Naperville Law Blog

Legal battle looms over Trump asylum memorandum

Illinois residents who have been following events at the U.S.-Mexico border will likely know that President Trump has called the situation a national emergency. Thousands of migrants have already fled desperate conditions in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras and made their way to ports of entry in California, Arizona and Texas. Media reports suggest that an even larger group is planning to make the perilous journey in the coming months.

Trump has attempted to tackle the issue with a series of executive orders. However, most of his efforts to prevent the surge of asylum seekers have been struck down by the courts. On April 29, Trump took what many consider to be his most controversial position yet by signing a presidential memorandum that most pundits believe will prompt another contentious legal battle. The memorandum orders the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to process asylum claims in 180 days or less, deny work permits to asylum hopefuls who crossed the border illegally and charge all asylum seekers a yet-to-be-determined application fee.

Solving the problem of passwords for executors of estates

Illinois residents use passwords to protect their finances and privacy. These passwords can keep hackers out. Unfortunately, the passwords that protect a person can create problems if the individual passes away or becomes incapacitated. It is good for individuals to think about how their loved ones will be able to access their data if this was to happen.

In the past, estate administration was a lot easier because the process was much more simple: An executor of a will would need to send a change of address card to the post office and then wait for brokerage statements, property tax statements and bank statements to arrive before beginning the process of closing a family member's estate.

Choosing an executor

Many people living in Illinois understand the importance of estate planning. They take the time to write a will and execute other documents that govern end-of-life issues, such as advanced directives, powers of attorney and living wills. However, many people make mistakes when choosing an estate executor.

This person is responsible for managing an estate after its owner has died. In addition to carrying out the wishes expressed in a will, the executor must account for all the deceased's assets and liabilities. Executors file wills to probate courts, handle taxes and, when necessary, obtain valuations of real estate, personal property and financial accounts.

Divorcing over 50? What you need to know

As people live longer, healthier lives, retirement has become a whole new adventure for many. For some married couples, retirement is an opportunity to rediscover the relationship. Others realize they do not wish to spend their retirement years with someone they no longer love.

According to the Pew Research Center, twice as many couples over the age of 50 in the United States are getting divorced today than in the 1990s. This trend, known as "gray divorce," presents unique challenges.

How to talk to adult children about gray divorce

In the last decade, a greater number of older couples have filed for divorce. Legal professionals refer to this as gray divorce, and it occurs when couples over the age of 50 end a marriage. Although society doesn't typically associate divorce with couples that have been together for 20 or more years, more people who have been together for decades and have adult children have begun to separate. 

The children may be out of the house, but a divorce will still be hard on them. Parents still need to be aware of their adult children's feelings and let them know of the separation in a mature manner. 

Spouses of H-1B visa holders may lose work rights

Immigrants in Illinois whose spouses have H-1B visas may lose their right to work in the United States on their H-4 spousal visas. While the Obama administration granted spouses the right to work if the H-1B visa holder was working toward permanent residency, the Trump administration is considering removing this right. This leaves many families in limbo as they wait to see what will happen.

Most of the people affected are from India and China, and the backlog for permanent residency is around 10 years. Their spouses tend to be well-educated, but when they cannot work, they begin to feel isolated and depressed. Save H4EAD, a group organized by a H-4 visa holder, surveyed its members and learned that nearly all have bachelor's degrees, and more than half have higher degrees. The ability for the spouse to work is a significant factor for some families in deciding whether to come to the country in the first place and whether to remain.

Claiming children as dependents on taxes

Every year, a number of couples file for divorce in Illinois. Couples with minor children often both want to claim the children as dependents due to the fact that claiming dependents will allow the taxpayer to claim the head of household deduction and tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit, the Child Dependent Care Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. The Tax Cuts and Job Act eliminated the personal exemption after 2018 but compensated for that by doubling the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000.

When more than one person is claiming a dependent on their taxes, the IRS has certain rules that must be followed. Parents take precedent over others who claim children on their taxes if there are competing claims. When parents both file to claim minor children as dependents on their taxes, the parent who has the children for most of the tax year has the right to claim them. After divorce, this would be the custodial parent.

Making careless divorce mistakes can jeopardize your future

If you are about to go through a divorce, you undoubtedly want the process to be over as quickly as possible. However, there are many factors to consider and some you would be wise not to rush. A whole new chapter is about to open in your life, and you do not want careless mistakes to jeopardize your future financial security. 

Here are four mistakes to avoid, especially if you are facing a high-asset divorce.

How social media and texting can help divorced parents

Social media has gotten a bad reputation over the years, especially when it comes to the younger generation. This should come as no surprise to Illinois residents who see social media as a fertile ground for cyberbullying and encouraging social isolation. Nevertheless, social media has made it easier for people to connect and stay in touch.

One area where modern technology, particularly social media and texting, has done much good is that of parent-child relationships. It has been particularly helpful in cases when the parents are divorced. Social media and texting allow parents and their kids to stay in touch, even when they are living far apart. In turn, this has allowed the parents to be aware of what's going on in their children's lives while also letting the kids know that their parents care about them. By offering a medium in which parents and their children can have consistent communication with each other, social media and texting are vital for helping families recover from divorce.

Who could be interested in a probate proceeding

During a probate hearing in Illinois, a will may be challenged. The person or entity challenging the will needs to know who the interested parties to that document may be. Generally speaking, anyone actually listed in the will is going to be an interested party. Typically, a spouse, parent or other family member will be included in the document. However, there could be other interested parties that aren't so obvious.

For example, all of a deceased's surviving family members can be considered interested parties. Furthermore, anyone listed on a previous or alternate copy of a will could be interested parties for purposes of a legal challenge. It is critical that all interested parties be found because they have the right to get involved in any proceedings related to the challenge. Whoever is tasked with defending the challenge may also need to identify interested parties to a probate proceeding.

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