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What Are the Pros and Cons of Open Adoption?

 Posted on April 22, 2024 in Adoption

Lombard, IL adoption attorneyThere are three types of adoption in Illinois when it comes to involving the biological parents: open adoption, semi-open adoption, and closed adoption. 

  • In an open adoption, the biological parents remain involved and maintain a relationship with the child. 

  • In a semi-open adoption, the biological parents are somewhat involved in the child’s life but are not in frequent contact. 

  • In a closed adoption, there is no contact with the biological parents at all. The adoption is handled strictly through a third party like an adoption agency, which fields all communication between the biological and adoptive parents.

Open adoption can be an attractive option, but it is not for everybody. This article will discuss the pros and cons of open adoption.

If you are unsure which type of adoption may be right for you, consult with an Illinois adoption attorney who will talk to you about the adoption process and what is in the best interest of the child.

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The Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan After Divorce

 Posted on April 11, 2024 in Estate Planning

DuPage County, IL estate planning lawyerGoing through a divorce is tough, and it can turn your whole world upside down. Through all the emotional turmoil, it is important not to neglect the practical matters, like updating your estate plan. If you have recently divorced, make sure to review and revise your estate planning documents with an Illinois estate planning lawyer who understands how divorce can affect estate plans.

Why Updating Your Estate Plan Is Essential

Under Illinois law, divorce automatically revokes any provisions in your will that benefit your former spouse. However, this automatic revocation does not apply to other estate planning documents, such as trusts, beneficiary designations, or powers of attorney. If you do not update these documents, your ex-spouse may still have control over your assets or healthcare decisions, even after your divorce is finalized.

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Is Mediation the Right Move for My Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on April 03, 2024 in Mediation

Lombard, IL divorce mediation lawyerAs soon as people realize they are going to get a divorce, they often feel stressed and overwhelmed. Some of that stems from the truth that they will need to figure out how their assets, finances, property, and parental responsibilities will be divided. Some of it stems from preconceived notions about acrimonious divorces based on scenes portrayed on TV.

However, there are ways to end a marriage that are aimed at finding the best resolution for both parties and a minimum of negativity. If you are hoping for as cooperative a way as possible to end your marriage, you might consider divorce mediation. Speak with a knowledgeable DuPage County, IL divorce lawyer to find out more.

How Does Divorce Mediation Work?

For couples considering divorce who are not interested in a combative process, mediation offers a smoother approach. A mediator is appointed to facilitate communication. She is neutral and her goal is to foster the creation of a settlement that both spouses can accept. By focusing on communicating openly and honestly and cooperating, mediation can encourage creative thinking to find acceptable solutions to complicated issues.

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What Should I Know Before Adopting a Stepchild in Illinois?

 Posted on March 28, 2024 in Adoption

IL family lawyerWhen you adopt a stepchild, you become the child’s legal parent. This means that you will be granted certain rights and have legal responsibilities toward the child as if he or she were born to you. Adoption, therefore, requires careful planning and attention to the legal process. Adoption law can be complex, which is why you should consult with an experienced attorney who can walk you through it. 

Factors to Consider Before Adopting a Stepchild

Here are a few basic questions you might want to ask yourself before adopting a stepchild:

  • How old is the child?
  • Where are the child’s parents?
  • How is your current relationship with the child?
  • What needs does the child have and can you meet those needs?
  • Is this adoption in the best interest of the child?
  • How long will the adoption process take?

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Two Reasons to Give Someone Power of Attorney in Illinois

 Posted on March 21, 2024 in Estate Planning

Il estate lawyerBy nature, humans are an optimistic species. We do not want to think of a future where we can no longer take care of ourselves and need hired help to get us through the day. While many people end up living in nursing homes, most of them probably never pictured that when they were younger, preferring instead to imagine they would be forever young, healthy, and strong. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for most of us.

While it is human nature to prefer focusing on a rosy future, people can also manage to overcome that to plan for a hypothetical future that may not be so grand. That is why people draw up savings plans for rainy days, prenuptial agreements, wills, and even business contracts - they are forcing themselves to think about negative things that might happen and thus protecting their future selves in case that comes to be.

This same mindset is what leads people to sign over power of attorney to someone they trust. Again, no one wants to think of a future where they are incapable of making decisions for themselves, but power of attorney is there to protect them in the hypothetical event that it happens. If you have been thinking about this as well, let an experienced Lombard, IL estate planning attorney answer your questions and arm you with more information.

