FAQ

 

 

Do I need a lawyer to buy real estate?

Buying a home is likely the largest single transaction that you will ever make. While there is no legal requirement that you utilize the services of a lawyer when purchasing a home, our real estate lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and experience to offer you guidance in this very important transaction. In addition to advising you on the terms and conditions of your mortgage financing, your lawyer will take the necessary steps to ensure that you receive clear title to your home and all of the proper tax credits and prorations that pertain to this purchase.
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How can a lawyer help me start and run my business?

A lawyer who practices in the area of business law can help you decide what legal entity is right for your new business. Our business lawyers can advise you regarding the tax ramifications of your decision, prepare the proper paperwork for the formation of that entity, and work with you to secure trustworthy accountants, insurance agents and other professionals to service the needs of your business.
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Is a limited liability company better than a corporation?

Limited liability companies have become very popular in recent years. If properly formed and maintained, a limited liability company can be taxed as a corporation, partnership or individual while providing the liability protection of a corporation. However, the limited liability company is not appropriate for every situation. Consult one of our business lawyers to see what entity would be best suited for you new business venture.
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How do I purchase an existing business?

Once you have identified a business to purchase, your hard work has just begun. Your business lawyer can help you decide if you should buy the entire business entity or simply the assets and goodwill of the business. The next step is the preparation of a purchase contract with appropriate due diligence provisions and contingencies that are vital in protecting you as the buyer. When your lawyer is confident that all of the contingencies have been met, the final step is the closing of the purchase.
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Do I need a lawyer to appear in court?

An individual can legally represent himself or herself in court without a lawyer. To properly represent his or her interest, a review of the appropriate rules of civil procedure and law with respect to the legal matter itself must be reviewed. In some instances, it may be prudent to handle a small claims matter without a lawyer. However, it is advisable to obtain the knowledge and experience of a skilled litigation lawyer to represent your interest in most litigation matters.
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When should I file a mechanic's lien against property for work performed?

The Illinois Mechanic's Lien Statute is a detailed statute providing certain parties with rights provided that conditions and time frames have been met. Consult a lawyer experienced in mechanic's lien law immediately to determine if you are within your rights to file a claim.
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If I have been hurt in an auto accident, should I file a lawsuit immediately?

You may have a case against another individual if he or she is completely or partially at fault for an auto accident, which results in harm or loss. However, a statute of limitations can bar you from bringing such a claim. One of our personal injury lawyers will be happy to meet with you to advise you on how you should proceed. There is no fee for representation in most personal injury matters if we do not obtain a judgment or settlement in your favor.
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I'm not extremely wealthy. Do I need an estate plan?

Wealth preservation is only one of the goals of estate planning. A well developed estate plan handles much more than selecting the amount of property you wish to transfer to your intended beneficiary. By providing written instructions regarding the disposition of your property at death, you avoid inadvertently triggering the statutory rules of descent and distribution, which control the distribution of property when an individual dies without a will or trust. In addition, the only means of nominating a guardian for minor children is to make such designation in a properly executed last will and testament. Without making such designation, the court, and not you, will decide who will take care of your minor children. Finally, an estate plan allows you to control the disposition and maintenance of your property if you become disabled; avoiding the need for the appointment of a guardian should you become disabled. An estate plan grants to you the ability to control the disposition of your property, both during your lifetime and at death, allowing you to provide for your loved ones and you as you desire.
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Do I need a trust, or is a simple will enough?

Because needs and desires differ significantly from person to person, there really is no such thing as a 'simple will.' How complex your estate plan becomes depends on your financial status, your family situation, and the specific goals you wish to accomplish through your overall estate plan. In order to make such a decision, it is important for you to examine your particular situation with a knowledgeable lawyer who focuses in estate and personal planning. Our goal is to develop with you an affordable plan that meets your personal and financial objectives, resolves all of your important issues, and delivers peace of mind that your personal and estate affairs are taken care of.
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A family member passed away. What do I need to do?

Once all personal and family matters have been reasonably taken care of, you should consult with a lawyer competent in estate administration to assist you with the transfer of assets from your loved one to the appropriate beneficiary or beneficiaries. Because of the complex rules often involved with the transfer of assets, you are well advised to seek assistance, even with the smallest of estate, to ensure that all required steps are being taken, and that the transfers are properly completed. You should take care not to attempt any transfers prior to consultation, as such action could potentially eliminate post-death planning options which would otherwise be available. In addition, you will need to consult with lawyer to determine whether it is necessary to open a probate estate to transfer the assets, as well as to determine whether the loved one's estate requires the filing of federal and state estate tax returns. Finally, because proper estate administration allows for unique tax planning and deferral, both of the federal estate tax and the federal income tax, early consultation with an experienced estate administration attorney can result in significant tax savings, both for your deceased loved one as well as for the beneficiaries of the estate.
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