1 mile west of the Chicago Premium Outlet Mall (800) 810 3100
dads-missing-blog-cops-pic-to-use-if-sirens-video-doesnt-work Recently I was sitting down with some very good friends when a cell phone rang.  A look of worry shot across my friend’s brow as he looked at me and apologized, “I’ve got to take this call… my Dad’s missing!  He’s gone wandering…”  I could not help but listen as he spoke to relatives several hundred miles away.  He murmured hopefully, “Maybe they’ll bring Dad to the shelter.”  After saying goodbye he looked at me with pain across his face and said, “Nobody knows where he is.  He’s got Alzheimer’s, and my mom can’t keep him in the house anymore.”  About 30 minutes later he got the call that Dad had been found and everything was okay—this time.  As I sat there, I wondered if my friend knew of some of the resources available to help keep track of vulnerable or wandering loved ones—and it occurred to me that our readers may also be unaware of some of these resources. One of the reasons that having a wandering relative afflicted with dementia is so frightening is that they don’t act (or react) in the same way that a typical lost person would.  A helpful page at Ask.com explains how wanderers with dementia will not cry out for help or respond to your calls to them, nor will they leave many physical clues to lead you to them.  What a wanderer is likely to do is go to an old place of residence or a favorite location. Luckily, there are resources out there to help with wandering relatives—so you don’t have to just wait nervously by the phone.  One of these resources is the Medic-Alert Safe-Return program detailed on the Alzheimer’s Association website.  This program provides 24-hour nationwide assistance and supplies members with an individual emblem engraved with the program’s emergency response number.  If you want to try to stop wandering at its source, the Mayo Clinic has a page detailing some of the reasons why elderly relatives may wander, and includes some suggestions on how you might prevent it.  But remember—no matter how much you do, Mom or Dad may still wander.  Don’t blame yourself if it happens! The best thing to do is be prepared for the occasions when the wandering does happen.  Use the resources provided above, and keep other relatives and caregivers informed.

man-with-screwdrive-through-hand We all like to save money—especially on legal matters.  Millions of people are now using do-it-yourself online legal form services like www.legalzoom.com.  To check it out, I went there, too. Their home page proudly raves, “Save time and money… created by top attorneys… helps you create reliable legal documents… we even review your answers and guarantee your satisfaction.”  There is even a testimonial from an attorney who says, “As an attorney, I have been pleasantly surprised with the ease and efficiency of legalzoom.” What is not as obvious, at the very bottom of the home page, is their disclaimer of liability.  Go ahead and  scroll down to the bottom of the page—you’ll see the disclaimer in very light print. It states:
“The information provided in this site is not legal advice, but general information on legal issues commonly encountered.  Legalzoom’s legal document service is not a law firm and is not a substitute for an attorney or law firm.  Legalzoom cannot provide legal advice and can only provide self-help services at your specific direction.  Please note that your access to and use of legalzoom is subject to additional terms and conditions.”
The words “additional terms and conditions’ is a hot-link that if you click on it will take you to an even longer disclaimer! The disclaimer guts all of the assurances of reliability and suitability of use that you may have assumed were part of the “actual review of your answers and guarantee of satisfaction.”  YOU ARE THE “LAWYER” WHO CHOOSES THE LEGAL FORM! If you decide to be your own lawyer, please understand that  legalzoom has the best of all worlds.  They advertise that they will provide you with the best form of your choosing and save you money—but if you ever have a problem because of that document, they’re not responsible.  You are the one who made the decision about which legal document was right for you and your circumstances. Just yesterday in a meeting with a client, that client exclaimed, “Wow, I never knew that there were so many things to think about in our estate planning.”  I responded, “You know, that’s what most people say when it comes to estate planning, disability, Medicaid, or veteran’s benefits.  You don’t do this work every day, so you just can’t know all of the issues.” The real value of what any professional counselor does is listen to your description of your circumstances and goals, and then choose the best course of action. There is an old story about a factory which shut down due to an equipment failure.  The owner of the factory called a renowned expert to rush to the factory to get things moving. The owner told him, “This shutdown is costing us $100,000 per day!”  The expert arrived, walked around the faulty machine, then took out a screwdriver and adjusted a thing or two.  Within moments the machine came back to life and the factory began to hum with activity.  The owner was thrilled—until he was given a bill for $10,000.  He roared, “But it took you less than 10 minutes to fix the machine—it cannot possibly cost $10,000!”  The expert calmly responded, “No, it took me a lifetime to know exactly where and how to use that screwdriver.  The bill is $10,000—but the value to you is $100,000 per day.” Moral of the story:  The right solution for the circumstances often requires a lifetime of preparation. figure-with-screwdriver

Law Elder Law is very proud to announce that our very own Diana Law has just become the youngest member of the Leading Lawyers Network here in Illinois!  The Leading Lawyers Network is a prestigious group to be a part of because the only way to become a member is to be nominated by your peers.  Even once you are nominated you aren’t actually accepted until you have been reviewed by a number of your peers.
“Leading Lawyers Network 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.”  (from the Leading Lawyers Website)
In fact, the Leading Lawyers Network takes only 5% or less of all the attorneys in Illinois.  We are proud to have TWO of our Law Elder Law attorneys be a part of this group, as Diana’s dad Rick Law is also a member of the Leading Lawyers Network. Of course, it’s no surprise to us that Diana was nominated.  In addition to being involved in the Kane County Bar Association and giving her time in many other service organizations, Diana is known for her focused and caring service to her clients. As for Diana, she’s pleased with the membership in part because she hopes it will be beneficial in dealing with the practical aspects of her job, which is namely ensuring that the elderly of our community receive the advice and protection they need.  Many clients come in feeling overwhelmed and scared, not even having known they needed an elder law attorney until the last minute.  Diana hopes she will be able to reach more seniors and their families this way. When asked what Diana likes most about elder law, she answered “I enjoy providing more than just legal services. In fact some days I feel more like a social worker. We get and give lots of hugs! I like that I can develop close relationships with my clients during a crisis time of life; I’m helping them when I know they need it most.” Congratulations Diana! To read the full article from Leading Lawyers Network click here: Leading Lawyers Article

Marbles store owner Lindsay Gaskins and her team are committed to helping brains age well. And they have a lot of fun doing it! Each of the brain games they sell in their store serves a specific purpose and benefits a specific part of the brain. “The whole concept for the store came out of the idea that there are new developments in science saying that if you exercise your brain you can stave off Alzheimer’s—you can live better and longer.”