Bobbi Kristina Brown dies at the age of 22

Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter and only heiress of late singing icon Whitney Houston, died at the age of 22 on July 26, according to a report by the International Business Times.

Bobbi Kristina was in a coma and treated for about six months after being found unconscious in a bathtub at her home in Roswell, Georgia. During this time, her large inheritance from her mother became the center of speculation. According to the New York Daily News, Whitney Houston’s will states that in the event of her daughter’s death, Bobbi Kristina’s grandmother and two uncles would inherit the fortune. Whitney Houston’s will didn’t include Bobbi Kristina’s father, Bobby Brown, after the ex-couple’s divorce in 2007.

At one point, Bobbi Kristina Brown’s boyfriend, Nick Gordon, was also believed to be the next in line to receive her fortune. Bobbi Kristina and Nick claimed that they had married in 2014, but Bobbi Kristina’s father said no marriage records exist. While she was in a coma, a judge granted her father and her aunt as co-guardians over her, but the financial situation was not mentioned at that time.

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Bobby Brown applies for guardianship over his daughter Bobbi Kristina

Bobby Brown, the father of Whitney Houston’s only heir Bobbi Kristina Brown, has reportedly filed for guardianship over his daughter, who remains unresponsive in a hospital after being found unconscious in a bathtub earlier this year, the International Business Times reported on May 8.

Although the article reports the Houston family believes Brown is seeking Bobbi’s inheritance, estate law states that her will would still be valid; her will mandates that Bobbi Kristina’s inheritance will be handed over to her grandmother, Cissy Houston, and her aunt Pat and uncle Gary Houston, in the event of her death.

The Houstons have also expressed their plan to contest Brown’s move.

A will can make sure that your family’s future is taken care of. However, issues of guardianship and conservatorship can complicate things. At Peck Ritchey, LLC, we can assist you throughout all of your probate or estate planning needs. Call our offices in Chicago at (855) 328-5787 today to learn more.

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

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, mynewsLA.com 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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Amanda Bynes’ parents give up conservatorship

Amanda Bynes’ parents are reportedly giving up conservatorship over their troubled daughter, Mirror reported on Tuesday, November 11.

According to the report, the star’s welfare will be taken care of by a mental health professional specializing in severe mental health illnesses. Meanwhile, Byne’s conservatorship attorney confirmed the actress’ financial needs will be taken care of by an unnamed private trust firm. Her parents, meanwhile, are reportedly planning to move back to Texas.

The next probate hearing is scheduled in February next year.

Guardianship is designed to look after the welfare of individuals who are not able to handle their own personal and financial affairs. If you need legal help seeking guardianship, our team of Chicago guardianship administration lawyers at Peck Ritchey, LLC, is willing to look into your circumstances and find effective ways by which legal guardianship may be obtained. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our firm at (855) 328-5787 today.

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Paul Walker’s daughter to live with mother and nanny

Paul Walker’s daughter will live with her biological mother and a nanny after a Los Angeles family court commissioner dismissed the guardianship case over the 15-year-old teen, the ABC News reported on May 28.

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner David Cowan decided to drop the guardianship case for Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow Walker, after the legal counsel he assigned for Meadow proved that no further court oversight for the teenager’s care was necessary. Amy Nieman, the attorney representing Meadow, told the court that an adequate plan had been set up for the care of the teenager.

Cheryl Walker, Paul Walker’s mother, had previously claimed guardianship over her granddaughter, but later decided to drop the case due to her granddaughter’s wishes. Meadow’s mother, Rebecca Solteros, is currently sober and receiving treatment for alcoholism.

Family issues like this can best be handled by attorneys adept in legal matters involving child custody and guardianship. If you are involved in a situation like this in Chicago, speak with an attorney at Peck Ritchey, LLC to get the legal representation you need. Call us at (855) 328-5787 today.

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How to Prepare for Legal Situations You May Face During a Medical Emergency

 Emergency Legal Planning ChicagoIt’s only natural for most people to put off getting an estate plan in order. But what people may not realize is that if a medical emergency happens, like a car accident or a stroke, their medical wishes and treatment may not be handled in the manner they would have liked.

Say your mother is in the hospital and incapacitated. Unless you are her Power of Attorney, you may not be able to make decisions with regard to her treatment.

It’s never too early to put Powers of Attorney in place because this will allow the person you select to make the decisions for your medical treatment as closely to your wishes if you become unable to make choices for yourself.  But it can be too late to get this important legal document drafted!

If you wait too long and suffer a brain injury or get a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease you may have to get a guardian; this can be a complicated legal matter you may wish to avoid.

Since you cannot plan for medical emergencies it’s best to be proactive. Drafting a will and securing Powers of Attorney are the first steps in protecting your future-and one less thing to worry about when a medical emergency does occur.

To learn more about Powers of Attorney, guardianship, and what estate planning is best for your family contact the attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC at 312.201.0900.

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Guardianship Law Helps Protect Older Adults From Abuse and Manipulation

As we live longer, we are sometimes less able to make sound decisions or care for ourselves. It's in situations like this that guardianships, also known as conservatorships in the case of older adults, come in to play.

