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lombard estate planning lawyerWhen a loved one passes away, it can be a difficult and emotional time for family members. In addition to grieving, family members may also have to deal with the deceased person’s estate. Unfortunately, in some cases, estates are not handled properly, which can lead to disputes and legal issues. If you are a beneficiary and believe that an estate is being improperly handled, seeking legal representation right away is crucial. 

Considerations for Beneficiaries  

Here is what you need to know about legal representation for a beneficiary in this situation: 

  • Seek legal counsel – If you are a beneficiary and believe an estate is being improperly handled, consider seeking legal counsel. An experienced estate litigation attorney can help you understand your rights and options under the law. However, it is essential not to wait to obtain legal counsel. The sooner you lawyer up, the better.


dupage county divorce mediation lawyer Divorce mediation is a process in which a third party assists divorcing couples in reaching a settlement agreement. Mediation is often a more cost-effective and less-adversarial way to resolve disputes during divorce. The alternative is the often highly unpleasant litigation process in court. If you are considering divorce mediation, it is essential to prepare for the process. Remember that while you prepare and throughout the actual process, it is wise to consult with a divorce attorney to ensure your rights remain protected and your best interests are advocated for. 

Firstly, it is important to understand the mediation process. Mediation is a cooperative process where both parties work to reach a settlement agreement. The mediator is responsible for facilitating communication between the parties and helping them identify where they agree and disagree. The objective of mediation is to reach a mutually acceptable agreement that meets the needs of both parties. 

Gather all relevant information and documentation. This includes financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns, and investment statements. You should also collect information about any assets or debts that must be divided, such as real estate, retirement accounts, and credit card debt. This readily available information can help speed up the mediation process and ensure that all relevant information is considered during negotiations. 


arlington heights divorce lawyerA contested will can throw a family into turmoil, causing emotional distress and threatening the intended distribution of assets. Understanding the basics of contested wills and the grounds for contesting a will can help you navigate this challenging and delicate situation. Those going through a contested will process must be made aware of the reasons for contesting a will and the legal process involved.

What is a Contested Will? 

A contested will arises when someone disputes the validity of a will or its provisions. This often happens when a family member or other interested party believes the will does not reflect the testator’s (the person who made the will) wishes or that the will was executed improperly.

Grounds for Contesting a Will

There are several grounds for contesting a will, including:


lombard estate planning lawyerWe hear all the time how, regardless of your age, estate planning is essential for the future. At the foundation of many estate plans is a will. As a result, it can be highly distressing to learn that an elderly loved one does not have a will and is refusing even to make one. Today, we will discuss what you should do if your loved one refuses to make a will and some tips to approach this delicate situation. Remember, to start the estate planning process, contact an attorney to guide you through the process to ensure everything is done correctly.

Tips for Approaching the Situation

Consider these tips when approaching the situation, such as: 

  • Understand their perspective – Before you can convince your loved one to create a will, it is essential to understand their perspective. For example, they may have fears or concerns about making a will, such as not wanting to face their mortality or not wanting to cause family conflict. By better understanding their perspective, you can address their concerns and find a way to move forward. 


lombard estate planning lawyer Estate planning is an important process involving various decisions about how a person’s assets will be distributed after death. However, there are situations where the estate planning process can be influenced by outside parties, which can lead to serious legal challenges. One such situation is undue influence. Today, we will discuss what precisely undue influence is and how it can affect estate planning. For any questions or concerns regarding estate planning, contact an estate planning attorney to ensure the process is followed lawfully.

So, What is Undue Influence, and What Factors Can Help Establish Its Existence? 

Undue influence is a legal concept that refers to situations where a person is coerced or manipulated into making decisions that are not in their best interests. For example, in estate planning, undue influence can occur when someone uses their power or influence to pressure a person into making decisions about their assets that they would not have made otherwise. 

Undue influence can be challenging to prove, but certain factors can be used to establish a case. These factors include:


arlington heights divorce lawyerHiring the right divorce attorney is crucial for achieving a favorable outcome in your divorce case. However, with so many divorce lawyers to choose from, it can be challenging and downright overwhelming to determine which one is the right fit for you. Today, we will review common red flags that you may encounter as you look to hire a divorce attorney. For anyone looking to get a divorce, hiring an attorney with high levels of knowledge and experience are vital attributes to look for when hiring a divorce attorney. 

