Working with estate attorneys in Chicago can be uncomfortable — after all, there are some tough questions that need to be asked and answered. However, the entire experience can be made less stressful if you know what types of questions your attorney will ask. Before you make an appointment with estate attorneys in Chicago, make sure you know the answers to these questions.
Estate Attorneys In Chicago Ask: Who Will Care For Minor Children?
If you have minor children, this is an important question to answer — who will take care of them if both you and your spouse dies? However, having an answer to this question isn’t enough. You should also make sure that the person you name guardian agrees with your decision. If they don’t, your death could be even more stressful as the guardian struggles with their new role and your children struggle with the loss of their parents.
Estate Attorneys In Chicago Ask: Are There Any Other Descendants Or Companions?
If your estate attorneys in Chicago seem to ask the same question again and again, it’s not because they don’t remember your answers! Oftentimes when an attorney asks if there are any other descendants, the answer is initially no. A few days later, however, the attorney receives a call that tells them, yes, there’s a secret descendant. If you have a child from a previous relationship, now is the time to have a conversation. It will likely be uncomfortable, but it can be stressful for your loved ones if this relationship comes to light at your funeral or immediately following your death.
If you have a relationship outside of your marriage, it’s also important to disclose it to estate attorneys in Chicago. He or she will be able to advise you on how to approach this relationship in your will, if you want to at all. If you don’t want to provide to your partner, you’re not obligated to do so. However, letting your estate attorneys in Chicago know about the relationship can help them defend against a will contestation after you’re gone.
Estate Attorneys In Chicago Ask: What About Pets?
Man’s best friend needs a plan for when you’re gone too. If you have pets and want to make sure they’re taken care of after you’re gone, have estate attorneys in Chicago put in a provision for them. You can decide who’s going to care for these pets and even leave funds available for their care.
Estate Attorneys In Chicago Ask: What About Health Care?
Lastly, decide what you want to do in case that you’re left in a vegetative state. Do you want life-sustaining measures taken or do you want ventilators and feeding tubes turned off? Don’t rely on your family members to make these decisions for you, especially if you haven’t made your wishes fully clear. When you spell them out in a health care directive, there will be no question as to what your wishes are.
If you’re in the beginning stages of the estate planning process, these are just a few of the many hard questions estate attorneys in Chicago will ask. Before you meet with one, think about your wishes and how you want your affairs handled after you’re gone.
To meet with professional and qualified estate attorneys in Chicago from Peck Ritchey, please call us at (312) 201-0900.
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.
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.
Television and movies give Americans a somewhat misguided view of what a Chicago litigation attorney actually does. Before you find a lawyer to take a case, learn about the process your attorney will go through during your suit. Knowing what to expect from your attorney during each step of the process can help ensure that your experience is a positive one.
First, Know How To Hire A Chicago Litigation Attorney
Before you can even start a case, you need to make sure you have the right Chicago litigation attorney. You should make appointments with a number of lawyers in your area for a consultation. This first visit is usually free of charge, but some attorneys do charge a small fee for a consultation. During this visit, you’ll be asked to explain your case, as well as ask the attorney any questions about what you can expect during the trial. Beware of any attorneys who promise a specific outcome or judgment on your case. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll be able to accurately predict a judgment, but it’s not unheard of for an attorney to expect to win if your case is a strong one.
How Your Chicago Litigation Attorney Will Investigate
Once you’ve hired a Chicago litigation attorney, the next step he or she will take is to investigate. Your attorney will interview you extensively, as well as gather witness statements to learn about all the aspects of the suit. During this time, your lawyer will probably meet with the other party’s attorney to discuss a settlement amount. If both sides reach an agreement, the case will be considered closed and a trial will not take place.
How Your Chicago Litigation Attorney Will Approach Discovery
Discovery is the next step for a Chicago litigation attorney. In this stage, your attorney will be able to ask the opposing party’s legal team for any documents that are important to the case. However, there are certain documents that are protected from discovery and do not need to be turned over. These include privileged information and work product.
The Pre-Trial And Trial Periods
During the pre-trial period, your Chicago litigation attorney will find expert witnesses and work out a plan for the trial. However, if your case is civil one, a trial is unlikely to take place. Many times, the attorneys reach a settlement agreement well before the trial occurs. This does require both sides to agree on the outcome. Once this occurs, the case is considered closed.
Although a Chicago litigation attorney isn’t quite what the movies and television depict, they are still a very necessary part of the legal community. If you suspect that you have a case, it’s a great idea to meet with an experienced Chicago litigation attorney at Peck Ritchey. We will help you determine if you should pursue your lawsuit and move forward. Peck Ritchey does offer a free initial consultation, so be certain to contact us if you’re in need of our specialized services.
