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Recent Blog Posts

Should I Use a Will and a Trust?

 Posted on August 23, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Estate Planning LawyerWhen you are gone, you want to ensure that your assets are distributed based on your wishes. Wills and trusts work as crucial estate planning documents for this. While both have the same goal, they differ in many ways. Illinois residents should be aware of these distinctions while making estate planning decisions.

How Are Wills and Trusts Used in Illinois?

A will details the distribution of your property based on your wishes after you pass away. These legal documents also can appoint an executor. An executor controls how your assets are distributed and ensures your intentions are carried out. Some wills also specify guardianship if children are in the picture. 

It requires a signature, witnesses, and the proper legal process. The will also must be filed with the probate court. Once the will is stated, it is publicly available for execution and resolving disputes in the future.

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Mediation vs. Litigation, Which is the Right Choice for Your Divorce?

 Posted on August 16, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Divorce AttorneyDivorce is one of the most challenging life events an individual and family can experience. Each spouse must determine how to best handle the dissolution of their marriage. Two primary routes for resolving divorce are mediation and litigation. Knowing the difference between both approaches can empower both parties to protect themselves emotionally and financially.

Why Is Mediation Preferred Over Litigation?

Mediation offers a less combative and more cooperative approach to divorce. A neutral third party, known as a mediator, facilitates discussions between the spouses. The focus is on open communication, cooperation, and finding acceptable solutions. Mediation is beneficial when both parties are willing to work together. 

One of the key advantages of mediation is the control it gives to the divorcing couple. Each spouse can create their own personalized agreement instead of a judge. Together they can handle issues such as: 

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Parenting Plan Tips for Parents Who Work Irregular Hours

 Posted on August 10, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Child Custody LawyerNot everyone has a regular weekly work schedule. People who work in the healthcare sector or who are first responders may see their work schedule shifting frequently. The same may be true for workers who are away from home for weeks or days at a time, like long distance truckers. While children tend to thrive on consistency, routine scheduled visits may be impossible when a parent works irregular hours. However, spending time with both parents is likely to be in the child’s best interests even if it means that there will be a shifting schedule. Parents who have frequently changing work schedules or who work unusual hours must take care when creating a parenting plan to ensure that they will be able to enjoy as much time with their child as possible. It is important to work with an attorney who has experience representing first responders and other workers with varying schedules when you are getting divorced or establishing a child custody schedule. 

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Understanding the Significance of Lack of Testamentary Capacity in Contested Wills

 Posted on August 01, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Lombard Estate Planning LawyerWills serve as legal documents that outline how an individual’s assets will be distributed upon their death. However, when a will is contested, one common argument made by challengers is that the testator lacked testamentary capacity at the time of creating the document. Today, we will examine the implications of a lack of testamentary capacity in contested wills and its impact on the validity of the document. If you have concerns over the validity of a will, contact an estate planning lawyer for legal representation as you work through your legal matter.

Definition of Testamentary Capacity

Testamentary capacity refers to the mental capability of an individual to understand the nature and consequences of making a will. It is a legal requirement that ensures the integrity of the testator’s wishes and protects against undue influence or coercion. Testamentary capacity involves a few key elements:

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I Filled Out a Power of Attorney at the Hospital - is it Enough?

 Posted on July 26, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Wheaton Estate Planning LawyerMost people who have gone under anesthesia for a procedure have been asked to fill out a power of attorney form at the hospital. This is a precaution meant to protect the hospital as much as it protects you. The physician performing your procedure needs to know who should step in to make decisions on your behalf if something goes wrong during your procedure. While this form will likely suffice to allow your chosen person to make medical decisions in the event that something does go wrong during your procedure, it should not generally be used as a long-term solution. The power of attorney forms that hospitals provide generally only cover one of the two major types of powers of attorney. Most if not all adults need both medical and financial powers of attorney. It is best to work with an attorney to create strong and specific powers of attorney. 

Why You Also Need a Financial Power of Attorney

Should you become incapacitated for any length of time, your financial power of attorney is likely to be just as important as your medical power of attorney. Your hospital power of attorney may allow your best friend to decide how to proceed with your medical care, it very likely does not allow her to access your bank account to pay medical bills - or to pay your rent so that you will not come home to an eviction notice. 

