Welcome to the Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered
Attorney Alan E. Sohn is a Chicago-based business and estate planning lawyer. Mr. Sohn advises and assists individuals and privately-held businesses, their owners and families with planning, business transactions, business litigation and estate planning.
Mr. Sohn has been a trusted, practicing attorney for many years, and in private practice for the past 21 years. In 1990, he established The Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered, located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Illinois, as well as Northbrook, Illinois. Attorney Alan E. Sohn understands the complexities of the laws and regulations related to estate and business planning, as well as the special circumstances related to private businesses and family businesses. Mr. Sohn and his associates at The Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered work with families and businesses of all types and sizes. They employ their vast expertise to help plan for the future, as well as maintain the present.
Our Practice Areas
Estate Planning & Wealth Transfer
An estate plan that is carefully thought-out and well-drafted is critical in order to ensure the distribution of your hard-earned assets according to your wishes. The transfer of...Read More
Asset Protection Planning
An asset protection plan requires careful advance planning and thoughtful consideration. You have worked hard for the assets you possess and you want to ensure...Read More
Business succession is likely at the forefront of the mind of any owner of a Illinois closely-held corporation or Chicago family business. At The Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn...Read More
Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer
Estate planning is known as making a plan to name who you want to receive the property you own after you die. However, effective estate planning is much more than only that. It should also include:
- Instructions for passing your values to your children.
- Instructions for your care, if you become disabled.
- A guardian and a money manager for minor children.
- A plan for family members with special needs that won’t affect government benefits.
- A plan for loved ones who are irresponsible with money.
- Life insurance to provide for your family upon your death, disability insurance to replace your income, if you become disabled, and long-term care insurance, in case you are to suffer an extended illness or injury.
- Instructions for the transfer of your business.
- A plan to minimize taxes, court costs, and legal fees.
Estate planning should be an ongoing process and not just a one-time event. Your plan should be reviewed by your estate planning attorney in Chicago, IL and updated as your familial and financial situations evolve over your lifetime. A good wealth transfer attorney will also be on the lookout for any changes in the law that could cause your estate planning to become outdated.
Probate is the legal process through which a court oversees the distribution of assets left by a deceased individual. Assets are considered anything with value a person owns, including real and personal property or cash. The probate process is not always necessary. If the deceased individual owned bank accounts or property with another person, it’s possible that the surviving co-owner will own that property automatically. If a person dies with few assets and no real estate, their personal belongings can be distributed without the supervision of the court. If you are facing probate in Chicago, IL, you should contact a probate law attorney to guide you through the process.
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement which allows a third party trustee to hold assets on behalf of beneficiaries. Trusts can be created in many different ways and can specify how and when the assets are to pass on to the beneficiaries. Trusts usually avoid probate, so your beneficiaries could receive your assets more quickly than they would using a will. If you use an irrevocable trust, it may not be considered part of your taxable estate, meaning fewer taxes may be due. A Chicago estate planning attorney can advise you on how to choose the right type of trust for your situation.
“He is my Trust and estates lawyer. Recently he did my will and it was a breeze, super simple process. I just had a conversation about the idea I had, we put it on paper and then he did the rest. His office is conveniently located in the loop. It was a very simple..."
Asset protection is strategic planning for the guarding one’s wealth. Asset protection is one component of overall financial planning, intended to protect a person’s assets from creditors’ claims. Both individuals and business entities use asset protection to limit their creditors’ access to their valuable assets, while operating within the bounds of the law.
Asset protection helps to insulate your assets in a legal manner. It does not mean engaging in the illegal practices of concealment, contempt, tax fraud, tax evasion, or bankruptcy fraud. Effective asset protection measures begin before any liability occurs. It is too late to plan to protect your assets, after the fact. Common asset protection methods include trusts, accounts-receivable financing, and family limited partnerships. A Chicago, IL asset protection attorney can advise you on which protective measures would be most appropriate for your assets.
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Business succession planning is a series of decisions made by a business owner, with guidance from a business succession attorney, about who will take over their business upon their retirement, disability, or death. To create a succession plan, the first step is to identify who you believe would be the ideal successor to take over your business. Then, determine the best type of selling arrangement for your business. This generally will involve a buy-sell agreement, which will be secured with a life insurance policy or a loan.
There are five common ways to transfer the ownership of a business, as part of a succession plan:
- Sell your ownership interests to a co-owner of the business.
- Pass your ownership interests on to a family member.
- Sell your business to a certain key employee.
- Sell your business to an outside entrepreneur.
- Sell your ownership interests back to the company and distribute them to any remaining owners.
Privately Held Companies
A privately held company, also known as a private company, or a close corporation, is a company owned by non-governmental organizations or by a small number of shareholders, which does not sell its company stock to the general public. The company’s stock is exchanged privately. Additional terms for a privately held company include unquoted company, closely held corporation, or unlisted company. While less visible than publicly traded companies, private companies have significant importance in the world’s economy. The way you structure your privately held company matters and requires the guidance of a skilled business attorney.