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Directors & Officers’ Duty to Creditors

In normal situations, a corporation’s directors and officers owe a fiduciary duty to the corporation and its shareholders.  But when a corporation becomes insolvent, that duty shifts to the corporation’s creditors.  In these challenging economic times, this duty by corporate directors and officers to the corporation’s creditors could lead to lawsuits from creditors against the directors and officers personally. If…read more →

Avoiding Probate for Custodial Accounts

To save taxes and make gifts to children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, many people have created custodial accounts. These accounts are commonly known by their initials UGTMA (Uniform Gifts to Minors Act) or UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act). They can be relatively low cost ways to make gifts to minors and good for tax planning. But without good planning…read more →

Bring Your Thumb for the Next Real Estate Closing

On June 1st,  people selling real estate in Illinois will not only have to have their signature notarized, but also they will have to add their thumb print. (Chicago Sun Times Article). As a convenience some notaries would notarize a signature even though it was not signed in their presence.  This practice has always been improper.  Nonetheless, it probably was…read more →

Free Estate Plan from the State of Illinois

The State of Illinois has provided a free Will for people who—for any number of reasons—have not prepared a Will. Like many things that are free or low cost do-it-yourself, you may not be pleased with the results. The State of Illinois “free” version that I have reproduced below is for a married couple with one or more children.  If…read more →

Proposed Bankruptcy Law May Reduce Foreclosures

An article in the Daily Herald (link to article) predicts that new bankruptcy legislation may be passed this month. This new legislation would empower federal bankruptcy judges to modify residential mortgages including reducing the principal, the interest and the monthly payment. Bankruptcy is an extreme solution that persons should never take lightly, but with this new legislation it might provide…read more →

A Good Time for Estate Planning

In today’s economic situation, estate planning maybe the last thing to consider.  But with the stock and real estate markets depressed as well as historically low interest rates now may be a very good time to do some planning. Below is a link to a Wall Street Journal article that discusses some of the many different ways that people can…read more →

Power of Attorney for Property Concerns

A Power of Attorney for Property is an important document to have in your estate plan.  It is a very powerful tool that authorizes someone else to handle your financial affairs in the event that you cannot do so.  However, like other types of powerful tools–it can be very dangerous if not used properly. On Sunday February 1st, Eileen Ambrose…read more →

Government “Bad Bank” Plan May Slow Mortgage Relief

The federal government has been considering creating a new bank to buy all the high risk loans held by private banks.  This new bank has been nicknamed the “bad bank” because it would hold only high risk loans. The “bad bank” plan is the subject of an article by Greg Burns in today’s Chicago Tribune (the link to the article…read more →

Federal Goverment May Modify Mortgages

Federal Government Plan on Modifying Mortgages The Federal Reserve is planning to modify mortgages where it holds the loans as collateral for Federal Reserve payments to the lender. As Fox News reported (the link to the story is at the bottom of this post), homeowners will not know if the Federal Reserve is holding their loan as collateral.  The homeowners…read more →

Second Marriages – A Critical Time for Estate Planning

Second Marriages – A Critical Time for Estate Planning  A second marriage when there are children from a first marriage can unintentionally disinherit those children.  A recent “cocktail party” question illustrates the unfortunate possibilities.  A 61 year old man recently dies leaving a wife and several adult children from a previous marriage.  The man had no estate plan.  Also, he…read more →