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Recent Blog Posts

FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Relief

 Posted on March 14, 2022 in Uncategorized

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_312464573.jpgFEMA announced that it will provide funeral assistance for families of those who have passed away due to COVID-19. FEMA’s COVID-19 funeral relief program may provide financial assistance for funeral expenses that may not be covered by insurance or other sources for individuals who dies of COVID-19. Relief of up to $9,000 for funeral and burial expenses for a deceased individual is available. If a family requires assistance for multiple funerals, the maximum award is $35,000.

To receive funeral assistance, the deceased must have a death certificate dated after January 20, 2020, and the death must be caused by COVID-19. This program excludes individuals who had burial/funeral insurance or received aid from any other source that covered the full cost of their funeral expenses at the time of their death.

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Why Does My Business Need a General Counsel Attorney?

 Posted on February 21, 2022 in Business Law

kane county business lawyerNot every business can afford to have an attorney on staff. However, every business will need to address legal issues at some point. Seeking the services of a lawyer whenever the need arises can be very inefficient, and this will likely result in additional expenses. Fortunately, there is another option. By working with a law firm that provides general counsel services, a business can get legal help when necessary from an attorney who is familiar with its operations, needs, and goals.

Benefits of a General Counsel Lawyer

Small and mid-size businesses can find cost-effective ways to address their legal needs by establishing a relationship with an outside general counsel attorney. A lawyer who serves in this capacity will work to fully understand the ins and outs of the company’s processes, its relationships with other entities, and its plans for future growth. In addition to resolving issues that currently need to be addressed and stepping in to handle any concerns that may arise in the future, a general counsel attorney can also take a proactive approach, helping identify potential issues and ensuring that a business takes the correct steps to avoid problems that may result in financial losses.

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New Illinois Laws in 2022

 Posted on February 15, 2022 in Family Law

illinois lawyerWith the beginning of the new year, the state of Illinois passed several new laws that will impact the lives of the state’s residents. Here are a few new laws of interest in 2022: 

Minimum Wage Increase (Public Act 101-0001)

Illinois is one of the states set to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 which means that in 2022, the state minimum wage will increase to $12 an hour. The increase in minimum wage applies to all standard workers and any workers under the age of 18 who work more than 650 hours per calendar year. For workers under 18 who work less than 650 hours per calendar year, the minimum wage will increase to $9.25 an hour. Tipped employees may be paid 60% of the minimum wage. However, if these workers do not earn the minimum wage after receiving tips, the employers must make up the difference. 

Amendments to Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act

This Act, which was initially implemented in 2018, requires any employers of 25 or more employees to contribute to Roth IRAs for its employees through payroll deductions. This does not apply to employers who already offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan. An amendment to this Act which took effect January 1, 2022, will now qualify an “employer” as one who has more than 5 employees employed during every quarter of the previous calendar year, has been in business for at least 2 years, and has not offered a qualified retirement plan in the preceding 2 years. Employers with fewer than 25 and more than 15 employees will be required to enroll in the program by September 1, 2022, and employers with at least 5 employees but no more than 15 employees will need to enroll by September 1, 2023. 

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Can a Stay-at-Home Parent Receive Spousal Support Following a Divorce?

 Posted on January 03, 2022 in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1707038608_20220103-161811_1.jpgGetting a divorce can sometimes involve financial struggles. During the divorce process, you will not only need to cover divorce costs, but you may need to find new living arrangements and determine how you will cover rent or mortgage payments, utilities, food, transportation, and other costs. If you are a stay-at-home parent, you may be worried about how you will be able to pay all of these expenses, whether you will need to find employment, and whether you will be able to continue staying home to care for your children. In this situation, it is important to understand whether you may be able to receive spousal support from your ex-spouse.

Eligibility for Spousal Maintenance

Payments made by one spouse to the other are generally known as spousal support or alimony, but the state of Illinois uses the term “maintenance” when addressing this issue. Maintenance is meant to address the disparity between spouses’ incomes. Both you and your spouse will want to try to maintain your standard of living after you split up, and if you earn a much smaller income or do not work outside the home, you will likely need financial support from your ex-spouse. Maintenance may be in addition to any child support that is ordered to address your children’s ongoing needs.

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What is a Collaborative Divorce?

 Posted on December 28, 2021 in Divorce

kane county divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce can be an extremely stressful time. More and more couples are searching for a non-adversarial way to get a divorce. One effective way to do this is through the process of collaborative divorce.  

What is Collaborative Divorce? 

A Collaborative Divorce is a process in which the parties involved and their attorneys are not required to appear in court. During a Collaborative Divorce, both spouses work with a collaborative team. Collaborative Divorce teams require an attorney for each spouse and generally include a divorce coach, who is a collaboratively trained mental health professional. Teams can also include a child coach and a neutral financial specialist. The couples who choose to divorce this way will avoid litigation.

