Showing posts from September, 2011

Ask a Lawyer - Why do I Need a Will?

This is the second in a long-winded three part answer to the question, "Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Help with My Estate Planning?"  In Part 1, we talked about estate planning generally and why it is important.  This post will address the issue of why it is important to have a will, and the tangential question "what happens if I die without a will?"  Finally, the last part of this series will answer the question implied in these questions - "Even if I need a Will, why shouldn't I just do it myself, or order one off a website?"

Hopefully most people know that a Will is a legal document that allows one to state their wishes for what happens to their assets when they die (excluding certain non-probate assets, such as life insurance) and who manages their estate.  A Will can also designate who will serve as guardian for one's children.  Wills are often drafted in conjunction with trusts to provide additional safeguards for management of assets and t…

Ask a Lawyer - Why Should I Retain an Attorney to Help with My Will or Trust?

This is a common question and has multiple layers to it.  To give a complete answer, I will break it out into three questions, and answer the latter two parts in future posts:

1.  What is "estate planning" and why should I have an estate plan (a/k/a, isn't that just for the "rich")?

2.  Why do I need a Will, and what happens if I die without a Will?

3.  Even if I need a Will, why shouldn't I just do it myself, or order one off a website?

Appropriately answering number 1 first, an estate plan is really the process of considering what will happen when you die or are incapacitated.  This involves financial considerations, such as how your assets will be distributed, via wills, trusts, probate, and other non-probate assets such as life insurance; who will inherit family heirlooms; how taxes, debts, and expenses will be handled; and who will direct your affairs.  It also involves personal, family considerations, such as who will take care of your kids (guardian…

Ask a Lawyer - Non-Compete Agreements in Illinois

Note:  This is the first in a new series of posts entitled "Ask a Lawyer," in which readers may submit questions to be considered for this page.  Please note that, as with any posts on this blog, the posts are educational in nature and do not constitute legal advice in the attorney/client sense.  Therefore, questions should be general in nature and not include any confidential information.
Question:Please generally explain the enforceability of Non-Compete agreements in Illinois.
This question could justify a treatise, but I will do my best to provide a general, concise, though by necessity perhaps unhelpfully broad, answer.  For a more specific review of a particular Non-Compete agreement or provision in an employment contract, consult and retain an attorney.  I would be glad to talk with anyone who has specific questions about their situation.  
"Covenant Not to Compete" is a provision commonly used in an employment  agreement, that limits the rights of an emplo…