Peck Ritchey, LLC Partner Timothy J. Ritchey spoke as an expert witness in front of the Illinois Senate in Springfield, IL on March 25, 2014 about proposed changes to the Illinois Probate Act. The proposal, which seeks to modify certain provisions of sections 755 ILCS 5/2-6.2 and 5/2-6.6 of the Illinois Probate Act, was sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D) and Rep. Emily McAsey (D).

Under current Illinois law individuals convicted in criminal court for abusing or exploiting the elderly or disabled are considered predeceased for the purposes of distributions from an Estate. The proposed amendments to the statute seek to extend the same remedies to individuals found liable of financial exploitation through a civil proceeding.

“It’s our hope that legislation will be changed so that when an individual has exploited one of the more vulnerable persons in our society, that their rights to inherit from that person will not stand unaffected,” said Timothy J. Ritchey. “This will allow attorneys to proceed with disinheritance hearings during the victim’s life or post-death.”

Sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association Probate Practice Committee and backed by Senator Silverstein, Ritchey discussed changes to the Probate Act with regards to abuse of the elderly and disabled. After passing through the Illinois Senate on April 3, 2014, the proposal has been transferred to the House Rules Committee.

Tim Ritchey concentrates his practice in the areas of estate and guardianship administration, probate and trust litigation, real estate litigation, fiduciary defense litigation and elder law. Ritchey has represented clients before courts in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will and Kane Counties; various Illinois appellate courts; the Illinois Supreme Court; and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He has been appointed to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General in actions relating to Illinois health care and disability law, and is involved in many professional and charitable organizations including the Young Professionals Board for the Center of Disability and Elder Law, ISBA, CBA, and DuPage County Bar Association.