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2023 Divorce Statistics You Should Know

 Posted on July 21, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Family LawyerThere is a lot of information - and misinformation - about the realities of divorce to be found online. The fact is that divorce is very common. Over the last several decades, divorce has been rapidly destigmatized. In the past, people who wanted to divorce their spouse had to prove that they had a good reason for doing so. This is no longer the case. If you want a divorce, you will not likely need to show a judge evidence that your spouse has done something bad enough to warrant ending the marriage. In fact, most divorce cases in modern days are not heard by a judge at all. The vast majority of divorce cases are resolved out of court by mutual agreement of the parties. Divorce mediation has become the generally preferred option for settling most divorces. If you are beginning the process of getting a divorce, one of your first steps should be finding an experienced attorney to represent you. 

Important Statistics About Modern Divorce 

Some telling statistics about divorce in 2023 include: 

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Divorce When One Spouse is Pregnant

 Posted on July 12, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Lombard Paternity LawyerSometimes the best thing to do for yourselves and your child is to separate and begin the divorce process. It can be emotionally and legally challenging to get a divorce while a female spouse is pregnant. If your relationship with your child’s mother is ending in a difficult divorce, she may be motivated to keep you out of her life - and therefore, her child’s life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to assert your rights as a parent. Even if your divorce finalizes before the child is born, you will likely still be considered a legal parent to that child. This remains true if the child is not biologically yours, but was meant to be the child of both of you. If you will need the court to intervene, it is best to work with an attorney. There are some steps that must be taken promptly, and an attorney can guide you through the process. 

Will My Unborn Child Legally be My Child?

If your child is born within 300 days of the date your divorce was finalized, your child can likely be automatically deemed your legal child. This is true for same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples. Generally, the state will presume that if a person became pregnant during their marriage, the child is that of both spouses. 

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What Are Temporary Orders in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on June 30, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Divorce LaweyrWhen a couple decides to divorce, there may be a significant amount of time between the filing of the petition and the final decree being issued, depending on the marital issues the couple needs to dissolve. However, there are often immediate issues that do need to be addressed. Temporary orders are court-issued directives that address these issues while the divorce is pending. These orders establish temporary arrangements and provide guidelines until the final decree is issued. The following is a brief overview. For more detailed information concerning your circumstances, contact a Lombard divorce attorney.

Why You May Need Temporary Orders

The purpose of temporary orders is to maintain stability and address pressing issues that arise during the divorce process. They help establish temporary guidelines to address matters such as child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal support, and the use of shared assets and properties.

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When Can Non-Parents File for Visitation Under Illinois Law?

 Posted on June 26, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Parenting Time LawyerUnder Illinois law, when the parents of a child are no longer together, the court will issue an order that stipulates the allocation of parental responsibilities and what the parenting time schedule for the child will be. However, Illinois law also recognizes the importance of maintaining meaningful relationships between a child and non-parental figures who the child has a significant bond with. In these situations, that person can petition the court in order to seek visitation time with the child. The following are some of the relationships that may qualify.

Grandparents

Grandparents are one of the parties that have the right to petition the court in order to request visitation. The grandparent must be able to show the court that awarding visitation is in the child’s best interest. They must also be able to show one of the following conditions are met:

Signs it is Time to Consider a Guardianship for Your Elderly Relative

 Posted on June 20, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Wheaton Guardianship LawyerWhile most people would not want to be placed under a guardianship unless it were absolutely necessary, the fact is that in many cases, obtaining guardianship over an elderly loved one is truly necessary. When an older adult begins to lose the capacity to care for themselves or to manage their own healthcare and finances, initiating guardianship proceedings is often the best way to protect them. Having guardianship over your elderly family member can allow you to step in and begin making important decisions for them and managing their affairs. It is not an easy decision to make. Rather, making the choice to begin seeking guardianship can be emotionally fraught. You may feel as if you are taking their independence, when in fact, it is the natural effects of aging that have done so. 

A. Traub & Associates is committed to helping family members and loved ones of aging adults pursue guardianship as a means of protecting the elder. We understand the difficulty involved in making the decision to pursue guardianship and strive to maintain privacy and dignity for all involved. 

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