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Areas Of Practice

Niles Elder Law Attorney

Chicago Estate-Planning Lawyer for the Elderly

Elder law consists of estate planning for the elderly. Estate planning is not just preparing a will, trust or other documents for distribution of an estate after your death. A proper estate plan makes provisions for your finances and care as you age and for the support and care of your spouse, children or other individuals after your death. While estate planning is important at all stages of life, the need to plan becomes more urgent as you get older and before it is "too late".

I am Jay A. Slutzky, attorney at law. From my office in Niles, Illinois, I help families throughout Chicago and the north and northwest Chicago suburbs plan for such matters as asset protection, health problems, avoiding adult and minor's guardianships, naming guardians for minor children, special needs planning, planning for unmarried life-partners, nursing home care, charitable giving and other matters.

Reviewing Your Estate Plan

It's important to review your estate plan periodically to provide for changes in your family, assets and tax laws. The will that was appropriate for you at age 35 may not be appropriate when you are in your 60s or older.

A typical will for a husband and wife would leave all assets to the husband if the wife dies and all assets to the wife if the husband dies. This arrangement might be fine while you and your spouse are young and healthy. However, if the survivor is disabled or in a nursing home, such a transfer may not be in the survivor's best interests.  Or, what if the survivor gets remarried and then dies.  The second husband or wife may get everything and the children nothing.

As your lawyer, I will provide in-depth guidance in the areas of estate planning that become increasingly important as you age, such as asset protection planning, estate tax planning and Medicaid-planning.

Planning for Incapacity

Many people go through a period of incapacity before they die. Legal documents such as durable powers of attorney and a living will are essential parts of your estate plan that help you provide for incapacity. These documents allow you to decide who will speak and act for you if you are unable to speak or act for yourself.

If you become incapacitated without completing a power of attorney for health care and/or property, then your family may have to go through the delay and expense of a guardianship proceeding to give someone the legal authority to make personal care and financial decisions for you.