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By Rick Law of the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law.  Senior Advocates in Western Chicagoland in Kane County in Illinois.  Law Elder Law is a multi-generation law firm. We are proud to announce that once again the attorneys at Law Elder Law have been chosen by Leading Lawyers Magazine as the top elder law attorneys in Illinois. Selected from a pool of more than 98,000 lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois, Rick’s peers honored him with this recognition:
  • Ranked #1 in Top 10 Elder Law Lawyers
In addition, Rick’s daughter, Elder Law Estate Planning attorney and Kane County Public Guardian Diana Law was recognized:
  • Ranked #7 in Top 10 Elder Law Lawyers
Leading Lawyers, a division of Law Bulletin Publishing Company, has been serving the Chicago legal and business communities since 1854. From its modest beginning in 1854 as a daily reporter of courthouse information, the company has grown into a leading Midwestern information provider in the legal, real estate and financial fields. Publications include newspapers, magazines, newsletters, periodicals, web sites, directories and books. Most of the products are printed at the company’s downtown Chicago headquarters and commercial printing plant. Leading Lawyers has grown out of the extensive legal experience Law Bulletin Publishing provides, and is the most trusted and respected resource to locate reputable, experienced lawyers. The practice of law is unique in that you truly need to be a lawyer to judge the quality, experience and reputation of other lawyers. Leading Lawyers surveys lawyers, asking them which of their peers, indeed their competitors, they would recommend to a family member or friend if they could not take a case within their area of law or geographic region. To maintain the quality and credibility of the survey, lawyers cannot nominate themselves or anyone at their own law firm. Based upon survey nominations and approval by our Advisory Board, only the top lawyers are nominated and eligible for membership in Leading Lawyers. Starting in Illinois and eventually worldwide, Leading Lawyers provides extensive profiles of the most respected and experienced lawyers to assist you in your search for a highly qualified lawyer. A LAWYER CANNOT BUY THE DISTINCTION OF BEING A LEADING LAWYER OR AN EMERGING LAWYER. Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help building a fortress around your estate to protect it from creditors, predators, and the cost of chronic disease, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options! Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney for 8 years in a row by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!
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On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, the Kendall County Board was introduced to the county’s new state-appointed public guardian for seniors. Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird said Gov. Bruce Rauner recently appointed Rick Law, of Law Elder Law, to the position. Law’s daughter and law firm partner, Diana Law, has served as the Kane County public guardian since 2012. Law, an Oswego resident, said his firm would be making a $2,000 contribution to the Sheriff’s Office for training on senior issues. Baird appointed Kendall County Deputy Wayne Dial, a 20-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, to work full-time with senior services organizations. Baird told the board that no additional salary or resources were spent to create the position, and that the $2,000 contribution would be “very beneficial.” “We really feel it’s important to protect our seniors,” Baird said. Law said his part-time position as public guardian carries no salary or benefits. “The public guardian is the guardian of last resort, making decisions for your life,” he said. “What that means is you have no honest and reliable family members to make decisions for you. Unfortunately, many times the family members are the poachers and abusers of the senior citizens that are being protected.” County Board member Jeff Wehrli asked if Law’s public guardian position would be appointed through the court system or would it be able to help people without going through the court system. Law said his position as guardian would help seniors if called on by the courts. Law said, for example, that if the police get called about a hoarder in the neighborhood, the police may call the public guardian. He would also get called in the event of an “unattended death” of a senior, where someone dies and is not discovered for some time. He said he would also be working with the courts and has met with the county’s judges. Click here for the full story! Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options! Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!
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By Rick Law, senior advocate and estate planning Attorney.  Rick is the founder and managing partner at the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law.  Rick Law and his daughter Attorney Diana Law are part of the multi-generational  serving seniors and their families in the Western Chicagoland suburbs. The typical lottery scam works as follows: A Senior receives a call from outside the country and are told they won a foreign lottery. However, they have to prepay the taxes before the winnings can be released to them. The caller will tell them to go to Wal-Mart and pick up a green dot MoneyPak, place $500 on the card, and go back home to await the next phone call in an hour. The scammer is attempting two things here. First, by sending the senior to a big-box store, it is less likely that the senior will know the cashier and talk about the lottery winnings. Second, by saying he will call back in an hour, the caller is not giving the senior time to think clearly or talk to family about the phone call. When the scammer calls back, he will have the senior read the 14-number code on the back of the MoneyPak. Once the scammer has the code, he has access to the money on the card and can steal it from the senior. A variation of the lottery scam involves sending checks to seniors. The senior then tries to cash the check and the check bounces. The bounced check is returned to the scammer with the senior’s bank account information on the check and the senior is hit with a fee for the bounced check. Another phone-related scam is called spoofing. Spoofing is when a person can change the caller ID. Sophisticated criminals can make the caller ID appear to be the phone number of a bank. They call seniors and tell them that there is a problem with their account and ask them to verify their account number and other information.  And soon enough, they have the senior’s bank account information. Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help building a fortress around your estate to protect it from creditors, predators, and the cost of chronic disease, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options! Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney for the past 8 years in a row by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!
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DLaw_headshot-2015Law Elder Law is proud to announce that Diana M. Law has been chosen by Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer as one of 2015’s “40 Under 40”. Diana was chosen from more than 1000 nominations for attorneys throughout Illinois.  Among the criteria for the award is intelligence, passion, success in the office, a desire to help community and a willingness to work hard at one of the country’s most important professions. Here’s what Chicago Daily Law Bulletin had to say about Diana: “Dedicated.  That’s the word that Diana Law’s colleagues use most often when describing this young elder law counselor.  Law, a partner with the Aurora law firm of Law Elder Law, has earned the respect of her peers, her clients and her community.  This isn’t surprising.  Law knows the ins and outs of elder law.  Just as importantly, she is intensely dedicated to her clients, working long hours to help them resolve their most difficult elder law issues.” Congratulations Diana!
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Based on Illinois Lawyer’s votes, Leading Lawyer Magazine Fall/Winter Edition announced:

