Putting your estate in order

Putting your estate in order

Estate planning for business owners.

For business owners, an effective estate plan addresses a number of concerns over and above the desire to care for surviving family members. Control over who will run the business, conservation of the owner’s assets in the face of legal expenses and taxes, and the liquidity to pay estate taxes due shortly after death are just some of the most pressing issues.

For the sake of their heirs, business owners should plan for the orderly transfer of their wealth including their business interests well in advance.

Prepare for Estate Taxes:

Depending on the value of business and personal assets at the time of death, the law may require that estate taxes be paid on the value of the business. If there is not enough cash on hand, heirs may have no choice but to sell the business prematurely or for less than the real value.

Some business owners use an irrevocable life insurance trust to purchase policies on their life, collect any death benefits, and distribute the money according to prearranged terms. The proceeds can be used to pay any estate taxes due, so heirs are not forced to sell a business, property, or other assets they would prefer to keep in the family. The use of these approaches can involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations. You should consider the counsel of an experienced estate planning professional before implementing such strategies.

Plan for Successful Succession:

A buy-sell agreement may be forged between the owners or shareholders of a business, outlining the terms for a buyout in the event of death or disability. It usually includes a pre-negotiated sale price, but can also explicitly request individuals to sell their interests to others or indicate who should manage the business operations.

Payments from a life insurance trust may also be used to buy assets from an estate, such as transferring ownership of a family business according to a pre-existing buy-sell agreement.

Your business is not just your livelihood. It’s likely to be the largest portion of your estate and thus the core of the legacy and security you intend to leave behind for your family. A solid estate plan can help keep your business intact through the most difficult transition of all.

Give A Smile-Get A Smile

In today’s world of technology, we do not have ample opportunity to get personal. Life is fast-paced and everyone seems to be in a rush. We dial the phone and we talk to machines. We spend long hours on the computer playing games, emailing one another or working with our web pages. Even in the office environment, we email the person in the cubicle 3 feet away instead of walking over to hand them a task list.

Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. I cannot imagine ever being without my computer and am guilty of spending a large part of my day working online. The computer and the Internet afford many opportunities. Now at no charge outside of my Internet connection, I can communicate with persons all over the world. If screened carefully young people have a world of education available at their fingertips. I could continue to expound on the many benefits that technology has brought into our lives. However, that is not the gist of this article.

As a result of the technological age of today’s world, our personal touch with one another is decreasing. We need to take full advantage of the opportunity to be personal. Humans are becoming strangers to one another. People are in a hurry to get on with the business of living and walk past each other on the street without even a nod.

Have you wondered why there is so much clinical depression in the world today? Ask yourself why our young people are so distressed. Why so many of them attempt suicide or worse the murder of their classmates or families. Do you conclude as I do that we need more of a personal touch?

Have you taken notice to how you felt when you were standing in line at a bank and someone turned and smiled at you? Prior to that smile, you were feeling very anxious, possibly tapping your foot in impatience. You weren’t very happy to be there waiting in a long line. You had things to get done and you were getting more frustrated by the minute. It was one of the mundane drudgeries we all have to go through. Then comes this smile from the person in the line next to you and suddenly you feel much better. You are compelled to smile back. You do so without giving it thought, as though it is a natural inclination to reciprocate the smile.

Think about it, don’t you feel compelled to smile back when someone smiles at you? Doesn’t if lift your mood, and bring you out of a frustrated frame of mind? But that smile does so much more than that. It makes you feel accepted and liked. Somebody cares and shares the things you go through. It makes you part of a group, an integral part of the human race. If you do not think that our society, do research into why our young people join gangs. The kids will tell you they are seeking to belong, to be a part of something. The gang becomes an extension of the family.

There is power in the smile, you see. Its as though that instant someone waved a wand and all the drudgery disappeared. You suddenly feel warm and responsive and the person who offered you a smile has just gone from a stranger to be wary of to a kindred spirit. Sometimes a conversation is started and now the mundane drudgery has actually become an enjoyable experience. You no longer feel frustrated and rushed and in spite of yourself and enjoying yourself. The world is now warm and fuzzy instead of cold, fearful and bitter.

I do not mean to imply that giving and receiving a smile is the solution to the world’s problems, but it is a very good place to start. We all need to feel that sense of belonging. We are after all members of the same human family. We should feel moved to embrace each other in our hearts and minds.

So go ahead and smile. I dare you. But be careful. You might find the world a friendlier place to live. You might find that people are warm and kind and appreciative. Your smile might just make their day.

Winner of Yelp’s 2018 “People Love Us On Yelp” Award

We are excited to announce that The Law Offices of Jonathan M. Aven, LTD is a winner of Yelp’s 2018 “People Love Us On Yelp” award. Currently, our Yelp page has 78 5-Star reviews, photos of our services, our location and contact information are easily accessible so you can always get in touch with us, and we reply to all messages promptly. Yelp awards business two times a year with the “People Love Us on Yelp” accolade. This award is based on high-quality reviews, photos, and easily accessible information to the consumer.

Yelp is an online tool, founded in 2004, to help people find great local businesses like, lawyers, real estate professionals, and so much more! In addition to reviews, you can also use Yelp to find events, lists, and to talk to other Yelp users. Yelpers had written 100’s of millions of reviews. However, Yelp isn’t just for customers – business owners can use Yelp, too! Every business can set up a free account and post photos, reply to reviews, and message users. You can access Yelp either online or on your mobile phone. A Yelp app is available for both iPhone and Android. To check out our Yelp page, Click Here.

Once again we are so excited to be receiving this award. Thank you so much to our customers and partners who have made this reward possible. (Oh, and please remember to “Like” us on Facebook too!

Illinois Condo Unit Owner’s Rights & Responsibilities Handbook

The information contained in the Illinois Condo Unit Owner’s Rights & Responsibilities Handbook is a brief overview of the duties, rights, and responsibilities of Illinois unit owners in condominium developments. This information is intended to provide general information and is NOT a substitute for obtaining legal advice to address specific situations. Since this publication may not contain subsequent changes in the law, it should only be used as a general source of information.

https://www.idfpr.com/CCICO/PDFs/Condo%20Rights%20and%20Responsibilities%206.0.pdf