Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Are my contracts void if an attorney doesn’t review them?
No. Just because you decided to forgo legal assistance before creating a contract, it doesn’t mean that your contract is automatically void. However, if you are not licensed to practice law, you may be unaware of making unlawful provisions that could void the whole contract.
How do I choose a structure for my business?
There are many types of business structures to choose from, but four are in common use: sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations (of which there are variants, such as C and S).
Deciding to choose any of these organizations often comes down to how large you want your company to grow, what kind of tax liability do you want your company to assume, and how much personal liability you’re willing to assume. An attorney can explain in detail how the business you’re planning can be impacted by any of these structures or their variants.
What is an LLP?
Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) are business organizations that limit the personal liability of partnership owners. Professionals who often opt for this type of organization are attorneys and accountants.
How will divorce impact my business?
It depends. If you launched your business or took ownership after you got married, your stake in the company could be considered marital property and subject to division during divorce. This may not be true if you acquired ownership through inheritance or if the business is placed in a trust. If you became a business owner before you were married, your ownership will likely be considered separate property not subject to division.
What’s the difference between a will and a trust?
Generally speaking, the difference is whether or not you want to avoid probate. This is the process of dividing someone’s estate through court proceedings. The estates of people who die with a will – or without any type of estate planning – undergo the probate process, which can incur additional court and attorney fees.
Trusts, although sometimes costly to set up and fund, can avoid probate by transferring an estate to a trustee under certain circumstances, not all of which require the death of the estate’s owner. There may also be tax incentives for choosing a trust.
Who gets custody of children after a divorce?
A judge will take various factors into who gets custody or other responsibilities over children. Who gets custody often comes down to who the judge thinks will provide the best life for a child based upon the available facts. Custody can be split between parents or awarded to one entirely with visitation rights awarded to the other.
Will I be responsible for my spouse’s credit card debt if we divorce?
It’s possible. Illinois isn’t a community property state, which means marital property doesn’t have to be evenly split. Debt of any kind is considered marital property, which means a judge could make you responsible for it equally, partially, wholly, or not at all.
Do I still need a lawyer if I have an uncontested divorce?
Even if you and your spouse agree on every matter concerning your divorce, you shouldn’t skip the opportunity to have an advocate on your side. Not only can a lawyer help smooth over cold proceedings during this time, but your spouse may change their mind on critical issues that may need to be litigated.
How much money can I get (or will I owe) from a personal injury award?
Court awards are unpredictable and there is no reliable way to realistically project what your outcome will look like, or if you’ll even win. That said, you can approximate the value of your award or liability for a personal injury by totaling applicable losses and multiply it by any value between one and five. The more severe your injury, the greater the multiplier you use. This is only a rough estimate and meant only to offer plaintiffs an idea of what the best-case scenario could look like.
I was injured three years ago. Can I still file a personal injury claim?
Your claim is likely to be rejected because it surpasses the statute of limitations by a year. In Illinois, you have two years from the date of the incident that caused injury to file a personal injury claim.
For answers to more questions you may have, contact Reno & Zahm LLP online or call (800) 639-1488 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney who can help.