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Tips for Dividing Your Estate Among Your Heirs

 Posted on June 22, 2024 in Estate Planning

Lombard, IL estate planning lawyerWhen it comes to dividing your estate among your heirs, you should approach the process with careful consideration and planning. By taking the time to thoughtfully allocate your assets, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out and minimize potential conflicts among your loved ones. An Illinois lawyer can help you navigate the estate division process and give you advice about how to divide your assets.

The First Thing to Consider As You Divide Your Estate

Before diving into the specifics of asset distribution, taking a comprehensive inventory of your estate is helpful. This includes valuable possessions such as real estate, vehicles, and personal belongings and intangible resources like bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies. Having a clear understanding of your estate’s composition will serve as a solid foundation for the division process.

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How Can I Get Divorced in Illinois If My Spouse Is Missing?

 Posted on June 18, 2024 in Divorce

Wheaton, IL divorce lawyerIllinois law has prescribed a certain process for divorce. This process begins when you file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Circuit Court Clerk in the county where you live. You must then serve a copy of the petition to your spouse, who will have 30 days to respond.

But what if your spouse is missing? If you do not know your spouse’s whereabouts, it can make the process more complicated. This article will discuss what to do if you cannot locate your spouse. An attorney can best guide you through these steps as well as the divorce process as a whole.

Document Your Efforts

You will want to show a judge that you made every effort to locate your spouse. Make sure to document the steps you take, such as:

How Can I Get Sole Custody in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on June 07, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerThere are two types of custody: child custody, which involves making decisions about the child, and physical custody, which is when the child is in his or her parent’s physical care. Illinois law refers to child custody as “parental responsibilities” and refers to physical custody as “parenting time.”

By default, the law prefers that both parents share parental responsibilities and parenting time more or less equally. The mother and father have equal rights to the child, and courts are very reluctant to interfere with those rights. Therefore, a judge will award sole custody to one parent only in certain cases. The best way to find out if you are eligible for sole custody is to consult an Illinois child custody lawyer.

When Do Courts Award Sole Custody?

In any custody trial, the court has two objectives: protect the child and preserve the rights of the parents. However, if those two objectives conflict, the court will protect the child. This means that if a parent is a threat to the well-being of his or her child, the court may restrict that parent’s rights.

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Estate Planning for Parents of Children with Disabilities

 Posted on May 31, 2024 in Estate Planning

DuPage County, IL special needs trust lawyerAs a parent, you want the best for your child, and this desire can be even stronger when you have a child with disabilities. You have been there for them every step of the way, providing love, support, and care. But have you thought about what will happen when you can no longer be there for them? That is where estate planning comes in. An Illinois estate planning lawyer can help you create a plan to give you a sense of ease and reassurance that your child will be taken care of.

The Importance of Estate Planning

Estate planning is essential for all parents, but it becomes even more critical when you have a child with disabilities. A carefully strategized estate plan can:

  • Ensure your child continues to receive the necessary care and support

  • Protect your child’s eligibility for government benefits

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How Can You Challenge an Estate Planning Document?

 Posted on May 23, 2024 in Estate Planning

Wheaton, IL estate planning lawyerDealing with a dispute over an estate is the last thing anyone wants after the passing of a loved one. Unfortunately, there are sometimes occasions when it is necessary to challenge an estate planning document. If you are wondering whether you can challenge an estate planning document such as a will, there are specific grounds on which an estate planning document can be contested. An Illinois lawyer can help you explore these reasons and explain the steps involved in challenging an estate plan.

The Validity of the Document

One of the primary reasons to challenge an estate planning document is that there are concerns about its validity. In Illinois, a will must be signed by the testator (the person making the will), and witnessed by two individuals. If these requirements are not met, the will may be deemed invalid. The document can be challenged if there is evidence that the testator lacked the mental capacity to create the will or was under undue influence.

