Robin Williams’ children and wife have two months to settle dispute

Posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015    

The court gave late comedian Robin Williams’ wife and three adult children up to two months to divide up his mementos to avoid an ugly court battle, The New York Daily News reported on March 30.

A San Francisco judge gave the two conflicting parties a timetable to continue negotiations over the late actor’s memorabilia, including a watch collection, Japanese anime figurines, and bikes, among many other treasured items. In December, Robin Williams’ widow Susan Schneider filed a claim alleging that Williams’ will was ‘ambiguous.’ Schneider argued that Williams wanted his heirs to share all the items at his Napa residence, but not the items tied to the house he shared with her in Tiburon.

If the parties fail to reach an agreement, arbitration will follow before a public court hearing.

Being involved in a will dispute can be difficult for you and for everyone involved. To learn more about how to protect your rights and welfare during this trying time, consult with a probate lawyer at Peck Ritchey, LLC, by calling our Chicago office at (855) 328-5787 today.

Tom Benson wants sports teams out of daughter’s trust

Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015    

Tom Benson, the owner of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, filed a lawsuit on March 11 in an effort to remove the two teams from the trusts assigned to his estranged daughter and her kids, according to a report by The New York Times.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, requests to allow Benson to remove the ownership in exchange for $556 million worth of secured promissory notes. The move was done to fulfill his wish of leaving the two teams to his third wife and not to his daughter Renee and grandchildren Rita and Ryan, which was the previous plan.

Last January, Benson expressed his intention to leave the two teams to his third wife. The announcement led his daughter and his grandchildren to file a claim that sought to declare that Benson is mentally incapable of running his own businesses, and Renee should therefore take charge of his financial affairs.

If you are facing any probate issue in Chicago, a lawyer at Peck Ritchey, LLC, might be able to help you protect you and your loved one’s future. Call us at (855) 328-5787 to learn more about how we may put our experience to work for you.

Ernie Banks’ former team settles the late player’s funeral debts

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2015    

The owner of a funeral home that recently filed a claim against the estate of Chicago Cubs icon Ernie Banks due to unpaid memorial expenses said everything was settled by the team and its owner, The Root reported on March 7.

The cost of Banks’ funeral reached $35,000, which the former baseball legend’s estate owed to Donnellan Funeral Home. Fortunately, the Chicago Cubs and the Ricketts family, the team’s owner, were quick to address the issue. Donnellan’s filing for a $35,000 claim coincided with an ongoing probate battle that involves Banks’ widow, Elizabeth Banks, and his longtime caregiver, Regina Rice.

Ernie Banks, named Mr. Cub and Mr. Sunshine, died at the age of 83. When his will was changed to give Rice full control over his estate, the legal battle was initiated. His estate was assessed by Rice’s camp to be worth $16,000, to which a judge demanded a full accounting.

Estate disputes like this may put you and your loved ones’ financial future at great risk. If you need an assertive, dedicated, and well-experienced probate attorney to advocate for your rights and interests, the legal team at Peck Ritchey, LLC, might be of help. Call our Chicago office at (855) 328-5787 to learn more about taking legal action.

Widow of Stevie Wonder’s longtime attorney sues for royalties

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2015    

The widow of Johanan Vigoda, Stevie Wonder’s long-time lawyer, has sued Wonder and five other defendants for breaching an agreement that entitles Vigoda’s widow and heirs to receive royalty fees from the musician, The Courthouse News Service reported on February 27.

In a suit filed by Susan Strack, she said that his late husband helped the singer-songwriter have the most profitable deals in the industry, which granted him a 6% share on royalty payments forever. She added that she continued receiving royalties for about 20 months after Vigoda passed away. However, in mid-2013, Strack said Wonder concluded the deal and instructed all music companies to halt paying Strack and Vigoda’s estate.

Strack is seeking to recover payments entitled to her, plus compensation for damages.

When facing estate issues like this, a probate lawyer can fight to protect your rights and interests. If you need legal representation in Chicago, speak with our legal team at Peck Ritchey, LLC, by calling our offices at (855) 328-5787 today.

Ron Webb Speaking at CBA Seminar on Changes in the LBGT Community

Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2015    

Chicago, IL – Ron Webb, senior associate of the Chicago estate planning firm Peck Ritchey, LLC, will be on a panel discussing the recent modifications to Illinois law which impact the LGBT community in terms of real estate, public housing, marriage, adoption, employment, and estate planning at The Chicago Bar Association (CBA) on March 6, 2015.

The Continuing Legal Education seminar (2.75 Il MCLE Credit) will highlight changes to the law, the impact of these changes to the community, and how we can continue to make more change to benefit the LGBT community. Taking place Friday, March 6, 2015 at the CBA, 321 South Plymouth Court, Chicago, IL., the “Changes in the LBGT Community: Live, Life & Love – Part 1″ panel will run from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

“It’s important to fully understand the new benefits same-sex partners now have with regards to estate planning and other benefits under the law,” said Ron Webb ( “In this seminar I will be discussing the rights gained by marriage under various areas of Illinois law related to retirement benefits, asset protection, incapacity and probate.”