What Steps do Couples Need to Take in a Collaborative Divorce? 

The first step in getting a Collaborative Divorce is finding attorneys trained and qualified to facilitate this process for each spouse. Each spouse has their own attorney.

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Four Tips for Estate Planning After Your Divorce

 Posted on November 09, 2021 in Estate Planning

elgin estate planning lawyerA divorce can dramatically change the lives of both parties involved. After your divorce, it is important to ensure your financial assets are protected in response to your change in living circumstances. Here are four helpful tips on how to reevaluate your estate planning strategy after a divorce. 

1. Update power of attorney and living will.

If a situation arises when you are unable to make medical decisions, your power of attorney names the person who will make those decisions for you. Most spouses appoint each other as agents. After a divorce, it is time to execute a new power of attorney naming a new agent to make your medical decisions. This can be done by consulting our estate planning attorneys. 

2. Create a new estate plan. 

Especially if you have children, updating your will and/or living trusts is one of the most important steps to take after a divorce. If your will or trust is not up to date following your divorce, your ex-spouse may be eligible to inherit your assets after your death. You may also want to update your will to reflect your wishes on who should be in charge of any finances set aside for your children if they are still minors. 

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Top Business Contract Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

 Posted on October 26, 2021 in Business Law

elgin business lawyerContractual agreements are essential for many businesses, and a company may enter into multiple types of contracts with vendors, suppliers, partners, clients, or other parties. While contracts can provide important protections, ensuring that both parties meet their obligations, they can also cause significant problems if they contain mistakes or omissions. By working with an attorney to draft, negotiate, and review contracts, a business can ensure its rights and interests are protected in these types of agreements.

Avoiding Contract Mistakes

While a business may become involved in multiple types of agreements, a verbal agreement or a basic written agreement will not provide it with the protections of a legal contract. To protect its rights and interests, a business will need to make sure a contract is tailored to the unique circumstances of the company and the agreement being addressed. Some of the most common mistakes made in business contracts involve issues such as:

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How to Protect Against Liability During the Business Formation Process

 Posted on October 06, 2021 in Business Law

elgin business lawyerStarting or expanding a business can be a great opportunity. However, business owners and entrepreneurs will need to consider a variety of legal and financial issues when doing so. Liability is one area of concern for many business owners, but fortunately, if a business is structured correctly, an owner or partner can ensure that they will not be held personally liable for business debts. During the business formation process, which may take place when a business is initially founded or when an existing business is restructured, an owner will want to select a business entity that will provide them with the protection they need.

Choosing the Right Business Structure

In many cases, a business owner will first form their business as a sole proprietorship, or if there are multiple owners, a business will be formed as a general partnership. In these cases, there will be no separation between assets owned by the business and the personal assets of the owner or partners. While this may allow for more flexibility when starting a business and provide an owner with more control over business operations, it will not provide any protection against liability. This means that an owner or partner may be held personally responsible for business debts or lawsuits against the business.

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When Can a Will Be Contested in Illinois?

 Posted on September 13, 2021 in Estate Planning

elgin estate planning lawyerA person’s last will and testament describes their final wishes and instructions regarding asset distribution to their heirs. In some cases, family members, other beneficiaries, or others who were close to a person may be unhappy about the decisions made in the person’s will, or they may believe that a will is fraudulent. During the probate process that takes place following a person’s death, a person’s heirs or potential beneficiaries may take legal action to challenge the person’s will. However, a will can only be contested in certain cases, and those who are involved in these types of cases will want to understand how these issues will affect them.

Grounds for Contesting a Will

While one or more of a person’s heirs may be unhappy about the choices made by their loved one, claims of “unfairness” or similar issues will usually not be a valid reason to challenge the person’s will. In most cases, wills can only be contested based on one of the following issues:

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How Can Driver Fatigue Lead to Truck Accidents?

 Posted on September 09, 2021 in Car Accidents

truck accident lawyerCommercial trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, and when they are involved in collisions, victims are likely to suffer serious injuries. While there are many reasons that truck accidents occur, driver fatigue is a common factor in these cases. Drivers and passengers who are injured in collisions with semi-trailer trucks can work with an attorney to determine whether the truck driver and the trucking company that employed them can be held liable for the damages they have suffered.

Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue

Drowsy driving is an all-too-common issue for people in the United States, and it is responsible for tens of thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths each year. Due to the long hours that they spend behind the wheel, truck drivers are especially susceptible to driver fatigue. Even if a driver follows the regulations that limit the amount of time they can drive without taking rests, they may still become drowsy, affecting their ability to control their vehicle and avoid collisions.

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