How Do Businesses Change Hands After the Death of a Loved One?

How Do Businesses Change Hands After the Death of a Loved One?

Although nobody likes to think about their mortality, it’s important that they do. They have to think about those who are left behind, and this is particularly true when they are the owner of a business.

You Need a Succession Plan

How does it change hands after you pass away? Does it just fade away and no longer exist? Typically, it will end up going to your estate. However, it can depend on how your succession plan was created—or if you had a plan in place. In cases of a family business, it will likely go to whoever you named in your estate. The family member you name should be someone you feel is qualified enough to run the business.

Who this person is might change over time, which means you may need to update the plan when it’s called for. If you haven’t properly prepared a succession plan or updated it, the business may not go to the person you want it to.

What Happens to the business

When a business goes to the estate after you die, your executor will divide the assets according to your wishes. If the estate plan doesn’t address the business, though, it is going to end up creating some confusion, and you can be sure a lot of questions will arise.When a business goes to the estate after you die, your executor will divide the assets according to your wishes. If the estate plan doesn’t address the business, though, it is going to end up creating some confusion, and you can be sure a lot of questions will arise.

One of the options is to set up a trust, which can be overseen by a board of trustees. They can take care of the business until the children are old enough. Of course, you may want your kids to benefit from the business, but you may not feel as though they should operate the company, even if they are 18 or over.

If you have children who are under 18, they may be able to inherit and own the business. However, because of their age, they will not be able to handle certain business activities, such as signing contracts. When creating a succession plan, if you have minor children, you will also have to plan for the day-to-day operations of the company.

Talk with the attornies at Bell & Shah. We Can help get your estate plan in order, and to ensure you are setting your business up for success after you have passed away. Whether you are going to give the business to your children, a spouse, or someone else, take care of the legalities before it’s too late.

Outlining the Specifics of Power of Attorney

Outlining the Specifics of Power of Attorney

You have likely heard the term power of attorney, but you may not know exactly what it means, how it is used, or any of the specifics. Essentially, it is a type of legal authorization that allows a person to have the power to act for another person. The person who is given the power of attorney is typically called the agent, while the person they can make decisions for is called the principal.

A power of attorney is often used when the principal has a temporary or permanent illness or disability, or when the principal is not available to sign certain documents.

Common Types of Power of Attorney

The types of power of attorney include general, limited powers, and durable. A general power of attorney allows the agent to act for the principal in any matter that is allowed by the laws of the state. For example, they could manage assets, handle bank accounts, sign checks, or file taxes for the principal.

A limited power of attorney on the other hand narrows what the agent can do. For example, it might state that the agent only has the power to manage certain types of accounts or to make certain types of decisions. The limited aspect could also refer to the power only being in effect for a set amount of time. For example, you might leave the country for six months or a year and allow someone else power of attorney during your time away.

When you are setting up a power of attorney, you will want to determine the scope of power that you want to provide to another person. Naturally, this will vary from case to case. You should talk with your attorney about your options.

A durable power of attorney handles some of the legal, property, and financial matters when someone is mentally incapacitated. The agent with a durable power of attorney can pay medical bills on behalf of the principal, but they can’t make major medical decisions.

However, if a principal wants an agent to have this power, they can choose to sign a healthcare power of attorney, where they can become a healthcare proxy. Financial power of attorney is another type of durable power of attorney. This can allow the agent to manage the business and financial affairs of the principal.

The best way to set up any sort of power of attorney in Chicago or elsewhere is to get in touch with Bell & Shah,  who specializes in Wills & Trust Law.

DIY Estate Planning vs. the Real Deal

DIY Estate Planning vs. the Real Deal

Everyone likes to save money. There’s nothing wrong with that in a lot of cases. However, there are some areas where you have to be extremely careful about cutting corners. Estate planning is one of those areas. Let’s look at some of the potential problems that can happen with DIY estate planning.

DIY Estate Planning Problems

Could you try to create your own will and estate plan? Although it might be technically possible, it is rarely a good idea to attempt this. You aren’t a legal expert, and you don’t know all of the ins and outs of the law in Illinois. Trying to write legal documents can end up creating a lot of problems for those you leave behind after you pass away.

Your loved ones will have to try to prove to the court that the will was executed properly and legally. This can be very difficult to do, especially in cases where the regulations were not followed.

Since you aren’t an expert in estate planning, you probably don’t know what to expect when it comes to tax planning either. You might save a bit of money on the cost of an attorney and then your family could lose a substantial amount because you didn’t properly consider how taxes will work with your estate. Ultimately, the DIY estate planning could end up costing you more than working with experienced attorneys.