 Senior Guardianships

Guardianships and conservatorships are court-ordered arrangements where a capable adult is given the responsibility of managing another adult's financial, healthcare or household affairs. They are commonly set up between children and their senior parents in situations where the parent is no longer able to make reasonable decisions on his or her own. In some cases, the parent has set up an advance directive which specifies who is to care for them when the time comes that they need a guardian or caretaker. It might even specify one person to manage their finances and another to manage their day-to-day life decisions or healthcare choices. Advance directives give the senior control over who will be responsible for him, but they must be set up well before they are needed.

More often than not, however, guardianship requests are brought before the court when it becomes apparent that the senior cannot care for him or herself any longer. In cases like these, the court makes the ultimate decision on who will be the guardian and what his or her responsibilities will be.

Protecting Seniors Through Guardianship Law

Seniors who are incapable of making sound decisions for themselves run the risk of being manipulated and/or abused by friends, family and strangers alike. Guardianship law helps avoid these types of situations. Guardianship law helps protect a person's assets and finances from mismanagement or theft by giving responsibility for such to a court-appointed custodian. Likewise, seniors' healthcare and living decisions are protected under guardianship law when a guardian is responsible for the decision-making.

Types Of Guardianships

There are three basic types of adult guardianship arrangements: Guardian of the Person, the Estate of Property and Plenary Guardian.

A Guardian of the Person oversees their charge's health. They manage all aspects of healthcare from making appointments to paying medical bills and dealing with insurance. Guardians of the Person might work with assisted living facilities to manage living and care arrangements. This type of caretaking is common to advance medical directives.

Guardians of the Estate or Property manage their ward's property, assets and finances. They might handle taxes and tax payments, the distribution and property and paying day-to-day expenses and bills.

A Plenary Guardian is a combination of the above-mentioned guardianships. Under guardianship law, plenary guardians manage nearly all aspects of their charge's life.

Creating A Guardianship With Help From Your Peck Ritchey Attorney

To set up a guardianship or conservatorship, a formal request must be brought before the court. As expected when you are talking about managing someone else's life for them, it is not a simple process, which is why working with a lawyer experienced in guardianship law is so highly recommended.

At Peck Ritchey our guardianship lawyers assist their clients every step of the way. From the initial filing of the legal papers to representing the client at court hearings, your guardianship law attorney will be a resource you can count on to guide you through the nuances of the legal process.

Even before papers are filed, you can expect your Peck Ritchey attorney to advise you of all of your options. Conservatorships are not the only way to protect seniors. Powers of attorney, trusts and estate planning are just a few of the tools available to you if you want to avoid guardianships or if you are denied a guardianship request.

Working with one of our experienced elder care attorneys will make the process easier and ensure you're choosing the best course of action for everyone involved. Our attorneys can help capable seniors set up advance care directives or they can help concerned relatives create a guardianship for their loved ones.

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Haunted by Hoarding

Hoarders fail to recognize the dangers of their behavior. As the severity of the hoarding increases, others may have to step in and intervene.

How hoarding leads to self neglect:

  • Food preparation becomes difficult when appliances and kitchen are inaccessible or inoperable.
  • Extreme clutter is a safety hazard.
  • Debris in the bathroom may prevent proper hygiene.
  • Large quantities of “stuff” may make it difficult to find and properly dispense medications.

Hoarding is often coupled with isolation; therefore the older adult has few people checking in on their safety, they are not going to the doctor, etc.

Several legal issues can arise from hoarding:

  • Landlord may petition the court to evict a tenant when unsanitary conditions violate a lease;
  • Animal welfare may petition the court to remove abused or neglected animals and potentially press charges;
  • Public health department may appear before court to demand an order to bring property to code or to condemn the property.

The legal system can play a key role with appropriate intervention.

Judges recognize hoarding as a social and personal problem. Attorneys work together with social service providers to implement and support the necessary changes. They create an explicit plan that clarifies what changes in the home must occur and establish a mandated timeline to complete those changes.

Consider guardianship.

Peck Ritchey concentrates in all aspects of probate, estate planning, guardianship, tax law, elder abuse and elder law. Our attorneys provide innovative approaches and successful solutions to meet your needs and have extensive experience with hoarding cases.

To speak with an attorney about a hoarding-related issue call Peck Ritchey at 312.201.0900 and receive a 30-minute no-cost consultation.

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New IICLE® Press Publication: Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests 2012 Edition

Peck Ritchey is pleased to announce the recent publication of Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests 2012 Edition produced by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE®).

As you may be aware, Kerry R. Peck was a co-author for this publication. His work can be found in chapter 13 on Guardianship Litigation.

The Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting the professional development of Illinois attorneys through Illinois-focused practice guidance. Mr. Peck’s work on this project is on a volunteer basis.

If you have any questions about the book, please contact IICLE® Customer Service at 800-252-8062 or info@iicle.com.

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Preventing and Reacting to Elder Abuse

Check out our guest post today on “The Working Caregiver” blog: Preventing and Reacting to Elder Abuse. Attorneys Kerry Peck and Jesse Footlik, of Peck Ritchey, LLC, write about the rampant amount of financial exploitation and elder abuse across the country and how caregivers and seniors can use legal tactics to prevent and react to exploitation.

This blog is hosted by our good friend Susan Avello, who is not only the author of two books on caregiving, but also a partner at AgingInfo USA– a company that connects caregiving resources with corporate America.

*For the full article, CLICK HERE.

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