Look Out for These Red Flags

Here are some red flags to be mindful of when hiring a divorce attorney and how to avoid making them, including:

  • Lack of experience in divorce cases – When hiring a divorce attorney, choosing one with experience handling divorce cases is essential. Family law is a complex area of law that requires specific knowledge and skills. Make sure your attorney has a history of securing favorable results for clients.


wheaton divorce lawyerAside from the financial implications of a divorce, the psychological repercussions of ending a marriage can be devastating. It is not uncommon for people who are getting divorced to suffer from problems like depression, anxiety, or even substance abuse. As a result, those going through a divorce must take care of themselves and be aware of their needs.

In December, we wrote a blog that discussed healthy ways parents can help their children cope with divorce. Today, we will review several healthy coping mechanisms for adults going through a divorce. If you are considering getting a divorce, consider contacting an experienced divorce attorney to ensure you understand your legal options during this difficult time.

Coping Mechanisms for Adults Going Through a Divorce

Divorce is a significant life transition that can be emotionally challenging for anyone involved. While it is understandable for adults to feel overwhelmed and frustrated during this time, it is essential to handle the divorce process healthily and constructively. Here are some tips on how adults can cope with their divorce, including:


wheaton estate planning Estate planning is the process of arranging for the management and distribution of a person’s assets after they pass away. While estate planning can provide peace of mind and ensure that loved ones are cared for, several potential problems can arise. Today, we will discuss some of those potential problems. If you need assistance with estate planning matters, contact a qualified attorney to ensure your estate planning goals can become a reality.

Problems that May Arise During Estate Planning

One of the biggest challenges of estate planning is ensuring that all assets are accounted for and adequately valued. This can include everything from bank accounts and investments to real estate and personal property. Without a clear understanding of the value of these assets, it can be challenging to make informed decisions about how to distribute them. 

Another common issue in estate planning is family dynamics. Family members may have different expectations or preferences for how assets should be distributed, and these disagreements can lead to familial conflict and even legal battles. Therefore, it is essential to be open and honest with family members about your intentions and to consider seeking the advice of a neutral third party to help mediate any disputes that may arise.


wheaton estate planning lawyer Regarding estate planning, two of the most popular options are wills and trusts. While both can be effective tools for passing on assets to beneficiaries, some key differences between the two may make one option more favorable than the other for certain individuals. 

Last month, we wrote a blog that discussed the benefits of a trust over a will. Today, we will review the benefits of a will over a trust. If you are interested in creating a will, a trust, or another form of estate planning, contact an estate planning attorney who will ensure that you have the proper guidance necessary to make an informed decision. 

Benefits of a Will Over a Trust 

Below are a couple of benefits that separate wills from trusts. These benefits may include the following:


wheaton child custody lawyerChild custody issues during Illinois divorce can often be contentious, as both parents may have strong opinions about their children's future. Many fathers worry about their rights during a divorce. They assume that Illinois divorce courts favor mothers over fathers. However, it is essential to remember that Illinois law recognizes both parents' involvement in their children's lives as equally vital to safeguard the children's best interests, regardless of the gender of the parents. 

During a divorce case, the court will decide issues regarding custody and parenting time in accordance with the children's best interests. In Illinois, there is a presumption that both parents have the right to meaningful relationships with their children, and both should be allowed to make decisions regarding their children's upbringing. 

If you are a father getting divorced and have concerns over your rights as a father, you are not alone. Consider contacting an experienced fathers' rights attorney who can work to ensure your rights remain protected and respected throughout the process. 


arlington heights estate planning lawyerA living will, also sometimes referred to as an advance healthcare directive, is a legal document that lays out an individual's wishes regarding their medical treatment if they are unable to make decisions for themselves. In Illinois, a living will is a document that specifies what types of medical treatments an individual would like to receive or refuse in the event of a terminal illness, persistent vegetative state, or other life-threatening conditions. 

Today, we will look at the many advantages of creating a living will while focusing on what makes them an especially important estate planning tool. If you are interested in creating a living will, do not hesitate to contact an experienced estate planning attorney who will work to ensure your rights remain protected and respected throughout the process and that your estate planning goals become a reality. 

What Makes a Living Will So Important? 

First, there may be some confusion about the differences between a regular will and a living will. A will is a legal document that outlines how a person's assets will be distributed after death. A living will is a document that outlines a person's medical treatment preferences if they cannot make decisions for themselves due to illness or incapacity. In other words, a will deals with the distribution of property after death, while a living will deals with medical treatment during one's life. 


