Articles

You have many choices as to the law firm that can prepare your estate plan, i.e., your Will, Trust, Powers of Attorney, and associated documents.  When considering our firm, please read Steve's article, "My Approach to Estate Planning."

If you are considering whether to file a Petition for Guardianship for an adult, we recommend that you first read Steve's article, "Guardianship: Things to Consider Before Filing a Petition with an Illinois Court."

If you are presently acting as the Guardian of a Disabled Person who lives in Illinois, please read Steve's articles about the primary responsibilities of the Guardian of the Person and the Guardian of the Estate.

SCAN WITH AN APP!  If you do not have access to a scanner, do not take fuzzy pictures of documents with your smartphone's photo camera app, as they will be very difficult for anyone to read.  Instead, use an application for a smartphone or tablet which scans in documents and emails them as PDFs.  I have the most experience with Turboscan.  https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/turboscan  It costs a one time inexpensive flat fee, i.e., about $5 or $6, and is available for Apple and Android devices.  The app automatically frames the document, and allows you to adjust the brightness or darkness of the scan.  I have been using Turboscan since 2017, and it is excellent.

 

If a loved one suffers from a severe disability or is near the end of his/her life, I strongly recommend that you read this New York Times article, "'Passive Euthanasia' in Hospitals Is the Norm, Doctors Say," by Gina Kolata. Sadly, a caregiver may facilitate your loved one's death due to nothing more than the caregiver's own misinterpreted perceptions.

Online Resources

If you must consider moving your loved one to a facility, be sure to consider how that facility compares to others by using a federal government website, which can be found at: https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html and consider the extent to which that facility has been compromised with COVID-19 at an Illinois government website, which can be found at: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/long-term-care-facility-outbreaks-covid-19.

An Illinois' Guardianship Training program is now available online.  If you have been appointed as a Guardian of the Person in any Illinois County except for Cook County, you must complete this training within one year of your appointment.  Cook County Guardians are also strongly encouraged to complete this training.  Learn more at: https://onenet.illinois.gov/guardianship.

 

In 2018, Steve gave an updated seminar called "Inventories and Accounts for Minors & Disabled Persons in Cook County, Illinois in 2018." The presentation, and all materials, are online and available for free. Attorneys may view the seminar for 1 hour of CLE credit. Guardians can watch this seminar to learn more about how lawyers develop Inventories and Accounts (also called "Accountings").

In 2016, Steve gave a seminar on "Real Property Transfers From Guardianship and Decedent Estates In Cook County, Illinois." Again, the presentation and all materials are online and available for free, and attorneys may view the seminar for 1 hour of CLE credit. Non-lawyers who are presently serving as Guardian, Executor, or Administrator are also welcome to learn more about some of the complexities associated with real estate and the probate process.

In 2015, Steve gave an updated seminar called "Administration of Small, Uncontested Decedent Estates in Cook County, Illinois in 2015." However, in 2019, CVLS produced a more current seminar titled "Nuts and Bolts of Decedent’s Estates." Again, the presentation and all materials are online and available for free.  Materials from my 2015 seminar can be downloaded below. Attorneys may view the seminar for 1 hour of CLE credit. Others are encouraged to explore this for a deeper insight into what a lawyer must do to assist a representative of a Decedent Estate.