Tips From An Attorney Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago: How To Protect Elderly Relatives

Elder Law ChicagoElder abuse is a common and serious problem for the elderly. Many elderly people can’t fully take care of themselves, so they rely on hired strangers and relatives to help them with bathing, eating, cleaning and ensuring they take any required medication on time. However, this can sometimes become stressful and overwhelming to caretakers. While being stressed and overwhelmed over caregiver responsibilities is no excuse for elder abuse, it often happens anyway.

Tips From An Attorney Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago: What Is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse can come in many forms. It can be physical, mental, financial or even sexual. Being neglected or abandoned can even be a form of elder abuse. It can be a one-time occurrence or it can become ongoing.

Tips From An Attorney Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago: What To Watch Out For

When talking to your elderly relative, look for signs that they may be frightened or abused. This can include cowering when touched, unexplained bruises, becoming upset whenever the caregiver comes around or any other reaction that seems uncommon or unexplained. You should also look out for bedsores, missing money or a change in the elder’s financial situation, poor hygiene or depression.

If you suspect that your relative is being abused or neglected, attorneys who concentrate in elder law in Chicago recommend that you remove the caregiver as soon as possible.

Tips From An Attorney Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago: How To Fire A Caregiver

If you’ve hired a caregiver, this part is easy — just let them go. However, the details can take a little bit of planning. If you suspect serious abuse, you’ll need to have a backup plan in place. The best thing you can do is tell the caregiver that you no longer need their assistance, effective immediately. If you’ve hired through an agency or care organization, make sure that you tell the people in charge why you’re firing your caregiver. If there have been previous complaints, the agency should take care to drop the caregiver from their roster of approved employees to protect itself from a pricy lawsuit.

If your caregiver is a family member, you’re likely going to need help from an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago. You may need to file for emergency guardianship over your elderly loved one so you can keep the abusive caretaker away. This can cause a lot of family stress and strife so it’s important to know what’s going to happen before you begin. When you speak in front of a judge, arm yourself with the facts of the case and do your best to keep emotion out of your testimony. When the judge sees that you’re truly looking out for your loved one, your outcome can be more favorable.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected, an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago can help you determine what the best course of action is.

To learn more about Peck Ritchey or to contact us about issues related to elder law in Chicago, please visit our website or call (312) 201-0900.

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What Attorneys Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago Want You To Know About Planning For Your Parents’ Future

Estate Planning Lawyers ChicagoIf your parents or grandparents are aging, there are a lot of things that need to be done in order to prepare your family for its changing dynamics. When you’re considering your options for the future, it’s best if all family members are on the same page. To help make this process an easier one, attorneys who concentrate in elder law in Chicago have a few tips about things that you should consider when starting this sensitive conversation.

What Attorneys Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago Want You To Know: Start The Conversation Early

If you’re noticing that your parents or grandparents are having a hard time getting around or become easily confused, you need to have a serious conversation about the future as soon as possible. However, attorneys who concentrate in elder law in Chicago recommend starting a conversation well before it’s needed. When you can discuss the future with your parents when they’re still able to make all decisions for themselves, they can play an active role in deciding where they’re going to live and how they want things to be handled in case they’re not able to make decisions for themselves.

What Attorneys Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago Want You To Know: Legal Counsel Isn’t Always Necessary

Many families worry that they need the help of an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago before they start a conversation with their parents or grandparents about the future. If your older relatives still have their mental faculties, this isn’t necessary. However, if they aren’t fully competent, it may be important to contact an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago for assistance. He or she will be able to help you determine if you need to apply for a guardianship so you can make healthcare and other decisions for your parents.

What Attorneys Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago Want You To Know: About Driving

Driving is a privilege, but many older drivers have been behind the wheel for decades, which can make it seem like a right instead of a privilege. This makes it difficult for seniors to accept when it’s time to hang up the car keys. Laws can vary when it comes to seniors and driving, but in Illinois, drivers must apply for renewal every two years between ages 81-86 and every year when they reach age 87 and older. Drivers age 75 and older also need to take a road test in order to renew their driver’s license. What happens, however, if your parent has recently had a number of accidents or you feel as if he or she shouldn’t be driving anymore, even though they are legally able to? An attorney concentrating in elder law in Chicago can provide you with legal advice on how to approach this situation.

