Will Your Trust Work

Will your Trust work the way you intend it.  Many people have created Revocable Trusts, which are also known as Living Trusts. They have done so for a number of reasons (avoiding probate, avoiding court guardianship, tax planning).  But if your Trust is not funded it may not work the way you want.A recent post on an trust and estate…read more →

Buy/Sell Agreements – Planning Ahead

For small businesses with two or more owners, a buy/sell agreement can help prevent challenging situations from becoming unbearable.When one of the business owners dies, becomes disabled, divorces or just says “I have had enough – I am out of here” that can be challenge for the remaining owner or owners just to keep the business operating.  That challenge can…read more →

Employer Liability – Common Mistakes That Can Be Costly

With the economy improving, businesses are hiring again and bringing in independent contractors.  Because mistakes relating to compensation can be costly, now might be good time to review several common mistakes that can be expensive.The most common mistakes involve: Misclassifying an employee as exempt from overtime; Misclassifying a person as an independent contractor when they should be an employee; Assigning…read more →

When Separate Corporations Are Not Separate for City of Chicago Head Tax

Business owners who have operations at separate locations often set up separate corporations for each location.  There are many good reasons to do this including limiting liability at one location from effecting the other locations.  The separate corporations should have their own bank accounts, bookkeeping, business licenses, corporate records, employees, tax identification numbers.  But apparently, this is not enough for…read more →

Small Business and the Health Care Law

The new health care law certainly has been controversial, but its effect on small business is less certain.  A recent article in QSR magazine discusses possible effects and provides a timeline illustrating when various provisions and obligations will take effect.  The article is titled The Real Way Health Care Reform Affects You. For small businesses with 50 or more employees,…read more →

Another Challenge for the Chicago Condo Market

There is another challenge for buyers and sellers of condominiums in Chicago.  According to a Chicago Tribune article titled Condo deals die in shadows of financially distressed buildings lenders are refusing to make loans in buildings that have a high number of renters, a large percentage of past due assessments or foreclosures.  This another reason to carefully research a condominium association…read more →

Potential Exposure for Employers Under New Illinois Law

Changes to Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act provide substantially more exposure to Illinois employers.On January 1, 2011 changes to Illinois wage claim statute became effective.  The changes give employees substantially more leverage in claims for unpaid compensation.  The term compensation includes not just salary payments, but also benefits such as vacation pay, bonuses, commissions, incentives, etc.  So even an…read more →

Good Estate Planning Goes Beyond The Will

While a Will is an important part of any estate plan, there are other things that should be considered too.Beneficiary designations and joint tenancy property should be considered when reviewing your estate plan.  Your bank accounts, stock brokerage accounts, retirement accounts may have beneficiaries that you named to receive the assets in those accounts.  These accounts might also be held…read more →

Another Cost a Will Can Avoid

A properly drafted Will can save your beneficiaries costs in many different ways. One of those ways that people don’t ordinarily think about is the cost of a bond.A Will can contain a provision that waives the requirement that the executor post a bond. If your Will does not have this provision or if you don’t have a Will then…read more →

Employee Non-Compete Agreements

A nightmare for business owners is an employee, who you spent a lot of time and money training, leaves to work for a competitor. One way to reduce the risk of that nightmare becoming reality is to have employees sign non-compete agreements.Sounds great in theory, but are they practical in Illinois. A recent Illinois Appellate Court decision discussed two tests…read more →