Naperville prenuptial agreement attorneyWhen you prepare for marriage, you will likely focus on things like where the wedding will be, what kind of flowers you need to order, and which people you are planning to invite. The possibility of your marriage coming to an end one day rarely gets even a second thought. However, it is a good idea to prepare for that possibility, even if it is an unpleasant thing to consider. Having an experienced family law attorney help create a prenuptial agreement can provide you and your spouse with financial and legal protection if your marriage ever ends, either from divorce or death.

While many people think of a prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, as a document that is necessary only for those with large financial assets, that is not necessarily true. There are numerous reasons why you might want to consider getting a prenup before you tie the knot.

Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement will act as a contract between spouses, and it can address many issues, including the rights that each spouse has to the property that was acquired before and during their marriage, how debts and assets will be divided if there is a divorce, and whether one of the spouses will pay spousal maintenance (alimony) to the other at the end of the relationship. Prenups can provide a sense of security in many situations, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • One spouse has a higher income than the other. If one of the spouses earns significantly more money than the other, or one of them stays home to raise children instead of having a career, a prenup can specify that the lower income spouse will receive financial support from the other spouse following a divorce, so they can maintain financial security.
  • One spouse brought significant debts or assets to the marriage. If a spouse enters the marriage with significant assets, they may want to ensure that those assets are not subject to division in the event of a divorce. Likewise, if one of the spouses enters the marriage with significant debt, a prenup can specify that the other spouse is not responsible for those debts if they later divorce.
  • One or both spouses own a business. Family-owned businesses often represent significant assets in a marriage, but these businesses may not have the ability to survive a division of assets if a divorce were to occur. A prenuptial agreement will be able to define how the ownership of the business will be handled in the case of divorce, ensuring that the business will be able to continue its operations if the marriage ends.
  • Either spouse has children from a previous marriage. When one of the spouses from a marriage dies, the remaining spouse is entitled to half of the deceased person’s estate. However, if that spouse had children from another marriage or relationship, that spouse may want to guarantee that a certain amount of their assets will be inherited by those children. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that their wishes will be carried out the way they wanted.

Contact an Experienced DuPage County Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Today

If you are preparing for marriage, you also need to prepare for the future, and part of that preparation may include a prenuptial agreement. A prenup provides certainty in the event that a divorce occurs, regardless of the assets brought into the marriage by either side. The dedicated Naperville family law attorneys at Momkus LLC have decades of experience helping ensure that our clients’ futures are secure in the event life doesn’t work quite the way they planned. Contact us today at 630-434-0400.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&ChapterID=59

Share
Posted in Family Law, Prenuptial Agreements | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lisle estate planning lawyer power of attorneyA durable power of attorney document is one of the most important parts of your estate plan. It allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. If you fail to appoint someone, your family and friends may not have the authority to make decisions for you, which could result in a judge appointing a person for this task. This process can be tedious and expensive.

Unfortunately, the legal issues surrounding durable power of attorney are often misunderstood. Below are some of the most common misconceptions about durable power of attorney:

  • I can create my own power of attorney online – While there are options available to create a power of attorney online, these documents are not one-size-fits-all. Using a cookie cutter program online may not cover specific situations that you need to address. An attorney that is experienced in estate planning will be able to ensure that your wishes are taken care of in the manner you want.
  • Once I create a durable power of attorney, I will never have to do anything with it again – These documents need to be updated regularly. You may change your mind about who you want to handle your business, laws may be updated, or your finances may change. All of these things may require updates to your durable power of attorney.
  • I should not make my power of attorney active until I become incapacitated – While the timing of a power of attorney is a personal preference, waiting until you are incapacitated can require at least one doctor and sometimes two to determine whether you cannot make decisions for yourself. If there is an emergency situation, a doctor may not be willing to sign off that you are incapacitated, so you may wish to address the situations in which your power of attorney will become effective.
  • I am young, healthy, and have no assets, so I do not need a power of attorney – Every person that is over the age of 18 needs to have a durable power of attorney. None of us know when something catastrophic could happen, and we need to have a plan in place in the event we become unexpectedly incapacitated. Failing to have documents in place can result in time consuming and expensive court actions.
  • A durable power of attorney survives death – This is a common misconception, but durable power of attorney documents are terminated upon death. This means that whoever was granted authority by the power of attorney loses that authority upon your death. A durable power of attorney will, however, remain in effect if you are incapacitated.
  • I can sign a power of attorney if I am legally incompetent – This is absolutely not true. That is why it is important to be sure that you and your family members have a power of attorney put into place before anyone is found incompetent or incapacitated. Waiting until you or your loved one are already incapacitated is too late and will require court action instead.

