Archive, August 2013.

Two week income tax free rental income!You can now rent your home our for less than 15 days during the year and the rental income is income tax free. In fact, you do not have to report the income from renting your home on your Federal income tax return.You do not even have to be next to a baseball or football stadium or on a golf course to have the benefit of this tax break, although it is nicknamed the "Masters provision."
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One husband recently asked me: "Can I legally disinherit my wife* in Illinois so she receives nothing if I die?" The short answer is yes, you can do it with enough advance planning. First lets look at different types of assets.Real EstateCouples that own a home frequently have the title in the joint names of both the husband and wife with a specific "right of survivorship." So if you die first, your wife receives the whole home even if you have a will leaving all your assets to someone else. You need to look at the deed conveying the home to you and see if there is a right of survivorship. …
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Historically, parents in Illinois have no legal responsibility for intentional damages caused by their children.Vandalism, stealing from stores, or injuries to others caused by a child was not the responsibility of a parent. The only exception was where the child was an employee of the parent or acting on behalf of the parent. For example, if the parent told the child to do the wrongful act or to run an errand which resulted in damage to another person or their property.In 2005, the Illinois Parental Responsibility Law was enacted to make parents at least partially responsible for wrongful …
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First, you might ask, " Why would anyone want to do that?"There are actually many reasons. Take, for example, Mr. and Mrs. Smith who are a married couple in their 60's. Mrs. Smith is the birth mother of Samantha who is now age 35. Her natural father never had anything to do with Samantha. The only father she ever knew was Mr. Smith who, as her stepfather, supported and helped raised her as his own.While Mr. Smith has no legal relationship to Samantha he has always considered her his daughter. Samantha would like him to be her real legal father. This problem can be solved.
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For many years, in Illinois, a father who was not married to the mother of his child could do nothing to prevent her from relocating that child to another state or country.Now, a father who was not on the birth certificate of his child has the ability to seek legal help by petitioning the Court to prevent the baby's mother from temporarily or permanently removing his child from Illinois until the issues of custody and visitation had been decided by the Court.The father can file for what is called an "injunction" and request that the Court stop the mother taking the child from Illinois.
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As reported by NBC News and several other media outlets, 30 year old far south side resident, Tonica Conwell has been charged with DUI and child endangerment after losing control of the vehicle she was driving on I-57.According to reports, Conwell was in the vehicle along with one other adult and nine children ranging in age from three to fourteen. She was driving south on I-57 when a witness stated that it appeared that she was trying to make a sudden lane change. It was at that time that she lost control of the vehicle. The Suburban rolled up the embankment at approximately 99th Street …
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Divorce occurs in one out of two families, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescents Psychiatry. When children are involved, parents may find it challenging to address the subject of divorce. Here are a few tips on how to talk to children about divorce. Sometimes it is knowing what not to say that will make the difference.It is natural for parents to be concerned about how their divorce will affect their children. While getting a divorce may be a relief for parents, it will present uncertainty for children. Knowing what to say or what not to say to your children can help …
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According to the Chicago Tribune, a couple that was injured by a water tower that fell off a Lincoln Park building filed a lawsuit against the Brewster building’s condominium association for negligence.One of the parties in the suit, Jack Baginski, was assisting his girlfriend and other party to the lawsuit, Lauren Hussar, in moving out of the building next to the Brewster building one morning. At that time, the wooden water tower, which was full of water, gave way and fell into the alley. Hussar sustained injuries and she remains to be hospitalized, although her injuries were not specified…
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This sounds incredible, doesn't it? But if your home has gone up in value, the first $500,000 in profit per married couple is income tax free. If you are single, the first $250,000 is income tax free.Since the purchase price or improvements made by you are not part of the profit, most people won't pay any income tax on the sale of their home.The good news is that you can take advantage of this tax free perk every two years. Check with your tax professional to see how this can work for you.