Ron is an active member of the Chicago Bar Association and has served as Chair of the Probate Practice Committee. He is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Chicago Estate Planning Council. Ronald frequently lectures to colleagues and professionals in the areas of estate and special needs planning. He is also regularly published in several journals including those published by the American Bar Association.

The Battle Over Control of Ernie Banks’ Estate

Posted on Friday, February 20th, 2015    

Peck Ritchey, LLC Managing Partner Kerry R. Peck recently appeared on FOX 32 News regarding the hotly contested Ernie Banks will contest case.

The Chicago Cubs’ most valuable player’s family is feuding with his “trusted confidant,” a 56-year old lounge singer, Regina Rice, who inherits his entire estate. According to Court records, Ernie Banks signed estate planning documents in October 2014 and died in January 2015.

“As the case moves forward it will be interesting to see if Mr. Cub had the mental capacity to sign his will and trust, or if he was unduly influenced,” said Peck.

Ernie Banks’ children and his estranged fourth wife live in California. Probate court records from Jan. 28 indicate Bank’s estranged wife, Liz Banks, was originally awarded control over the estate, claiming Banks had died without a will.  Shortly thereafter, Rice filed a petition disclosing the existence of a will.

Will contests and estate battles don’t only happen to celebrities. Anyone who doesn’t do their due diligence in properly executing their estate planning documents (will, trust, powers of attorney, etc.) and informing their family could face a similar situation in probate court. To learn more about how to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are met contact one of Peck Ritchey, LLC’s estate planning attorneys at 312-201-0900.

Kerry Peck concentrates his practice in Trust and Estate Litigation, Estate Planning, Administration, Guardianship and Fiduciary Litigation, and Special Needs and Alzheimer’s Disease Planning. Peck is a past President of the 22,000-lawyer Chicago Bar Association. He was retained by the City of Chicago Department of Aging to rewrite the State of Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act. He co-wrote the book  Alzheimer’s and the Law, published by the American Bar Association, and is a frequent speaker at continuing education seminars for attorneys and healthcare professionals across the country.

For more information on  contested will, trust, and estate matters visit

Ernie Banks family to contest the late baseball player’s will

Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2015    

The family of late American baseball icon Ernie Banks said they will contest a signed will that gives control of his entire assets to his caretaker, Regina Rice, CNN reported on February 17.

Banks’ family said Rice manipulated the baseball legend to sign a power of attorney, a health care derivative, and a will that grants Rice total control of his assets. On the other hand, a statement issued by Rice said the renowned baseball player made her promise to carry out all his wishes, which she said she is determined to do.

Ernie Banks died due to a heart attack at age 83. Doctors said dementia played a major role in his death.

At Peck Ritchey, LLC, we protect the financial security and quality of life of families dealing with contested wills, and are also ready to help seniors plan for their long-term care and estate decisions. To learn more about how we can be of help, call our Chicago office at (855) 328-5787 today.

The pervasiveness of Alzheimer’s disease in America

Posted on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015    

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is considered the 6th leading cause of death in the country. In fact, the agency said the disease kills more people than prostate and breast cancer combined. 5 million Americans are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease, which means an individual develops the disease every 67 seconds.

Women over 60 years of age are considered at highest risk of this disease. In fact, two-thirds of Alzheimer’s disease patients are women, and the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s among women is twice as high as breast cancer.

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s in the country necessitates that everyone is prepared for this disease. If your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, our elder law attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC, know how important it is to secure the financial welfare of your loved ones and can discuss any legal issues surrounding the creation of a will, administration of an estate, and other subjects. Call us at (855) 328-5787 to get legal help today.

Peck Ritchey, LLC to Sponsor Geriatric Care Manager Conference

Posted on Monday, February 9th, 2015    

Peck Ritchey, LLC is sponsoring the Midwest Chapter of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) annual conference at the bronze level.

The Conference, “The Aging Well Tapestry…Weaving the Care Together”, will be held on October 23-24, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Healthcare professionals delivering care to seniors and individuals with disabilities from thirteen states and Ontario will be in attendance.

The NAPGCM is an association of private practitioners whose purpose is the development, advancement, and promotion of humane and dignified social, psychological, and health care for the elderly and their families.

As a Chicago elder law firm, Peck Ritchey, LLC supports education and advocacy in the field of aging. Both our Chicago estate planning lawyers and our Chicago probate litigation attorneys frequently speak at continuing education programs addressing the medical community and attorneys, and often contacted by news media as resources for commentary on issues effecting older adults and families.

Judge orders Ariel Winter’s accounting be examined on her behalf

Posted on Monday, January 26th, 2015    

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge has ordered a court-appointed attorney to examine Ariel Winter’s fiscal rundown of assets before accepting the accounting her father and his lawyers have made, reported on January 20.

The finances of 16-year-old “Modern Family” actress, who’s been under her sister’s permanent guardianship since May, are managed by her father until she reaches adulthood. Judge Daniel Murphy requested that a review of accounting should be made for Winter by a court-appointed lawyer, who is expected to report back in the next court hearing scheduled February 27.

Winter has been the subject of a custody battle between her sister and her mother, who has been accused of emotionally abusing her.

Accounting is just one of the many legal requirements necessary to fulfill guardianship duties. If you need help with guardianship administration in Chicago, consult with our team of attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC, by calling us at (855) 328-5787 today.

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