The Top Ten Elder Law Attorneys

1.  Rick L. Law

2.  Diana M. Law

We are grateful for our colleagues and we deeply appreciate the professional recognition.

 

  We congratulate the other members of the Top Ten List: 3.  Kerry R. Peck, Peck Bloom LLC 4.  D. Rebecca Mitchell 5.  Eve C. Epstein, Epstein and Epstein 6.  Kenneth M. Bloom, Peck Bloom LLC 7.  Mark B. Epstein, Epstein and Epstein 8.  Janna S. Dutton, Dutton & Casey PC 9.  Joseph T. Monahan, Monahan & Cohen 10. Howard Samuel Berk, IL Disability Association & IL Disability Pooled Trust
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“Legislators Block Proposed Illinois Nursing Home Medicaid Rules”—that was this morning’s newspaper headline in our state capital.  That headline would not have happened except for major efforts on the part of our legal/political/lobbying team. Here is a little background:  Last year, I needed to take a break from blogging so we could create a team to lobby in defense of the frail and the elderly citizens of Illinois.  We had not planned on taking a one-year-long blogging hiatus—but when the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IHFS) proposed its first draft of Medicaid rules changes in May of 2010, we felt the regulations were critically important enough to give it our full attention. And give it our full attention we did!  We created the Task Force for Senior Fairness.  The task force included concerned attorneys from all over the state of Illinois and the Cook County Public Guardians Office.  We have worked alongside the Illinois Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).  With this amazing group of people we have been able to achieve far more than we had initially thought possible, including:
  • Hiring a capable lobbyist to help us communicate an understandable message to our legislators in the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (which administers Medicaid).
  • Convincing legislators that while overhauling the Medicaid rules must be done in compliance with new federal law, it would be unfair to make the new Illinois Medicaid rules more harsh than the federal mandate.
  • Creating a website (www.DontHurtGrandma.com) to help deliver information to politicians as well as to public interest groups and the average concerned citizen.
Fighting to make a difference, is important and invigorating work, but in many ways it has been like taking on an additional job! There have been quite a few people who have been integral to our fight for senior fairness, including task force co-chair and renowned elder law attorney Kerry Peck; elder law attorney  (and my own daughter) Diana Law, who served as the task force co-chair and tireless advocate for rights for seniors; senior communications expert Jessica Bannister (a farmer’s daughter who is the webmaster and legislative chair for the Kendall County Republican Women); and our talented and highly regarded democratic lobbyist Michael Bauer.  We hope to feature some of these amazing colleagues in future blog posts, so that our readers can get to know and appreciate them as we do. And of course I can’t send out a post about what’s been going on over the past year without talking a little bit about my family.  Some of my readers know that I have been an avid horseman for many years, which is why I was thrilled to be able to buy my two oldest granddaughters (5½-year-old Lucy and 4½-year-old Daphne) their first riding helmets this winter!  I can’t wait to start riding with both girls this summer, enjoying some grandfather-granddaughter “horseplay.” Feel free to contact me at rick@lawelderlaw.com.  I look forward to catching up with you, keeping you informed, and continuing the conversation here at my blog!
