Dupage County Lawyers
 

Life Care Planning Attorneys

REAL PROBLEMS. REAL SOLUTIONS.

When we and our loved ones get older, there are often difficult decisions to be made that affect the entire family.  Questions arise regarding independent living, health care, financial issues, and what to do about wills, trusts, and the family home and property.

Family laws are complex, and issues about acquiring benefits while avoiding unseen pitfalls can be emotion-laden.  So it makes sense to consult a seasoned family law attorney to help make choices that protect health and finances.

The experienced and compassionate Illinois family law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., always focus on our clients’ needs and feelings, and we work to resolve the issues they are facing in the most effective and efficient manner. Whether you need advice about a living will, setting up a trust, or deciding on an appropriate living situation, we offer a free consultation to help you find the best solution for your individual situation. With office locations in Woodridge and Chicago, we represent clients throughout the entire Chicagoland area.

Call our DuPage County family law attorneys today at 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882 to schedule your free initial consultation.

What Are Life Care Issues?

Illinois life care laws may differ from those in other states, and they are constantly changing, so it is important to keep abreast of them  Issues that Wolfe & Stec attorneys can help you with include:

1) Financial decisions:

How do you best provide for your heirs?  Are you better off having a will or a trust, and are these written correctly?  Are your assets and property protected from claims and liens?  Do you have an appropriate long-term care funding strategy to avoid losing all your assets?  Are you aware of benefits such as Medicaid, SSI, or VA benefits that can help?

In Illinois, you should have planning documents for your estate and finances that include the following:

  • A will — that states where and to whom you wish to leave your assets and names your executor who will carry out the distribution of your estate
  • durable power of attorney for finances – a person designated to take care of your finances if you become incapacitated and are unable to make financial decisions.

You may also want to consider a living trust (a trust you create while you’re alive) or other methods to avoid probate, which is a court proceeding that is expensive and time-consuming.

If you make a living trust, you still need a will to provide a backup plan for any property that is not in your trust.

2) Healthcare decisions:

Life care planning includes providing for what you want to happen if you become terminally ill, incapacitated, or suffer from memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Our attorneys can help you prepare documents that include:

  • A living will (called a”declaration” in Illinois) — to spell out your end-of-life wishes, including whether you want your life prolonged artificially in the event of a terminal illness or permanently unconscious condition.  Living wills are legally binding documents, but they are limited as to what to do in a terminal situation.  You should also name someone to speak for you in other healthcare situations where you become incapacitated.
  • durable power of attorney for health care – this names someone as your agent to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to make health care decisions. This document goes further than a living will and may be used in conjunction with one.

Illinois has a Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Health Care that enables you to state your wishes regarding organ donation, life-sustaining treatment, burial arrangements, and other advance-planning issues so that your agent can make these decisions according to your wishes.

Your agent may be a family member or a close friend you trust. This person should clearly understand your wishes and be willing to accept the responsibility. You can appoint a second and third person as your successor agents to take over if the first named agent is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you. Your agent may not be your attending physician or any other health care provider administering health care to you.

If you would like to make advance care plans that include mental illness, your attorney can make sure this is included in your durable power of attorney. Also you may permit an organ donation or leave instructions for disposal of remains.

3) Other Life Planning Issues:

Is your elderly loved one getting good care?  Are they in condition to stay at home, or is there a better living situation, such as independent or assisted living or a nursing home?  What are the costs of different living situations, and how can these be afforded?  How can you make sure an elderly person is not being abused or taken advantage of?

Financial elder abuse commonly targets seniors who are no longer able to care for themselves and may be unaware that a crime has been committed.  Such abuse consists of the illegal or improper use of an elderly person’s property, finances or other assets without that person’s informed consent or where consent is obtained by fraud or threat of force or through theft.

Our Lawyers Know That Sensitivity Matters

Life care planning issues can stir up a lot of negative emotions for people. Fortunately, there is help available, and you may find comfort in knowing a lawyer is on your side. The seasoned Illinois family law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec can help you with many issues that arise, and we handle all cases with sensitivity, respect, and discretion.

At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., we made our reputation one client at a time. Our lawyers take the time to delve deeply into the problem and to understand your goals and concerns. Then we develop a legal strategy designed to achieve those objectives.

There is no charge for the first consultation, and we are happy to schedule appointments at your convenience.  Delaying can only complicate your situation and make matters worse, so call us today for your free consultation at 630-305-0222 or contact our team online.

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