216 Higgins Road Park Ridge, IL, 60068 (847) 221-0154
About Our Practice Areas
Our philosophy is that it’s never too late to create solutions, and we treat our clients’ needs on a case-by-case basis. However, the earlier in your life we can provide guidance regarding long-term care and senior estate planning, the more options you may have available to you.

Elder Law

What exactly is Elder Law?

Elder Law is a blend of legal disciplines that serve seniors and their families, veterans and their surviving spouses, individuals and families, and those who have special needs.


When Elder Law is used to serve seniors and their families, we often refer to this as long-term care planning.  Long-term care planning, or “senior” estate planning, will consist of pre-planning, wait and see planning, or crisis planning, and often qualification for Illinois Medicaid.  Also, the preparation of certain types of specialized wills and trusts, powers of attorney for both property and health, and other healthcare directives is necessary.  Sometimes guardianship is required when not enough pre-planning has been done.


When we engage in Elder Law for veterans and their spouses, we are often planning for eligibility for certain benefits offered by the Veterans Administration. Often, the benefit we are seeking is Aid and Attendance or other non-service-connected VA pension benefits.


Serving individual and families in the area of Elder Law requires the development of either traditional estate plans or “senior” estate plans. We can assist you through the design, creation of documents, and funding of your estate plan. Updates and periodic reviews are required and eventually the administration of trusts and estates after death is required.  We pride ourselves in being able to assist you in handling the transition for your loved ones from planning, to illness, and eventually through death in a way that will appear seamless to you, but in reality has many important, moving legal aspects.


Some seniors come to us with loved ones who have a disability.  It is at that stage that we engage in special needs planning, including the coordination of specialized documentation necessary to obtain public benefits offered through Illinois Medicaid, Social Security Administration, Medicare, as well as any other governmental benefits that may be available.


 

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"Senior" Estate Planning vs.
Traditional Estate Planning

– WHICH DO YOU HAVE?
– WHICH WILL PROTECT YOU, YOUR ASSETS AND YOUR FAMILY?
…AN IMPORTANT ALERT TO SENIORS AND BOOMERS ALIKE!

Life Happens… Life Changes… So Must Your Estate Plan.

So, What does your estate plan look like?


  • Will Traditional Estate Planning work for you? Or do you need “Senior” Estate Planning to accomplish your objectives and protect you, your assets and your family?

  • What are the ways to protect your assets from devastating long-term healthcare costs?

  • Can a Living Trust protect your assets?

  • Why doesn’t Traditional Estate Planning always work…and what does work?

  • Have you considered whether long-term care planning (i.e., Senior Estate Planning) is something that could benefit you? Without Senior Estate Planning, the state will probably determine how you spend your money if you are in a nursing home.


We provide our solutions to you through specific and appropriate types of planning. There are different types of planning for the 3 phases of life:

PHASES

Maturing Years


Senior Years
(The GAP)


Post-Death Years

PLANNING

Traditional Estate Planning (age range 18-55)


Senior Estate Planning (Pre-planning, Wait and See Planning, Crisis Planning) (age range 55 and up)


Estate and Trust Administration

If you already have a traditional estate plan, does your traditional estate plan need to be modified to a senior estate plan? This is where the GAP in most people’s planning occurs. 


Most traditional estate plans plan for death only. But between now, when you’re able to manage your own affairs, and the time of your death, there can be a long period of time in which long-term care is needed.  


Senior Estate Planning is the only type of planning that can provide for long-term care properly, whether you are a boomer or senior. Unfortunately, this type of planning  is what most people do not have.


Senior Estate Planning can consist of:



  • a Pre-Plan, where you or your spouse have at least five years to protect assets;

  • a Wait and See Plan to take into account some recent diagnosis of a future debilitating illness, where some legal work is done now and some legal work is deferred until later in your prognosis;

  • a Crisis Plan, where you must immediately have in place all the tools to protect you and your family and your assets in the midst of a long-term care spend-down crisis.


To sum it up, you must consider solutions for that stage of your life in which you require long-term health care (i.e., nursing home care), which is most likely not addressed in your existing estate plan.


A Special Offer For You: Call (847) 221-0154 today for a FREE 15 minute telephone consultation! 


We would be happy to answer your general questions about traditional estate planning, “senior” estate planning, and long-term care planning. Even if you have already done some planning, we can help you make a general assessment of your needs.

Traditional Estate Planning

What is “traditional” estate planning?

For most of us, “traditional” estate planning deals with the things that we wish we didn’t have to think about.  For example: planning for death and planning for disability.

An important note: While these objectives are considered in traditional estate planning, there are many additional issues that we address in “senior” estate planning. Read more about that here

“Traditional” estate planning is streamlining one’s assets and one’s affairs so that you can pass from your maturing years to your senior years and finally to the post-death years,  seamlessly, with the minimization of cost and taxes.