Aging is inevitable and if families don’t have a plan for their aging parents or grandparents, it could cause a lot of stress and havoc. If you have questions regarding elder law in Chicago, please visit Peck Ritchey, LLC. To learn more about the firm’s services, please visit our about us page.

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Is an Elder Law Lawyer for You?

Elder Law ChicagoElder law is an area of practice that concentrates on issues that affect the aging population.  But don’t let the name fool you, elder law lawyers work with individuals of all ages!

How do you know if you need a Chicago elder law attorney?

At Peck Ritchey we have an array of Chicago elder law attorneys who concentrate in many different areas. Finding the right lawyer starts with an assessment of your needs. For example, if you need help with estate planning, our Chicago elder law firm has extensive estate planning experience. If you have an issue with a will, trust or even abuse/neglect, our elder law litigation lawyers can address that issue in court if necessary.

Ways an elder law lawyer in Chicago can help:
Peck Ritchey, LLC provides an array of services for seniors, including planning for health care decisions, end-of-life issues, and meeting possible long term care needs. An elder law lawyer can also assist with general estate planning, administration, and guardianship proceedings, and even litigation matters.

Contact the Chicago elder law attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC today for an initial consultation at (855) 328-5787.

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Financial Elder Abuse: Warning Signs And How To Use Elder Lawyers In Illinois To Fight Back

Elder Law ChicagoIf you have aging parents, you know that keeping track of their financial well being can be difficult. Seniors are especially susceptible to elder abuse, but families can help protect them against financial abuse by knowing what it looks like, being aware of the warning signs and taking legal steps with the help of elder lawyers in Illinois. Take a few minutes to learn how you can employ elder lawyers in Illinois to protect your aging parents or other relatives.

What Is Financial Elder Abuse?

Basically, financial elder abuse occurs when a senior is taken advantage of financially just because of their age. Seniors can be easy targets for scammers and swindlers. These people can use a number a ways to scam seniors out of money, including:

  • Contacting them over the phone and asking for money for a made up charity.
  • Stealing a credit or debit card.
  • Using a power of attorney to write checks or make unauthorized ATM withdrawals.
  • Convincing a senior to sign over a financial power of attorney.

What Warning Signs Should You Look For?

Financial elder abuse can be difficult to spot, but there are a few key warning signs that you can look for to protect your loved ones. If you notice things like bills that are going unpaid, credit card or bank statements with a number of unusual transactions, or that your loved one is suddenly spending a great deal of time with a new friend and giving away large gifts or belongings, you should be on the lookout for financial abuse.

Although most people worry about elder financial abuse from strangers, it’s actually family members who are the biggest perpetrators. This could be because family members could feel like they deserve the money and elderly parents may not want to prosecute their children who are taking advantage of them.

How Families And Elder Lawyers In Illinois Can Help Protect Seniors

One of the best ways families can protect their elderly relatives is to have more than one person be responsible for financial accounts. Checking accounts could have more than one adult child on the account, as well as the senior. While it might not be possible to have bank account or credit card statements mailed to two addresses, it is possible for each person to have online access. Having two sets of eyes on each account can help ensure that money is being spent wisely and that there aren’t any red flags.

Additionally, elder lawyers in Illinois can help by drawing up joint powers of attorney. This ensures that two people can make any necessary financial decisions, protecting seniors, their money and their families. If you find that your parent or other relative has been a victim of financial elder abuse, elder lawyers in Illinois can also help you fight back and recoup your parents’ money.

If you’re looking to protect your elderly parents from financial elder abuse, turn to elder lawyers in Illinois. Elder lawyers in Illinois, such as Peck Ritchey, LLC can help draw up paperwork that won’t leave your parents vulnerable to scammers and swindlers. If you’re looking for elder lawyers in Illinois to help protect your family, please contact them today.

To learn more about services from our elder lawyers in Illinois, please visit see our practice areas

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Kerry Peck Co-Author of New Alzheimer’s Book

AlzheimerAndTheLaw_LRGAfter spending a large portion of his career fighting for the best care and financial strategies for his clients with Alzheimer’s disease, Peck Ritchey, LLC Managing Partner Kerry Peck co-wrote the book Alzheimer’s and the Practice of Law in hopes that people use it as a manual to better understand the legal options that are available before and after a diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s and the Practice of Law is a new book aimed at helping readers better understand the legal implications that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis has over an individual’s future.

