The start of the new year marks a time for resolutions. One of the best ways to make sure 2014 (and beyond) is a good year is to take steps to secure your family’s health and financial security, which is easier than you may think!
1. Get an estate plan. Make 2014 the year to start to protect yourself and your family. Whether it’s a simple will or an asset protection plan, contact one of our firm’s Chicago estate planning lawyers who will help you find the most appropriate plan for you.
2. Take Inventory. If you have aging parents, resolve to learn where they keep their important documents. That way, if there is an emergency you will know where to find important contacts and account information without added stress. Also, check to make sure their documents are up-to-date. If you find a 30 year old will or outdated powers of attorney it’s time to consult with an estate planning attorney.
3. Check In. In our busy lives, it’s hard to make time to check in with our elderly relatives. In the new year when you visit their homes, make sure that not only are their living conditions appropriate, but also that they have the help they need. Maybe getting a part-time caregiver or hiring somebody to clean the house once a month would increase their quality of life.
4. Keep in touch. Resolve to increase the number of times you call or visit your elderly relatives. By making more frequent visits you will be better able to monitor their well-being.
If you’ve never written a will before or gone through the estate planning process, you might not understand just why it’s important to have professional help! However, the estate planning attorneys in Chicago at Peck Ritchey, LLC know why it’s vital to have professional assistance when you’re writing your will.
A professional planned estate isn’t just for the very rich or people with a lot of assets. If you’re not sure whether you should have help from estate attorneys in Chicago, learn about three common situations that you might not have thought of previously.
Estate Planning Attorneys In Chicago Can Help Even If You Don’t Have Any Beneficiaries
If you’re a single person with no children or family, it’s still important to determine where your assets will go. If you pass away without a will, then your estate could be divided up between distant relatives that you might not have ever even met, much less had a relationship with. It’s also possible, in rare cases, that your estate ends up in the state’s hands.
Instead, consider using estate planning attorneys in Chicago to help determine where your assets will end up. This is especially important if you have a special charity that’s close to your heart or you want to leave your assets to a friend that you’re not actually related to.
Don’t Wait Until You’re Ill Before Contacting Estate Attorneys In Chicago
Many people don’t consider calling estate attorneys in Chicago unless they’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness. The illness often acts as a wake up call that pushes them to take action. However, accidents can happen at any time, which could leave you unable to make a decision about what happens with your estate.
For this reason, don’t wait to contact estate attorneys in Chicago to create a plan. Having a plan in place, especially a living will, can help your friends and family members understand your wishes if you’re unable to speak for yourself.
Estate Attorneys In Chicago Can Prevent Your Family From Fighting When You’re Gone
It’s not uncommon for families to avoid talking about death and what happens after a loved one is gone. Although this may seem like the easiest thing to do, it can cause major problems if your family isn’t happy with your decisions. Estate attorneys in Chicago can help ensure that your assets are divided as equally as possible, which can eliminate the chance of arguments between your family members. Additionally, these estate attorneys in Chicago will be able to help you spell out your exact wishes for your funeral or other memorial services, which can help alleviate a lot of stress for your family during this difficult time.
Estate attorneys in Chicago can help, even if you don’t have any family or you don’t think you’re ill enough to need help. Additionally, they’ll be able to make sure that your family doesn’t fight with each other over assets when you’re gone.
The estate attorneys in Chicago from Peck Ritchey, LLC can help throughout all steps of the estate planning process.
Managing the estate of a deceased friend or loved one can be challenging. There are legal requirements to meet and ramifications for nearly every decision you make. To make it more difficult, you’ll often have to make these decisions while still mourning the loss of your loved one. That’s why it’s important to have Peck Ritchey estate lawyers in Chicago helping you.
The job of fiduciary or executor often falls to the most trustworthy and honest person the decedent knew. While an honor, it comes with a great deal of responsibility that some people are unprepared to handle. Suddenly you are in charge of making sure the person’s final wishes are honored, will is filed and honored, debts and taxes are paid, obligations are taken care of and every day matters of living are attended to. Oh, and did we mention, you might have to do this under the scrutiny of heirs who don’t think you’re the best person for the job?