Lombard, IL estate planning lawyerThe immediate aftermath of a loved one’s death is often a time of great sorrow. If there is any contentiousness regarding your loved one’s estate, this time of great sadness can become even more challenging to deal with as you try to sort out your deceased loved one’s assets and property. Unfortunately, contesting estate planning documents can occur for various reasons. Whether you are looking to contest a document or are an executor looking to protect an estate, hiring an experienced estate planning attorney may be necessary to ensure procedures are followed lawfully and that a resolution can be achieved in your favor. 

Why Would an Estate Planning Document be Challenged? 

In most cases, an estate planning document is usually challenged because there is doubt among the contesting party that the deceased person’s decision-making at the time the document was made was in some way corrupted, either by an outside party meddling or by the deceased individuals’ cognitive abilities at the time the documents were created. If you have reason to believe your loved one was not of sound mind or was unduly influenced when creating documents for their estate plan, an experienced estate planning attorney may be able to assist you in resolving the situation. 



Lombard, IL family lawyerWhen parents are pursuing a divorce, the most contentious issues that must be resolved are often related to issues regarding child custody. It is common for divorcing parents to disagree with each other on matters relating to their child. Which parent will be responsible for specific parental responsibilities, where will the child's primary residence be, and transportation arrangements are common questions many parents getting divorced need to answer. As all these questions swirl around, it is easy for parents to get caught up and forget the most important thing: what is best for their child? 


Suppose parents find it difficult or even impossible to agree on matters relating to their child. In that case, the court may find it necessary to appoint a legal representative to advocate for the child, also known as a guardian ad litem (GAL). For the purpose of this blog, we will delve deeper into what a GAL is and its purpose in family law cases. If you and your spouse are getting a divorce and are finding it difficult or impossible to come to agreements on child-related matters, contact an attorney who will work tirelessly to resolve any outstanding issues and will serve as an advocate for you and your child throughout the child custody process. 


Lombard, IL estate planning lawyerIn recent years, trusts have exploded in popularity and have, for many families, become the main form of testamentary estate planning. A common misconception regarding trusts is that for a trust to work for you, you must be a wealthy individual. However, this is not true. Compared to a will, a trust can do practically everything a will can do. That being said, a trust allows for increased discretion and more control over gradual distribution. 

In all, there are many benefits that trusts offer that wills do not. Unless you have underage children, you may not need to establish a will if you decide to develop a trust. There are lots of different kinds of trusts that offer particular advantages and disadvantages. To learn more about trusts and what estate planning options may be best for you, contact an estate planning attorney to learn more about your options. 

Advantages of a Trust Over a Will

As stated previously, there are many advantages of trusts. These advantages include the following:


Lombard, IL civil union lawyerMany states, including Illinois, have come a long way in recognizing and respecting the rights of same-sex couples and LGBTQ individuals. In 2014, Illinois passed a same-sex marriage bill allowing gay couples to marry and enjoy the same rights as every other married couple in the state. However, many couples decide to pursue a civil union instead of marrying. Suppose you are in a same-sex relationship or are in a relationship with someone in the LGBTQ community and are interested in pursuing a civil union rather than a traditional marriage. In that case, it is essential for you to meet with a knowledgeable attorney so that you and your partner understand your rights and are able to enter a happy and loving civil union. 

Important Information Regarding Representation for Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships

It is important to note that civil unions and traditional marriages offer similar benefits. However, civil unions are not recognized in every state and are still not recognized by the federal government. If you and your partner are interested in entering into a civil union, understand that you will have access to critical legal rights, including the following: 

  • The ability and right to make medical choices for your partner if they ever become incapacitated


DuPage County estate planning lawyerIt is generally considered a great honor to be named as a beneficiary of someone’s will or trust. It demonstrates that someone cared enough about you to ensure you were included in their estate plan. In many cases, beneficiaries receive the benefits they are entitled to according to the will or trust of the deceased without any issues or complications. However, in other cases, numerous sources of frustration can arise as the process of receiving your benefits plays out. If you are a beneficiary concerned with the course of the estate administration and probate process, contact a knowledgeable attorney who will ensure your rights remain protected and that you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

Improper Estate Administration

When someone is named as a beneficiary, they are tasked with relying on the executor chosen by the deceased to take care of issues relating to their estate. Usually, the deceased selected the executor because they believed the person would be up to the task. However, this is only sometimes the case. In many cases, an executor may be overly busy, not aware of the gravity of the situation, or perhaps they wish to take advantage of the process. In any event, inadequate estate administration is a common reason why a beneficiary may want to consult with a lawyer. 

