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Recent Blog Posts

How is a Will Executed According to Illinois State Law?

 Posted on October 24, 2022 in Estate Planning

barrington estate planning lawyersCreating a will can be a complicated legal task. The process for executing a will is not nearly as simple as having the executor place his wishes regarding the disposition of his future estate property in writing and sign it. There is a legally-proscribed method for executing a legally effective will. The rules regarding how a will is to be executed are often interpreted quite strictly. A single deficiency in the execution procedure could lead to the entire will being held as invalid and set aside, forcing an estate into the intestacy process. To ensure that all formalities required for the creation of a valid will have been upheld, it is best to execute your will only in the presence of or at the explicit direction of your attorney. While not always possible in certain circumstances, such as when a testator is in the hospital or a skilled nursing facility, a lawyer’s office is generally the most secure place to execute your last will and testament. 

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Can I File a Lawsuit if My Family Member Was Killed in a Car Accident?

 Posted on September 14, 2022 in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Barrington wrongful death lawyerLosing a loved one because someone decided to drive carelessly is a devastating experience, especially when the deceased family member was the main income earner or the primary caregiver of young children. No matter what the deceased’s role in the family was, survivors feel the loss acutely and may wonder if they can take legal action.

In Illinois, enumerated close family members may be able to file a wrongful death action against the negligent driver responsible for the crash. If your close family member was killed by a negligent driver, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. 

Which Family Members Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Illinois, only certain close family members have standing to file a wrongful death action. Eligible next of kin may be the decedent’s: 

  • Spouses - Spouses rely on each other in numerous ways. A spouse is likely to be hard hit by the sudden loss of their partner in marriage. 

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What Is a Living Will?

 Posted on August 11, 2022 in Estate Planning

IL estate planning lawyerMost people think of estate planning as deciding what happens to your belongings after you pass away. While this type of planning, called testamentary planning, is a very important part of estate planning, there is much more to it than that. A thorough, comprehensive estate plan also includes planning for potential future incapacity. People are living very long lives these days, and the fact is that many of us will one day reach a point where we can no longer make important decisions for ourselves, including medical decisions. By using a living will combined with powers of attorney, you can make certain important choices regarding your future medical care now. An attorney can help guide you through creating one so that you can take control of your own later-in-life care.

What Decisions Can I Make Using a Living Will in Illinois?

Living wills are used to govern end-of-life care for people who are terminally ill. The main purpose of a living will is to allow people to choose for themselves whether they would want to receive life-prolonging care in the event that they become terminally ill while unable to make decisions for themself due to incapacity.

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Alarming Statistics About Distracted Driving

 Posted on July 14, 2022 in Motor Vehicle Accidents

IL accident lawyerDistracted driving is responsible for on average, over 3,000 fatalities each year nationwide. These are some of the most preventable traffic deaths - all drivers must do to avoid these serious car accidents is to pay attention to the road. One of the most important duties drivers have is to remain aware of what is going on around them. Drivers who are simply not watching the road can find themselves causing a major wreck very, very quickly. Cell phones are one of the most common distractions. Countless public awareness campaigns regarding cell phone use while driving have likely had some effect, but distracted driving remains a serious problem. If you were injured by a distracted driver, an attorney may be able to help you recover compensation.

What You Should Know About Distracted Driving in Illinois

Everyone knows better than to send a text or check their emails while they are driving. Cell phones often come with a built-in “driving mode.” Navigation systems like Waze often have safeguards built in to prevent drivers from changing the settings while their vehicle is in motion. However, people continue to focus their attention on devices rather than the traffic around them. Some alarming statistics about distracted driving include:

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5 Things to Expect During Illinois Probate

 Posted on June 15, 2022 in Estate Planning

IL estate lawyerProbate is not a quick and easy legal proceeding. It can take time, money, and a lot of patience to get through. It can also take significant legal skills if there are difficulties at any point in the process. When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, probate may be the absolute last thing you want to deal with. The added stress of trying to handle a complex legal procedure alone can be overwhelming. There are parts of probate that may be frustrating or confusing. There are a lot of parties who need to be notified, and there is a strong possibility that at least one dispute or claim will need to be settled. In some cases, probate can take upwards of a year. You should be ready for some type of challenge to arise. Working with a probate lawyer can help alleviate the burden of probating your loved one's estate.

