Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel P.C.

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2000 McDonald Road, Suite 200 | South Elgin, IL 60177

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Elgin special needs trust lawyerThe holiday season is a time to think of giving – of summoning the charitable impulses and good intentions that bring out the very best version of oneself. It is a time to be grateful for life’s blessings and to reach out and help those who are less fortunate. In doing so, estate planning is a powerful resource in helping others, whether they be family, friends, charities, or individuals in need in a local, regional, national, or global community. 

Estate planning is synonymous with wills and trusts. With regard to the latter, it is possible to create a special needs trust to benefit a disabled individual in your life.

A Trust is a Powerful and Flexible Asset Management Tool 

A trust is a legal agreement that designates both an individual to assume the role of “trustee” and one or more individuals as “beneficiaries.” A trustee will manage your property on behalf of designated beneficiaries at the time of your death or, if you become incapacitated, while you are still living but are no longer able to manage your property on your own. 

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Elgin personal injury attorney interpersonal conflictsThe 2017 holiday season may feature some contentious arguments, whether they occur over a family dinner table or during gatherings at neighborhood bars and restaurants. The reason: the nation’s intense political polarization. While most family and friends will be striving to avoid the subject of politics while enjoying the holidays, or even explicitly agreeing to refrain from discussing the subject, it may nonetheless creep into conversation – especially as wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages flow. 

The same is true at bars and pubs when old friends who are in town to visit their respective families meet to reconnect. When a good time devolves into hostile grievance-making – so much so that words beget actions and a personal injury is suffered – legal recourse may be required to obtain compensation for damages. If you have suffered personal injuries in a dispute that turned from verbal to physical, or if you were caught in the fray as a bystander, it is essential to secure the services of an experienced attorney who can advocate for your legal rights.

Battery Is an Intentional Harmful or Offensive Contact 

If you have been struck with a punch in or around a bar or, heaven forbid, in the home of a family member or friend, you have been the victim of battery. Battery is both a crime and what the civil side of the law terms a “tort.” As such, battery is both prosecutable in a criminal court and subject to litigation for compensatory damages in civil court. 

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Elgin divorce attorney division of marital propertyDivorce can often come as a terrible shock, especially if you believe that the breakdown of your relationship was not your fault. In many cases, divorcing spouses may believe that they are entitled to a greater share of property if their former partner had caused the marriage to fail. However, couples in Illinois should be aware of how the law deals with the division of marital property during the dissolution of a marriage. 

In Illinois, affairs, adultery, lies, physical or emotional abuse, and being a bad parent – which are all types of marital misconduct – are not considered during the division of marital assets and debts. As unfair as this stipulation may seem (especially if you are the victim of this type of misconduct), it is the law in Illinois. Importantly, however, you are entitled to a fair and equitable division of marital property. 

Marital Property is Subject to a Fair and Equitable Division During Divorce in Illinois

So, you may understandably inquire with no small degree of urgency, what is considered in an Illinois divorce if marital misconduct is not? The answer: a multi-factor criteria, applied proportionately on a case-by-case basis. 

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Elgin estate planning lawyer trust administrationFor most people in the United States, it takes hard work and smart planning to save money and build assets throughout their lives. The effort and thoughtfulness does not stop there, however, if you intend to ensure that your family, loved ones, or valued charitable organizations will see the maximum benefit of your work and planning for the longest possible duration. Estate planning is a necessity for protecting your assets and realizing your intentions with regard to the distribution of your assets, whether during your lifetime or after your death. 

Just as you trust an accountant to assist with the finances of your business, a tax professional to assist with personal or business taxes, and investment experts to grow your assets at the pace and risk level which is right for you and your family, you can rely on an estate planning attorney to create a legally binding will or trust and follow the proper procedures for administering your estate.

