5 Tips For Non-Traditional Families When Creating an Estate Plan

Web Admin - Friday, June 28, 2019
Barrington estate planning lawyer same sex couplesToday’s families come in many forms. In fact, there are fewer “traditional” families than ever in which two opposite-sex parents are married for the first time and have children together. Since divorce is common, and couples often choose to live together and have children without getting married, many families include step-parents and step-children. In addition, the legalization of same-sex marriage has resulted in complex family arrangements involving biological children and adoptive children. Regardless of how a family is configured, it is important to plan for the future and ensure that all family members’ needs will be met. For non-traditional families, it is important to consider the following during the estate planning process:

1. Update your will - Your last will and testament specifies how you want your assets to be distributed to your heirs after your death and any other last wishes. You will want to be sure that your will addresses your partner, your children, your step-children, and any other family members.

2. Create a trust - In addition to your will, a trust can provide more control and flexibility for how you would like your assets to be distributed to your beneficiaries. A living trust can be changed or modified if necessary, and it can also be used to provide for your and your partner’s needs during your life.

3. Use power of attorney - While married spouses have the right to make decisions for each other, this is not always true for unmarried couples. A power of attorney agreement can be used to ensure that partners will be able to make medical or financial decisions for each other if one of them becomes incapacitated.

4. Consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement - When you get remarried, your new spouse will typically be entitled to receive half of your estate following your death. A prenup or postnup can ensure that certain assets will be set aside for any children you may have from a previous marriage or relationship.

5. Address plans for retirement - If you have any retirement funds saved in an account such as a 401(k) or IRA, you will want to be sure to name beneficiaries who will receive these funds following your death. You can name your spouse or partner as a beneficiary, as well as any children or step-children.

Contact a Kenilworth Estate Planning Attorney

When creating a comprehensive estate plan, you will want to be sure all of your family members will be provided for. Determining how to do so when you are in a non-traditional family can be a complex matter, and an experienced attorney can help you address issues involving same-sex partners, children from previous marriages, adoptive children, or other family members. Contact our Riverwoods estate planning lawyer today at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


What Are the Top Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Illinois?

Web Admin - Friday, June 14, 2019
Palatine bicycle accident lawyerIn the Chicago area and throughout the United States, many people enjoy traveling by bicycle. Whether they are commuting to and from work, getting exercise, or simply enjoying the outdoors, bicyclists have a right to use the roads, and drivers of cars and trucks should take care when driving around bicycles. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to do so, and bicyclists are likely to be seriously injured in bike accidents which occur when a bicycle is struck by a motor vehicle. In these cases, victims should work with an attorney to establish liability for their injuries and pursue financial compensation for their damages.

Common Causes of Bike Accidents

Driver negligence is often to blame for bicycle accidents. This negligence can take a variety of forms, including:

- Distracted driving - Even a momentary lapse in concentration can cause a driver to fail to see a bicycle on the road around them. Unfortunately, drivers can be distracted by talking or texting on a cell phone, adjusting a car’s radio or navigation system, talking to passengers, or eating and drinking. Taking one’s attention off the road is a dangerous form of driver negligence that can lead to serious injuries for a bicyclist.

- Drunk driving - Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is a crime, and it can drastically impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. Alcohol use affects a person’s coordination, reaction time, and judgment, and it is likely to cause a driver to be unable to avoid striking a bicycle.

- Aggressive or reckless driving - Some drivers do not like to share the road with bicycles, and they may drive too close to bicycles or fail to respect their right of way. In addition, bicycle accidents often occur when a driver proceeds through an intersection without looking or changes lanes or makes a turn without checking their blind spots. Drivers may be held responsible if they injure bicyclists due to their failure to follow the rules of the road.

- Dooring - Bicyclists can be seriously injured if a driver or passenger of a parked car opens their door into the bicycle’s path. This can occur when a bike is in a lane of traffic or a bike lane, and it can cause serious injuries if a cyclist is thrown from their bicycle.

Contact an Inverness Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured while riding a bicycle because of negligence by the driver of a car or truck, you may be able to receive compensation that includes the costs of medical treatment, income lost due to disability, and pain and suffering. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we can provide you with dedicated legal representation in your personal injury case. Contact a Deer Park bicycle accident lawyer today at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


What Types of Birth Injuries Can Be Caused By Medical Malpractice?

Web Admin - Thursday, June 06, 2019
Des Plaines birth injury attorneyBabies are born every day in hospitals throughout the United States, but while childbirth is a common procedure, it is one that requires extreme care on the part of medical professionals. Newborn babies are especially vulnerable to injuries and infections, and if mistakes are made by doctors or nurses during labor and delivery, both mothers and children can experience serious injuries. If your family has been affected by a birth injury, an experienced attorney can help you determine whether medical malpractice occurred and work with you to recover compensation.

Common Types of Birth Injuries

Although birth is often a routine procedure, minor or major complications can arise during the delivery process, and if patients are not properly monitored or if issues are not addressed correctly, serious harm can come to the mother or child. Some birth injuries that may occur because of medical negligence include:

- Fractures - A newborn baby’s bones are very fragile, and if improper force is used during delivery, a child’s bones may be broken. Some commonly fractured bones include collarbones, arms, and legs. Skull fractures may occur if forceps are used improperly, and they can be especially dangerous, leading to hemorrhaging that puts pressure on the child’s brain.
- Brain injuries - Damage to a baby’s brain can cause lifelong complications such as cerebral palsy. These injuries are often caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain (known as hypoxia), which can result if doctors or nurses do not properly address complications such as placental abruption, meconium aspiration, or a prolapsed umbilical cord.
- Nerve injuries - If a child becomes lodged in the birth canal (a complication known as shoulder dystocia), doctors or nurses may use too much force when extracting them. This can cause damage to the nerves in the shoulders and neck, leading to conditions such as paralysis in the limbs or Erb’s palsy. These types of injuries can also occur when devices such as vacuum extractors are used incorrectly.

Contact an Arlington Heights Birth Injury Lawyer

If your child has been injured during birth, they may experience life-long effects, and the costs related to their ongoing medical treatment or disability will impact your family’s finances for years to come. When birth injuries occur because of negligence on the part of medical personnel, you deserve to be properly compensated for your damages. Contact a Schaumburg medical malpractice attorney to learn how we can help you receive the financial compensation you deserve. Call us at 847-934-6000 to set up a free consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


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