Written by Chicago Litigation Lawyer Kerry Peck and Rick Law, Alzheimer’s and the Practice of Law is designed to give attorneys the knowledge needed guide their clients diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  The book addresses ethics, health care options, asset protection strategies, and other long term care planning.

Additional contributors to this book include Brandon Peck and Diana Law. The book’s Forward was written by acclaimed author Scott Turow.

This book will answer a variety of questions including:

  • How do we get health care for the patient?
  • What are the ethics of working with clients with Alzheimer’s?
  • What options are available for health care?
  • How are these options going to affect the patient and the family/spouse?
  • What is the long-term outlook for everyone?
  • How can we protect the family assets?

For more information about Alzheimer’s and the Practice of Law visit http://apps.americanbar.org/abastore/index.cfm?pid=1620569&section=main&fm=Product.AddToCart

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3 Ways A Chicago Guardianship Lawyer Can Help Families

Chicago Elder Law LawyerGuardianship is a tricky subject for many families. It’s difficult when it becomes clear that a loved one can no longer care for himself, especially if he was a self-sufficient adult at one time. If you’re unsure what a Chicago guardianship lawyer can do, learn more about how they can help families throughout difficult times.

A Chicago Guardianship Lawyer Can Help Minors

The most commonly understood guardianship is when both parents of a minor child have died. If the parents have left a will, it should name who will be guardians of the child. If there was no will, a Chicago guardianship lawyer can help establish guardianship with the court. This can be straightforward if only one person steps forward, but more complicated if loved ones disagree on who would be the best guardian for the child.

Additionally, a Chicago guardianship lawyer can help grandparents or other loved ones step in if the parent is neglecting a minor child or even if a parent is a member of the military and needs to be deployed to a far away location. Guardianships do not sever the parent-child relationship and it’s possible to relinquish guardianship for a limited time.

A Chicago Guardianship Lawyer Can Help The Mentally Ill

It’s possible to have someone declared mentally ill and a Chicago guardianship lawyer can help loved ones assert control over their medical and financial decisions. One of the most famous cases of this type of situation was the case of Britney Spears a few years ago. She became even more famous when she shaved her head and attacked paparazzi with an umbrella, and people all over the world expressed concern over her behavior. In this case, her parents — specifically her father — realized she needed help and stepped in. He went to court and asked to be granted guardianship, though in California it was called a conservatorship. (The two terms are not completely legally interchangeable, so make sure to talk to an attorney if you need to understand the differences.)

This meant that Britney’s father was legally responsible for her financial decisions, but he also decided where she lived and which doctors she should see. It’s quite clear to anyone that this was the right decision for the Spears’ family, as Britney just finished a successful run as a judge on the X Factor. It was unclear whether Britney’s conservatorship would end any time in the near future.

A Chicago Guardianship Lawyer Can Help Seniors

Lastly, a Chicago guardianship lawyer can help seniors if they’re unable to make decisions for themselves, including medical and financial decisions. Seniors can be particularly susceptible to falling for financial scams and a guardianship can help protect their assets from this. Additionally, having a guardian can help ensure that seniors receive the medical care they need, especially if they’re suffering from health problems like dementia or Alzheimer’s.

 

These are only three instances in which a Chicago guardianship lawyer can be of service. If you’re not sure whether your situation requires this arrangement, contact Peck Ritchey. We can take a look at your specific situation and help you determine whether a guardianship could benefit your family.

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How Attorneys Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago Can Protect Elderly Relatives

Estate Planning Lawyers ChicagoIf you have loved ones who are getting older, it’s important to plan for a number of situations. An attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago can help with quite a few issues, including financial planning, guardianship and preventing financial elder abuse through a power of attorney. Taking the time to prepare for these situations can help protect your loved ones as they age.

Attorneys Specializing In Elder Law In Chicago Can Help With Financial Planning

Getting older is expensive, especially if long-term medical care is necessary. The cost of long-term care can be staggering and can quickly wipe out a family’s resources in just a few short years. To protect your assets, meet with an elder law attorney. He or she will know what’s necessary for you to quality for services like Medicaid, how to legally protect your assets whenever possible and keep your relative living in her own home if that’s what she would like to do.

