Estate Planning Basics: Choosing a Suitable Guardian for Your Children

Wheaton wills and trusts lawyersOf all the things that a parent must do, creating an estate plan that names a guardian for their children is, by far, one of the most difficult. That is because it not only requires the parent to consider the possibility of their death, it also requires the them to determine who may be willing, able, and best-suited to raise their child in their absence. Learn more about choosing a guardian to raise your children if a tragedy occurs, and discover how a seasoned estate planning lawyer can assist you with the process. 

Why Choosing a Guardian is Important 

Although most people know that life is unpredictable, they often want to avoid considering their own mortality – and that includes drafting estate planning documents like wills and guardianship papers. Other people simply get lost in their day-to-day lives and simply put off estate planning until “tomorrow.” Regardless of the reason for their delay, parents are highly encouraged to consider the potentially devastating consequences for their children. 

If a tragedy occurs and no will is in place, minor children and disabled adult children may be sent into the foster care system until a guardianship can be named. What is more, the courts typically allow any family member to bid for guardianship of the surviving children of a deceased parent – and that can include people who do not align with your values, religion, or parenting style. From there, the courts will make a determination, and they may use factors that seem irrelevant to you (i.e. annual income, age and overall health of the potential guardian, etc.). In short, parents who do not have a will are leaving the future of their children up to chance. 

Choosing a Guardian – Starting the Process

Only you can truly determine who may be best capable of loving and raising your children in the way that you envision. Perhaps you already have someone in mind, but you may also be struggling with the decision because there are multiple parties that would be suitable. If you are in the latter group, some of the following considerations may help you in making your decision:

  • Who might parent most like you?
  • How important is it that the guardian practice the same religion as you?
  • Are there potential guardians that share your values?
  • Is the potential guardian financially stable enough to care for your child?
  • Is the guardian capable of giving your child the love and attention they deserve?
  • Is the potential guardian mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy enough to care for your children?
  • Is there anything about the guardian that might negatively impact your child?

Keep in mind that you can choose alternate guardians, in the event that the guardian you choose is unable to care for your children upon your death. You can even create a succession plan if the first-chosen guardian passes away after taking guardianship of your children. 

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we understand that guardianship is a serious matter, as the possibility of your untimely death, and we can help you prepare for it all. Seasoned and committed to protecting the interest of your heirs and surviving family, we can help you consider all the potential scenarios and possibilities in your Illinois estate plan. Start by scheduling a personalized consultation with our Wheaton estate planning lawyers. Call 630-665-2500 today. 

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizfrazierpeck/2017/11/28/how-to-choose-the-right-guardian-for-your-child/#12171b753d61

 

Small Business Concerns: What You Should Know About the New Anti-Discrimination Bill

DuPage County small business attorneysAlthough small businesses have started to become more optimistic about their future, the state of Illinois can make it difficult for them to keep their doors open. A lot of the issues can be attributed to the growing list of regulations to which small businesses must comply. Now the state wants to add yet another regulation that could open small business owners up to frivolous and expensive lawsuits over purported discrimination. Learn more about this bill and what it could mean for your small business, and discover how our seasoned small business attorneys may be able to help you mitigate the issues that could arise if the bill is passed. 

Lawmaker Pushing for Anti-Discrimination Bill 

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, is pushing for an anti-discrimination bill that would allow the employees of small businesses to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination based on gender, status, religion, or other identifying factors protected by law. If passed, the law would impact all businesses with 15 or more employees. Small businesses have been exempt from such lawsuits up to this point. A single lawsuit could cost the company tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars if the employee wins, and even if the employee loses, the legal fees could still be enough to drive a small business into bankruptcy. 

Those who oppose the bill argue that most small businesses treat their employees more like family than workers – and they are correct. Most small businesses are working hard to increase their pool of quality employees – not fire them. When they do find the employees they are looking for, they tend to become part of a close-knit “family,” and are typically only let go for serious infractions. Firing them based on matters like gender or religion would be counterproductive to their goals and values. 

Protecting Your Small Business from Discrimination Lawsuits 

Whether your small business is just big enough to be covered under the current anti-discrimination laws, or you are at risk of facing them if the bill passes, it is critical that you have a solid and sound process for terminating employees. One should also have a clear and concise employee handbook that outlines what you expect out of your employees. Of course, drafting such a document typically requires a great deal of time and at least some knowledge of the law. Most small business owners lack in at least one of these areas (typically the time).

Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC understands the struggles that small businesses face because we are one. Backed by more than 40 years of legal experience, we can handle the legal aspects of protecting your business so that you can focus on what matters most. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule a consultation with our DuPage County small business lawyers to get started today. 

Source:

https://wqad.com/2018/07/31/small-business-advocates-warn-anti-discrimination-measure-could-mean-more-litigation/

Growing Access to Data and How It Is Affecting the CRE Market

Wheaton commercial real estate lawyersTechnology has changed how we communicate with family and friends. It has made shopping easier and more convenient. It has even changed how people invest their money. Yet, when it comes to the commercial real estate market, not much has changed. Investors still rely heavily on traditional methods for buying and selling property – but all of that is slowly starting to change. 

New technology-based companies are cropping up. They are giving commercial real estate (CRE) investors that chance to access real-time data, such as neighborhood statistics, buyers and sellers, analytics, and even the asset itself. What does all this mean for the CRE market’s future, and how can you get in on the game? The following information explains, and it details how the aid of a seasoned, competent commercial real estate lawyer can help you stay on the cutting edge. 

A Closer Look at Technology in the CRE Market

Though CRE investors were slow to catch on to the technology trend, they have sunk over $5 billion into CRE-based technology in the past year alone. That a tremendous increase from the $33 million investment back in 2010. The reason for the growth is clear: not only are investors gaining access to real-time data and analytics, they are also finding that technology can take them expand their portfolios in ways they had never imagined. 

The market is still hyper-local, so investors often focus their time and energy into learning all they can about specific neighborhoods. Thanks to technology, many are gaining a better understanding of markets they had never previously considered – places they may not have any prior knowledge about and may not be able to visit in person – and all with far less risk.

Buyers are not the only ones benefiting from the expansion of technology in the CRE market either. With the help of technology, sellers pull in more bidders, which often means a better deal for them. In turn, they are able to increase their profits and invest more into future purchases. 

Looking to the Future – Are More Positive Changes on the Horizon? 

While one can only speculate as to how technology may further improve the CRE market, many experts believe that there are additional positive changes on the horizon. Specifically, they foresee an easier, faster processing of contracts, which could benefit both buyers and sellers and supercharge the already highly profitable industry. 

Industry experts are also expecting to have Alexa-guided 3D tours of properties, which will be viewed through cameras placed throughout the property, which would mean buyers would no longer have to travel to gain a realistic view of what they are planning to purchase. In short, investors will spend less money and less time procuring and selling new business ventures. There will still be a need for careful consideration, especially when it comes to matters like due diligence and negotiating a contract. This is where the aid of an attorney comes in.

Contact Our Wheaton Commercial Real Estate Lawyers 

Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC believes in making commercial real estate transactions easier and seamless so that our clients can focus on what is most important – growing and expanding your portfolio. Dedicated and experienced, our Wheaton commercial real estate lawyers handle al the legal aspects of your deal, including due diligence and contract negotiation. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling our offices at 630-665-2500.

Source:

https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/news/2018/07/13/growing-access-to-data-is-changing-the-commercial.html