Details are Many in Matters of Trust Administration

Much of the process of estate planning is concerned with transferring your assets to your heirs smoothly, without conflict, and with the minimum taxation allowed by law. It is a simple idea – you want your family, loved ones, and favorite charities to benefit as much as possible. While your intentions may be straightforward, however, the legal requirements for creating and administering a trust to transfer your assets to your heirs can be quite complex. 

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St. Charles truck accident attorneyThe presence of large trucks on Illinois roads and highways may be a source of anxiety for some drivers, especially in November as thousands travel to and from Chicago to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether you are taking I-55 down to St. Louis, driving west on I-80 to the Quad Cities, going about your daily commute, or dealing with increased holiday-related traffic, you may breathe a little less easy when driving alongside a semi, trailer, or other large, sight-limiting truck. When your worst fears about truck-packed lanes are realized, resulting in a truck accident in which you suffer personal injuries, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to assert your legal rights.

Truck Accident-Related Personal Injuries May Be the Result of Negligence

Accidents involving a large truck on the complex network of highways and streets in the Chicago area often involve a variable not present in ordinary car-to-car collisions: the existence of an employer/employee or employer/independent contractor relationship. In simple terms, the driver of a truck may be on the job, transporting goods or en route to receive them for his or her employer. The reason why this added dimension may be of relevance to an accident in which personal injuries result is that it bears on whether the driver, employer, or both parties are liable for financial damages arising from the injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, and any lost income due to missed work you have suffered as a result of the accident. 

Negligence, the breach of a duty owed that causes damages, is a common cause of truck-related and other accidents. In truck accidents, the relevant question is who is liable for the negligence which caused the accident. In the case of truck accidents, this is often dependent on whether the driver is an employee working with assent, for the benefit, and under the control of an employer, or if they are an independent contractor. 

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St. Charles car accident lawyerWe are in the midst of autumn, and the holiday season is fast approaching. To many people, these holidays are a great time to celebrate the true meaning of family and friends. To others, there is great worry that something tragic, such as an automobile collision, could happen to them or their loved ones. Car accidents can happen at any time, but they occur more often during the holidays. Here are some other statistics about car accidents that you should be aware of: 

When Do Car Accidents Typically Occur?

It makes sense to think that most car accidents would occur during the late night on weekends, since that is the time that many people go out drinking, and some may drive while under the influence of alcohol. However, data from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that the majority of accidents occur on Friday between noon and 7:59 pm. Other key statistics include:

  • In 2015, the most recent year for which data was available, there were 11,330 car accidents in Illinois that occurred on rural roadways between noon and 3:59 pm, and 14,597 car accidents between 4:00 pm and 7:59 pm.
  • In the same year, there were 65,418 car accidents reported in Illinois that happened on urban roadways between noon and 3:59 pm, and 68,344 car accidents between 4:00 pm and 7:59 pm.

How Many Crashes Take Place in Illinois?

In 2015, there were 313,316 car accidents that occurred in the State of Illinois. 21 percent (65,744) of these crashes resulted in injuries, whether minor, serious, or critical, and less than one percent (914) of crashes were fatal. On average, there were 858 accidents each day, and nearly three of these accidents resulted in fatalities. More than 10 people were injured every hour in car accidents.

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Elgin car accident attorney bad weatherAutumn, some Chicagoans contend, is either a remarkably brief season or one that actually starts weeks prior to the first day of fall in September. Splendorous yellow and red leaves appear on tree-lined streets, Lake Michigan changes from a hub of activity to a mere inlet of water in the blink of an eye, and Chicago area children from Elgin to Edgewater enjoy final strolls along the outdoor areas of the city’s zoos and gardens.

Weather in the Chicago area is mighty, and it takes a toll on the city’s streets and highways. As the old joke says, there are only two seasons in Chicago: winter and construction. However, rush hour traffic on streets slick with rain or snow and ever undergoing repairs is no laughing matter. Car accidents happen and, sadly, injuries result.  

