeveral holidays take place during the end of the year. While most people get excited about spending time with their family and friends, it can be a stressful time for divorced parents who may be uncertain about where their children will be spending the holidays. Illinois courts recognize that children need to spend time with both of their parents, including during the holidays. This means that most parenting plans will not only include a schedule for parenting time throughout the year, but they will also include a schedule for how holidays will be handled.

Arranging Holiday Parenting Time

Most schools close over the winter break, and many parents also get time off from work during this time. While some divorce documents outline how parenting time should be handled over the holidays, not all of them do, especially if the divorce was not contested. If you would like to ensure that you have the time you deserve with your children during the holidays, there are a few ways that you can do so:

  • Work with your ex-spouse to alternate holidays every other year. Holidays can be assigned to each spouse, and these holidays can be swapped every other year. This will allow children to spend equal time with both parents during the holidays.
  • Schedule each holiday twice. Determine two dates that your children can celebrate each individual holiday. Then, the children can spend one of the dates with you and the other with your ex-spouse. For example, you could celebrate Christmas on December 23rd, and your ex-spouse could celebrate Christmas on the 25th.
  • Split the holiday in half. In this plan, you will spend half the holiday with your children, and your ex-spouse will have them for the other half of the day. Special planning and coordination are often required for this type of arrangement.
  • Determine if some holidays are more important than others. There may be some holidays that you feel are more significant, and some that your ex-spouse may feel are more important. If this is the case, you may be able to work out an arrangement so that each of you gets to spend time with your children on the holidays that are most important to you.

Resolving Holiday Parenting Time Issues

No matter how hard they try, sometimes divorced parents are not able to reach an agreement for parenting time over the holidays. If this happens, the court will make a decision that they feel is in the best interests of the children. Once this parenting plan is in place, the parents need to work together to ensure that the court’s orders are followed correctly.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

If you have questions about holiday parenting time or are having other child custody issues, you should contact an experienced Lisle family law attorney. The lawyers at Momkus LLC will listen to your needs and help you determine your legal options, working to ensure that you will be able to spend the holidays with your children in the way you deserve. Contact us today at 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K602.7

Posted in Child Custody, DuPage County Family Law Attorney | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Naperville estate planning lawyer will trust gift taxIn a few short weeks, the year will be over. This means that this is the perfect time of year to sit down with an estate planning attorney to ensure that your estate plan is still current and meets your needs with all of the changes that might have taken place within your family over the past year. Here are some issues to consider:

Marriage or Divorce

Has anyone in your family that is listed in your will or trust gotten married or been through a divorce or separation? If so, you will need to make changes to ensure that your money and assets are still going where you want them to. You may want to remove any ex-spouses or add any new spouses as beneficiaries of your estate.

New Children

Have any additions been made to your family through adoption or birth? If so, do you want to add this new family member to your will or trust as a beneficiary? This is also a good time to update your estate plan include detailed instructions that will ensure your money is only spent on a child’s healthcare needs or education.

Family Arguments

Unfortunately, there are times when not everyone gets along in a family. To avoid these disagreements, it is important that your will include specific instructions on how your estate should be handled. If you are aware of areas of contention between family members, you may wish to address these issues to help head off any potential disputes.

Disability of a Beneficiary

Have any of your beneficiaries become physically or mentally disabled? If so, you may need to modify your trust or will instructions to ensure that your funds are used in the most effective way when that person inherits them. For example, they may need a special needs trust if they receive SSI or other types of benefits.

Poor Money Management

Sometimes, no matter how they have been raised, children or grandchildren simply do not manage their money well. If that happens, you may need to include specific terms defining how they can receive assets and take steps to ensure that their funds are protected and cannot be seized by a creditor.

Successor Trustee

This is the person that will fill your shoes if you are ever incapacitated. If you do not know who that person is, now is the time to make that decision.

Year-End Gifts

Gifts up to $15,000 can be given to a child, grandchild, or friend tax free, but the gift must be given no later than December 31, 2018. As long as the gift is less than $15,000, it does not need to be reported to the IRS. You also may want to consider placing a gift in an educational trust rather than letting a child spend the money as soon as they turn 18.

Contact a Lisle Estate Planning Attorney Today

An experienced DuPage County estate planning attorney will help you ensure that your trusts, wills, and other documents are up to date and ready for the new year. This is something that should be done regularly to meet the needs of your changing family. Contact the attorneys at Momkus LLC today by calling 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2117&ChapterID=61

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/frequently-asked-questions-on-gift-taxes

Posted in Estate Planning, Trusts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment