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Do I Need A Construction Lawyer To Review My Remodeling Contract?
July 8 , 2024

The Importance Of A Thorough Review Of Remodeling Contracts

Remodeling your home is an exciting endeavor that promises to enhance your living space and potentially increase the value of your property. However, the process can also be fraught with legal complexities, especially when it comes to the contract you sign with your contractor.

A remodeling contract is more than just a formal agreement; it is a document that outlines the scope of work, costs, timelines, and the responsibilities of both parties involved. Given the potential for disputes and misunderstandings, having a construction lawyer review your remodeling contract is crucial to protect your interests and ensure the project’s success.

Understanding Remodeling Contracts

A remodeling contract is a binding legal document that sets forth the terms and conditions of the renovation project. It typically includes detailed descriptions of the work to be performed, the materials to be used, the project’s cost, payment schedules, timelines, and provisions for handling changes or unforeseen issues. Here are some key components of a comprehensive remodeling contract:

  • Scope of Work – This section outlines the specific tasks and responsibilities of the contractor, including a detailed description of the renovation work, the materials to be used, and any exclusions.
  • Payment Terms – The contract should clearly state the total cost of the project, the payment schedule, and the method of payment. It is essential to ensure that the payment terms align with the project’s progress to avoid disputes.
  • Timeline – This section specifies the project’s start and completion dates, along with any milestones or deadlines. Delays can lead to significant inconvenience and additional costs, so it is important to have a clear timeline.
  • Warranties and Guarantees – The contract should include any warranties or guarantees on the workmanship and materials used in the project. This provides assurance that the contractor will address any defects or issues that arise after the project’s completion.
  • Change Orders – Remodeling projects often involve changes or additions to the original plan. The contract should outline the process for handling change orders, including how they will be documented and the impact on the project’s cost and timeline.
  • Dispute Resolution – This section addresses how disputes will be resolved, whether through mediation, arbitration, or litigation. Having a clear dispute resolution process can help prevent conflicts from escalating.

The Role Of A Construction Lawyer in Contract Review

Engaging a construction lawyer to review your remodeling contract offers numerous benefits. Here’s why it’s essential:

Protecting Your Interests

A construction lawyer will meticulously review the contract to ensure that it is fair and balanced. They will identify any clauses that may be unfavorable or ambiguous and suggest revisions to protect your interests. This includes ensuring that the scope of work is clearly defined, payment terms are reasonable, and timelines are realistic.

Ensuring Compliance With Laws and Regulations

Construction projects are subject to various federal, state, and local laws and regulations. A construction lawyer will ensure that your contract complies with all applicable legal requirements. This includes verifying that the contractor has the necessary licenses and permits and that the project adheres to building codes and safety standards.

Addressing Potential Risks And Liabilities

A thorough contract review by a construction lawyer can help identify potential risks and liabilities. They will assess the provisions for warranties, insurance, and indemnification to ensure that you are adequately protected. For example, the lawyer will check that the contractor has sufficient liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage to protect you from potential claims.

Handling Dispute Resolution

Disputes can arise in any construction project, regardless of how well the contract is drafted. A construction lawyer can help you understand the dispute resolution process outlined in the contract and advise you on the best course of action if a conflict arises. This may involve negotiating with the contractor, mediating disputes, or representing you in arbitration or court if necessary. Having a clear and fair dispute resolution process in the contract can significantly reduce the risk of prolonged and costly conflicts.

Providing Clarity And Peace of Mind

One of the most valuable benefits of having a construction lawyer review your remodeling contract is the peace of mind it offers. Knowing that a legal professional has examined every aspect of the contract and ensured that it safeguards your interests allows you to proceed with the remodeling project confidently. It also helps in understanding your rights and obligations under the contract, which can prevent misunderstandings and ensure a smoother working relationship with your contractor.

Remodeling Contract Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I look for in a remodeling contract?

Ensure the contract includes a detailed scope of work, clear payment terms, a realistic timeline, warranties, a process for change orders, and a dispute resolution clause. It’s advisable to have a construction lawyer review these elements to protect your interests.

What if my contractor refuses to make changes to the contract?

