Benefits of Utilizing an Advance Healthcare Directive in Your Illinois Estate Plan

directive, DuPage County estate planning lawyerFor many people, it can be hard to know which estate planning tools and documents are appropriate for their circumstance. Estate planning has become almost synonymous with a Last Will and Testament, but drafting a will is by far not the only important aspect of estate planning. One estate planning tool which you may not have heard of is an advance healthcare directive—the most common type of which is a living will. A living will allows a person to make decisions about their potential future medical care in advance. If you are someone who wants to have a say in the types of medical intervention you could receive if you become incapacitated through illness or injury, an advance directive may be right for you.

A Living Will Puts You in Control

Few would argue that medical advances made in the last several decades are anything short of remarkable. Many people are able to survive and even recover from illnesses and injuries which would have led to death even just a few years ago. Because of this, more and more individuals are realizing how important it is to make decisions about medical treatment and end of life care in advance. A living will allows you to dictate the types of medical intervention you do and do not want if you are incapacitated by illness or injury. More specifically, a living will can allow you to:

  • Refuse certain medical treatments;
  • Know the results of your medical treatment;
  • Ensure doctors follow your wishes regarding medical intervention and care; and
  • Authorize medical treatments you may want in the future.

An Advance Healthcare Directive Can Help Your Family Avoid Burdensome Decisions

One of the biggest benefits of a living will is that it saves your family from having to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. The famous Terri Schiavo case is a dramatic example of the importance of proper estate planning. The young woman fell into a persistent vegetative state in 1990 and required a feeding tube to live. An aggressive, public battle between Schiavo’s parents and her husband regarding her feeding tube resulted. Her husband believed Schiavo would not have wanted her life artificially prolonged in this way while her parents vehemently believed that she should be kept alive at all costs.

Family members of individuals suffering from an incapacitating medical condition often disagree about the types of life-prolonging care their loved one should receive. By creating a living will, you can significantly reduce the need for family members to make these types of burdensome decisions.

Contact a DuPage County Advance Medical Directive Lawyer  

Contact our experienced Wheaton, Illinois estate planning attorneys today if you have further questions about living wills or other estate planning tools. Call 630-665-2500 to set up an initial consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/look-back-in-history-terri-schiavo-death/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/northwesternmutual/2015/08/26/what-you-should-know-about-advance-directives/#3dcc31ac6b4c

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Non-Disclosure Agreements

DuPage County contract attorneysOne of the most important parts of owning a business is forming beneficial relationships with other entrepreneurs and businesses. In an ideal world, these relationships could be casual, but handshake agreements are not always honored. Informal business agreements can quickly go south and result in damage to your business’s bottom line. Business agreements involving another party should be formalized in writing. One such agreement is a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. Non-disclosure agreements are often essential to protecting a company’s professional interests and continued success.

How Does a Non-Disclosure Agreement Work?

Non-disclosure agreements are a type of confidentiality agreement used to prevent sensitive company information from being shared with other parties. An NDA is a legally binding document which can be used in a variety of situations, most often during proposed or pending business transactions. A company may choose to use an NDA during the sale or purchase of a business, a merger, or during any other conversation in which privileged information is being shared. When discussing a possible merger, for example, the other party will learn information about your business which you may not want shared with anyone else. Allowing news of the merger to reach other businesses or even the press may not be in your best interest. In this example, an NDA can be used to ensure that the other party does not divulge company information to others.

The Two Main Types of Non-Disclosure Agreements

The most common types of non-disclosure agreement are one-way agreements and mutual agreements. A one-way NDA is also called a unilateral NDA. As the name implies, one-way NDAs only bind one of the parties to confidentiality. A unilateral NDA may be useful in preventing potential investors from revealing your business’s information to other people or companies. If you use a one-way NDA in this scenario, you do not have a reciprocating requirement to keep the potential investors’ information confidential. A mutual NDA, on the other hand, applies confidentiality requirements to both parties in a business transaction. A mutual NDA should be used when dissemination of either party’s information could adversely impact the business or the industry. Companies discussing the possibility of a merger most often use a mutual NDA.

Contact a DuPage County, Illinois Business Law Attorney

The Wheaton business lawyers at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield and McGrath LLC, have experience helping clients create formal contracts like non-disclosure agreements and offer many other business law services as well. Schedule a consultation with our law firm by calling 630-665-2500 today.

Sources:

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4760-non-disclosure-agreement.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2016/03/10/the-key-elements-of-non-disclosure-agreements/

What You Should Know About a Short Sale

short sale, Wheaton real estate attorneysWhile the economy has steadily improved over the course of the last decade or so, things are still not where they should be in many respects. As people experience financial hardships, some are forced to sell off assets, houses included—often for less than they are worth. This is referred to in real estate as a short sale, and it can be quite complex to navigate through on your own.

Short Sale Requirements

Many people are vastly unaware as to how complex a short sale can be, but it can be because there are not only questions regarding the nature of the asset for sale, but also the remainder of the debt or loan that is not being resolved by the short sale. Short sales are only successful if everyone involved (the seller, the bank or other entity holding the loan, and anyone else) agrees to take less money than they might otherwise make. However, a lender does not actually have to agree to a short sale in order for one to go forward, at least in Illinois; only the mortgage holder must agree, and the two are not always the same.

There are four items generally required in order to complete a short sale and obtain the mortgage lender’s permission. They are:

  1. A hardship letter, with an explanation of why the mortgage is in default;
  2. Proof that the property’s current value is less than the cost of the mortgage and closing costs;
  3. A showing that a buyer for the property exists, and that buyer is not related to the seller; and
  4. Credible testimony that there is no better alternative.

The third item can be a concern in particular, as it is not unknown to simply transfer an asset to a friend or family member as a sort of surreptitious trust; such actions are illegal under the Illinois Fraudulent Transfer Act. These factors all being met do not necessarily guarantee a successful short sale, but they greatly increase the odds that all involved will be able to come to a consensus.

After a Short Sale

Assuming the sale itself goes according to plan, you will still be left with the question of the remaining balance on the mortgage. In Illinois, this may be disposed of in two ways. The lender will either forgive the debt—usually not out of a sense of altruism, but rather because it is possible for them to write it off—or they will try to seek a deficiency judgment. A deficiency judgment is just what it sounds like, where the lender files a civil suit in order in an attempt to collect the remaining balance due on the mortgage.

In a short sale, it is possible to insert language into the offer letter agreeing to waive any remaining liability, but unlike some other states, such as California, this is not required. If a deficiency judgment is entered against you, your wages may be garnished, your bank account may be levied (frozen) and in extreme cases, you may have assets or other financial instruments seized to make up the difference.

Contact a Wheaton Real Estate Attorney

Real estate can be an extraordinarily complex area of law, and a short sale can be one of the most intricate and difficult enterprises to undertake, especially alone. Contact an experienced DuPage County real estate lawyer at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today. Our knowledgeable professionals can help guide you through the short sale process, and answer any questions you may have along the way.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2055&ChapterID=57

https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc453.html