Andrew Sachs Dies at 86

86-year-old Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs died following his battle with dementia, which lasted four years.

According to wife Melody Sachs, Sachs suffered from vascular dementia. He was first diagnosed in 2012 and spent eight months in a nursing home facility. After suffering from intense pneumonia, Sachs lost his capacity to speak, a common characteristic of people suffering from the disease. Mrs. Sachs said she had the best life with her husband and no one should feel sorry for her loss. Despite his long battle with dementia, Sachs remained positive until the end of his life. Friends of Sachs in the film industry describe him as a hilarious and extraordinary person. He started his acting career on BBC radio and later captured our hearts when he played Manuel in John Cleese’s comedy series Fawlty Towers.

We at Peck Ritchey, LLC expresses our sincerest condolences to the family of Andrew Sachs. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

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How can I bring up the need for estate planning to my parents?

Sometimes I believe that Dad is afraid my brothers and I are trying to take control of his life by handling his estate and other financial or legal affairs. How can we help him understand that we want to help, not harm, him?

You are not alone! We hear this every day from adult children who are looking out and trying to advocate for their parents. “Having the talk” with your parents about their finances and estate plan is a delicate subject. No one likes to discuss their own disabilities, their decline, or plan for their own death. (more…)

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Ron Webb to present to the Illinois Federation of Teachers on estate planning

Ron Webb is presenting to the Illinois Federation of Teachers on March 3, 2016 on Estate Planning. He will discuss wills, powers of attorney probate, how to avoid probate, joint tenancy, trusts, Illinois estate tax, and the IRA Inheritance Protection Trust.

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Robin Williams’ children, widow settle estate dispute

Robin Williams’ children and his fourth wife, Susan Schneider Williams, have finally come to an agreement after a highly publicized dispute over the late comedian’s possessions. The details of the out-of-court settlement were not disclosed to the public, but the lawyers representing both parties in the case have stated that they believe the settlement will appease both sides.

Susan Williams obtained the home in Tiburon that she and the late actor shared before his death, along with the establishment of a trust that will enable her to maintain the property. The case began in December of 2014, when the widow filed a petition with the court stating that some of the actor’s belongings were removed from their shared home without her consent, and asking that the contents of their home be excluded from the items that would be left to his children, Zachary, Zelda, and Cody.

While the settlement is still awaiting court approval, it seems likely that it will be granted as the judge had previously encouraged the parties to come to reasonable terms outside of court. Mr. Williams’ widow and children will surely be glad to finally reach a conclusion in their disagreement over the distribution of the estate so that they can carry on with their mourning.

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What are my rights as an executor?

A person trusted to be the executor of an estate bears the responsibility of ensuring that instructions in the will are devotedly being carried out, and assets are being managed in a way that is responsible and efficient. To allow executors to carry out these tasks, the court grants them certain rights, usually through a document called a letters testamentary.

As an executor, you may have the right to:

  • Be reimbursed for all the expenses you’ve incurred
  • Receive compensation
  • Hire professionals to work with you
  • Liquidate assets in order to manage the estate’s costs or pay the deceased person’s debts
  • Communicate with the people and institutions who had served the testator during his or her lifetime, and those who would normally keep the information about the deceased person confidential

However, executors are almost always under scrutiny from the beneficiaries involved. If you are an executor and have been accused of claims that would need legal guidance and representation to resolve, speak with our team at Peck Ritchey, LLC by calling our Chicago offices at (855) 328-5787 today.

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Dispute over Jimi Hendrix’s estate settled

The legal dispute over the estate of late American guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jimi Hendrix has been settled, according to an article from Rolling Stone.

A settlement has been reached between Jimi Hendrix’s adopted sister and the operator of his estate, Janie Hendrix, and his brother, Leon Hendrix, over a 2009 claim that Leon Hendrix and his company, Hendrix Licensing, sold merchandise that used the late icon’s signature and image without the rights. The settlement, which was reached in July, banned Hendrix Licensing from selling items with the registered Jimi Hendrix trademark. Both parties also agreed on an undisclosed settlement amount.

In 2002, Jimi Hendrix’s father died, leaving the late music icon’s $80 million estate to his daughter, Janie Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix died without a will in September 1970, which has only complicated matters.

Failing to plan your estate could put your loved ones’ financial welfare at risk. At Peck Ritchey, LLC, we help Chicago residents secure their loved one’s futures through estate planning. Call us at (855) 328-5787 today.

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Why nursing home planning is necessary

A good estate plan ensures that your heirs are well provided for in the event of your death or incapacity. However, a better estate plan is the one that addresses not just the needs of your children, but also your needs as your situation begins to necessitate the service of a long term care facility.

The service of a nursing home can be so costly that planning for it as early as today is necessary to protect the assets you have amassed over the years. Nursing home costs have the potential to deteriorate funds you intended to pass down through the family. With nursing home planning, however, you can plan to provide for your health later in life without trading off the financial future of your family.

Nursing home planning is part of the estate planning services our team of probate attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC, offers. Call us at (855) 328-5787 and start planning for you and your family’s futures today.

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A third of the affluent have not established estate plans

A survey among 750 individuals with investible assets of at least $1 million revealed that 38% of the affluent in the country have failed to establish an estate plan, CNBC reported on June 29.

The study showed that wealthy families with estate worth between $1 million and $5 million were less likely to plan for their financial future compared to those with assets reaching $5 million or more. Democrats and independents were also less likely to seek financial advice for their estate needs.

Experts believe that the reluctance of many wealthy families to plan for their estates lies on the ever-changing federal-estate tax law, which was only made permanent in 2013. Because of the changes, many affluent families have grown weary of keeping their estate documents up-to-date.

However, planning for your estate should never be an exhausting, endless legal task. Our team of Chicago probate attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC, can help you draft an accurate and compliant estate plan. Call us at (855) 328-5787 and start securing the financial future of your family today.

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A large number of Americans have no will

An article published in The New York Post on April 26 revealed that a staggering number of Americans either don’t have a will or lack an updated one.

According to the analysis, approximately half of married couples in the U.S. have no written will, as well as 80% of people aged between 35 and 44. The report also said 41% of Americans aged 55 to 64 don’t have a will. Some experts believe many Americans see the process of creating a will as inconvenient and costly, while others do not think it is a priority when they feel healthy.

By failing to create a will, you may be risking the financial security of your children and other family members. By planning your estate early on, you can be sure that your family’s future is safeguarded in the way you intended. To seek legal help in planning your estate, speak with our team of probate attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC, by calling (855) 328-5787 today.

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Zsa Zsa Gabor’s daughter dies, left unclaimed

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband and conservator Frederic Prinz von Anhalt looks into the possibility of arranging the funeral of Zsa Zsa’s only daughter, Francesca Hilton, who recently died of a stroke or heart attack, according to a report by the Mail Online on January 8.

As Gabor’s court-appointed conservator, von Anhalt wants to know if he has the legal standing to take care of Hilton’s funeral and estate. Things had been very rough between Hilton and her stepfather von Anhalt. In 2012, Hilton requested for an independent conservatorship over her ailing mother. The court agreed but appointed von Anhalt as the temporary conservator of Gabor’s fortune.

Hilton, who died at 67 at a restaurant in West Hollywood, is Gabor’s daughter to multimillionaire hotel tycoon Conrad Hilton. Her body remained unclaimed in a Los Angeles hospital morgue.

At Peck Ritchey, LLC, we are prepared to assist Chicago residents in a wide range of estate, probate, trust, and guardianship matters. Call us at (855) 328-5787 to get legal help today.

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