Negligence is a Common Cause of Car Accidents No Matter the Season

When a car accident, especially one that results in property damage and personal injuries, happens on a Chicago area road or highway, it’s not nearly enough to chalk it up to inclement weather and somehow just “move on.” No, responsibility must be taken for the damage done. Insurance claims must be filed, vehicles must be repaired or replaced, injuries must be attended to, and police reports must often be made. 

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St. Charles workers' comp attorney fatal injuriesEvery time we see traffic cones, narrowed lanes, and road construction signs on an Illinois highway, we understand the risks faced by the workers who keep the state’s traffic flowing safely. Similarly, when we observe construction cranes over the stunning downtown Chicago panorama from Grant Park or the Art Institute, we can imagine the dangers inherent in the work of those who keep the city growing. Beyond construction, city or state police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians all regularly face danger in their work. 

In some professions, risk abounds. When the unthinkable happens – when a loved one is lost while on the job – Illinois Workers’ Compensation can provide some financial support for their survivors. Nothing can bring back your loved one, but workers’ compensation can keep an already unbearable situation from spiraling into further despair due to the loss of income, medical bills, and funeral expenses.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act Governs Eligibility

When an Illinois worker is injured on the job, the type of benefits the employee is eligible for are typically referred to as “disability benefits.” These benefits cover not just medical bills and lost income stemming from the workplace accident, but also any lost earning potential that the worker has suffered as a result of any physical or mental impairment caused by the accident.  

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Kane County divorce lawyer for irreconcilable differencesJust as soaring temperatures in summer months correlate with increased conflict on a global scale, the season also seems to lead to increased cases of divorce. August, which is often hottest and most humid month, is the time of year when divorce filings peak. But why is this the case?

August and March are Peak Months for Divorce Filings

Researchers at the University of Washington analyzed data about divorce filings to determine the times of the year in which divorces are most common. They suggested a possible reason for the high number of divorce filings in August: unhappy vacations. 

Vacations and holidays are, unfortunately, illuminating of marital fissures that have passed the point of healing. One of the researchers, a professor of sociology, pointed out that vacations often represent a final opportunity for a couple to heal their marriage, allowing them to get away from the residence and daily routines where discontent has been sown and make an attempt to communicate and have fun in a conducive vacation environment.

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Geneva Estate Planning Charitable Trust AttorneyYou have worked hard your whole life, learning the value of a dollar and a day’s work from a young age. Perhaps you started your own neighborhood lawn care business in your teenage years, worked as a lifeguard at the city pool, or bagged groceries at a local store, setting about to secure your position in the world. Later on, you received a college education and pursued a career, putting in the work, day by day, week by week, month by month. 

That, as you know so very well, is the way most Americans support themselves, provide for their families, and save for the future. After many years of labor, you deserve an enjoyable retirement, as well as the opportunity to contemplate a meaningful distribution of your assets when the time comes. 

In addition to bequeathing financial assets, personal property, and real property to loved ones, you may wish to benefit a favorite charitable institution. Charitable causes are many – secular, religious, healthcare-related, devoted to the stewardship of our planet, working in the interest of socioeconomic equality, and so much more. If one or more charities are of great personal importance to you, the question, then, is how to ensure that they will indeed benefit from the resources you intend for them to receive. The answer to this question is estate planning.

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Kane County car accident wrongful death lawyerThe event of a fatality on Illinois’ roads and highways is a grim reminder of the frailty of human life and the probabilities yielded by our vastly complex transportation network. Millions of Illinois residents travel by car, truck, bus, elevated trains, Metra, Uber, Lyft, and by foot every day. Tracking this universe of movement is astonishing – if you have ever seen a time-lapse video of city traffic, with the lights of vehicles and other methods of transport zooming through metropolitan areas at blinding speed, you have gotten a glimpse of the sheer scale of modern transportation.