Benefits of Choosing Estate Planning Attorneys

When you choose to hire an actual estate planning attorney, you can rest easy. They know and understand the law and how it will apply to your estate and what you want to do. They can help you to set up your will, trusts, and more, so that you are in control over what happens with your estate in the event of your death.

The attorney also ensures that everything is legal and binding, which helps to reduce potential issues from cropping up after you have passed away. Your loved ones will already be dealing with grief from your death. You don’t always want them to have to try to untangle a DIY estate plan that is just going to cause them more headaches in the midst of their healing.

Your best option is to speak to the attornies at Bell & Shah as soon as possible. We can help you with a set up your plan, sooner rather than later.

Squatter’s Law and Vacant Properties

Squatter’s Law and Vacant Properties

Those who own property in Illinois should make sure they understand the ins and outs of squatter’s rights and how it might affect the property owner’s vacant property. A squatter is someone who lives on someone else’s property without the permission of that owner. Those who are squatting have right in Illinois. If they can meet certain requirements under the Illinois Adverse Possession law, the squatters could have rights to your property. If the courts agree that they have a claim, they will get full legal rights to your property.

What Requirements Does a Squatter Need to Meet?

Getting squatters right in Illinois is not easy. However, with some vacant properties where the landlords are essentially absent, it is possible.

The squatters are required to have resided on the property for at least 20 years. Any less time than this, and they cannot claim the property. Additionally, the squatter needs to physically occupy the property just as the owner would.

They need to treat the property like they are the owner. An example of this would be making improvements on the property. They couldn’t merely hide a tent someone on a large property and claim to have lived there for 20 years without doing anything to benefit the property.

The squatter’s occupation of the property also needs to be obvious. They can’t try to hide that they are living on the property. It needs to be obvious to everyone, even the legal owner of the property, that someone is living there.

Also, the occupation needs to be hostile. However, in legal terms, this doesn’t mean violence or anger. Instead, “hostile” can mean one of three things:

  • The person squatting doesn’t necessarily know that the property they are living on belongs to someone else. This is called simple occupation.
  • The squatter knows that they are trespassing. This is known as awareness of trespassing.
  • Finally, there is the good-faith mistake, which might refer to someone who receives an invalid deed and believes they truly own the property when they actually don’t.

What Can You Do About Squatters?

As a landlord in Illinois, if you have a vacant property, you will want to make sure it is properly secured. You might also want to install security precautions, add no trespassing signs, and make sure you inspect the property regularly. If there is a squatter found on the property, you will want to speak with the attornies at Bell & Shah right away.

Can Property Lines Change Over Time?

Can Property Lines Change Over Time?

Property law can be extremely confusing and often hinges on minor details. When it comes to arguments over property, the cases literally can depend on a matter of inches.

There are many times when property lines are contested, and it’s important to be aware of what could happen. Did you know that property lines can change over time?

This could end up influencing property cases that go to court. This article will discuss when these lines can change and how they may affect you as a property owner.

What Is a Property Dispute?

A property dispute is a situation that includes two property owners battling in court over who has rights to a certain portion of land. These cases can include large parcels of land or smaller pieces, sometimes measured in feet or inches.

At certain times when a property is damaged or a portion of a building is erected over a property line, these cases are taken to court if owners can’t resolve them. The judge will make a decision, and in many cases, the losing party must pay for damage or ends up losing a small portion of their property.

Can Property Lines Change?

Property lines can change over time without a sale taking place. When this takes place, it’s usually the result of the situation described above.

When someone’s property is damaged because of a neighbor, the case goes to court. If the party who received the damage is victorious, the property line may be altered in favor of the plaintiff to compensate for any damage done to their land initially.

However, the precise boundary lines must be highlighted before any changes are made. This process includes the items below.

Outlining the Property

First, a surveyor must be scheduled to outline the property and give a precise report of where the boundary lines are. The survey’s report will include the following elements:

  • A physical drawing or map of the property
  • A detailed description of all of the surrounding properties
  • Improvements that have been made to the property over time

When the surveyor performs the assessment and creates the report, they use the current deed as a guideline. This describes the original boundaries with location information regarding the land in question.

After completing the report, the land is marked with small flags, so both owners are aware of the boundaries. The surveyor takes the report to the court, and if it’s warranted, the judge may change the property line in favor of one party or the other.

If you have questionable property lines, the best course of action is to keep projects and new structures a few feet away. This can avoid any issues and save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Contact the professionals at Bell & Shah Law, we can help you navigate the process of your home’s property line and what the steps are to take in the future.

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