It’s for reasons like this that so many executors seek the advice, counsel and guidance of Peck Ritchey estate lawyers. Our estate lawyers in Chicago guide hundreds of executors through the probate process, help them manage wills and trusts and ensure they are performing their duties in compliance with the law every year.
How Peck Ritchey Estate Lawyers In Chicago Can Help
Anyone can be named the executor of an estate. You don’t need to have any special legal knowledge or be particularly good with finances. What you do need is to operate within the confines of the law. Sometimes, people get nervous just thinking about being responsible for someone else’s assets. Others get nervous when they realize there are legal requirements to be met and they don’t know what they are. Still others are too distraught over the loss to feel confident in their ability to make the best decisions.
Peck Ritchey estate lawyers can guide and support you through this maze. Our experience and expertise extends to all aspects of estate planning and administration. We can:
- Guide you through the probate process.
- Appear by your side in court, if need be.
- Assist in the transfer of assets.
- Help resolve claims.
- Ensure the estate plan gets implemented as intended.
- Prepare and file state and federal inheritance tax returns.
- Help you find and identify heirs and manage the estate if there is no will.
- Arrange for the disposition of assets.
- Help you identify individuals, agencies and services that should be notified of the decedent’s passing.
- Keep detailed records of all decisions, actions and transactions made related to the estate.
We will also make sure you’re meeting all of your legal obligations. It is vitally important that you follow the rules of law when fulfilling your fiduciary duties. If you fail to do so, you can open yourself up to personal liability and may find yourself getting sued by heirs or fined by the court or government agencies.
You have an important duty to fulfill. Let the Peck Ritchey estate lawyers in Chicago help you accomplish it. Contact us at (855) 328-5787 to learn more about our estate planning and administration services.
It’s a common misconception — estate attorneys in Chicago are only needed if you’re extremely wealthy. However, this is completely false! If you have a modest lifestyle and don’t own a private jet or other luxuries, here’s how estate attorneys in Chicago can help you.
Estate Attorneys In Chicago Can Establish A Living Will
Even though it seems slightly morbid, it’s important to think about what happens if you’re suddenly incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. Whether you had a major medical event, such as a heart attack or stroke, or were in a car accident, it’s important that your family members know how much — or how little — medical care you want to receive. Perhaps the thought of living on a ventilator for the rest of your life bothers you or you don’t want to receive life-sustaining nutrition if you’re unable to eat on your own.
A living will can take the guesswork out of your family members’ hands. They won’t have to worry about arguing over what they think you would have liked, because your living will can make sure everyone knows your wishes.
Estate Attorneys In Chicago Can Establish Guardianship
If you have minor children, do you know what would happen to them if you were to suddenly die? While this is any parent’s nightmare, it’s important to plan for this possibility, just in case. Before you meet with estate attorneys in Chicago, talk to your friends and family members. Ask them if they’re willing to step up and raise your children in case you pass away and then have your attorneys draw up guardianship papers so there’s no question. This important step can help ensure that your children are left in a stable household, no matter what happens to you.
Guardianship also refers to the legal guardianship of adults who are no longer able to care for themselves. Establishing guardianship of an adult means that you’ll be able to make medical and financial decisions for them, but you must be appointed by a court order for the guardianship to be legal.
Estate Attorneys In Chicago Can Create A Power Of Attorney
A power of attorney is a useful document if you’re ever unable to access your money, sign legal paperwork or make medical decisions. A power of attorney can be special or limited. If you decide on a limited power of attorney, your estate attorneys in Chicago will be able to advise you on just what it entails because the power will be limited to the specifications in the document. A special power of attorney will give your agent full power of representation in all situations. If you’re not sure which document is right for your situation, make sure to ask your estate attorneys in Chicago for their advice to make sure that you’re choosing the right one.
Someone with a power of attorney can make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to make them yourself. However the difference between this and a living will is that with a power of attorney, the agent does not have to take your wishes into consideration. If you have a specific way you want medical issues to be handled, a living will is a necessary document.
You don’t need to be very wealthy to take advantage of estate attorneys in Chicago, as everyone should have a living will, establish guardianship for their minor children and have a power of attorney in case they’re unable to make decisions for themselves.
If you’re looking for estate attorneys in Chicago, Peck Ritchey, LLC can help. We can help you understand the complex issues surrounding estate planning to make sure you — and your loved ones — are taken care of.
