After a Family Member Passes Away, Do You Know What To Do?

Estate PlanningA death in the family is one of the hardest times for people. What makes it even more difficult is when families have to deal with paperwork and legal issues for the deceased person and don’t know where to start.

How a Chicago Probate Attorney Can Help:
If the deceased individual planned ahead and had an estate plan prepared, the task of administering their estate can be relatively straight forward. However, sometimes those left in charge of distributing assets to beneficiaries and closing accounts are not comfortable with their responsibility. Other times, people don’t plan ahead or have an outdated will, and the estate administration becomes more complicated. 

The Chicago probate lawyers at Peck Ritchey, LLC are experienced in helping their clients with the administration of a decedent’s estate as well as other probate matters. What this means is that an attorney can help his client sell property, transfer assets to beneficiaries, and navigate probate court as needed.

If you have any questions about what needs to be done after a death in your family, contact the probate lawyers at Peck Ritchey, LLC for a consultation.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Understanding The Most Common Problems That Probate Attorneys In Illinois Can Help With

Elder Law Chicago

If you don't understand what probate attorneys in Illinois do, you're not alone. Many people don't understand what types of services probate attorneys in Illinois provide — that is until they need one! If you're confused about what this type of lawyer can do for you, learn about the most common problems that probate attorneys in Illinois take care of. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Probate Attorneys In Illinois Can Write A Will To Avoid A Lengthy Probate Process

Probate always happens after someone dies. Although it sounds highly technical, it's often quite simple. You'll need to prove that a will is valid, which is easy to do if a professional, experienced attorney wrote the will. The more quickly a will is validated and proven, the faster the beneficiaries can receive their share of the estate.

If you're writing your will and want to provide even more protection against a lengthy probate process, consider adding a no-contest clause to ensure that your wishes are followed. If you're writing your will with an attorney, don't keep it a secret! Let your family members know what's in it and if you have special treasured belongings, consider going through them with your family members so that they understand what they can expect to receive after you're gone. If you have multiple children, one of them may want a treasured painting hanging in your home, while another may want to receive Grandma's antique china. Spelling out what should happen with each item after you've passed can help eliminate unnecessary arguments after you're gone and keep the peace between your loved ones.

Probate Attorneys In Illinois Can Help Contest A Will

However, if you're a family member and suspect that your loved one was under duress when the will was written, you can contest it with help from probate attorneys in Illinois. A lengthy fight can drain the estate of resources, which means contesting a will shouldn't be taken lightly if you're already a beneficiary. On the other hand, if you are a beneficiary and someone else is contesting the will, you can use a probate attorney to help fight against this and protect the estate.

Probate Attorneys In Illinois Can Help Avoid High Inheritance Taxes

Inheritance taxes can be quite high and many people think that they're unavoidable. However it is possible to alter a will legally to shield beneficiaries from expensive inheritance taxes. It's vital that this is done with the help of experienced probate attorneys in Illinois to make sure that the process is done legally — otherwise you could face problems other than high inheritance taxes!

If you think you need the assistance of probate attorneys in Illinois, contact Peck Ritchey, LLC. The helpful attorneys at Peck Ritchey are experienced in probate, estate planning, guardianships and tax law and will be able to help, no matter what type of services you need.

                                                                                                             

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

3 Instances When You Need A Fiduciary Litigation Attorney In Chicago

Meeting with an AttorneyNot everyone who has been named as a fiduciary representative for a friend or family member's estate in Chicago needs the counsel of a lawyer. Even fewer require the services of a litigation attorney. But there are a few instances when you need to retain the expertise of a lawyer who is not only skilled in estate planning, wills and trusts, but who is also a litigation attorney. Here are three situations in which you'll want to contact a litigation attorney in Chicago.

A Litigation Attorney In Chicago Is Essential If…

1. There's Conflict Over The Will.  The biggest reason for litigation involving a will or estate comes from disgruntled heirs. Sometimes there is no will to speak of. Other times there is a will but the heirs aren't happy with it. Still other times, the heirs have a problem with the executor of the will. Any one of the instances can result in the fiduciary agent, or executor, becoming involved in a lawsuit.

If you think the heirs are going to be unhappy with you or the provisions of the will, you will want to consult an attorney right away. Whether or not it leads to litigation may need to be seen, but by speaking with an attorney at the soonest possible moment, you can position and protect yourself from being blindsided by a lawsuit.