The Realities of Going Through Probate in Illinois

Especially if this is your first experience with a probate court, you might be feeling very overwhelmed. The process is not as simple as submitting a will and distributing estate property. If your loved one did not leave a will and you are facing intestate probate, the process may be even more complex. A few things you should expect during probate include:

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4 Ways a Car Accident Can Change Your Life

 Posted on May 13, 2022 in Motor Vehicle Accidents

b2ap3_thumbnail_accident_20220513-024711_1.jpIL accident lawyerMost of the time, getting hurt in a car accident is a temporary problem. While being injured b a negligent driver can be deeply upsetting and physically painful, odds are, your life will eventually go back to normal. However, in the most severe cases, a car accident can be permanently life-altering. Not all injuries can be fully healed. Some people may find themselves needing help with tasks they used to be able to perform independently. Others will have to change career paths or miss out on achieving other goals they had. The one saving grace in this type of situation is that you can be compensated for the full amount of harm that was done to you. When you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash, you will want an experienced lawyer to handle your case. Simply adding up all the costs associated with your accident can be a daunting task.

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What Costs Could I be Compensated for After a Car Accident?

 Posted on April 15, 2022 in Motor Vehicle Accidents

IL accident lawyerWhen an injury from a car accident disrupts your life, the costs can add up quickly. It is not just the obvious out-of-pocket expenses like the medical bills from the day of the accident and the cost of your vehicle. Often, the true cost of a car crash cannot be accurately calculated until weeks or even months later. Some car accident victims ultimately have to change career paths, require ongoing medical treatment, or otherwise suffer hidden economic losses. This is one of the reasons that accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company too quickly and without consulting an attorney can lead to you losing out on funds you were entitled to. Before you consider accepting any type of settlement, always speak with an experienced attorney who can give you a better understanding of the costs you could be compensated for.

What Financial Losses Could I Receive Compensation for if I Was Hurt in a Car Crash?

Adding up the true cost of a car accident can be difficult. There are quite a few things to consider during this process, including any future losses. After a car accident, you could be compensated for:

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What is Incapacity Planning and Why is it Important?

 Posted on March 15, 2022 in Estate Planning

IL estate attorneyThe fact is that most people who live to a certain age are likely to experience age-related mental incapacity. Alzheimer's, dementia, and the natural effects of aging can lead you to become confused, disoriented, and unable to make important decisions or manage your own affairs. Someone else will have to step in and start making medical and personal decisions, as well as managing your finances. If no incapacity planning has been done, the most likely solution is court-ordered guardianship. Guardianship proceedings are public and can be very upsetting to the ward, who has little or no say over who the guardian will be. Incapacity planning allows you to make certain decisions ahead of time or appoint others to do so for you without any court involvement, so do not neglect this important part of estate planning.

What Legal Documents Are Part of Incapacity Planning?

When you start working on your incapacity plan, there are several documents your lawyer may use. These documents and their purposes include:

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What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury in Illinois?

 Posted on February 11, 2022 in Catastrophic Injuries

IL injury lawyerBeing injured at all due to someone else’s negligence can be very upsetting even if you make a full recovery. Even injuries that are not catastrophic in nature can still force you to take time off from work while you heal or require follow-up visits with specialists or even some physical therapy. These are all losses or expenses that you could be compensated for. When an injury is life-altering or permanent, it may be referred to as a catastrophic injury. For those who have suffered this type of injury, life may never be the same.

If you have suffered this type of injury, you will need a skilled personal injury attorney to fight for you to receive full compensation for everything this injury will cost you.

What Types of Injuries Are Considered Catastrophic?

A catastrophic injury is one that will affect your life permanently. These very serious injuries often result in disabilities that can take you out of the workforce or leave you unable to fully care for yourself, your home, and anyone who depends on you. Injuries that are generally considered catastrophic include:

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4 Problems That Can Complicate Illinois Probate

 Posted on January 12, 2022 in Estate Planning

IL estate lawyerEven under the best of circumstances, probate can be a complicated legal procedure. Months or even years could pass between the day your family member’s will (if there is one) is submitted to the probate court to the day you are able to collect your inheritance. There are a lot of steps involved with probate, all of which need to be carefully followed to avoid delays or unnecessary expenses. The sheer complexity of probate means this process is generally best supervised by a qualified attorney who is familiar with the procedures and can handle any potential pitfalls. If you anticipate any problems popping up, it may be wise to speak with a lawyer before initiating Illinois probate.

What Issues Might Make Probate Harder for My Family?

Whether you are getting ready to begin the probate process or debating whether you should try to avoid it in your estate plan, it is a good idea to be informed of some potential issues that can slow down or complicate probate. Any of the following concerns could lead to challenges in probate court:

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