If you have loved ones who are getting older, it’s important to plan for a number of situations. An attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago can help with quite a few issues, including financial planning, guardianship and preventing financial elder abuse through a power of attorney. Taking the time to prepare for these situations can help protect your loved ones as they age.
Attorneys Specializing In Elder Law In Chicago Can Help With Financial Planning
Getting older is expensive, especially if long-term medical care is necessary. The cost of long-term care can be staggering and can quickly wipe out a family’s resources in just a few short years. To protect your assets, meet with an elder law attorney. He or she will know what’s necessary for you to quality for services like Medicaid, how to legally protect your assets whenever possible and keep your relative living in her own home if that’s what she would like to do.
A Lawyer With Experience In Elder Law In Chicago Can Help With Guardianship
It’s very likely that your elderly relative will become unable to care for him or herself at some point. If you’re worried about them harming themselves in an accident, or you’re concerned that they could be swindled out of their financial resources, it may be necessary to establish a guardianship. A lawyer with experience in elder law in Chicago will be able to draw up guardianship papers so that you can be the one responsible for financial, health and living decisions.
Establishing guardianship can be difficult, especially if multiple family members don’t agree on who should be the guardian or if it’s even necessary. You will also need the help of an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago to help get the person declared legally incompetent, which can cause plenty of hurt feelings.
An Attorney Who Concentrates In Elder Law In Chicago Can Prevent Financial Abuse With A Power Of Attorney
Elder abuse is a major problem and it can include physical, mental and sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment and financial abuse. While the police should be contacted if you suspect elder abuse, an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago can help protect seniors against financial abuse. If you’re concerned that a loved one is being swindled out of their money, or someone is taking advantage of them, contact a lawyer about drawing up a power of attorney. A power of attorney will give financial control to someone else, which can protect your loved one’s bank account.
If you have a loved one who seems to be losing money, is worried about affording long term care or you think they’re unable to care for themselves, it might be time to contact an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago. The attorneys at Peck Ritchey are elder law experts and can help you or your loved ones throughout every step of the aging process.
Many people watch legal dramas on television and think that an attorney spends the majority of his or her time in court, arguing before a judge or jury. While it’s true that some attorneys work in litigation, there is one group of lawyers that dedicate themselves to helping their clients as they age. Getting older is certainly inevitable, but there are certain steps that an attorney that concentrates in elder law in Chicago can take to help older adults as they age.
Estate Planning Lawyers Who Work With Elder Law In Chicago
Estate planning is a major part of an elder law attorney’s job. While many people know that estate planning is important, they don’t really understand what this means. One of the first things that needs to be done is writing a will. A will can help your family members understand what will happen with your belongings after you pass on, which can help alleviate a lot of stress for your family members after you’re gone.
However, a will isn’t the only document that needs to be drawn up. You’ll also need to create a power of attorney. This document is useful in the event that you’re unable to make medical decisions for yourself, because it gives another person the authority to speak for you. A living will can also help with specific medical situations, such as if you’re unable to breathe or eat on your own.
Guardianship Attorneys Who Specialize In Elder Law In Chicago
No one really wants to think about the day their parents are unable to care for themselves, but if this happens, it’s important to work with a lawyer who can help with elder law in Chicago. These attorneys can assist you throughout the legal process of taking over your parents’ medical decisions and finances, which can help keep older adults safe from scammers.
Planning For Unique Situations
Although it’s hard to talk about, many people will need some sort of professional care as they age. An attorney who understands elder law in Chicago will be able to plan for long-term medical care, including cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Long-term care can be quite expensive and these attorneys help families maximize care, while keeping finances intact.
If you’re concerned with taking care of your aging parents or another beloved older adult, the best thing to do is to contact attorneys who specialize in elder law in Chicago. The professional team of attorneys at Peck Ritchey always keeps your family’s best interests in mind. Working with a professional attorney who understands elder law in Chicago can help ensure that your family is well taken care of.
Elder law attorneys help seniors and their families in many ways, in both proactive and reactive situations. With help from one of our Chicago elder law attorneys, seniors can map out a plan for their financial future, ensure their last wishes are honored or fight for rights that have been violated.