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Right now estate planning lawyers look like ants after the anthill has been kicked over.  We are frantically scurrying in a blind search for answers to The Big Question:  What are the estate planning rules now? For years, Congress has known that the current rules would fall off a legal cliff on January 1, 2010.  Congress always promised to fix the “temporary” expiration of the rules before now…  But as we have seen, who can trust Congress to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done? All nationally known estate tax gurus have believed that the likelihood of 2010 with no estate tax was as improbable as the Cubs winning the World Series, pigs flying, etc. Okay, so there is no estate tax this year…  What does that mean to your existing will or trust estate plan?  Answer:  You should contact a skilled estate planning attorney to schedule a review of your existing estate plan!  ALMOST ALL EXISTING HUSBAND-AND-WIFE ESTATE PLANS MUST BE REVISED TO AVOID SOME UNEXPECTED BAD RESULTS! I am telling all of my current estate planning clients that we will make their wills/trusts convertible so as to accommodate new tax law changes. Ignorance is not bliss!  Now is the time to schedule a review of all existing estate plans!

pigs-fly-4-pigs_cubs_hell3

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Last weekend I was blessed to attend the Chicago preview showing of the HBO special documentary entitled “The Alzheimer’s Project.”  This is an exciting joint project of the Alzheimer’s Association and HBO which is designed to give us all new insight and hope that we can push back against Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  For those of us in Chicago the documentary was even more personal, in that it included a live interview with Dr. David Bennett of Chicago’s own Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.  The medical staff and researchers at Rush Hospital are one of the premier teams investigating Alzheimer’s Disease.  Dr. Bennett is the director of a large group study entitled “The Religious Order Project.”  “The Alzheimer’s Project” focused on some individuals with early-onset Alzheimer’s, which affects people who are younger than 65. We learned several new and startling things.  Most people are aware that Alzheimer’s Disease is a brain disease wherein brain function is progressively destroyed by the emergence of plaques and tangles. Surprisingly, there are individuals whose  autopsy reveals the presence of the AD plaques and tangles, but the individual did not exhibit memory loss during their lives—some people continue to function in a normal manner.  This phenomenon is not yet understood but is currently being referred to as “cognitive reserve.”  The presence of this cognitive reserve gives researchers a hopeful avenue of new investigation.  In addition, part of the question-and-answer portion of the program focused on current drug therapies.  Today there is not a drug which cures or delays the disease.  Our current drug therapies are limited to enhancing the remaining brain function during the continuing degenerative progression of the Alzheimer’s Disease.  Dr. Bennett told the audience in Chicago that there are numerous medical research and drug trials going on right now which demonstrate new possibilities to not only delay but possibly create a vaccine against Alzheimer’s Disease. There is a high probability that medical science will have these enhanced weapons available to the public within the next five to ten years.  This is great news of a brighter view of aging for  millions of people who would otherwise face the prospect of AD.  If you missed this wonderful program, you can watch each of the documentary films individually online, by streaming them to your computer through HBO’s website. I highly recommend that you click here to see all of the resources that you can download and stream from the HBO program entitled “The Alzheimer’s Project.”
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