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Illinois firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical caregivers are real-life superheroes who handle more than their fair share of challenges at work. Unfortunately, the unpredictable and demanding work schedule of these jobs also means that first responders often face additional challenges in their relationships. Emergency response employees have higher rates of divorce and, when they get divorced, they must deal with unique concerns as a result of their job. 
Why Are First Responders at Greater Risk of Divorce? 
First responders are at higher risk of matrimonial dissatisfaction because they work long hours, frequently face dangerous situations, observe traumatizing events, and
Continue Reading Illinois First Responders Face Additional Challenges When Getting Divorced

When you are grieving the loss of a family member, the last thing you want to deal with is a problem regarding their estate plan. Even when estate administration goes smoothly, it can be emotionally difficult for the surviving loved ones. Unfortunately, sometimes concerns over a will’s validity do arise. Family members may get a rather unpleasant surprise when they get around to reading their decedent’s will in some cases. Sometimes the terms of the will are much different from what you expected to find. It could be that the will leaves everything to an individual or organization the
Continue Reading What to Do if You Suspect Your Relative’s Will is Not Valid

You have probably seen at least one murder mystery movie where a wealthy individual is killed for their money, typically by an heir. It is a fairly common trope for impatient heirs to take matters into their own hands in order to get their share of a high-value estate faster. Sadly, this trope does sometimes play out in real life. You may have seen one of many true crime shows feature a terrifying episode where a person marries a wealthy individual, intending to murder their spouse and claim the entire marital estate. Certainly, few would want their killer to
Continue Reading What Actually Happens When Someone is Murdered for Their Estate Money

Summertime presents unique challenges to divorced or never-married parents who share underage children in Illinois. Children are out of school, and younger children require full-time care, forcing parents to get creative in finding childcare options and summer activities that are affordable and feasible for their schedules. Coordinating frequent visits and transportation from house to house adds to the complexity of summer schedules. If you are creating or modifying a parenting plan in Illinois, here are three tips to help you co-parent successfully in the coming summer months. 
Plan Ahead
Some parents specifically include their summer parenting plan in their initial
Continue Reading Three Tips for Successful Summer Co-Parenting

Even when you know that getting divorced is the right choice, the process can still be very difficult. Most people feel a range of complex emotions, including guilt, sorrow, anger, and even regret. Long before the divorce is final, you are likely to be ready to move to the next stage of your life, and you may feel frustrated by how long the process is taking. If any of this sounds familiar to you, here are six tips to help you get through your DuPage County divorce
Strategies For Getting Through Divorce

  • Surround yourself with friends and family –


Continue Reading Six Tips to Help You Get Through Your Illinois Divorce

It is rather common for people to think of estate planning as an end-of-life task. Estate planning attorneys are often called to visit clients in skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and hospice centers. However, waiting until this point to make a will can have negative ramifications. One of the major requirements for a will to be considered legal and enforceable is that the testator (the person creating their will) must have the mental capacity to do so. This standard is known as “testamentary capacity.” It is designed to prevent those who are incapacitated from executing a will that they would not
Continue Reading What is Testamentary Capacity and Why Does it Matter?

Even for spouses who get along fairly well, divorce in Illinois can be a complex and expensive affair. Spouses may wonder whether sharing a divorce attorney could save them time and money, especially if they want to cooperatively reach a resolution on issues like asset division and child custody.
However, no matter how well-intentioned spouses are towards each other, the fact is that divorce attorneys may only represent one partner in a divorcing couple. Attorneys are required to abide by ethical obligations that protect their clients, such as maintaining the attorney-client privilege and never allowing conflicts of interest to
Continue Reading Can an Illinois Divorce Lawyer Represent Both Me and My Spouse? 

Most Illinois couples who are going through a divorce can avoid the difficulty and expense of courtroom divorce litigation by using the help of a trained divorce mediator. Because mediation is so successful and it saves both Illinois courts and divorcing spouses time and money, judges usually require spouses to undergo mediation before their divorce can advance to a trial.
However, the mediation process is not always feasible and, even for those who try it in good faith, it is not always successful. If mediation efforts have not yielded a mutually satisfying divorce decree, you may be wondering what comes
Continue Reading What Do We Do if Our Divorce Mediation Fails? 

