Howard & Hardyman LLP

Rockford Illinois Business Law and Estate Planning Legal Blog

Defining the role of an executor

Illinois residents who are preparing their final will and testament should become acquainted with the role of an executor. An executor will be the person in charge of carrying out the will once the testor passes away. The duties of an executor are many and varied, and whoever is picked for the job should be trustworthy and able to carry out the duties of the position.

According to Illinois law, an executor does not need to be a financial or legal professional. The only requirements under Illinois law are that the executor be at least eighteen years old, is a United States resident, is of sound mind, has not been convicted of a felony, and is not disabled. Thus it is up to the person planning a will to evaluate the skills of an executor candidate to determine if that candidate is qualified.

Why you need an estate plan

It can be easy to put off estate planning until later. After all, considering what will happen after your death is not exactly pleasant. But while it may be somewhat uncomfortable, creating an estate plan is absolutely necessary for everyone, no matter your age or wealth. 

You should have a will at the very least. Depending on the scope of your estate and the complexities of your family, you may need a more robust plan. In any case, here are the top reasons you should start estate planning now.

Business succession planning - start today

It may seem counterintuitive to plan for business succession when a company is just getting off the ground, but experts recommend it. So when busy Illinois entrepreneurs start setting things in order for their opening days, thinking through who will take over the business some day is just as important as planning who will get it started.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has recommendations for this process, including the kinds of questions company founders should ask. Because, according to the SBA, profitable companies are easier to sell, it is imperative to set the business up for success from the start. Owners should question how they will maintain the financial strength of their organization through the years so that when it comes time to turn it over to others, it will continue to thrive. 

Starting a business off on the right foot

One of the first things our clients learn here at Howard & Hardyman LLP is that we are the type of firm that wants to see everyone who comes through our door succeed. The healthier our Illinois business partners are, the better we feel — it is as simple as that. 

We believe the best way to keep a business healthy is to start it off the right way. That means, among other things, choosing the right incorporation type, or ownership structure. This decision affects two critical issues central to the risk profile and profitability of any business:

  • Personal liability for you and your partners
  • Taxation, both on capital gains from any sale you plan and your annual profits

Small business optimism soaring in the U.S.

Small businesses appear to be particularly optimistic these days. Take, for instance, what recently happened with the small business optimism index of the National Federation of Independent Business.

This index has been in place for 45 years. In May, it rose 3 points from the previous month to hit 107.8. There has only been one time in the index’s whole history where the index has been higher, and that was over 30 years ago. The index hit 108.0 in 1983.

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • WCBA | Winnebago County | Bar Association | Established 1996
  • United States Court Of Appeals | Seventh Circuit
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • United States District Court For The Northern District Of Illusions
Serving Northern Illinois For Decades
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