ESTATE PLANNING WILLS & TRUSTS
Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney, Revocable Trust
Our Northshore estate planning lawyers draft custom documents and advise clients about wills, powers of attorney for health care and durable powers of attorney for property. Our Lake County estate planning attorneys recommend revocable living trusts to avoid probate. You may also need an irrevocable trust in certain circumstances. If you give assets upon your death to a beneficiary in any manner other than outright, a testamentary trust is essential. Having a competent and experienced estate planning attorney will ensure you always consider contingency planning so that you have a well-drafted estate plan providing depth and flexibility.
PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
Probate, Trust Administration, Trust Taxation
When a person dies, a probate court will make a determination on whether a decedent's will is valid. If you inherit assets that require probate, our Chicago probate attorneys will make the probate process as painless as possible. Our Lake County probate lawyers are in probate court on a regular basis and strive to protect the probate estate from unnecessary drain.More Probate & Trust Admin
SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST PLANNING/Guardianship
Special Needs Trusts / Adult-Disabled Guardianships
Leaving money to a child with disabilities, such as autism, without using a special needs trust can cause problems when the child becomes an adult. Our Chicago guardianship attorneys establish a discretionary special needs trust so your intended disabled beneficiary is not disqualified from government assistance. If a disabled adult directly receives money from inheritance or lawsuit, a payback trust [OBRA ’93 (d)(4)(A)] can ensure benefits continue without interruption. Due to circumstances or without proper planning, a plenary guardianship may be necessary if an adult is incapacitated and cannot manage financial or personal affairs.More on SNT / More on Guardianships
Elder Law / Medicaid Eligibility
Medicaid Eligibility and Asset Protection
Elder law and estate planning often overlap. Young and old alike need powers of attorney and other documents such as wills and trusts. A common theme of elder law deals with concerns about the cost of a long-term stay in a nursing home or assisted living facility that can rapidly deplete an estate and leave nothing for heirs. Our Chicago elder law attorneys advise clients on asset protection techniques that may obtain Medicaid eligibility to pay for long-term care. We also help protect the elderly who are exploited or victims of elder abuse.More on Elder Law
- Estate Planning
- Probate & Trust Administration
Estate planning is about more than money or possessions or property or simply deciding who gets what. While those things are important, other aspects of creating an estate plan focus on you, your values, and your legacy. In other words: How much or how little you have doesn't matter; an estate plan can reflect your values and the people and causes you care about.
In that sense, the possibilities for what a well-thought out estate plan can accomplish are almost endless.
Many times when a loved one passes, there can be complex requirements in the handling of the estate. During this difficult time, family members and trustees can become overwhelmed. Our goal is to handle these situations with compassion and sensitivity.
our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys
- Eric G. Matlin, Attorney At Law Eric Matlin is a graduate of DePaul University and The John Marshall Law School. He was admitted to practice law in 1978 and has written estate plans for thousands of families. Eric is a member of the Chicago Bar Association.
- Julie A. Kolodziej, Attorney At Law Julie Kolodziej is a 1996 graduate of DePaul University College of Law. She is a Principal of the firm and concentrates her practice in probate, trust administration and litigation, estate, gift and fiduciary income taxation, and guardianships. Julie is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Lake County Bar Association.
- Johannah K. Hebl, Attorney At LawJohannah Hebl is a 1998 graduate of Hamline University School of Law. Formerly of the Zelmar Law Group. She worked as an associate attorney for Michael Zelmar. Johannah is licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin. She concentrates her practice in family law, probate, trust administration and litigation, and estate planning. Johannah is a member of the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce.
- Mary E. Vanek, Attorney At LawMary graduated from Valparaiso University in 1984, and DePaul University College of Law in 1988. Mary is licensed to practice in Illinois, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Federal Court of Appeals – 7th Circuit. Her practice is focused on estate planning, estate administration, guardianships, contested estates and other contested matters, as well as business law. Mary is a member of the Northwest Suburban Estate Planning Council. The Chicago Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association.
- Ryan S. Smith, Attorney At LawRyan is a 2011 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He relocated to the Chicago area and concentrates his practice in estate planning, estate administration and litigation, and probate.