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Things Not to Say in Divorce Mediation

 Posted on May 16, 2024 in Mediation

Lombard, IL divorce lawyerMediation is a great legal tool that helps parties in a dispute come to a settlement before ever getting to court. In a divorce, spouses who disagree on elements of the divorce often can resolve their differences in mediation. This helps both parties avoid a costly and messy court battle.

While you are not required to have an attorney present in mediation, it is highly recommended. An Illinois divorce attorney can help you navigate the mediation process and negotiate the best outcome. But whether you bring an attorney or attend mediation on your own, know that saying certain things can hurt your chances of a positive result.

This article will discuss what mediation is and what to avoid saying during a mediation session.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is where two parties negotiate with the help of a mediator. A mediator is a professional negotiator and neutral party appointed by the court. Some mediators are former judges who use their skills and experience to help parties settle a dispute.

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Will My Ex Go to Jail for Not Paying Child Support?

 Posted on May 06, 2024 in Child Custody

DuPage County, IL child custody lawyer

Child support is taken seriously by Illinois law. Parents who willfully do not comply with child support orders can face severe consequences.

The key word, however, is “willfully.” The law understands that sometimes circumstances change. The parent who was ordered to pay child support — also referred to as the payor or obligor — may have a valid reason for no longer being able to make payments. But if payments are withheld deliberately, the parent will face serious penalties.

The best way to understand how Illinois law will view your case is to contact a qualified Illinois child support attorney.

What Are the Penalties for Withholding Child Support?

The penalties for withholding child support largely depend on how much has been withheld or for how long. These and other factors determine whether a parent is guilty of a felony or misdemeanor under Illinois law. For example:

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Common Grounds to Contest A Will

 Posted on April 30, 2024 in Estate Planning

Lombard, IL estate planning lawyerWhen a loved one passes away, his or her last will and testament often become the focus as families determine how assets get distributed. However, there are situations where a will may not accurately reflect the deceased’s true wishes or follow proper legal procedures. In such cases, contesting the will in probate court allows interested parties to challenge its validity. An Illinois lawyer can help you determine if you believe you have grounds for contesting a will.

Lack of Testamentary Capacity

For a will to be valid in Illinois, the testator (the person making the will) must have been of “sound mind and memory” when executing the document. This means he or she possessed the mental capacity to understand the nature and extent of the property, knew who his or her heirs were, and could make a rational plan for distributing assets. If the testator suffered from dementia or another condition that impaired mental abilities, this could serve as grounds to contest the will.

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What Are the Pros and Cons of Open Adoption?

 Posted on April 22, 2024 in Adoption

Lombard, IL adoption attorneyThere are three types of adoption in Illinois when it comes to involving the biological parents: open adoption, semi-open adoption, and closed adoption. 

  • In an open adoption, the biological parents remain involved and maintain a relationship with the child. 

  • In a semi-open adoption, the biological parents are somewhat involved in the child’s life but are not in frequent contact. 

  • In a closed adoption, there is no contact with the biological parents at all. The adoption is handled strictly through a third party like an adoption agency, which fields all communication between the biological and adoptive parents.

Open adoption can be an attractive option, but it is not for everybody. This article will discuss the pros and cons of open adoption.

If you are unsure which type of adoption may be right for you, consult with an Illinois adoption attorney who will talk to you about the adoption process and what is in the best interest of the child.

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The Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan After Divorce

 Posted on April 11, 2024 in Estate Planning

DuPage County, IL estate planning lawyerGoing through a divorce is tough, and it can turn your whole world upside down. Through all the emotional turmoil, it is important not to neglect the practical matters, like updating your estate plan. If you have recently divorced, make sure to review and revise your estate planning documents with an Illinois estate planning lawyer who understands how divorce can affect estate plans.

Why Updating Your Estate Plan Is Essential

Under Illinois law, divorce automatically revokes any provisions in your will that benefit your former spouse. However, this automatic revocation does not apply to other estate planning documents, such as trusts, beneficiary designations, or powers of attorney. If you do not update these documents, your ex-spouse may still have control over your assets or healthcare decisions, even after your divorce is finalized.

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