In these millions of vessels traveling through urban, suburban, and rural networks are human beings of all types – young, old, male, female, and all races and ethnicities. With such an intricate web of traffic, accidents are a statistical inevitability. Within this group of outcomes, tragically, are accidents that result in fatalities. We see it every day on the evening news, and even though it happens frequently, it can still seem shocking and unreal. 

We think a driving fatality will never affect a loved one, until it actually happens to us. While this is gruesome to contemplate, it has become a necessary fact of life for many people. If you have lost a loved to a fatal accident on an Illinois road or highway, you know this. While nothing can ever bring back your loved one, a wrongful death legal claim may account for damages you have suffered.

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Elgin Estate Planning LawyerThinking about your plans for the assets in your estate should be a source of happiness – a reward for the hard work you’ve done and a testament to the family, friends, and other loved ones that fill your life with meaning. Strangely, even counter-intuitively, we all too often shy away from the subject of estate planning instead of embracing it and discovering the sense of security and happiness it can bring.  

Estate planning, when done properly, is something to be excited about. A legally valid will or trust is a means of ensuring that your assets and other resources flow to the individuals and institutions you wish to benefit when the time comes. Such legal instruments, then, are powerfully good things. 

At the same time, importantly, in the absence of a legally valid will or trust, the rules of intestate succession – the law’s “default rules” – will apply when it is time for the assets of your estate to be distributed. In this scenario, your estate may flow to family, relatives, or even the state – a distribution outcome that might be displeasing, to say the least, depending on both the relationships you value and the ones that you do not. As such, it is imperative that you take estate planning seriously and utilize the legal instruments necessary to ensure that the right people and organizations receive everything that you intend for them to receive.

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South Elgin Workers' Comp LawyerThe Chicago area is a complex and ever-growing network of transportation, industry, commerce, education, and daily life. Whether driving up Lake Shore Drive, down 90/94, or west on 290, one can only marvel at size and scope of the area. While the city’s skyline might appear to magically expand, building by building and floor by floor, such development is, of course, the product of the labor of the city’s workers. 

The same is true of Chicago area roads and bridges. In a city that is pummeled by winter weather for much longer than the season’s official three months, near constant upkeep of this infrastructure is required. This responsibility again falls to Illinois workers. 

Because the construction and maintenance of Chicagoland’s buildings, transportation grid, and utilities occurs amidst the near infinite moving parts and people of daily life, work-related accidents and injuries are bound to happen. Fortunately for Illinois workers, the state has a “no-fault” statute with regard to work-related injuries. This law that can make all the difference in obtaining the compensation you need and deserve after suffering a work-related injury.  

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What to Do After a Kane County Hit-and-Run Accident

Automobile accidents can cause a great deal of physical and emotional difficulty, and hit-and-run accidents are particularly devastating. Besides being potentially injured and understandably shaken, victims in such situations may feel a sense of hopelessness or dread. How will they ever repair their vehicle? Who will cover their medical expenses? Should they call the police? Each situation is different, but victims in these cases can take the following steps to protect themselves and obtain the care they need while pursuing compensation for their damages.

At the Scene of the Accident

If you have been injured and are left at the scene of an accident, you may need to call emergency responders to the scene. Should this be necessary, law enforcement is likely to show up to the scene as well, and you will be able to make a report to them once you have been examined by a qualified medical professional. If, on the other hand, you were uninjured, you may call the police to report the accident.

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Examining the Recent Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws

Historically, Illinois has used a straightforward calculation to determine the amount of child support that a non-custodial parent must pay to a custodial parent, basing the amount of support payments on a percentage of the paying parent’s income. That all changed in July of 2017, when a change to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act went into effect. The new law can have a major impact on your Kane County child support case.

A Closer Look at the New Income Shares Model

The previous method of calculating child support obligations was unfortunately not always an effective model. The actual costs of raising a child were not considered, nor was parenting time or the receiving parent’s income. The new model takes all these factors into account. Spousal support, which may be awarded in some divorce cases, is also factored in, whenever applicable.

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