Our aging population has created some unique concerns for families with older members. Peck Ritchey, LLC is a boutique legal firm that provides Cicero, IL with focused assistance in guardianship, probate, estate planning, and elder law. When an older or special needs family member requires legal help, we can offer you compassionate, knowledgeable advice on how to handle their needs.
We have over 100 combined years’ experience in the practice of elder law and guardianship litigation, and our team knows that these are emotionally charged times for everyone involved. Let us help you and your family through these matters and reach a solution that’s in everyone’s best interests.
We practice exclusively in the areas of probate, trust, and guardianship law so that we can provide our clients with the best advice we can in these areas. Our attorneys can help with litigation in these types of cases:
- Estate Planning. Arranging the disposition of your estate, or that of a loved one is not something people want to think about, but it needs to be done early so that your family is provided for later. If changes must be made, we will have a record of your plan that can be updated when necessary.
- Administration of Estates, Trusts, and Guardianships. When it is time to execute the will or administer the trust, you’ll want to have appointed someone you have confidence in to ensure that everyone is paid, including creditors and business interests.
- Probate, Trust, and Guardianship Litigation. No matter how carefully these matters are planned beforehand, there may be unforeseen legal challenges when a will is probated or a trust executed. Such cases are always emotional and complicated, but we can help you through them with care and compassion.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Planning. This most frightening of diagnoses means not only watching a loved one fade away but many years of medical bills and nursing care. We can help soften the blow by assisting with financial planning and powers of attorney while you and your loved ones can still make those decisions together.
- Guardianship Administration. Having a guardianship in place does not end the matter. A guardianship must be reviewed periodically by the courts to ensure the subject is being properly cared for and their interests met. Financial documents must be kept in order, and the subject’s needs provided for. We can help the guardian with these administrative details.
- Guardianship Litigation. Not every guardianship runs smoothly. In cases of breach of duty, abuse, exploitation, or removal of the guardian, it may be necessary to return to court to have the case reviewed by a judge. If you believe a guardianship is being mishandled, we can help have the case seen in court and the rights of the subject protected.
- Elder Law. For the elderly, the end of life has become a balance between quality and quantity. We provide assistance in end-of-life care planning and assisted living planning, so that powers of attorney, financial planning, and other matters are in place before you must make those last decisions.
- Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation. It is unfortunate that there are criminals who prey on the most helpless among us, but Peck Ritchey, LLC is here to help you fight them. When you believe you or your family members have been a victim of such abuse, our team knows the laws that protect the elderly from crimes against them.
- Asset Protection. Do you know the rules about when and to whom you can transfer real estate, stock options, or business ownership? Not many people do. Our attorneys can help you protect your assets during your lifetime, and ensure your heirs and beneficiaries receive the things you want them to have after you are gone.
- Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect. This especially heinous area of negligence requires both compassion and vigorous advocacy. We will provide both if you believe that you have experienced such an act.
- Special Needs Planning. A family member with special needs is an extra challenge. They will need a lifetime’s care and support that will still allow them to receive the public benefits to which they are entitled. We can help you craft a trust which will let them have the most independence with the best quality of life they can obtain.
- Corporate Law, including Small and Family Business Planning. If you have a family business, it will be an important part of your estate planning. We can help you ensure that the disposition of your business is included in whatever final plans you make, and nothing gets overlooked or forgotten.
Managing Partner Kerry R. Peck received his degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. He has been honored by the state of Illinois for his work in elder law and was appointed Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Elder Justice in 2021. He is the author of numerous articles on the subject of Alzheimer’s disease and the legal system.
Timothy J. Ritchey has been appointed Special Assistant Attorney General to represent the State of Illinois in numerous matters regarding healthcare and disability law. He has testified as an expert on elder abuse and financial exploitation before the Illinois Senate. Mr. Ritchey graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law with honors.
Why You Need an Attorney
Even the simplest of wills should be reviewed by an attorney to ensure all the formalities are met. A valid will in Illinois requires two signatures of independent witnesses, both of whom must sign in the presence of the person making the will.
For more complicated matters such as those described above, it is always best if you have legal assistance. When arranging a living trust, setting up a special needs or long-term care trust, or making any financial plans for the future, you should have someone at your side who understands the requirements that make the documents legal.
Things like guardianships should never be attempted by yourself. A guardianship is an attempt to legally restrict the civil or personal liberties of another person and cannot be done without providing specific evidence that that person is unable to care for their own needs. You should always consult a legal professional who understands the requirements before attempting such litigation.
If you need advice in this legal area, you should contact Peck Ritchey, LLC at (855) 328-5787. We will provide the compassionate and thorough assistance you need for the financial and emotional decisions you must make. Contact our office today.