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Consulting An Elder Law Expert Makes Estate Planning Simple

October 8, 2012 in News

Article provided by Kerry Peck It can be difficult to watch our parents age, especially if they struggle for years with poor health or mental deterioration. Children find themselves in the role of caregivers — sometimes gradually, sometimes suddenly — and concerns about the day to day health and financial well-being of their loved ones become paramount. Caring for parents and worrying about their finances can be challenging, but the sooner a family can speak with an aging parent or relative about their plans for care (and the type of long term care they can afford, if needed), the better. Knowing their wishes will help you advocate on their behalf; ensuring they work under the guidance of estate planning attorneys will eliminate uncertainty when the time comes to divide assets. When Your Family May Need The Services Of Estate Planning Attorneys If your loved one wrote a will but there is uncertainty about whether it is valid, speaking with an elder law expert can help clarify the next steps. While laws vary from state to state, there are generally four reasons why a document of their final wishes may be considered invalid. Firstly, if it is not signed in accordance with state laws it may be considered invalid. For example, some states require that the testator have two witnesses in the room at the time the will is signed. Another reason a person may wish to consult estate planning attorneys is if a loved one may not have been of sound mind at the time the will was signed. Thirdly, if there is cause to believe a loved one was unduly influenced or pressured to write, change, or forced to sign a will against their wishes, it may be contested. And finally, if there are suspicions the document may be fraudulent — that is, if a person was tricked into signing and it can be proven –certainly contact estate attorneys at the earliest opportunity. How Estate Attorneys Can Help When someone believes a will is incorrect or invalid, they may hire estate attorneys to review the documents and decide on next steps. An attorney can help determine whether there are grounds to dispute the validity of the document, and can advise on the legal process and costs involved. In many cases, the cost of contesting may be prohibitive, or not worth the time and effort. If you have a strong case, estate attorneys can help you file the dispute and represent you by presenting your case in court. It is important to know in advance that the burden of proof will rest upon you. Before you meet with an attorney, make sure you are clear about your reasons for contesting the document and gather your evidence (which may include financial statements, previous wills, letters, or witnesses). Get To Know The Law And Plan Ahead To Minimize Family Disagreements You can reduce the stress of what will already be a challenging time for your family when a loved one dies by planning ahead. Help your elderly loved ones with end of life planning while they are of sound mind; while it may seem a delicate topic, it can be an enormous relief for an elderly person to have everything planned so they don’t need to worry. Meeting with estate planning attorneys when your elderly relative is well is a great idea, and will make the process of decision making about the estate much simpler. Avoiding disputes down the road by simple planning makes good sense, and can also help you avoid costly lawsuits later — and in some cases, devastating disagreements that can leave families hurt, angry, disappointed, and unable to mend their relationships after a loss. If your family is quarreling over a loved one’s will, consulting with estate attorneys in Chicago is the first step to resolving the issue. To help an elderly loved one plan an estate, you can trust Peck Bloom’s Chicago elder law experts. Contact Peck Bloom today to learn more about how Estate planning attorneys in Chicago can help your family. Article Source:


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