Contact an Experienced DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney

As you can see, durable power of attorney documents are essential pieces of an estate plan that everyone should have. The experienced Lisle estate planning attorneys at Momkus, LLC, have decades of experience helping clients plan for their future, and we can help you too. Contact our office today by calling 630-434-0400.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2113&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=2100000&SeqEnd=-1

https://www2.illinois.gov/aging/AboutUs/Pages/legal_adv-directives.aspx

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

Lisle elder law attorney nursing home debtAt some point in your life, you will likely face a time when you will have to decide if your parent needs to be placed in a nursing home. The emotional effects of such a decision can be heart-wrenching, but you will also need to consider the financial impact of that decision. The cost of a nursing home can be as high as $8,000 a month, which means it can quickly deplete your parent’s life savings. Not only that, but it could impact your finances as well.

Some states have laws that hold adult children responsible for the financial side of their parent’s long-term care. These laws are referred to as filial responsibility laws. Roughly half of the states in the U.S. have these laws, and although they vary from state to state, they all can make a person legally responsible for the nursing home debt resulting from their parent’s care. An elder law attorney can advise you in detail about how the laws in the state where you or your parent reside affect your filial responsibility.

Understanding Filial Responsibility Laws

States with filial responsibility laws may require adult children to pay for their parent’s medical care if certain conditions are met. These conditions include the following:

  • The parent is receiving financial support from the government;
  • The parent has accumulated medical bills or nursing home costs in a state which filial responsibility laws are in place, and the parent cannot pay these expenses themselves;
  • The parent has been classified as an indigent, meaning their expenses exceed their benefits from Social Security;
  • The parent does not qualify for Medicaid; or
  • The caregiver believes that the adult child has the means to pay the costs for their parent and chooses to sue the adult child.

Responsibilities of Adult Children in Illinois

Luckily, Illinois is not one of the states that have filial responsibility laws. The Illinois Family Expense Act does make a person liable for the medical expenses of their spouse, but it does not make an adult child responsible for the medical expenses of their parent. Children may only be held responsible for such debts if they agree to pay for the expenses as a co-signer. To be considered a co-signer, the adult child must sign an Explanation of Guarantor’s Obligation and other relevant billing forms. If you signed such an agreement, you will likely be held responsible for the costs of your parent’s care if they are unable to pay for the costs themselves.

Contact a Chicago Elder Law Attorney Today

If you have any questions or concerns about elder law and estate planning in Illinois, the talented DuPage County elder law attorneys at Momkus, LLC can help guide you in the right direction. We will listen to your concerns and advise you of your best options. Contact us today by calling 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

https://longtermcare.acl.gov/costs-how-to-pay/costs-of-care.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000650K15.htm

Posted in Elder Law, Estate Planning | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicago credit agreement attorneyIn the state of Illinois, if any part of an agreement is deemed to be part of a credit agreement under the Illinois Credit Agreements Act, and if the agreement is not signed by both parties, then a debtor may be prevented from filing certain claims, defenses, and counterclaims against a lender. A credit agreement by definition is any agreement that a creditor creates to lend money, forbear payment, or extend credit to a debtor for commercial purposes. This Act says that unless both parties sign the written agreement, it is unenforceable. This is particularly harsh on debtors who attempt to sue their creditor for conduct made in retaliation to the agreement or for deceptive statements. It expressly prohibits debtors from claims and defenses of fraud, equitable estoppel, and partial performance based on the oral conduct or statements of the lender. Before entering into a credit agreement, it is important for debtors and lenders to consult a finance and lending attorney.

When Does the Act Apply?

The Illinois Credit Agreements Act applies to all commercial credit agreements or other non-credit agreements that are part of a commercial credit arrangement. The requirement of both parties signing the agreement or amendment applies to not only the initial credit agreement, but also any amendments and modifications of such agreement. Even if only a small part of the agreement would be considered a credit agreement, the Act still applies. This Act provides significant protection for commercial lenders, but it leaves debtors vulnerable in many situations.

