When to Consider Contesting a Will

contest, Wheaton estate planning attorneyIf you have recently experienced the death of a loved one, it is understandable that you may have needed some time for things to get back to normal, especially if you had a close relationship with the person who died. Unfortunately, when the person’s will is presented for probate, there is the possibility of new problems. What happens, for example, if you discover that your loved one has made some unexpected changes or decisions regarding his or her will? In such a situation, you may have the option of contesting the will, but there are some considerations to address before you file.

Disagreement Is Not Enough

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that in any situation involving a will or the transfer of a decedent’s assets, it is practically guaranteed that someone will feel slighted or left out altogether. That someone may have expected to receive a particular part of the deceased person’s estate only to learn that the expectations were never written into the will. While you might be disappointed or hurt by how your loved one decided to distribute his or her property, hurt feelings are not grounds for contesting a will.

Grounds for a Will Contest

Under the law in Illinois, there are several situations in which challenging a will would be appropriate. These include:

  • The will was not executed properly: In Illinois, two separate people must witness the signing of the will. Named beneficiaries cannot be witnesses;
  • Lack of testamentary capacity: If your loved one was not of sound mind or otherwise did not understand the terms and implications of his or her decisions, the will could be invalidated;
  • Undue influence: Estate planning decisions are extremely personal and should be made voluntarily. If another person—including a family member or caregiver—pressured or coerced your loved one into making changes or writing a new will, the resulting document could be set aside by the court;
  • Fraud: During the process of estate planning, there are often many documents that must be signed and executed, many of which are prepared by another person. If your loved one, for example, signed the will believing it to be a different document—such as a medical directive—the court could decide that the will was procured through fraud.

In order for your will contest to be successful, you will need to prove your allegations. Doing so can be extremely difficult, but it may the only way for you to ensure that your loved one’s estate is handled as he or she intended.

Call a Wheaton Will Contest Attorney

Filing a will contest can have a dramatic effect on your family dynamics, so it is not a decision to made lightly. Before you take action, contact a DuPage County estate planning lawyer at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation, and get the help you need.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60

https://www.thebalance.com/what-are-the-grounds-for-contesting-a-will-3505208

Choosing the Right Person for a Business Partner

partner, Wheaton business law attorneyIf you are starting a new business or thinking about a potential deal that could have a dramatic impact on your existing company, it is critical to choose your partners carefully. Selecting the right partner is especially important if your business is still in its infancy.

Perhaps the best way to think of a business partnership is as similar to marriage: the two of you are uniting your interests and efforts with the idea of building something that will be successful. The comparison to a marriage is even more appropriate when you consider that you will probably be spending more time with your business partner than you do with your spouse. An experienced business lawyer can assist you in selecting the right partner for your new enterprise.

Do You Need a Partner?

The first thing that you should consider when looking for a business partner is whether you even need a partner or not. To determine your needs, you should carefully analyze your business plan, your finances, and the current state of the market. In a partnership, both—or all, as the case may be—partners must take on certain risks and work with very little financial return for a period. Depending on your situation, it may be possible for you to stay in that role by yourself and to hire an employee that you trust but who is not invested financially in the company.

What Will Your Partner Do?

Before you select a partner, you should have a solid idea of what you need from him or her. If you only need capital and investors are not a viable option, you might wish to take on a silent financial partner. Conversely, you might need a great deal of assistance with certain parts of your company. If you have good sales and marketing skills, for example, your business may need someone with a more technical background to focus on product development.

It is also helpful to understand the level of personal investment that you expect from your partner. You may be fine with working 16-hour days, but will you want your partner to do the same? It is patently unfair to surprise your partner with your expectations only after you have signed a partnership agreement. Your attorney can work with you in identifying your needs and expectations for your ideal partner. From there, you can start your search for someone who fits the bill.

Compromise May Be Necessary

While you should develop an idea of what your perfect partner would be, keep in mind that you might never find a person who checks all of the boxes on your list. For example, you might find someone whose skills complement your own almost perfectly but who cannot commit to working long hours every week. In such a case, you might need to compromise on some of your expectations. With the help of your attorney, you can customize the compensation and risk structure of your partnership to account for your compromises.

Call a Wheaton Business Lawyer for Help

If you are considering a new partnership, an experienced DuPage County business law attorney can help you address all of the important details. Call Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC at 630-665-2500 today for a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/how-to-tell-if-youve-found-the-right-business-partner.html

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/300168

Dual Agency in Real Estate – What Every Home Buyer and Seller Should Know About Their Real Estate Agent’s Interests

Wheaton real estate lawyersPeople often assume that a real estate agent is there to represent them and their interests. Sadly, this is not always the case. Neither state or federal law prohibits a real estate agents from having conflicting interests, and some exploit that loophole to the fullest extent possible. Learn more about “dual agency” among real estate agents, including how it could affect your next real estate transaction, and discover how our seasoned Wheaton real estate attorneys can minimize the risks. 

Dual Agency in Real Estate – What It Is and Why It Matters

In an ideal world, a real estate agent would work with only the buyer or the seller – never both. Sadly, dual agency is extremely common among agents. In this scenario, the agent provides services to both the buyer and the seller, and that allows them to keep the entire commission. In short, the only interests they are representing are their own, and that can create all kinds of issues in a real estate transaction. 

As an example, consider a situation in which the seller informs the agent that they recently learned of some foundation issues with the house. Instead of disclosing the full extent of the details to potential buyers of the house, the agent may then downplay the severity of the issue. As a result, the buyer loses money on a house that is unfairly priced.

Avoiding Dual Agency in Your Next Real Estate Transaction 

The one key thing that buyers and sellers can do to protect themselves from the consequences of dual agency is to ensure they know whose interest their agent is serving. Ask them, point blank, if they are representing you exclusively, and if they have a fiduciary duty to do so. These are known as single agents. Other types of real estate agents – most of which you will want to avoid – include subagents, who work with the buyer but have a duty to the seller; transactional agents, who facilitate the transaction but have no responsibility to either party; and dual agents, who are somehow supposed to represent the interests of both parties in a real estate transaction. 

Our Wheaton Real Estate Lawyers Can Protect Your Interests in a Sale or Purchase 

Finding a single agent can be difficult, so not all buyers and sellers can rely solely on the ability to do so. Instead, know that there are other ways to protect your interests during the purchase or sale of a home. The seasoned DuPage County real estate lawyers at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC can help. Call 630-655-2500 to schedule your consultation today.

Source:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/ct-re-1223-kenneth-harney-20181223-story.html