The Effects of the Coronavirus Crisis on Illinois Real Estate Transactions

coronavirus, Wheaton real estate attorneysAs a novel (new) coronavirus continues to spread in the United States and around the world, governmental authorities and agencies have taken serious steps to limit the reach of the virus. Here in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker first ordered the closure of non-essential businesses, eventually to be followed by a “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” order that became effective last weekend.

For many families, the COVID-19 outbreak coincided with their search for new homes or their attempts to sell their current homes. If this describes your situation, you may be wondering about the status of your transaction, as well as what the road ahead might look like.

Real Estate Is an Essential Industry

According to the governor’s list of essential and non-essential businesses, the real estate industry is considered essential. Under the Illinois shelter in place executive order, real estate businesses—including real estate brokers and attorneys—are permitted to remain operational, but they must remain compliant with social distancing and other required preventative measures. This means keeping a safe distance from other people, conducting as much business as possible using telephone, email, or video conferencing, and absolutely staying home if you feel sick.

With all of this mind, many real estate-related companies are putting their operations on hold for the time being. Similarly, many families have done the same with their plans while they focus on keeping their loved ones safe and secure at home. Real estate startups like Zillow, Opendoor, and Redfin have stopped making offers on homes until the uncertainty associated with the coronavirus subsides. The federal government has even ordered a freeze on all foreclosure and eviction proceedings.

You Can Still Reach Us

At Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, we recognize the challenges that you and your family may be facing in light of the COVID-19 health crisis. You might be especially concerned if you have a deal in the works to buy or sell a home. We would like to assure you that we are still here for you.

To remain in compliance with the orders and guidelines issued by proper authorities, we are limiting our in-office and in-person interactions. Instead, we are focusing on teleconferencing and other forms of electronic communication to stay in touch with our clients. While we look forward to being able to serve our clients in person again soon, we are here and ready to help you address the concerns you might have about your pending real estate matter.

Call a Wheaton Real Estate Attorney

From all of us at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, we send our best wishes to all of our friends and neighbors, as well as to anyone else who is suffering as a result of the coronavirus. If we can help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced DuPage County real estate lawyers. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Source:

https://www.illinoisrealtors.org/blog/info-from-illinois-realtors-on-covid-19-coronavirus/

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/23/zillow-suspends-home-buying-due-to-covid-19/

Should I Include a No-Contest Clause in My Will?

no-contest, Wheaton estate planning attorneysThere are a number of reasons that a will or other estate planning document may be invalid. If the testator was not of sound mind due to dementia or another health condition when he or she created the will, for example, the will may not represent the testator’s true wishes. If a testator was coerced or tricked into the provisions contained in his or her will, it is also invalid. If a loved one has reason to believe that the directions contained in a deceased person’s will should not be followed, they may contest the will in court. Unfortunately, some beneficiaries may contest a will simply because they do not like the instructions contained within the will. If you are concerned that someone may challenge the validity of your will after you pass away, you may want to consider adding a “no-contest” clause.

Basics of No-Contest Clauses

There is no way to completely prevent your will from being challenged after your death. However, you can discourage beneficiaries from challenging it. A no-contest clause is a provision in a will or trust that establishes certain “penalties” if a beneficiary challenges the validity of the will or trust. For example, perhaps you are worried that one of your children will be unhappy with his or her share of your estate. You worry that he or she will contest the validity of your will in an attempt to have the will thrown out. You could include a no-contest clause that states that if a beneficiary disputes the validity of your will and loses, he or she will lose part or all of the inheritance assigned to him or her. The possibility of losing a significant inheritance can make a beneficiary think twice before challenging your will.

Limitations of an Illinois No-Contest Clause

It is important to note that a no-contest clause cannot guarantee that your will may not be contested. A beneficiary may still choose to challenge the will even at the risk of losing his or her inheritance. If the will is found to be invalid, the directions contained within the will may be disregarded and your estate may instead be distributed according to intestate law. A no-contest clause also does not discourage people who are not named as beneficiaries from challenging the will. The best way to prevent your will from being successfully challenged is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney who can ensure the validity of your will.

Contact a DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyer

To learn more about no-contest clauses as well as other estate planning options, contact Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call us at today at 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation with and experienced Wheaton estate planning attorney.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt%2E+VIII&ActID=2104&ChapterID=0&SeqStart=10100000&SeqEnd=10400000

How a Non-Compete Agreement Can Benefit Your Business

non-compete, Wheaton business lawyersWhen an individual purchases a business, they are not only buying the physical assets associated with that business. They are also taking ownership of more abstract assets like the existing customer base, the name and reputation of the business, and intellectual property. Understandably, someone who buys a business wants to ensure that the value of these intangible assets is not reduced because the original owner of the business is opening a competing business in the same market. This is just one of many situations in which a non-compete agreement can be beneficial.

How Does a Non-Compete Agreement Work?

Put simply, a non-compete agreement is a legally binding contract involving a promise not to enter into business competition of some kind. Non-competition clauses are most often used to prevent an employee from working for a competitor or starting a business that competes with his or her employer’s business. These agreements can also include a provision prohibiting the employee from disclosing proprietary information to other parties. Covenants not to compete are often also required of business consultants and contractors.

Non-Compete Agreements Must Meet Certain Criteria to be Enforceable

Of course, a non-competition agreement cannot simply instruct an employee to never again work in a certain field. The scope and duration of a non-compete must be reasonable for the contract to be valid. Illinois courts have ruled that non-compete agreements are only valid if certain criteria is met. It is advised that any business utilizing a non-compete in Illinois provides employees with continuous employment for at least two years as well as additional consideration in the form of perks like bonuses or higher compensation.

If a non-compete agreement does not meet the criteria required by Illinois law, the agreement may be completely unenforceable. There can be unexpected and serious repercussions when a non-compete agreement is not legally binding. The best way to ensure that you employee contracts are valid, reasonable, and effective is to have these contracts reviewed by a qualified business law attorney.

Contact a DuPage County Business Agreement Attorney

If you are a current business owner, plan to buy a business, or have business law-related needs, the skilled Wheaton business law attorney at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. We have provided the DuPage County community and surrounding areas with knowledgeable business law counsel since 1996, and we have the experience and education required to assist you with a wide range of business concerns. Call us at 630-665-2500 to schedule a personalized consultation.

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/noncompete-agreement.asp

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianagardella/2015/07/25/the-limits-of-non-compete-agreements/