What Are Oral Statements?

If there is an existing credit agreement between a debtor and a lender, and before the maturity date of that agreement occurs, the lender may agree over the phone to extend the agreement. The lender may even send an email summary of the oral promise. However, to be enforceable, the promise must be made in writing and signed by both the debtor and the lender. Without a signed document, the lender can change their mind and demand that the full amount be paid by the debtor when the original maturity date approaches.

Never Rely on Oral Statements

If a lender makes any promises through email, over the phone, etc., but fails to put them in writing, there is very little that a debtor can do to enforce such agreements under the Act. The debtor will likely not be able to claim fraud, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, or other claims/defenses. These will be barred because there is no written agreement that has been signed by both parties.

Contact an Experienced Chicago Finance and Lending Lawyer

It cannot be stressed enough that if you are a debtor or lender that is considering entering into a credit agreement or commercial loan, you need to seek the assistance of an experienced DuPage County business law attorney. Failure to do so could result in you being denied certain legal protections. Contact the attorneys at Momkus LLC by calling 630-434-0400 and schedule a consultation to discuss your business agreements and contracts and ensure that your rights are protected.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2036&ChapterID=57 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2316&ChapterID=67

Posted in Finance and Lending, Illinois Business Attorneys, Illinois law | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicago business law attorney succession planWhen many of us think of business succession plans, we often associate them with retirement. However, succession planning also serves as an important part of a business earlier in the lifespan of the company. If nothing else, having a succession plan in place will reduce headaches, stress, and financial loss if something unexpectedly happens to you or a co-owner.

A succession plan makes it clear who will take over the company, therefore reducing any disputes between the parties involved. If a purchase takes place, the purchase terms and sale price are also outlined, relieving some of the difficulties for the owner and/or their family. A well-formulated succession plan will benefit everyone, including the departing owner, the business, and the successor.

Five Types of Succession Plans

Although there are a variety of succession plans available, the following are five of the most common types of succession plans for small businesses:

  1. Passing the Business to a Co-Owner – If your business was created with a single partner, you will likely consider them as a potential successor. Many partnerships create an agreement that states that in the event of one partner’s death or disability, the remaining partner will purchase the business interests from that partner’s next of kin. This type of agreement will ease the burden of a transition that is not expected for both the family members and the business. A buy-sell agreement will ensure that the family is given a fair price while allowing the remaining partner to maintain control of the business.
  2. Passing the Business to an Heir – This option is often used for business owners that have family members or children that work for the company. Of course, like many family decisions, passing your business on to family can stir up conflicts if it is done without proper planning. As a general rule, you want to be sure business ownership is transferred to someone that is already involved in the business. If you have multiple family members involved, you will need to give clear instructions for who will take over what parts of the business, as well as how certain business assets may be passed to other heirs.
  3. Sell Your Business to an Employee – If you do not have a family member or partner to pass your business to, another option is to sell it to a key employee instead. You will want to choose an employee that is respected by other staff and has the necessary experience and business savvy. This will ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. You will also need to ensure that this person is on board with the transition and train them to ensure that they will be prepared when the time comes.
  4. Sell Your Business to an Outside Party – When there is no obvious successor to take over your business, you can look outside to the greater community. Is there a competitor or entrepreneur that might like to take over your business? Some types of businesses are easier to sell this way than others. To prepare for this transaction, you need to hire and train a general manager and make sure that all your finances are in order. Make your business as “turnkey” as possible, so that it will be more attractive to outside buyers.
  5. Sell Your Shares Back to the Company – This option may be available to you if your business has three or more owners. An entity purchase plan is a business arrangement in which the business purchases insurance on each of the co-owners. When one co-owner dies, the business will use the proceeds from the insurance policy to purchase that partner’s business interests from their estate. These interests would then be distributed among the surviving partners according to terms outlined in the succession plan.

Contact an Illinois Business Succession Lawyer

The dedicated DuPage County business law attorneys at Momkus LLC have decades of experience helping our clients plan various aspects of their businesses, including creating fair, workable succession plans. Contact us today by calling 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you ensure that your business is still viable years after you are no longer a part of it.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=080502060HArt%2E+9&ActID=2292&ChapterID=65&SeqStart=5700000&SeqEnd=6800000

Posted in Business Law, Illinois Business Attorneys | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment