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Making wise financial decisions after a divorce

Ex-spouses in Illinois know firsthand the effect that divorce can have on one's finances. In many instances, ending a marriage means splitting financial assets in half, trying to support multiple households at the same time and covering attorney fees. Research shows that households that have never gone through a divorce have about 30 percent more wealth than those that have. It's important to note that many post-divorce challenges are unique to ex-wives.

Some financial experts encourage women going through a divorce to not hold on to the family house. While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all financial approach for divorcing women, it generally takes a lot of money to maintain a house, pay the mortgage and cover property taxes. Couple on to that landscaping, repairs and homeowner association fees and one can clearly see why for some divorcing women, the house goes from being an asset to a liability.

Make sure your commercial lease works for your business

Part of owning and operating a business may include seeking a leased or rented space in order to run operations. Finding the right location for your Illinois business is not always easy, and it is smart to proceed carefully and thoughtfully through the process of negotiation and drafting an appropriate lease.

With guidance, you may be able to secure terms that are beneficial for your company and do not expose you to unnecessary risks. Before you sign a lease agreement, you would be prudent to carefully review the contract and seek an explanation of how you can protect your rights and interests.

How to properly bootstrap a company

Illinois residents and others who want to be entrepreneurs may be able to fund their companies on their own. This means using whatever funds that they have in the bank as opposed to getting a loan from a bank. While this allows a business owner to have more control over the future of their company, it also means that a product needs to go to market as soon as possible.

This doesn't mean that the finished product needs to be offered to customers. Instead, it could be the core offering with the promise of more items to be added later. The initial launch can be used as a time to collect customer input and generally learn more about what works and what doesn't for a given organization. In some cases, a product that was intended for one market works better in another, and being flexible could help the company become viable in the long run.

How to choose an executor

Illinois families who have suffered a loss may discover just how much planning and effort it takes to manage an estate when a person passes away. Choosing an executor for estate administration is a task unlike any other. The decision to choose the person who will act as an executor is a serious one because the executor will play a significant role in probate, personal property and wealth protection matters when a person passes.

Submitting the will to the court as a part of probate administration, overseeing asset valuation and estate administration are responsibilities that are the power of appointment for the role of executor. The executor oversees the valuation of the estate. He or she may be responsible for locating and calculating all assets and liabilities. Tax filings are also the responsibility of this fiduciary. The executor's responsibilities for overseeing an estate plan can last years. Once the assets have been distributed and distributed among the heirs, the person's responsibilities end.

How to construct a short sale purchase agreement

The purchase agreement drawn up for a short sale has a lot in common with a traditional home purchase agreement. However, it may be best for those buying property in Illinois to have an attorney create a custom agreement. This is because those found online or written by the buyer run the risk of not being in adherence with state law.

It is also not a good idea to use the same agreements that local real estate agents do. This can be true even for those who choose to use a real estate agent when buying a short sale property. In most cases, they are designed to be fair to both parties involved instead of being in the buyer's best interest. Of course, it is possible that the seller will want to make changes to the agreement, and a buyer can review the revised terms with his or her attorney.

The importance of flexibility when it comes to exiting a business

Entrepreneurs in Illinois and throughout the country should not be afraid to get creative when it comes to creating an exit strategy. In some cases, selling pieces of a company over a period of time can be more effective than selling the entire company in one transaction. By selling in pieces, it may be easier to offer investors larger returns while also maximizing cash flow.

By building a company that focuses on multiple channels at once, those channels can be designed to be sold on their own. This is important because many companies that look to acquire a startup are only interested in one piece of technology or one idea in particular. If an entrepreneur insists on selling the entire company to a buyer, it can result in offers that are less than what the owner or owners think the business is worth.

Should you pursue sole custody of your children?

The end of a marriage can bring out the worst in people. The man or woman that you once loved appears to have disappeared and been replaced with someone you barely recognize. Your personal relationship has degraded to the point where one or both of you want a divorce.

You may harbor resentment, anger and a host of other negative emotions toward your future ex-spouse. This may prompt you to seek sole custody of your children for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with whether he or she is a good parent. You should know that the burden of proof lies with you if you ask an Illinois court for sole custody of your children. In the absence of abuse or some other compelling reason, you may face an uphill battle.

Medical debt can overwhelm family budgets

Overwhelming debt can make life extremely difficult for many families in Illinois. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest contributors to insolvency is medical debt. Almost half of the respondents to a 2017 Federal Reserve survey noted that they had received at least one medical bill in the past year that they could not pay.

While many Americans are insured or have high incomes, even those healthy paychecks can pale next to the costs of some treatments. In addition, many insurance plans may provide limited coverage for key types of treatments, including expensive yet necessary prescription medications. However, some people dealing with high hospital bills may be able to request financial help or charity care. The American Hospital Association said that $38 billion in charity care was provided by U.S. hospitals in 2016. Each hospital has its own eligibility guidelines for charity care.

Misinformation about the effect of bankruptcy on credit

Illinois consumers who file for bankruptcy should understand the process before they do so, and this includes understanding certain myths about how it affects credit. For example, some people may have heard that having negative information on a credit report will bring down their score more compared to people who have no negative information on the credit report, but the lack or presence of either positive or negative information does not affect the severity of the hit a person's credit takes. However, the amount of debt and the number of accounts involved may.

Not every detail about a bankruptcy remains on a credit report for 10 years. In fact, only the Chapter 7 public record does, but other items, including a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, fall away after seven years. Furthermore, a person can rebuild good credit while this information is still on the report. After filing for bankruptcy, people can get loans and credit cards that will help in this rebuilding.

What to know about credit card debt

Illinois residents and others across America have seen their annual credit card debt levels increase since 2015. That year, Americans accrued $43 billion in debt while that number rose to $87 billion and $92.2 billion in 2017. Overall, the Federal Reserve says Americans have more than $1 trillion in outstanding credit card debt. The $92.2 billion accrued in 2017 was the highest total seen since 2007, which was just before the Great Recession.

One reason why credit card debt levels may be increasing is because of looser lending standards. This may be because of the historically low charge-off rates. However, the increased amount of credit card debt has also lead to an increase in the delinquency rate to 7.5 percent from 7 percent in 2016. While not as high as the 15 percent rate seen during the Great Recession, it is still worth paying attention to.

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