2. You Goofed. Sometimes lawsuits are filed when the fiduciary agent messes up. As fiduciary you have certain responsibilities to the estate and the court. If you neglect these duties or don't perform them correctly, you open yourself up to personal liability and may find yourself on the defending end of a lawsuit. If you know you've made a mistake contact a litigation attorney at Peck Ritchey, LLC immediately. It's possible the mistake can be easily rectified without a lawsuit being filed. We can help get you back on track and managing your duties properly.

If you're unsure of how to fulfill your duties, contact us. We can advise and guide you through the process to ensure you are acting within the confines of the law and performing your duties as intended.

3. You've Already Been Named In A Lawsuit. If you've already been named in a lawsuit you need to find a litigation attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will work to protect your rights and interests and help you get through the lawsuit with as little damage as possible. At Peck Ritchey we try to minimize litigation at all costs, but if attempts at negotiating a settlement fail, we are prepared to vigorously defend you in a court of law.

At Peck Ritchey, LLC we represent families and individuals who are involved in the litigation of contested wills, trusts, and guardianships. Not only do we represent fiduciaries, we can also advise them and help them fulfill their responsibilities. Peck Ritchey also administers estates, acting as the fiduciary or executor of an estate. To learn more about our fiduciary or estate planning services or to speak with a litigation attorney in Chicago, contact us at 855-328-5787 or visit us at: www.peckbloom.com.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Our Probate Lawyers In Chicago Can Help You Avoid Common Executors’ Mistakes

Chicago Elder Law LawyerIf someone you loves trusted you to be the executor of their estate, they have put a great deal of trust in your ability to properly handle everything from filing the proper notices to distributing their property to their heirs. Even if you are familiar with the process, probate lawyers in Chicago can help smooth the way to an easy settlement of the estate. We'll help you avoid several common estate mistakes by making sure you follow the appropriate steps.

Probate Lawyers In Chicago Will File All The Necessary Paperwork

From obtaining and filing the death certificate to preparing, serving and filing notices, Chicago probate lawyers are familiar with every document that needs to be filed in order to distribute and close the estate. We'll make sure that notices are placed in the appropriate newspapers and that all potential heirs are contacted as well as debtors and creditors. Our probate attorneys will also use the correct language and form for each document.

We Will Determine What Is And Isn't Covered By The Will

It's becoming increasingly common for individuals to prepare a will that covers only a portion of what they want to leave to their descendants. Many people now have separate insurance policies and retirement accounts that aren't part of their estate. Our probate lawyers in Chicago can quickly determine what is a part of the actual estate and what has to be handled separately. The laws that apply to these accounts can be confusing, but our probate specialists can walk you through the process with ease.

We Aren't Afraid Of Tax Issues

Estate taxes and the federal laws surrounding life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other assets can be confusing. At Peck Ritchey, our probate attorneys in Chicago are experts at

taking an estate successfully through the complex maze of potential tax issues, protecting the estate from excessive taxation so that the heirs aren't expected to pay a heavy penalty or excessive taxes.

Proper Interpretation Of The Will Is Critical

Handling someone's estate also means seeing that their last wishes are carried out properly. This can be an emotionally draining process, particularly if the person who passed away didn't outline those wishes clearly. If the will has numerous stipulations or is unclear about certain aspects of the estate, it's best to consult with probate lawyers. Peck Ritchey's Chicago attorneys have handled hundreds of estates and are proficient at interpreting and carrying out the wishes outlined in even the most convoluted wills.

Distributing The Estate At The Proper Time

Most people want to jump the gun on distributing an estate because they are looking forward to a financial windfall or receiving items of sentimental value. At Peck Ritchey, however, our probate lawyers in Chicago know that early distribution can lead to a variety of problems, including leaving the executor of the estate with responsibility for outstanding debts or obligations that should be covered by the estate. We'll make sure that all obligations are properly discharged before we distribute the estate in order to protect the heirs as well as the executor.

We understand that as the executor of a loved one's estate it can be difficult to handle every detail. That's why working with one of our probate lawyers in Chicago is such a good idea. We'll handle the details so that you can mourn the loss of your loved one without neglecting the estate or its heirs. Call us today at 312-201-0900 to discuss your estate or that

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Hiring Litigation Attorneys In Chicago

If the time has come for litigation, the first thing you'll want to do is hire a good attorney. Litigation attorneys in Chicago are easy to find, but choosing the right one for your specific case takes a little homework.