Contesting Documents

Sometimes, a beneficiary may feel the need to dispute the legitimacy of a document such as a will or another estate planning document. For example, suppose the loved one who named you beneficiary assured you of specific considerations in their will. But, during the probate process, new estate planning documents are discovered that suspiciously exclude you or make other changes you may have reason to believe are unlawful. Suppose you believe the deceased was unfairly influenced or the documents do not represent their wishes. In that case, a lawyer can assist you in challenging the documents in question so that your rightful position as a beneficiary is respected.


Lombard, IL divorce lawyerFew couples get married with the expectation that the marriage will end in a divorce. Unfortunately, however, marriages all too often do end in divorce. Sometimes, a couple may delay getting divorced because they fear the process will be too difficult and upsetting to bear. While this sentiment is understandable, the process does not need to be terrible. 

The start of the divorce process begins when you select your attorney. For this blog, we will discuss mistakes people often make when choosing the attorney to represent them in their divorce. We will also discuss how to avoid making these mistakes. While you are not required to retain the services of an attorney when getting divorced, you are strongly advised to hire an attorney to ensure your rights are protected and the process is completed lawfully. 

What to Do and Not Do When Selecting a Divorce Attorney

The first mistake people make when hiring an attorney is failing to do enough research before making a selection. The law firm the attorney works for, their reputation, payment structure, and experience are all factors that must be considered when selecting a divorce attorney. To ensure this does not happen to you, try to obtain as many referrals as possible while asking other lawyers about a specific attorney or law firm. By cross-referencing the information you receive and getting a bigger picture, you will be better positioned to make a wiser decision. 


Lombard, IL estate planning attorneyEstate planning can be an excellent way to grant your loved one's peace of mind in case of the inevitable. However, many people may hesitate to engage in estate planning for various reasons. They may feel like they will have time in the future to do it or that doing it brings up uncomfortable questions that they would rather not answer. While these sentiments are common, it is essential to grasp how important estate planning is to ensure that your wishes are known and respected after you pass away. Estate planning can indeed be complex, but delaying it because it is difficult will only make the process more burdensome on your loved ones.

Since there are many pieces to an estate plan, it can be easy to make mistakes if you do not have the proper guidance. If you are interested in the estate planning process, contact an experienced estate planning attorney who can work with you to ensure no serious mistakes are made. In this blog, we will delve into some common mistakes people make when estate planning. 

Mistakes People Make Regarding Estate Planning  

Arguably, the most significant mistake people make regarding estate planning is failing to plan. Benjamin Franklin once said that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. In Illinois, if you die without an estate plan, your assets will be subject to the state's succession laws. In these scenarios, your wishes are not considered, and the chance of the probate process devastating your assets is significantly increased. 


Lombard, IL divorce attorneyGetting a divorce can be a challenging process, filled with hardships and heartbreak. This is especially true for children affected by their parent's divorce. Depending on the divorce circumstances, children may carry the pain of their parent's divorce for the rest of their lives. However, supporting your children during difficult times is what being a parent is all about.

You are not alone if you are getting a divorce and are worried about how your children will deal with it. A looming divorce can seem overwhelming. But, with so much to deal with, where should you begin? Your first action should be to hire an experienced divorce attorney. Your attorney will work with you through the process, ensuring that your best interests are protected and always at the forefront of decisions made.  

Helping Your Children Navigate this Difficult Time 

This advice is applicable whether you have one child or several. To be the most helpful you can be, here is what you can do during your divorce to ensure that your kids are protected: 


Lombard, IL adult guardianship attorneyThroughout a lifetime, there are times when you may find yourself relying on someone else for different reasons. For some people, however, this need to rely on someone else is more significant than a typical individual's need to rely on someone. For instance, if someone is disabled physically or mentally, they may require a higher level of assistance.

Watching a family member or friend struggle to sustain themselves and manage their life can be heartbreaking. Luckily, in Illinois, if you are watching a friend or loved one struggle to maintain their affairs due to a disability and wish to help them, you can pursue guardianship of that individual. If you are interested in learning more about seeking guardianship of a disabled adult, consult an experienced attorney with knowledge of guardianships to ensure your rights and the disabled individuals' rights remain protected and that the process is as smooth as possible. 

What Situations Warrant a Guardian?  

There are lots of different reasons why an individual may need a guardian. These reasons may include the following:

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