As our population ages, more and more attention is being paid to elder law. Chicago area seniors and their families are seeking out these specialty lawyers and have come to rely on their expertise to guide them through all of the new experiences that come with aging, to help them plan for their golden years and to ensure their last wishes are honored.
But what is this fast-growing field of law, and do you really need a lawyer concentrating in elder law in Chicago?
What Is Elder Law?
Broadly, elder law is a legal practice that specializes in issues affecting older adults. The attorneys who specialize in elder law in Chicago help their clients plan for the future by developing legal solutions to financial, healthcare, relational and transactional needs. Almost any legal issue can fall under the scope of elder law, but firms that practice elder law in Chicago and elsewhere usually have strong experience in estate planning, long-term care planning and advance directives, wills, trusts, probate, guardianships, retirement planning, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs and many other issues that affect seniors like Alzheimer’s and dementia, long-term disability, age discrimination and tax planning.
They can also advocate for seniors in tenant/landlord relations, nursing home disputes, in cases of elder abuse or neglect, and represent them in all legal matters, including litigation.
A Team Approach To Elder Law In Chicago
Elder law encompasses so many topics, it’s nearly impossible to find one lawyer who is an expert in every situation. More likely, you will find firms of elder law attorneys like Peck Ritchey. Our firm practices elder law in Chicago and we have many qualified attorneys who have each practiced in a few specific areas. This allows us to offer many services to our clients from lawyers who have dedicated an enormous amount of time to very specific areas of expertise.
Additionally, elder law lawyers work closely with their senior clients and their family members to develop legal solutions that meet the clients’ needs. There is never a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather a team effort between the client, his family and the attorney to come to the best solution.
The Big Picture
A good elder law lawyer will be interested in the big picture of their clients’ lives. They will take into account the client’s finances, health and familial support to develop solutions that will provide a high quality of life for the rest of their clients’ lives.
Not only that, these attorneys often have access to resources for the elderly and can help them find programs and support services that they need, such as home healthcare providers, assisted living facilities or nursing homes, and even local senior services.
When To Hire A Firm That Concentrates In Elder Law In Chicago
Hiring an elder law lawyer or firm is a good idea for any older adult who wants to plan ahead for his golden years by developing an estate plan or designing a healthcare directive. If your will needs updating or you want to protect your heirs from having to go through probate, an elder law firm can help.
In addition to planning services, a firm can help if you are having problems obtaining Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits.
If you suspect your elderly parents have been neglected by their caregivers or have been a victim of fraud, elder care lawyers can help you protect your parents’ rights and if your parents are no longer able to care for themselves, an elder care lawyer can help you obtain a guardianship.
If you’re in need of a firm that practices elder law in Chicago, contact the attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC. We provide litigation and transactional services for seniors covering all aspects of elder law in Chicago.
Many people hear the word litigation and assume that means a court case. Likewise, they hear litigation attorney and figure that means the attorney will carry the case through the court system all the way to a trial in front of a judge and jury. In some cases this is true, but in many more instances, it is not. Trial attorneys and litigation attorneys in Chicago provide different, but equally important services. To help clear up the confusion, here’s a brief overview of each of these legal professionals.
Peck Ritchey Litigation Attorneys In Chicago
To fully understand the role of litigation attorneys, you need to understand that not all lawsuits go to trial. In fact, the vast majority are settled out of court thanks to the work of litigation attorneys. In Chicago, our litigation attorneys at Peck Ritchey work tirelessly on behalf of our clients to achieve an appropriate solution to their legal problems. This may include mediation, out of court settlements or going to trial.
But it all begins with the work of litigation attorneys in Chicago. These professionals handle all of the work that goes into prosecuting or defending a lawsuit long before it ever gets to the trial phase. Litigation attorneys will meet with their clients to determine if a case exists. They can file and respond to lawsuits, conduct research, interview witnesses, obtain depositions and most importantly, file and argue motions. Motions are what get a case or evidence reviewed, dismissed or reconsidered and filing them is a major part of the litigation attorney’s job. All of this is aimed at keeping the case out of the courtroom, but if it does head to court, litigation attorneys in Chicago will use their research to present your case. These lawyers can also prepare the client and witnesses for the trial.
Peck Ritchey litigation attorneys help clients from the very beginning of the case, before it is ever filed all the way through to the end when settlement is awarded. A litigator specializes in one or two specific areas of law and provides expert legal advice in those areas. Their strengths are in research, fact-finding and getting into the details of a case.