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How Does Testamentary Capacity Impact Contested Wills in Illinois?

 Posted on March 13, 2024 in Estate Planning

IL estate planning lawyerPeople draw up wills to dictate how their assets will be distributed after they die. In general, whatever is included in a will is respected as the last wishes of the person whose will it is, otherwise known as a testator. However, there are some circumstances in which the people left behind challenge a will because they do not believe it reflects the real wishes of the person who signed it. There are various reasons given for such doubt, but a major claim is that the person lacked testamentary capacity when they signed it. This can be a very complicated claim to prove since you are attempting to determine the state of mind someone was in before they died. If you wish to contest a will, a Lombard, IL estate planning lawyer can provide guidance that is tailored to your specific case.

What is Testamentary Capacity?

Testamentary capacity is a person’s ability to understand the implications of their will. If it can be proven that someone didn’t have testamentary capacity when drawing up their will, the stipulations in the will can be contested. To demonstrate testamentary capacity, a person needs to:

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How Does an Illinois Judge Determine What Is in the Best Interest of the Child?

 Posted on March 04, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerDivorce can be a tumultuous time for a family. With parents splitting up, children are sometimes left feeling confused and unstable. In such a time of change and transition, it can be difficult for anyone involved to be able to put their own wishes aside and try to think about what would be in the best interest of someone else, but parents going through divorce are expected to do just that. They are tasked with reaching a settlement and parenting plan that would best serve their children, even if it does not accommodate everything they would want. For couples in harsh conflict, this might be too much to ask. When parents are unable to formulate a child custody agreement that they both find acceptable, the court needs to step in and make decisions based on what would be considered to be in the child’s best interest. If you are curious about how such determinations might be made, a DuPage County, IL child custody attorney can answer your questions and offer helpful guidance.

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Is There a Home Study in an Uncontested Adoption in Illinois? 

 Posted on February 29, 2024 in Adoption

DuPage County, IL adoption lawyerIn Illinois, the process of adoption can be complex, involving various legal requirements and procedures to ensure the best interests of the child. One important aspect of adoption, particularly in uncontested adoption cases, is the home study conducted by a licensed social worker. This evaluation plays a crucial role in determining the suitability of the adoptive parents and ensuring a safe and stable environment for the child. It is also important to ensure that you retain legal assistance from an attorney as you look to navigate and successfully complete the uncontested adoption process. 

Why is there a Home Study in an Uncontested Adoption?

In uncontested adoptions, where all parties consent to the adoption, and there are no disputes over parental rights, the home study remains a necessary step in the process. The purpose of the home study is to assess the living conditions, parenting abilities, and overall environment of the prospective adoptive parents. This evaluation helps to determine if the adoptive parents are capable of providing a loving and nurturing home for the child.

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Why Using Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning Kits is a Bad Idea 

 Posted on February 16, 2024 in Estate Planning

Blog ImageEstate planning is a legal process that determines how your assets will be distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. While do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions have gained popularity in certain areas of law, using DIY estate planning kits is not worth the risk they pose. Suppose you are interested in estate planning and are currently weighing your options on whether to use a DIY estate planning tool or hire a lawyer. In that case, the following are critical reasons why you should hire an attorney instead of a DIY kit

Lack of Personalization

Estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all process. Everyone's circumstances and goals are unique, requiring personalized attention and guidance. DIY estate planning kits often provide generic templates that fail to consider your estate's specific needs and complexities. Without personalized guidance, essential aspects such as tax implications, family dynamics, and asset protection may be overlooked, leading to unintended consequences and disputes. Regardless of what you are trying to accomplish in your estate plan, whether regarding an Illinois will or something else, a lawyer is a far better resource than relying on a DIY kit

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Mistakes to Avoid When Contesting a Will 

 Posted on February 12, 2024 in Estate Planning

Blog ImageContesting a will in Illinois is a complex legal process that requires careful planning and understanding of the specific laws that address this process. No matter why you want to contest a will, to increase your chances of success, it is crucial to avoid common mistakes that can jeopardize your case. To give yourself the best chance of success, contact a trained attorney.

Missing the Statutory Deadline

In Illinois, there is a strict deadline for contesting a will. Generally, a will must be contested within six months after it is admitted to probate. You will need to file your claim within this timeframe to avoid your case being dismissed. As soon you decide to contest a will, consult with an attorney as quickly as possible to ensure you understand and meet the deadline, as missing it can severely impact your chances of success.

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