Facing The Future
No one knows what the future may hold. As we age these uncertainties can become more worrisome. Our financial situation may become more precarious. Our health may start to decline. We may worry about staying in our homes. In any of these situations, an elder law attorney can help seniors prepare for the future. Elder care lawyers have spent years learning about elder law and the unique issues that seniors face.
To help prepare clients for the future, Chicago elder law attorneys may draw up estate plans, establish trusts and guardianships, help seniors navigate tax law or offer asset protection advice. Alzheimer’s Disease planning can lessen the devastating effects this progressive disease has on families and individuals by designing legal protections that can protect quality of life and ensure financial stability even as cognitive function fades. A strong will or estate plan ensures last wishes are honored while appropriate tax planning can lessen the burden of income or estate taxes on seniors. Setting up an advance healthcare directive or planning for long-term care can ease worries about the future too.
Managing The Unexpected
Not only can elder law attorneys protect your future, they can protect your present as well. Age discrimination, elder abuse and neglect and family squabbles over your care or assets all warrant a call to your elder care lawyer. Through legal procedures or litigation, you and your rights can be protected.
Many seniors and their families eventually come to the conclusion that outside help is needed or that it’s time to move to a nursing home. Chicago elder law attorneys often have a vast network of professional services and organizations that cater to senior’s unique needs. Even if your situation doesn’t require legal action, your elder care lawyer can be a great resource in finding trusted services.
Choosing A Chicago Elder Law Firm
Finding the right elder care lawyer starts with an assessment of your needs. Since the field is so wide and varied, it is impossible for every lawyer to adequately cover every area of elder law. Most have chosen a few areas of specialization. Start here. If you need help with estate planning, look for a Chicago elder law firm that has strong estate planning experience. If your rights have been violated and you need to go to court, look for an elder law litigation lawyer.
At Peck Ritchey we have assembled an array of elder law attorneys who concentrate in many different areas. This allows our Chicago elder law firm to offer services that cover all areas of Chicago elder law and elder care. If a situation arises where your attorney doesn’t have the expertise needed, it’s a simple matter to call in a colleague to consult. More than our expertise is our compassion. Every one of our lawyers cares about seniors, their unique needs, and their individual situations. We understand that you’ll be sharing very personal information with us and sometimes be making tough decisions. Our attorneys will listen to your concerns, hopes and fears just as intently as we will evaluate your needs and legal recourse. Contact the Chicago elder law attorneys at Peck Ritchey today for a free initial consultation.
Retirement, long-term care, Social Security, Medicaid. These are just some of the new issues we have to deal with as we age. For many of us, these issues and the changes they bring can be overwhelming and confusing. Elder care lawyers in Chicago can help you make sense of the decisions you have to make and clear your confusion.
Elder Care Lawyers In Chicago Specialize In Issues Affecting Seniors
Consulting a firm of elder care lawyers in Chicago can be one of the smartest moves you make as a senior citizen. These attorneys have dedicated their legal practice to understanding the issues seniors face and developing legal solutions to carry their clients through their golden years while maintaining their quality of life. Elder care lawyers in Chicago work with seniors and their loved ones to develop legal protections that ensure their clients needs are met for the rest of their lives and that their last wishes are honored.
In addition to providing legal services, elder care lawyers in Chicago often tap into their network of senior resources to help their clients manage day-to-day life. These professionals can often be counted on to provide suggestions or recommendations for public and private agencies or services that serve the senior population such as home healthcare assistance, Meals on Wheels programs and transitional housing programs.
Areas Of Legal Expertise
Since seniors are affected by nearly all aspects of the law, and even some that are unique to older adults, it should come as no surprise to find elder care lawyers in Chicago with a wide range of expertise. In fact, the field of elder law is so broad that it is not unusual for a firm of elder care lawyers in Chicago to employ several lawyers, each with only a few specialties. By setting up the practice this way, the firm can ensure their clients receive expert knowledge and service in very specific areas as opposed to a single lawyer who can provide general knowledge of many areas, but not a high level of expertise in any.
Areas of concentration among elder care lawyers in Chicago include:
- Estate Planning
- Wills, Probate and Trusts
- Guardianships and Conservatorships
- Healthcare Planning, including End-Of-Life and Long Term Care decisions
- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs
- Retirement Planning
- Asset Protection
- Age Discrimination
- Elder Abuse and Neglect
Elder care lawyers in Chicago often serve in more hands-on capacities as well. They may act as executors of wills or trusts or be called upon to administer the estate after death. They can guide the estate administrators through the probate process and assist with the filing of inheritance tax returns, resolving claims and fulfilling the wishes of the deceased.
One of the greatest services provided by elder care lawyers in Chicago, however, is simply the advice and support they offer seniors and their families. Elder care lawyers are professionals who understand the unique needs and limitations of seniors and have spent their entire practice designing solutions to seniors’ most pressing legal needs.
If you need to consult elder care lawyers in Chicago, contact the attorneys at Peck Ritchey. We provide litigation and transactional services for seniors covering all aspects of elder law in the Chicagoland area.
At Peck Ritchey, we’re proud of our record as elder attorneys in Chicago, where we’ve represented hundreds of elderly clients and their families. The safety and well-being of the elderly is the primary focus of many area agencies that work to combat elder abuse and neglect. In today’s society, the elderly are increasingly falling through the cracks. In many cases, elder attorneys in Chicago are instrumental in protecting the rights and health of older individuals and their families.
Help Protect Your Loved Ones With The Help Of Elder Attorneys In Chicago
Over the years, the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago have created many laws and statutes that address various issues involving the abuse or neglect of elderly individuals. In some cases, Peck Ritchey was instrumental in developing these laws. Our law firm frequently provides legal advice to older individuals and their family members when elder laws have been violated or ignored. In order to establish and defend various elder law statutes, we’ve worked closely with various agencies and organizations that provide care and support to aged individuals and their families.
A Unique Relationship With Agencies Supporting The Aged
Our close relationship with various organizations dedicated to the elderly gives us a distinct advantage when we are hired as elder attorneys in Chicago. We are familiar with the ways that state and local agencies operate and can suggest various ways to protect your elderly loved ones from abuse, including adult day care solutions, appropriate home health care agencies, respite services for caregivers and nursing homes that meet the highest standards of care.
We’ve worked as elder attorneys in Chicago for decades and can guide you and your loved ones toward the best solutions for your entire family, often apprising our clients of options they didn’t even know existed such as homemaker care for routine cleaning, errands and household chores. We work with our clients to connect them with the right programs for their needs as well as the needs of their families. In some cases, our elder attorneys can introduce clients to agencies providing financial assistance as well as physical and emotional support.
Court Appointed Elder Attorneys
Chicago courts often call upon elder attorneys in Chicago to represent elderly clients who don’t have family or friends to protect them against abuse or neglect. Peck Ritchey lawyers are frequently appointed as Guardians Ad Litem or Trustees for those who have passed away without a will in place or for individuals who may need legal counsel due to suspected abuse or neglect. In the past, our elder attorneys have also acted as administrators or executors of estates. This level of trust in our lawyers is an indication of our experience and integrity.
Understanding The Needs Of The Elderly
If you need the services of experienced, respected elder attorneys in Chicago, take some time to browse our website and visit our blog, where you’ll discover important information on elder abuse and neglect as well as other relevant issues. Over the years we’ve researched many elder law issues, written papers on them and given talks to organizations devoted to elder issues. This gives us a unique perspective that will be extremely valuable to you and your loved ones. We also have worked with many state and local agencies on aging for clients through the years, ensuring that our elder attorneys in Chicago can give you and your elderly loved ones the finest representation possible.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease. The rate of decline varies person to person. Therefore, you must consider the healthcare and financial decisions you must make now – as well as in the future to ensure YOUR wishes are met.
Advanced planning should begin at diagnosis so you can participate as much as possible and help limit family members from making important decisions on your behalf during a crisis period.
Why do you need an Attorney?
To settle legal matters such as:
- Identifying and completing legal documents (wills, trusts, deeds).
- Interpret state laws.
Making plans for medical and treatment decisions.
- How does the patient want their wishes carried out?
Making plans for finances and property.
- How to preserve assets while caring for a loved one.
- Am I eligible for government aid?
- Naming another person to make decisions on your behalf when you longer can.
To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and how you can help, visit our website.
For legal representation related to this issue, contact Peck Ritchey directly at 312-201-0900.