A Lawyer With Experience In Elder Law In Chicago Can Help With Guardianship

It’s very likely that your elderly relative will become unable to care for him or herself at some point. If you’re worried about them harming themselves in an accident, or you’re concerned that they could be swindled out of their financial resources, it may be necessary to establish a guardianship. A lawyer with experience in elder law in Chicago will be able to draw up guardianship papers so that you can be the one responsible for financial, health and living decisions.

Establishing guardianship can be difficult, especially if multiple family members don’t agree on who should be the guardian or if it’s even necessary. You will also need the help of an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago to help get the person declared legally incompetent, which can cause plenty of hurt feelings.

An Attorney Who Concentrates In Elder Law In Chicago Can Prevent Financial Abuse With A Power Of Attorney

Elder abuse is a major problem and it can include physical, mental and sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment and financial abuse. While the police should be contacted if you suspect elder abuse, an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago can help protect seniors against financial abuse. If you’re concerned that a loved one is being swindled out of their money, or someone is taking advantage of them, contact a lawyer about drawing up a power of attorney. A power of attorney will give financial control to someone else, which can protect your loved one’s bank account.

If you have a loved one who seems to be losing money, is worried about affording long term care or you think they’re unable to care for themselves, it might be time to contact an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago. The attorneys at Peck Ritchey are elder law experts and can help you or your loved ones throughout every step of the aging process.

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Don’t Make These Six Mistakes When Writing Your Will

Estate Planning DocumentIf you haven’t yet prepared a will, you’re probably putting it off because you aren’t sure what to include, how to structure it to protect your heirs or even how to establish a trust for your children. That’s perfectly normal – most individuals are confused by the many laws surrounding a last will and testament, but you can quickly get clarification from a Chicago will attorney at Peck Ritchey. Rather than run the risk of leaving behind a confusing or invalid will, talk to us about having your will prepared properly. We can help you avoid the following common mistakes:

Mistake #1: Neglecting To Assign An Executor Or Chicago Will Attorney

While the courts can appoint an executor for your estate, it’s best to choose a person you know and trust as the executor of your will. Almost any Chicago will attorney can tell you a tale about a court-appointed executor who winds up causing problems because he or she simply didn’t understand or care about the wishes of the deceased person. A Chicago will attorney can help you choose someone who has the right skills, is trusted by the family, and who will execute the will faithfully.

Mistake #2: Trying To Mix Assets

Family fights and bad blood can be avoided if your will clearly outlines what each heir inherits and what should be done with the bulk of your estate. Many people who are executors, however, attempt to mix assets or don’t fully understand the importance of keeping specific bequests separate. If there is an independent life insurance policy in effect or joint accounts that your loved one had with another individual, the situation can be even more confusing. To make sure that you don’t mix assets and that you understand which assets should be included or left out of the estate, consult with a Chicago will attorney.

Mistake #3: Not Making Funeral Plans

This is a crucial aspect of an estate that is often overlooked by individuals trying to write their own wills. They assume that their children or grandchildren will be able to make the funeral arrangements themselves. Sadly, this often leads to unnecessary bickering when everyone is trying to mourn and when most people are particularly sensitive to criticism. One person may feel that a cherry wood coffin and a lavish funeral with hundreds of mourners is appropriate while another heir may feel that their loved one would have preferred a private send-off with minimal fuss. A Chicago will attorney can assist you in outlining your funeral wishes clearly and in detail so that your descendants don’t have to go through the painful process of making arrangements.

Mistake #4: Not Appointing A Guardian For Your Children

No one thinks they will die while their children are still young, but it has happened often enough that every parent should prepare in advance for the possibility. Without stipulating a guardian for your children, they could end up wards of the court and given over to a guardian you would not have chosen because of their age, a fundamentally different lifestyle, or a religious view that doesn’t agree with your own. Talk to a Chicago will attorney at Peck Ritchey about choosing and appointing an appropriate guardian so that your children will be raised in a manner closely aligned with your own beliefs and child-rearing methods.

Mistake #5: Forgetting Fido

Despite their status as members of your family, pets are considered personal property by probate courts. That means your dogs or cats could end up being sold or given away if you don’t specifically leave them to an heir who will care for and love them. A Chicago will attorney may also advise you to leave a specific amount of money to the person who inherits your pet or pets to defray the expenses of caring for your furry friend.

