Should I include care for my dogs in my trust just in case I pass before they do?

I have three beloved border collies (ages two to five) and I’ve been recently diagnosed with 3rd-stage lung cancer. Should I include care for my dogs in my trust just in case I pass before they do? I ask because my sister in Scottsdale told me that if I did nothing, the dogs would be euthanized a few weeks after my death.

That is a lovely consideration for your furry family members. Illinois does allow a trust for domestic or pet animals. It’s covered under the Pet Trust Act (760 ILCS 5/15.2). (more…)

Peck Ritchey, LLC to Sponsor AgeOptions Event

Peck Ritchey, LLC, is proud to be a gold-level sponsor of the 12th Annual AgeOptions Networking Reception and Silent Auction. The event will be held Thursday, September 22 at the Crystal Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The silent auction will feature electronic bidding via a smartphone app.

Proceeds from the event will go toward funding important programs that help older adults in suburban Cook County.

AgeOptions is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974. Its mission is to advocate for services for older adults and their families. To learn more about the event, visit this website.

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…)

The Basics of Elder Abuse

Millions of vulnerable seniors are victims of elder abuse every year. Abuse most often comes in the form of financial exploitation, physical or sexual abuse, active or passive neglect, confinement, isolation, or willful deprivation of medical care, food, water or physical assistance.

Oftentimes such cases are suffered through by individuals who have dementia or Alzheimer’s, or those who have a physical impairment that causes them to have a heavy dependence on others. These individuals can experience a sense of helplessness, but prevention programs to stop elder abuse are slowly becoming more common. The biggest step families can take to prevent elder abuse is to listen and stay educated about issues surrounding aging family members.

At Peck Ritchey, LLC, our Chicago elder abuse and neglect lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of Chicago’s elderly population and we will aggressively pursue action against those who exploit the elderly in Chicago. To discuss the particulars of your circumstances with one of our experienced attorneys, please call (855) 328-5787 today.

How often should I review and/or update my beneficiary designations on my various insurance and IRA accounts?

It is important to review and update your beneficiary designations as you move through different stages of your life or have life changing events. The most common changes and events that I see are marriage, divorce, birth of a child, your children becoming adults, and, ultimately, death. (more…)

Should my Power of Attorney for Property, my Healthcare Power of Attorney, and my Executor all be the same person?

Initially, the nominated agent for your Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Power of Attorney for Property and the Executor of your Estate do not have to be the same person. You may choose to identify the same person if in fact you rely on one person to make all of these decisions. It is not uncommon for a trusted person to serve in all three capacities. Common examples include: spouse; partner; child or parent to be named in all three capacities. (more…)

Kerry Peck interviewed by NYT about Sumner Redstone estate scandal

Recently, our very own Kerry Peck was asked by The New York Times to weigh in on the controversy surrounding Sumner Redstone’s estate. Peck told the Times, “the Redstone pattern is happening in epidemic proportions.”

“Caregivers in particular, often younger women, are ingratiating themselves into the lives of older men,” Mr. Peck said. “They meet them at places you’d consider safe, like senior centers, churches and synagogues. They start as caregivers, and then they become romantic suitors. We’re seeing these scenarios with stunning frequency.”

To read the whole story, click here (PDF opens in new window).

At Peck Ritchey, LLC, we respect and value everything that Kerry brings to the firm and, now, to this national conversation.

Tips for Hiring an Attorney

Hiring an attorney can be an overwhelming experience, especially for those who have never retained legal counsel before. The outcome of this case will have the potential to impact your life for the foreseeable future, so it’s important that you do your research before you select an attorney. To help you with this process, the legal team at Peck Ritchey, LLC, has created a short guide to help you learn more about hiring the right attorney. You can click here to read the guide in its entirety.

Understanding elder abuse and neglect

Aging individuals — especially those who have serious medical conditions — are susceptible to neglect and abuse at the hands of caregivers. Though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware that over 500,000 older adults face abuse or neglect every year, they believe that the crime is seriously unreported.

Family members might suspect that their elderly loved one is experiencing abuse if he or she has visible bodily injuries like wounds, bruises, lacerations and head injuries. Aside from physical injuries, the CDC notes that sexual, financial, and emotional abuse may go undetected, but can and do happen to nursing home residents. Neglect is more difficult to detect, and cases of neglect are often complicated depending on the person’s physical or mental state. Family members who believe that their elderly loved one is being abused or neglected should understand that they have the right to file a legal claim against negligent parties.

The lawyers at Peck Ritchey, LLC understand that many elderly people suffer serious injuries as a result of abuse and neglect. If you think this is happening to your loved one, we may be able to offer you the legal assistance you need to hold malicious caregivers accountable. Call our office at (855) 328-5787 to learn more about your legal options.

How to Hire an Attorney

When faced with a legal question, many people are unsure about where and how to start. Selecting a lawyer for your needs and becoming acquainted about legal issues can be a daunting task. I often compare selecting an attorney to selecting a physician. You need to do some research, interview them or have an initial consultation, and evaluate if they are a good fit for you and your needs in order to make an informed decision. The stakes are high, both personal and financial.


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