If your contractor refuses to make necessary changes, consider it a red flag. It’s crucial to have a fair and balanced contract. A construction lawyer can help negotiate terms or advise you on finding a more cooperative contractor.

Can a construction lawyer help if a dispute arises during the project?

Yes, a construction lawyer can provide valuable assistance in resolving disputes, whether through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation. They can help ensure your rights are protected and work towards a fair resolution.

How much does it cost to have a construction lawyer review a contract?

The cost can vary depending on the complexity of the contract and the lawyer’s rates. However, many law firms, including Keller Law Group, offer free initial consultations to discuss your needs and provide an estimate.

What are common red flags in remodeling contracts?

Red flags include vague descriptions of work, unclear payment terms, lack of warranties, absence of a timeline, and no dispute resolution process. An experienced construction lawyer can help identify and address these issues.

Ensuring that your remodeling contract is comprehensive and fair is crucial to the success of your project. By seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable construction lawyer, you can protect your interests and prevent future legal disputes. Keller Law Group is dedicated to providing the support and experience you need to confidently move forward with your remodeling project.

Choose Keller Law Group To Protect Your Investment

Before embarking on your remodeling project, ensure that your interests are fully protected by having your contract reviewed by a seasoned construction lawyer. Keller Law Group offers a free consultation to discuss your contract and provide qualified legal advice.

Contact our DuPage County construction lawyer at Keller Law Group by calling (630) 868-3093 to schedule your free consultation and safeguard your remodeling project from potential legal issues. Our law firm proudly serves clients in DuPage County, Illinois, and is dedicated to helping you achieve a successful and stress-free remodeling experience.

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Key Points To Know About Illinois Commercial Leases
June 10 , 2024

Commercial leases play a crucial role in the operation of businesses across Illinois, providing tenants with the space they need to conduct their operations. However, navigating the complexities of commercial leases requires a thorough understanding of the key points and considerations involved. As an Illinois commercial real estate attorney, I will shed light on some essential aspects of commercial leases in the state.

Different Types Of Commercial Leases

One important point to understand is the different types of commercial leases commonly used in Illinois. The most common types include gross leases, net leases, and modified gross leases. In a gross lease, the tenant pays a fixed rent amount, and the landlord covers operating expenses such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

On the other hand, in a net lease, the tenant is responsible for paying a portion of or all operating expenses in addition to the base rent. Modified gross leases fall somewhere in between, with a combination of fixed rent and shared operating expenses. Understanding the nuances of each lease type is essential for both landlords and tenants to ensure they enter into commercial lease agreements that align with their needs, preferences, and Illinois contract laws.

Lease Negotiations

Another crucial aspect of commercial leases in Illinois is the negotiation process. Lease negotiations involve various terms and provisions that can significantly impact the rights and obligations of both parties. Key negotiation points may include the lease term, rent escalation clauses, renewal options, tenant improvements, and assignment and subletting rights.

It’s essential for both landlords and tenants to carefully review and negotiate these terms to protect their interests and ensure a mutually beneficial agreement. Additionally, seeking the guidance of our qualified commercial real estate attorneys can provide invaluable assistance during the negotiation process, helping parties understand their rights and negotiate favorable terms.

Pay Attention To Lease Clauses

Furthermore, tenants should pay close attention to lease clauses regarding property maintenance, repairs, and alterations. Landlords typically include provisions outlining the tenant’s responsibilities for maintaining the leased premises, as well as procedures for requesting repairs and alterations. Tenants should carefully review these clauses to understand their obligations and ensure they comply with the terms of the lease. Additionally, tenants may negotiate for provisions that require landlords to promptly address maintenance issues and provide notice before entering the leased premises for inspections or repairs.

Understanding the key points of Illinois commercial leases is essential for both landlords and tenants to protect their interests and ensure a successful leasing relationship. By familiarizing themselves with different lease types, participating in lease negotiations, and carefully reviewing lease provisions, parties can mitigate potential disputes and set the stage for a positive leasing experience. Consulting with our knowledgeable Illinois commercial real estate attorney can provide invaluable guidance and assistance throughout the leasing process, helping parties navigate complex legal issues and achieve their leasing objectives.

Call Our Illinois Commercial Real Estate Attorney For A Consultation

If you have a pending commercial real estate transaction matter, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Keller Law Group’s team of commercial real estate attorneys. We’re committed to guiding you through every step of the process, protecting your rights, and advocating for the outcome you deserve. For tailored legal advice, reach out to our experienced Illinois commercial real estate attorney at 630-868-3093. Rest assured, your peace of mind is just a phone call away. Keller Law Group is dedicated to serving clients across DuPage, Kane, and Will Counties in Illinois.

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What Is A Transfer on Death Instrument, And Should I Have One?
May 6 , 2024

Transfer on Death (TOD) instruments have gained popularity as a tool for estate planning, allowing individuals to designate beneficiaries for various assets, including real estate, bank accounts, and investment accounts. However, when it comes to business ownership or business interests, the use of TOD instruments raises unique considerations and legal implications. The report will explain what a Transfer on Death instrument is, how it applies to transferring business interests, and whether you should consider incorporating one into your estate plan.

Exploring The Basics Of Transfer On Death Instruments

A Transfer on Death instrument, also known as a TOD deed or beneficiary deed, is a legal document that allows an individual to designate beneficiaries to inherit specific assets upon their death, bypassing the probate process. In Illinois, TOD deeds are governed by state law and provide a straightforward mechanism for transferring real estate assets outside of probate.

When it comes to business ownership or business interests, a Transfer on Death instrument can similarly designate beneficiaries to inherit ownership stakes or interests in a business entity upon the owner’s death. This can include shares of stock in a corporation, membership interests in a limited liability company (LLC), or partnership interests in a partnership.

Benefits Of Transfer On Death Instruments For Business Interests

One of the primary benefits of using a Transfer on Death instrument for business interests is the avoidance of probate. Probate can be a time-consuming and costly process, particularly for business assets, as it involves court supervision and can lead to delays in transferring ownership to beneficiaries. By designating beneficiaries through a TOD instrument, business owners can streamline the transfer process and ensure a smoother transition of ownership upon their passing.

Additionally, using a Transfer on Death instrument can provide privacy for the business owner and their beneficiaries. Unlike assets that pass through probate, which become part of the public record, assets transferred via TOD deeds remain private, allowing for greater confidentiality and discretion in estate planning matters.

Considerations And Limitations

While Transfer on Death instruments offer several benefits for transferring business interests, there are also considerations and limitations to be aware of. For example, TOD deeds only become effective upon the owner’s death, meaning they do not provide for management or control of the business interests during the owner’s lifetime.

Furthermore, the use of TOD instruments may not be suitable for all types of business assets or ownership structures. For complex business arrangements or situations involving multiple owners or stakeholders, other estate planning tools, such as trusts or buy-sell agreements, may be more appropriate.

Relevant Federal And Illinois Laws

In Illinois, the Transfer on Death Instrument Act governs the use and requirements of TOD deeds for transferring real estate assets. This law outlines the formalities for creating and executing TOD instruments, including the necessity of recording the deed with the county recorder’s office to ensure its validity and enforceability.

At the federal level, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules and regulations may also impact the taxation of assets transferred through TOD instruments, including potential estate and gift tax implications. Business owners should consult with legal and tax professionals to understand the full scope of federal and state laws governing estate planning and business succession.

When it comes to estate planning and business succession, the assistance of knowledgeable legal professionals is invaluable. Keller Law Group can provide guidance and experience in navigating the complexities of estate planning, including the use of Transfer on Death instruments for business interests. Whether you’re considering incorporating a TOD instrument into your estate plan or exploring other options for transferring business ownership, consulting with experienced attorneys can help ensure that your wishes are carried out effectively and in accordance with the law.

Contact Our DuPage County Business Attorney For Help With Transfer On Death Instruments

Secure the future of your business assets and ensure financial stability through our knowledge and experience in Transfer on Death Instruments. It is crucial not to delay – initiate the process of safeguarding your valuable assets today. Contact our DuPage County business attorney at Keller Law Group by calling 630-868-3093 to schedule your consultation. Our firm proudly serves clients across DuPage, Kane & Will Counties.

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What Do I Do If My Contractor Took My Down Payment And Disappeared?
April 9 , 2024

Contracting a construction project can be a significant financial investment, but unfortunately, it sometimes leads to contractor scams and unethical practices. If you find yourself in a situation where your contractor has taken your down payment and disappeared, it can be distressing and overwhelming. However, there are steps you can take to address the issue and seek recourse under Illinois law.

Understanding Contractor Scams

According to data from, there have been 109,000 reported cases of home improvement scams to the Federal Trade Commission since 2007, averaging around 6,124 scams annually. Over the past 14 years, Americans have incurred losses totaling $206.9 million due to home improvement scams, equating to an average of $13.8 million per year.

Contractor scams involve deceptive practices where individuals or companies take money from clients without providing the agreed-upon services or completing the work. These scams often leave homeowners in financial distress and with unfinished projects, causing frustration and emotional turmoil.

Legal Remedies Under Illinois Law

In Illinois, homeowners have legal options to pursue recourse against contractors who engage in fraudulent behavior. The Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act (HRRA) provides consumer protection measures for homeowners who hire contractors for home repair or remodeling projects. According to the HRRA, contractors are required to provide written contracts for projects exceeding $1,000 and adhere to certain standards of conduct.

If a contractor violates the terms of the contract or engages in fraudulent practices, homeowners can take legal action to recover their losses. Under the HRRA, homeowners may be entitled to damages, including the return of their down payment, compensation for any additional expenses incurred due to the contractor’s actions, and attorney’s fees.

Steps to Take

If your contractor has disappeared after taking your down payment, it’s essential to take immediate action to protect your interests:

Document Everything – Gather all documentation related to the contract, including the written agreement, payment receipts, correspondence, and any evidence of the contractor’s work or lack thereof.

Formally Contact the Contractor – Attempt to reach out to the contractor via phone, email, or certified mail to inquire about the status of the project and request a refund of your down payment.

File a Complaint – If the contractor is unresponsive or refuses to refund your money, consider filing a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office or the Better Business Bureau. Providing detailed documentation will strengthen your case.

Consult Our Attorneys – If attempts to resolve the issue are unsuccessful, seek legal advice from our experienced Illinois construction litigation attorneys. We can assess your case, explain your legal rights, and guide you through the process of pursuing legal action against the contractor.

Dealing with a contractor who has taken your down payment and disappeared can be a stressful experience, but it’s important to take proactive steps to protect your rights and seek justice. By understanding your legal options under Illinois law and enlisting the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, you can pursue recourse against unscrupulous contractors and work towards resolving the situation in your favor.

Call Our Illinois Construction Litigation Attorney For Exceptional Legal Help

If you’re facing the distress of a construction scam where your contractor has left your project unfinished, reach out to Keller Law Group’s construction litigation attorneys for top-notch legal assistance. Our legal professionals are dedicated to assisting you through every phase of the process, safeguarding your rights, and fighting for the resolution you’re entitled to. To receive personalized legal guidance, contact our construction litigation attorneys at 630-868-3093. Your peace of mind is within reach with just one call to our law firm. Keller Law Group proudly serves clients throughout DuPage, Kane, and Will Counties in the state of Illinois.

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What Is A Revocable Trust And What Is It Used For?
March 14 , 2024

In estate planning, a revocable trust is a versatile tool for managing assets during life and facilitating their transfer to beneficiaries after death. This legal entity, also known as a living trust or inter vivos trust, is established during the grantor’s lifetime to hold and manage assets. Its flexibility sets it apart—grantors can change or revoke its terms if they’re mentally competent.

The Critical Advantages of Revocable Trusts

One important and key advantage of using a revocable trust is bypassing probate. Probate, the legal process for distributing deceased individuals’ assets, can be time-consuming and costly. By transferring assets to a revocable trust, they’re not part of the probate estate, expediting distribution and maintaining privacy.

Revocable trusts offer flexibility in asset transfer without court involvement, which is helpful for beneficiaries like minors or those with disabilities. Specific instructions in the trust ensure long-term financial security for them. Moreover, revocable trusts protect in case of incapacity. If the grantor can’t manage their affairs, the successor trustee steps in, avoiding the need for a court-appointed guardian or conservator.

Assets Typically Held in a Revocable Trust

When establishing a revocable trust in Illinois, individuals often wonder what types of assets are suitable for inclusion. A revocable trust can hold various assets, offering flexibility and control over one’s estate. Here’s a breakdown of the types of assets commonly placed within a revocable trust in Illinois:

  • Real Estate – Residential properties, vacation homes, rental properties, and vacant land can all be transferred to a revocable trust. By holding real estate in a trust, individuals can ensure a smooth transfer to beneficiaries and avoid probate delays.
  • Financial Accounts – Bank accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), savings accounts, and brokerage accounts can be titled in the trust’s name. This allows for the centralized management and distribution of financial assets according to the trust’s terms.
  • Investments – Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment assets can be transferred to a revocable trust. This transfer allows for ongoing management and potential growth of investment portfolios within the trust structure.
  • Business Interests – Ownership interests in closely held businesses or partnerships can be kept in a revocable trust. This ensures the continuity of business operations and a smooth ownership transition in the event of the grantor’s incapacity or death.
  • Personal Property – Tangible assets such as vehicles, artwork, jewelry, furniture, and collectibles can be transferred to a revocable trust. This provides clarity and organization regarding the distribution of personal property to beneficiaries.
  • Life Insurance Policies – While life insurance proceeds typically pass directly to named beneficiaries, individuals may designate their revocable trust as the beneficiary. This allows for added control over the distribution of life insurance proceeds and can be helpful in estate planning strategies.
  • Intellectual Property – Intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and royalties, can be placed in a revocable trust. This ensures proper management and protection of valuable intellectual assets for the benefit of heirs.

A revocable trust in Illinois can hold a wide range of assets, providing individuals with flexibility, control, and efficient estate planning solutions. By transferring various types of assets into a revocable trust, individuals can avoid probate, maintain privacy, and ensure the smooth transfer of assets to their chosen beneficiaries. 

Whether it’s real estate, financial accounts, investments, business interests, personal property, life insurance policies, or intellectual property, a revocable trust offers a comprehensive solution for managing and distributing assets according to one’s wishes. Consulting with one of our knowledgeable estate planning attorneys in Illinois can help individuals determine the most suitable assets for their revocable trusts based on their unique circumstances and goals.

Call Our DuPage County Asset Protection Attorney to Safeguard Your Assets!

Those considering a revocable trust can benefit from guidance from our estate planning attorneys, who have years of experience in Illinois trust law. Our firm can also provide valuable assistance in drafting trust agreements, selecting trustees, and help guide you through Illinois’ complex legal requirements. Contact our DuPage County asset protection attorney at 630-868-3093 for a free consultation. Keller Law Group assists individuals throughout DuPage, Kane & Will Counties.

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Should I Form An LLC To Protect My Assets?
February 6 , 2024

Asset protection is a valuable legal tool for individuals who want to shield their personal property and assets from potential legal and financial threats. One practical and widely used strategy for achieving this protection is forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). In this report, we will explore the critical aspects of using LLCs to safeguard your personal assets, discussing the benefits, the process of forming an LLC, and important considerations for asset protection.

The Benefits of LLCs for Asset Protection

The cornerstone of using an LLC for asset protection lies in its name – Limited Liability Company. Creating an LLC establishes a legal entity that can hold your personal assets. When an LLC holds your personal wealth, including your home, savings, and investments, is generally safeguarded from personal liabilities. This is a crucial layer of protection that can provide peace of mind in an unpredictable world.

How to Form an LLC for Asset Protection

  1. Choose a State – When forming an LLC for asset protection, the choice of state matters. Each state in the United States has its own regulations and laws governing LLCs, and some states offer more favorable legal and tax environments for asset protection. While you can form an LLC in any state, some popular choices for asset protection include Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming. Consulting with one of our legal professionals will help you determine the best jurisdiction for your needs.
  2. Name Your LLC – Select a unique and distinguishable name for your LLC, ensuring it complies with your state’s naming requirements. This is a crucial step, as your LLC’s name will represent your legal entity.
  3. File Articles of Organization – To formally create your LLC, you must file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State in the chosen state. This document typically includes basic information about your LLC, such as its name, registered agent, and the purpose of the business.
  4. Operating Agreement – While not always legally required, it is highly recommended that your attorney drafts an Operating Agreement for your LLC. This internal document outlines the management structure, member roles, and operating procedures of the LLC. An Operating Agreement helps maintain the separation between you and the business entity, further enhancing asset protection.
  5. Obtain an EIN – An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is essential for tax purposes and banking transactions. You can obtain an EIN from the IRS free of charge.
  6. Compliance with State Regulations – To maintain the legal protection offered by an LLC, it’s crucial to adhere to that state’s regulations, including annual reporting requirements and fees. Failure to do so may jeopardize the asset protection benefits.

Utilizing an LLC (Limited Liability Company) as a vehicle for asset protection and management offers individuals a structured and legally sound way to use assets held by the LLC while reducing personal liability. The process of transferring private assets into an LLC involves several key steps, ultimately allowing the individual to enjoy the benefits of those assets while mitigating personal financial risks.

Transferring Assets to the LLC

After the LLC is formed, the individual, as the owner or member of the LLC, can transfer assets into the company. This transfer is typically done through a formal process and documented appropriately. These personal assets can include real estate, investment portfolios, valuable personal property, motor vehicles, or business interests.

It’s also a good idea to have one of our attorneys draft an Operating Agreement for the LLC. This internal document outlines the management structure, member roles, and operating procedures of the LLC. It also specifies how the assets will be managed and used within the LLC. The Operating Agreement ensures that the assets are used according to the owner’s wishes and clarifies the rights and responsibilities of all involved parties.

Enjoying the Benefits of the Assets Held by the LLC

Once the LLC holds the assets, the individual can continue to enjoy the use of those assets while benefiting from the protections and advantages offered by the LLC structure. The LLC structure offers a structured framework for managing and utilizing assets. This is particularly beneficial for those looking to manage investments, real estate, or valuable personal property while maintaining organized records and asset distribution.

Assets held within the LLC are typically protected from the individual’s personal liabilities. By using the assets owned by the LLC, the individual is shielded from personal liability stemming from the assets’ use. This separation between personal and business assets provides a critical layer of protection. In the event of a lawsuit or financial obligations, creditors typically cannot go after the LLC’s assets to satisfy the individual’s debts or liabilities.

It’s important to note that while using an LLC to manage and enjoy the benefits of assets is a legitimate strategy, it must be executed correctly and in compliance with state regulations. The individual must also adhere to the terms outlined in the Operating Agreement to maintain the separation between personal and LLC assets.

Important Asset Protection Considerations

While forming an LLC is a powerful asset protection strategy, it is not foolproof. Courts can sometimes “pierce the veil” of an LLC, exposing your personal assets to liability if they find that you’ve commingled personal and business funds, engaged in fraudulent activities, or neglected your legal obligations. To maximize the effectiveness of your LLC for asset protection:

  • Maintain Separation – Always keep personal and business finances separate. Maintain dedicated bank accounts and financial records for your LLC.
  • Follow Corporate Formalities – Adhere to all legal requirements and responsibilities of an LLC owner, including annual meetings, record-keeping, and compliance with state regulations.
  • Consult with Our Professionals – Seeking guidance from our experienced legal professionals is essential to ensure your LLC’s compliance with the law and maximize asset protection.

Forming an LLC allows an individual to transfer private assets into the LLC and enjoy the use of those assets while minimizing personal liability. Properly establishing and maintaining the LLC and following legal and operational guidelines will provide excellent asset protection for you and your family. Consulting with our LLC formation attorneys is the first step toward successfully executing this essential legal strategy.

Call Our DuPage County Business Law Attorney to Protect Your Assets!

Protect your assets and secure your financial future with our professional LLC formation services. Don’t wait until it’s too late – take the first step towards safeguarding your hard-earned assets today. Contact our DuPage County business law attorney at 630-868-3093 for your free consultation and begin your journey to financial peace of mind! We assist clients throughout DuPage, Kane & Will Counties.

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