Mistake #6: Not Paying Off Debts Before Distributing The Estate

As the executor of an estate, you may discover that the heirs to an estate are anxious to get their fair share of the inheritance. Often, they will want the executor to distribute the funds as soon as possible, not understanding or caring that there may be substantial debts or obligations that have to be paid for out of the estate before the remainder is distributed to the heirs. When preparing your own will, a Chicago will attorney can assist you in writing clear instructions for paying off debts and obligations from a bank account set aside specifically for this purpose. This allows for quicker distribution of the estate, while protecting executors from liability if additional expenses are discovered.

At Peck Ritchey, a will attorney isn’t just a lawyer who creates a standard document. He or she will be your advisor every step of the way, suggesting ways to structure your estate in order to protect your heirs and ensure that your final wishes are carried out faithfully. Visit our website to schedule an initial consultation.

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Location, Location, Location

When it comes to getting legal matters taken care of, convenience of a law firm’s location is vital. The estate planning and elder law attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC understand their current and future clients’ needs, which is why they have offices in the suburbs.

Peck Ritchey, LLC’s main office is located in the Chicago loop. But for the convenience of their clients, both litigation attorneys and estate planning attorneys can have meetings at our offices in Northbrook, Orland Park, or Skokie.

Having offices in both Cook and DuPage County is especially helpful for our elderly clients and their families.  The close, personal attention our legal team provides will ensure you understand your options and what steps need to be taken to achieve your goals.

To have a 30 minute, no-cost consultation with a Peck Ritchey, LLC attorney call (855) 328-5787. When you speak to the attorney, let him know if you can schedule a meeting at one of our satellite offices. This way, our attorneys can help ensure you have the best legal experience possible.

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Peck Ritchey’s Elder Attorneys Work With County And State Agencies To Represent And Protect The Elderly

At Peck Ritchey, we’re proud of our record as elder attorneys in Chicago, where we’ve represented hundreds of elderly clients and their families. The safety and well-being of the elderly is the primary focus of many area agencies that work to combat elder abuse and neglect. In today’s society, the elderly are increasingly falling through the cracks. In many cases, elder attorneys in Chicago are instrumental in protecting the rights and health of older individuals and their families.

Help Protect Your Loved Ones With The Help Of Elder Attorneys In Chicago

Over the years, the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago have created many laws and statutes that address various issues involving the abuse or neglect of elderly individuals. In some cases, Peck Ritchey was instrumental in developing these laws. Our law firm frequently provides legal advice to older individuals and their family members when elder laws have been violated or ignored. In order to establish and defend various elder law statutes, we’ve worked closely with various agencies and organizations that provide care and support to aged individuals and their families.

A Unique Relationship With Agencies Supporting The Aged

Our close relationship with various organizations dedicated to the elderly gives us a distinct advantage when we are hired as elder attorneys in Chicago. We are familiar with the ways that state and local agencies operate and can suggest various ways to protect your elderly loved ones from abuse, including adult day care solutions, appropriate home health care agencies, respite services for caregivers and nursing homes that meet the highest standards of care.

We’ve worked as elder attorneys in Chicago for decades and can guide you and your loved ones toward the best solutions for your entire family, often apprising our clients of options they didn’t even know existed such as homemaker care for routine cleaning, errands and household chores. We work with our clients to connect them with the right programs for their needs as well as the needs of their families. In some cases, our elder attorneys can introduce clients to agencies providing financial assistance as well as physical and emotional support.

Court Appointed Elder Attorneys

Chicago courts often call upon elder attorneys in Chicago to represent elderly clients who don’t have family or friends to protect them against abuse or neglect. Peck Ritchey lawyers are frequently appointed as Guardians Ad Litem or Trustees for those who have passed away without a will in place or for individuals who may need legal counsel due to suspected abuse or neglect. In the past, our elder attorneys have also acted as administrators or executors of estates. This level of trust in our lawyers is an indication of our experience and integrity.

Understanding The Needs Of The Elderly

If you need the services of experienced, respected elder attorneys in Chicago, take some time to browse our website and visit our blog, where you’ll discover important information on elder abuse and neglect as well as other relevant issues. Over the years we’ve researched many elder law issues, written papers on them and given talks to organizations devoted to elder issues. This gives us a unique perspective that will be extremely valuable to you and your loved ones. We also have worked with many state and local agencies on aging for clients through the years, ensuring that our elder attorneys in Chicago can give you and your elderly loved ones the finest representation possible.

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