There is very little risk in making a will, as you can revoke it at any time so long as you are competent to do so. A lot of people revoke and replace their wills for a number of reasons. If you got divorced and remarried, you might want to revoke the will that left everything to your former spouse. If you had a child, or even a new grandchild, you might want to cancel your old will and create a new one that includes them. Some people simply change their minds about giving part of their estate to
Continue Reading 4 Ways to Revoke a Will in Illinois

The terminology used in estate planning can be challenging to understand. If you feel a little confused when you read about estate planning topics because of all the “legalese,” you are far from alone. Many of the legal terms used in the estate planning field have very specific meanings. Some terms are used when discussing trusts, but not wills, or vice versa. Other terms you may know are outdated and no longer in use. It can be difficult to keep track of all the legal terms you might hear or read when it comes to wills, trusts, powers of attorney,
Continue Reading Understanding Estate Planning Terminology in DuPage County

Marijuana is now readily available to residents of Illinois. Coming in the form of vape pens, hard candies, chocolates, and traditional herb, marijuana products are easy to use with very little thought as to whether there may be negative consequences to this change in policy. While marijuana is often marketed as a sort of panacea for illness, pain, and other ailments, like all intoxicating substances, marijuana use can have negative side effects for its users. Additionally, just because marijuana is legal does not mean that parents in Illinois have free reign to use it in ways that could interfere with
Continue Reading Can Legally Smoking Weed Affect My Rights to See My Child in Illinois? 

As much as we would all like to be part of a loving, old-sitcom-style family where everyone gets along and loves each other, this is simply not the reality for many people. Some people who are trying to create an estate plan have adult children who have not spoken to each other in decades. Others have seen their relatives extensively litigate over another family member’s estate. Some have witnessed utter chaos erupt when a now-deceased relative was nearing the end of their life, as no two family members could agree on how their medical care should be handled. 
If this
Continue Reading Estate Planning Tips in High-Conflict Family Situations

It often does not even occur to young adults that they should have an estate plan at all. You may see creating an estate plan that is likely to change before you need it as a pointless endeavor. However, there are a number of strong reasons that younger adults should consider creating at least a simple estate plan. It can be very difficult for young people to consider their own mortality in this way, but it is important that you do. No one is impervious to things like accidents or illnesses. Having a legally sound estate plan in place is
Continue Reading 4 Reasons Young Adults Should Have an Estate Plan

The issue of inheritance is often a cause of great contention in Illinois divorces. For spouses who have been married for decades, money given from a deceased family member to one spouse may feel like something of a betrayal to the other spouse, especially if the spouse who receives the inheritance decides not to spend it in ways that would benefit the marriage or children. 
In other situations, couples may be very generous with each other’s inheritance, and even count on it as part of their long-term financial planning. No matter how an inheritance has been handled, the issue can
Continue Reading Is My Spouse’s Inheritance Marital Property in an Illinois Divorce? 

More and more modern couples are choosing not to marry. Each couple has their own reasons for making this decision. Some feel that they do not need “a piece of paper” to demonstrate their love and commitment. Others simply are not comfortable with the idea of marriage. However, there are certain legal protections that marriage offers in the event that one spouse becomes incapacitated or passes away. Spouses almost automatically inherit from each other in the absence of an estate plan, and will likely be called upon to make medical decisions for each other when necessary. Unmarried couples do not
Continue Reading Why Estate Planning is Critical for Unmarried Couples

When you think of estate planning, you probably think of wills and trusts – the ways people decide how their property should be distributed after they pass away. This is known as testamentary planning. It is a very important goal of estate planning. However, there is another side of estate planning that addresses what will happen to both you and your belongings later in life should you one day lose the capacity to make your own decisions. This is known as incapacity planning. A comprehensive estate plan will involve both testamentary planning and incapacity planning. 
What is Testamentary
Continue Reading The 2 Parts of a Comprehensive Illinois Estate Plan