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Legal FAQs


Starting on June 1, 2017, most Illinois residents who work for small, privately-owned businesses without a retirement plan at work will be automatically enrolled in an individual retirement account funded through a three percent payroll deduction. Individuals can opt out or change the deductible. The business they work for must have been in operation for at least two years and have a minimum of 25 employees. Companies can decide to work with private entities or join the newly created Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program.


The American Rule on legal fees states that each side in a lawsuit pays its own fees with a few exceptions, depending on the type of case and the state you live in. The most common exception to the rule occurs when a contract or statute specifically allows for the payment of attorneys’ fees by the other side.


If a solicitor calls claiming to represent the police or fire department, get their name and phone number, then verify if they are legitimate by contacting your local law enforcement about any fundraising campaigns. Some police and firefighter organizations are not charitable but instead are unions or social groups that do not use donations for charitable purposes. Any coercive statement that infers that giving is a way to get better protection or special treatment is a crime and should be reported to the respective police department, the State’s Attorney and the Attorney General’s office.


If you claim that the other driver was at fault, consult with a lawyer before making a decision. An at-fault driver must compensate you for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, disability and emotional damages. Insurance companies trying to settle typically do not offer compensation for inconvenience, fuel costs and the costs associated with bringing a lawsuit.


Small estates do not have to go through the probate process. An estate is considered small if the person did not own any real estate and if the value of the property is $100,000 or less. The Probate Act requires the local court clerk to make available to the public a form called a small estate affidavit. Once you, as the heir, complete and sign the affidavit, you can use it to obtain and distribute your property as directed by the Probate Act or the deceased person’s will.

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