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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn authorized a bill that aim to make waterways safer in July of 2013.  He was supported by the Borcia family of Libertyville.  Last summer, they lost their son during a family outing on a lake.Tony Borcia was ten years old last year when he was struck and killed by a boat.  Prior to the accident, Tony had fallen off a tube that was being pulled by his parent’s pontoon boat.  While he was wading in the water for his father to turn the boat around and get him, David Hatyina ran him over.  Tony unfortunately died from the injuries he received from the accident.It…
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"A dog is entitled to one bite." I heard that the other day.This is not true in Illinois. A dog that attacks or attempts to attack a person can cause its owner to be liable in money damages to anyone injured by the dog, even if the dog does not succeed in biting that person. So no, in Illinois, a dog does not get a free first bite. On the other hand, a dog has something like a self defense plea. If the victim provokes the dog, there is no claim.Proving the dog is a good or a bad is no defense to a claim against the owner. The Animal Control Act provides that a dog owner is strictly …
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Do you want to claim the dependency exemption for your child on your income tax return?You really want IRS form 8332.
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The answer sounds simple, doesn't it? If you said "yes" and you live in Illinois, you might want to think twice about actually shoveling snow or ice from your sidewalk.Someone who slips and falls on a walkway that has not been shoveled cannot sue the landowner since the owner is not responsible for natural accumulations of snow or ice even if it later freezes over and causes a personal injury.There are exceptions by local rules such as town ordinances. So where you live in Illinois becomes important. Oddly enough, even businesses who maintain sidewalks are generally not responsible for …
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A teen’s death at a Chicago Park District pool in mid-August has his family and friends seeking a reason for the tragedy, according to the Chicago Tribune. “We just want to know what happened and why,” the teen’s aunt, Sherry Hedge, 45, told the paper. Christopher Bowen, 14, died while swimming on a Friday afternoon. Family members told the Tribune that Bowen was a strong swimmer, and came “from a family of former Chicago Park District lifeguards.” He was a regular at the McKinley Park Pool, where he swam for the last time on August 9. Hedge, drawing on eyewitness accounts, told …
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Jeremy Betancourt, of Antioch, is being treated for “chemical dependency and psychological issues, including depression,” his lawyer Jed Stone told the Chicago Tribune in early August. Betancourt, 17, is facing charges of aggravated street racing and reckless homicide after a June crash that killed 16-year-old Cynthia Perez. Perez “was ejected form the back seat of the car after it flipped into a median ditch,” officials told the Tribune. Betancourt was allegedly racing another car, driven by 19-year-old Michael Dawson (who has also been charged with aggravated street racing and who …
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In April of this year, Phillip Smith was driving his car on a road in Lake County.  The retired construction worker ran a red light and crashed his car into a school bus full of children.  Although none of the children were fatally injured, Smith died from injuries sustained in the accident.The autopsy performed on Smith revealed that he was impaired by the presence of multiple drugs in his system.  Drugs in his system included a sedative and a narcotic painkiller, both of which can cause drowsiness, fogginess and slower reflexes.  Yet, both medications were supplied by his doctor to …
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Facts and opinions about divorce are coming out every day, with more research attempting to uncover the causes and impacts of marriage dissolution. Ask just about anyone and they have likely had some interaction with a divorce- either as a child, as a divorced individual themselves, or as a friend or family member of another person who has gotten a divorce. Despite continued evidence that puts divorce rates around 50%, there’s still a significant taboo around discussing the subject.Statistics about divorce are not extremely promising around the world, either. In the Netherlands, 36.2% of …
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Jason Dottley and his husband made the decision to get divorced last year, they had no idea of the kind of legal and emotional challenges they might face. Supporters of gay rights around the country have celebrated the significant strides that many states have taken in making civil unions and gay marriages legal, but there are still downsides for the entire community when those unions end in divorce.The reality is that gay couples are navigating through a system full of people who aren’t entirely sure how to legally treat their divorce. That’s what happened to Dottley in California, …

Divorce involves dissolving a union of two people who are emotionally attached regardless of whether those two people are of the same sex or not. The process can be emotionally difficult, and when children are involved, even more complicated. Two moms who once fought for the right to be recognized as a married couple may now face a system that is not sure how to handle child custody issues when it involves a same sex divorce. In a system that traditionally errs on the maternal side, it is not as easy when both sides are maternal.In an article posted on Americanbar.org, it is clear that …
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It may have been the reality show John & Kate Plus 8 that thrust the term nesting back into the spotlight, and although it appeared to work well for the TV couple, it isn't something that is right for every couple who is considering divorce. Opponents of this type of custody arrangement say that it doesn't usually work well because it can be very expensive. But, for many couples, although it takes an adjustment, it can work.Nesting, or bird's nest custody, is where the parents move in and out of the original home rather than the children moving back and forth between the …
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