Finding Litigation Attorneys In Chicago: Start With Concentration

To cut down on the amount of time you spend researching and interviewing attorneys, start your search for litigation attorneys in Chicago by seeking out only those who concentrate in your specific type of case. For example, if you've been wrongly terminated, you need to find an attorney who specializes in employment law as opposed to real estate law. Once you've determined what general area of expertise you need, you can begin a more effective search.
Thanks to the internet, a quick online search will pull up hundreds of results for you. You can begin your search by visiting several websites and gleaning what information you can from them or you can start your search with the state bar association. The Illinois State Bar Association allows you to search for litigation attorneys in Chicago. An added benefit of starting with the bar association is knowing that the attorneys who are listed have met the requirements that were set forth by this professional association. This means the attorneys who are listed are licensed to practice law, have professional liability insurance and are in good standing with the Attorney Regulation and Disciplinary Commission.

Membership in professional associations is also a good indicator of the quality of lawyer you're researching. In general, attorneys who are active in professional associations are expected to adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards.

Take Your Time

It's never a good idea to rush decisions. This is definitely true when you are hiring someone to represent you in a legal situation. That said, take some time to research the firms and attorneys on your short list. Just because your cousin had a good experience with a lawyer doesn't mean the same lawyer will be the right fit for you. Ultimately the attorney you choose must be someone you feel comfortable with. Litigation attorneys in Chicago will have access to many private details of your life. You don't want to share that information with a lawyer you don't trust. Many firms offer free or low-cost consultations. Take advantage of these and meet with several litigation attorneys in Chicago until you find the right one for you.

Research the firm or attorney ahead of time. You should be able to gain a lot of information from the firm's website, and find out if the attorney has any special experience in your types of cases or maintains membership in professional associations. You may find online reviews and recommendations on the attorney that you can use to aid your decision-making.

Nearly as important as the lawyer's qualifications are his manners and treatment of you and your situation. During your consultation, try to gauge the attorney's level of interest in your case. Is she interested in it or dismissive? Does he speak to you in terms you understand and treat you with respect? All of these are important considerations when hiring litigation attorneys in Chicago. Remember, not only will you be working with this attorney, he or she will need to present your case in front of a judge and jury. You want them to understand and trust your lawyer as much as you do.

For help in areas of litigation, contact Peck Ritchey at 877-845-1743. Our litigation attorneys in Chicago will be happy to discuss your case and advise you of your options.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Understanding What Your Chicago Litigation Lawyer Will Do For You

If you're like most people, filing or being named in a lawsuit is a nerve-wracking time. You are entering uncharted waters with no idea what the outcome will be or how far the case will go. What you want most is a qualified litigation attorney by your side to support you through this trying time. Understanding what your Chicago litigation lawyer is doing on your behalf can go a long way toward easing your mind about the litigation process and the role of the attorney.

Understanding What A Chicago Litigation Lawyer Does

Peck Ritchey's Litigation lawyers handle civil lawsuits. They file lawsuits and carry them through the legal process. A Chicago litigation lawyer may or may not carry the case all the way to a trial. In fact, the vast majority of litigation cases are settled out of court and never make it to the trial court.

A Chicago litigation lawyer from Peck Ritchey handles the case from beginning to end. After they submit the initial filing, a litigator gets to work gathering evidence, researching case law and developing the case. For plaintiffs, this involves proving that you have suffered a loss in some way. For defendants in Chicago, a litigation lawyer will examine the evidence against you and develop a defense. These attorneys can interview witnesses and take statements, gather documents and conduct fact-finding searches to support their case. Much of their work is done outside of the courtroom and it is not at all uncommon for a litigator to never set foot inside a courtroom or present in front of a judge and jury. Most of their work is done via the phone and through written correspondence. Successful Chicago litigation lawyers are very detail oriented and familiar with the ins and outs of legal filings and motions.

Don't be surprised if your lawyer recommends settling out of court. It's very, very common for litigation cases to be settled this way and does not mean your case isn't valid. Settling out of court is just one alternative to going to trial. It's usually quicker than going to trial and both parties can still come to an agreement.

If a case does go to trial, the litigator will prepare it for presentation in court by gathering evidence, preparing witnesses and developing arguments and statements. At trial, your attorney will help select the jury and present the case in court, question witnesses and present evidence. They will help work out the settlement and can file an appeal if you lose your case.

The Specialization Of Litigation Lawyers

A Chicago litigation lawyer typically specializes in one or two areas of law, concentrating his or her practice almost exclusively on cases falling into these areas. Before hiring a Chicago litigation lawyer, you'll want to learn what areas of law they specialize in and make sure it fits your needs. A Chicago litigation lawyer with the appropriate background and knowledge is crucial to the success of your case.

You will find a qualified and respected Chicago litigation lawyer covering all aspects of probate, trust and guardianship litigation at Peck Ritchey, LLC. Contact us at 877-845-1743 for more information about our litigation services covering all aspects of elder law.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn