Tips From An Attorney Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago: How To Protect Elderly Relatives

Elder Law ChicagoElder abuse is a common and serious problem for the elderly. Many elderly people can’t fully take care of themselves, so they rely on hired strangers and relatives to help them with bathing, eating, cleaning and ensuring they take any required medication on time. However, this can sometimes become stressful and overwhelming to caretakers. While being stressed and overwhelmed over caregiver responsibilities is no excuse for elder abuse, it often happens anyway.

Tips From An Attorney Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago: What Is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse can come in many forms. It can be physical, mental, financial or even sexual. Being neglected or abandoned can even be a form of elder abuse. It can be a one-time occurrence or it can become ongoing.

Tips From An Attorney Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago: What To Watch Out For

When talking to your elderly relative, look for signs that they may be frightened or abused. This can include cowering when touched, unexplained bruises, becoming upset whenever the caregiver comes around or any other reaction that seems uncommon or unexplained. You should also look out for bedsores, missing money or a change in the elder’s financial situation, poor hygiene or depression.

If you suspect that your relative is being abused or neglected, attorneys who concentrate in elder law in Chicago recommend that you remove the caregiver as soon as possible.

Tips From An Attorney Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago: How To Fire A Caregiver

If you’ve hired a caregiver, this part is easy — just let them go. However, the details can take a little bit of planning. If you suspect serious abuse, you’ll need to have a backup plan in place. The best thing you can do is tell the caregiver that you no longer need their assistance, effective immediately. If you’ve hired through an agency or care organization, make sure that you tell the people in charge why you’re firing your caregiver. If there have been previous complaints, the agency should take care to drop the caregiver from their roster of approved employees to protect itself from a pricy lawsuit.

If your caregiver is a family member, you’re likely going to need help from an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago. You may need to file for emergency guardianship over your elderly loved one so you can keep the abusive caretaker away. This can cause a lot of family stress and strife so it’s important to know what’s going to happen before you begin. When you speak in front of a judge, arm yourself with the facts of the case and do your best to keep emotion out of your testimony. When the judge sees that you’re truly looking out for your loved one, your outcome can be more favorable.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected, an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago can help you determine what the best course of action is.

To learn more about Peck Ritchey or to contact us about issues related to elder law in Chicago, please visit our website or call (312) 201-0900.

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What Attorneys Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago Want You To Know About Planning For Your Parents’ Future

Estate Planning Lawyers ChicagoIf your parents or grandparents are aging, there are a lot of things that need to be done in order to prepare your family for its changing dynamics. When you’re considering your options for the future, it’s best if all family members are on the same page. To help make this process an easier one, attorneys who concentrate in elder law in Chicago have a few tips about things that you should consider when starting this sensitive conversation.

What Attorneys Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago Want You To Know: Start The Conversation Early

If you’re noticing that your parents or grandparents are having a hard time getting around or become easily confused, you need to have a serious conversation about the future as soon as possible. However, attorneys who concentrate in elder law in Chicago recommend starting a conversation well before it’s needed. When you can discuss the future with your parents when they’re still able to make all decisions for themselves, they can play an active role in deciding where they’re going to live and how they want things to be handled in case they’re not able to make decisions for themselves.

What Attorneys Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago Want You To Know: Legal Counsel Isn’t Always Necessary

Many families worry that they need the help of an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago before they start a conversation with their parents or grandparents about the future. If your older relatives still have their mental faculties, this isn’t necessary. However, if they aren’t fully competent, it may be important to contact an attorney who concentrates in elder law in Chicago for assistance. He or she will be able to help you determine if you need to apply for a guardianship so you can make healthcare and other decisions for your parents.

What Attorneys Concentrating In Elder Law In Chicago Want You To Know: About Driving

Driving is a privilege, but many older drivers have been behind the wheel for decades, which can make it seem like a right instead of a privilege. This makes it difficult for seniors to accept when it’s time to hang up the car keys. Laws can vary when it comes to seniors and driving, but in Illinois, drivers must apply for renewal every two years between ages 81-86 and every year when they reach age 87 and older. Drivers age 75 and older also need to take a road test in order to renew their driver’s license. What happens, however, if your parent has recently had a number of accidents or you feel as if he or she shouldn’t be driving anymore, even though they are legally able to? An attorney concentrating in elder law in Chicago can provide you with legal advice on how to approach this situation.

Aging is inevitable and if families don’t have a plan for their aging parents or grandparents, it could cause a lot of stress and havoc. If you have questions regarding elder law in Chicago, please visit Peck Ritchey, LLC. To learn more about the firm’s services, please visit our about us page.

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Is an Elder Law Lawyer for You?

Elder Law ChicagoElder law is an area of practice that concentrates on issues that affect the aging population.  But don’t let the name fool you, elder law lawyers work with individuals of all ages!

How do you know if you need a Chicago elder law attorney?

At Peck Ritchey we have an array of Chicago elder law attorneys who concentrate in many different areas. Finding the right lawyer starts with an assessment of your needs. For example, if you need help with estate planning, our Chicago elder law firm has extensive estate planning experience. If you have an issue with a will, trust or even abuse/neglect, our elder law litigation lawyers can address that issue in court if necessary.

Ways an elder law lawyer in Chicago can help:
Peck Ritchey, LLC provides an array of services for seniors, including planning for health care decisions, end-of-life issues, and meeting possible long term care needs. An elder law lawyer can also assist with general estate planning, administration, and guardianship proceedings, and even litigation matters.

Contact the Chicago elder law attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC today for an initial consultation at (855) 328-5787.

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Financial Elder Abuse: Warning Signs And How To Use Elder Lawyers In Illinois To Fight Back

Elder Law ChicagoIf you have aging parents, you know that keeping track of their financial well being can be difficult. Seniors are especially susceptible to elder abuse, but families can help protect them against financial abuse by knowing what it looks like, being aware of the warning signs and taking legal steps with the help of elder lawyers in Illinois. Take a few minutes to learn how you can employ elder lawyers in Illinois to protect your aging parents or other relatives.

What Is Financial Elder Abuse?

Basically, financial elder abuse occurs when a senior is taken advantage of financially just because of their age. Seniors can be easy targets for scammers and swindlers. These people can use a number a ways to scam seniors out of money, including:

  • Contacting them over the phone and asking for money for a made up charity.
  • Stealing a credit or debit card.
  • Using a power of attorney to write checks or make unauthorized ATM withdrawals.
  • Convincing a senior to sign over a financial power of attorney.

What Warning Signs Should You Look For?

Financial elder abuse can be difficult to spot, but there are a few key warning signs that you can look for to protect your loved ones. If you notice things like bills that are going unpaid, credit card or bank statements with a number of unusual transactions, or that your loved one is suddenly spending a great deal of time with a new friend and giving away large gifts or belongings, you should be on the lookout for financial abuse.

Although most people worry about elder financial abuse from strangers, it’s actually family members who are the biggest perpetrators. This could be because family members could feel like they deserve the money and elderly parents may not want to prosecute their children who are taking advantage of them.

How Families And Elder Lawyers In Illinois Can Help Protect Seniors

One of the best ways families can protect their elderly relatives is to have more than one person be responsible for financial accounts. Checking accounts could have more than one adult child on the account, as well as the senior. While it might not be possible to have bank account or credit card statements mailed to two addresses, it is possible for each person to have online access. Having two sets of eyes on each account can help ensure that money is being spent wisely and that there aren’t any red flags.

Additionally, elder lawyers in Illinois can help by drawing up joint powers of attorney. This ensures that two people can make any necessary financial decisions, protecting seniors, their money and their families. If you find that your parent or other relative has been a victim of financial elder abuse, elder lawyers in Illinois can also help you fight back and recoup your parents’ money.

If you’re looking to protect your elderly parents from financial elder abuse, turn to elder lawyers in Illinois. Elder lawyers in Illinois, such as Peck Ritchey, LLC can help draw up paperwork that won’t leave your parents vulnerable to scammers and swindlers. If you’re looking for elder lawyers in Illinois to help protect your family, please contact them today.

To learn more about services from our elder lawyers in Illinois, please visit see our practice areas

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Face The Present And The Future With Confidence With Help From Chicago Elder Law Attorneys

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.

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Location, Location, Location

When it comes to getting legal matters taken care of, convenience of a law firm’s location is vital. The estate planning and elder law attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC understand their current and future clients’ needs, which is why they have offices in the suburbs.

Peck Ritchey, LLC’s main office is located in the Chicago loop. But for the convenience of their clients, both litigation attorneys and estate planning attorneys can have meetings at our offices in Northbrook, Orland Park, or Skokie.

Having offices in both Cook and DuPage County is especially helpful for our elderly clients and their families.  The close, personal attention our legal team provides will ensure you understand your options and what steps need to be taken to achieve your goals.

To have a 30 minute, no-cost consultation with a Peck Ritchey, LLC attorney call (855) 328-5787. When you speak to the attorney, let him know if you can schedule a meeting at one of our satellite offices. This way, our attorneys can help ensure you have the best legal experience possible.

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Peck Ritchey’s Elder Attorneys Work With County And State Agencies To Represent And Protect The Elderly

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.

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Kerry Peck Donations Include The National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys Political Action Committee

For Chicago attorney Kerry Peck, donations are personal. Because he's dedicated his life to helping others, one of the organizations that benefits from Kerry Peck donations is the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Political Action Committee. This PAC helps support candidates who are dedicated to helping elderly and disabled constituents.

About The National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys helps attorneys find continuing legal education and professional development opportunities. The organization was founded in 1987 and helps lawyers fulfill continuing education and ethics requirements through a number of different live meetings, webinars and virtual meetings. Members have access to a number of free titles in the Online Community that can help them earn required continuing education credits.

Additionally the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys offers a Certified Elder Law Attorney designation. To be certified, attorneys need to go through rigorous education and testing, as well as spend at least 16 hours a week practicing elder law.

Joining The National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys

Joining the National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys is easy. The organization is open to attorneys throughout the country who are dedicated to representing the needs of people with disabilities and the elderly. Membership costs $425 a year, but new members do receive a discount for their first year of membership. Full time law students are also eligible for membership at a reduced price.

Additionally, the organization has chapters in 27 states to help local attorneys connect with others and attend local events that relate to their states.

What Kerry Peck Donations Help Accomplish

Kerry Peck donations through the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Political Action Committee help support candidates such as Representative Steve Israel. Representative Israel sponsored a bill in January 2012 called the Elder Care Tax Credit Act. This act sought to amend the IRS code to provide a tax credit for an adult child who is responsible for caring for his or her parents, even if the parent doesn't live with the adult child. This would help taxpayers bearing the increasing costs of long-term care for their family members. The bill had 10 co-sponsors and was referred to committee, where it remains.

Kerry Peck donations weren't the only donations received by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Political Action Committee. The PAC received nearly $65,000 in donations from individuals, mostly dedicated elder law professionals, and the majority of all funds collected went to candidates; less than $3000 went toward operating expenses.

For Kerry Peck, donations aren't just about money. He works with organizations that are dedicated to helping the elderly and the disabled and works tirelessly to ensure that these people are given a voice in the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as in local governments. It's because of this that the National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys Political Action Committee is a beneficiary of Kerry Peck donations.

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Alzheimer’s Disease

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.


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Can A Chicago Litigation Lawyer Handle Elder Law Issues?

Elder law is a relatively new specialty within the professional expertise of litigation lawyers. As an emerging legal specialty, elder law focuses on the needs and planning for people who are advanced in years as well as the issues surrounding their families.

Until recently, elder abuse and elder discrimination often went unchecked simply because there were so few laws to protect the rights of the elderly. Fortunately, recent changes at the state and federal level have begin to put some elder laws into place. A Chicago litigation lawyer can now represent his clients more effectively because there are specific statutes and laws that can be applied to legal situations such as fraud, neglect or abuse of the elderly. Elder law lawyers will have an in-depth grasp of litigation as well as probate laws, making them particularly suited to successfully represent an older adult’s rights in court.

New Legal Issues As Our Country Ages

Aging and a longer lifespan has not always been an issue in our society. Health issues, financial concerns and other issues that are commonplace for today’s graying population were relatively rare just a few decades ago. Today, the field of elder law addresses issues such as Alzheimer’s disease planning, Dementia planning and guardianship and cognitive problems in seniors and adults with disabilities -to name a few.

One of the most prevalent problems for the oldest members of society is the potential for physical or emotional abuse by home health care providers and staff members at nursing, critical care, and assisted living facilities. Government offices at the national and local levels were reluctant to pass legislation on these issues, but Chicago elder law lawyers were instrumental in raising awareness of these issues and lobbying for change. Today, you can find community seminars, government agencies and college-level courses all addressing elder law issues.

What Does Elder Law Encompass?

Although there is no official designation for elder law, there are several issues that commonly fall under this term. Any kind of abuse or neglect of the elderly is considered an elder law issue, regardless of whether the abuse is at the hands of a relative or a paid caretaker. In order to fully represent a client in this situation, a litigation lawyer must work closely with the individual or his or her representative in order to establish a case. Because legal precedent is limited for these cases, an attorney faces impressive challenges.

Elder law also addresses scams, extortion schemes and other issues surrounding long term care, disposition of money, and end-of-life issues. A seasoned litigation lawyer who has handled elder law issues in the past can help elderly clients review their options and make sound choices.

If you or an older adult you love is facing a legal issue, it’s vital that you contact a litigation lawyer who practices in the field of elder law. Qualified and experienced elder law lawyers can answer your family’s questions and competently represent you or your loved one to ensure elder abuse or neglect isn’t part of your future.

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