Some, but not all, litigation attorneys in Chicago are also trial attorneys. At Peck Ritchey we have both litigation and trial lawyers on staff so you will have a familiar face at your side whether the case goes to the judge and jury or not.
The Generalist Nature Of Trial Attorneys
Trial attorneys differ from litigation attorneys in their area of expertise. Most trial lawyers are generalists. That is, they do not specialize in one or two very specific areas of law like litigation attorneys in Chicago do. Instead, the trial attorney’s strength lies in his or her ability to present a case in front of a judge and jury. Trial attorneys may prosecute or defend in many areas of law without being expert in all of those areas. They will rely on the research and knowledge of the litigation attorney who has been handling the case to help them develop it for the trial. In the courtroom, the trial attorney is the one who will make statements, ask questions of witnesses and present evidence.
Again, it is possible for litigation attorneys in Chicago to also be skilled in trials but it is by no means assured.
If you’re in need of skilled probate, trust or elder law trial or litigation attorneys in Chicago, contact the attorneys at Peck Ritchey. We are committed to safeguarding our clients’ interests and have the skills and experience needed to do so.
Young people tend to think they’re invincible and most don’t want to look too far into the future, reasoning that they have years to prepare for retirement or write a will. Unfortunately, unexpected circumstances can crop up at any time, and if you aren’t familiar with estate planning or wills, you may find yourself caught off guard. You may be years away from retirement, but understanding Chicago elder law issues will be crucial if your parents need assistance or you become incapacitated or pass away suddenly.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to prepare sufficiently for the future. An estate attorney in Chicago can help you prepare for the unexpected by assisting you in the preparation of an iron-clad will, guiding you through the legal ramifications of guardianship of your parents or elderly loved ones, and protecting your property, assets and children in the future.
Chicago Elder Law Consultations – The Time Is Now
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that having a Chicago will attorney isn’t relevant to your own family just because you’re young. Consulting with an elder law attorney can help you prepare for the future by giving you an understanding of all the legal issues involved in setting up an estate, writing a will, and stipulating guardians for your children if you pass away while they are minors.
You can also learn a great deal about issues surrounding becoming a legal guardian for loved ones who are already entering their twilight years. If you have a parent or parents who will need assistance in the near future, meeting with a Chicago will attorney or Chicago estate attorneys is the first step in preparing the legal documents you’ll need.
You should discuss the various documents you can use to outline a plan for your own care as you grow older. Among the most common reasons for consulting an elder law attorney before you’re retired are preparing a will that clearly outlines who inherits what from your estate, instituting a medical power of attorney that outlines which life saving measures you do and don’t want exercised on your behalf and putting someone you trust in charge of important decisions if you are incapacitated.
Why Now Is Better Than Later: Chicago Elder Law Issues Affect Your Life Today And Tomorrow
Most people don’t like to think about meeting with Chicago estate attorneys, particularly when they are young and have children who are still little. It’s not a comfortable thing to think about, and some people worry that preparing a will is tempting fate. It’s a serious mistake, however, to assume you have plenty of time; unexpected illness or death can leave your children and legacy unprotected if you don’t have a will, power of attorney or other estate planning documents in place.
Meeting with estate attorneys while you’re still young is an excellent way to ensure that your children are properly cared for both financially and physically. Establishing a good working rapport with Chicago will attorneys is one of the best steps you can take. Chicago elder law attorneys who prepare estate documents can help you put your finances into proper order in the event you are injured or pass away while your children are young. Chicago will attorneys who are already familiar with your financial situation and your final wishes will be better able to carry out those wishes and protect your heirs in court.
Dying without a will in place or without instructions for the care and placement of your minor children can lead to your children suffering additional financial and emotional burdens they should have never had to face. Chicago estate attorneys can minimize or avoid the probate process.
Estate Administration & Inheritances
In addition to helping you write up your own will or estate plan, Chicago estate attorneys can help you handle the complexities of administering a loved ones estate, should you be appointed executor, or representing you as a beneficiary of any inheritance that comes your way.
Disputes over wills arise every day. They can tear a family apart, particularly if your parents or grandparents died without a will, revised their will suddenly before their death or left behind an ambiguous, difficult to understand will. Scheduling a family meeting with a Chicago will attorney can help clarify inheritance issues and prevent feuds in the future so that your parents can rest easy, knowing you and your siblings will be properly provided for.
Now is the time to consult with a Chicago elder law attorney or Chicago estate attorneys. By having your entire family meet with an estate attorney, you can ensure that three generations of your family are protected and cared for when you or your parents pass away.