Lets look at assets. Assets can consist of bank accounts, real estate, motor vehicles, household furniture, retirement plans, life insurance, etc.  The coordination of all of these assets is essential to making sure not only that they pass pursuant to your wishes upon your death, but also are available to you during your incapacity, illness or advancing age.

Many people make the mistake of assuming that an estate plan consists only of:
  • a will

  • a revocable living trust

  • a statutory power of attorney for healthcare

  • a statutory power of attorney for property

While it is true that these are some of the common documents that we consider initially in most people’s estate planning, there are many more aspects to considered, including both tax and nontax concerns.

Here are some examples of other issues that we deal with in” traditional” estate planning:
  • What is your dispositive plan?

  • Do you wish to leave your assets to your loved ones outright, in stages, or in trust for the remainder of their lives?

  • Do you wish to build in asset protection planning for your spouse or your children from their creditors, predators or divorcing spouses?

  • What if your surviving spouse remarries someone who immediately divorces them just to obtain access to the inheritance that you just left at your death? (Does this sound cynical? Maybe, but these things happen!)

  • What if your children become divorced or bankrupt after they receive your inheritance?

  • From a tax standpoint, have you considered the impact of federal estate taxes?

  • Have you also considered the impact of Illinois estate taxes and the state estate or inheritance taxes of any other state in which you may either reside or have property?

  • Have you made arrangements to try to avoid probate, either in part or totally?

  • Have you planned for your minor children or adult disabled children?

  • Finally, if you have any charitable intentions, how are you going to accomplish them?

If your estate plan is drafted properly, all of the above should be covered.

Developing a thorough and complete estate plan is something to be guided through by a trusted professional.

Contact The Law Offices of Anthony B Ferraro, LLC at (847) 221-0154 to review your current documents and financial goals.  We are peace of mind attorneys who can assist you in determining what other options are available to you. That way you’ll know that you have done everything you can for yourself and your family, no matter what the circumstances.
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Estate Tax Matters

In addition to more than 40 years of combined experience as lawyers, we are also certified public accountants (CPAs).  We have the training and background necessary to thoroughly handle all taxation matters related to estate planning and estate administration. 

From gift tax to federal estate tax, we may be able to help. During the process of estate planning, we will structure the plan and its accompanying documentation to minimize or eliminate taxes, if possible. 

Estate planning has been very turbulent as of late, but rest assured that we stay current in all of the changes and nuances brought about by new tax legislation in the area of estate taxation.


In the estate administration and probate process, we can assist with the preparation and filing of all necessary estate, gift or income tax returns.  We can help you move through the process efficiently and effectively.


We are results-oriented and ready. People throughout the Chicago metropolitan area and suburbs, including, but not limited to, Rosemont, Franklin Park, Niles, Harwood Heights, Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg, turn to The Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro, LLC for assistance. 


We are dedicated to helping people navigate through the process of estate planning and administration by providing straightforward guidance.  When you choose us to represent you, we will take the time to learn about your needs.  The legal strategy that we create for you will be specifically tailored to your situation. 


We believe that every case is different and needs to be treated as such.  We will give your case the attention it deserves. If you are currently burdened with any estate tax matter, we may be able to help!


Contact us at (847) 221-0154 for your FREE 15 minute phone consultation.

Probate, Estate, and Trust Administration

If you have lost a loved one or friend, and are named as Executor or Trustee of their estate or trust, The Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro, LLC may be able to assist you in meeting your fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries of the estate or trust as you administer the estate and/or trust. 

We have more than 30 years of combined experience helping families move through the process efficiently and effectively.

We will work with you to make certain that:


  • your and your loved one’s wishes are carried out appropriately

  • assets are gathered

  • bills and debts are correctly paid

  • the estate or trust property are accounted for, and

  • the estate or trust inheritances are receipted and distributed out to the beneficiaries.


Contact The Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro, LLC at (847) 221-0154 for a no-cost consultation.

If administration of the estate requires probate or trust administration, you will need legal counsel to discharge your duties properly. 

In addition to our extensive experience as attorneys, we are also certified public accountants (CPA’s). We feel this is an important factor in handling estate matters, which are essentially financial matters.

We are available to help with all aspects of estate and trust administration, including:



  • Probate Court

  • Trust Administration

  • Managing Claims against the Estate

  • Distribution of Assets

  • Final Accountings

  • Estate Tax Preparation and Filing

  • Estate and Trust Income Tax Returns


As a partner at DiMonte & Lizak, LLC,  Anthony Ferraro is able to give your case the personal attention it deserves.

Anthony knows that no two cases are the same, and they cannot be treated as if they were.  Every family has different needs.  He will take the time to learn about those needs and help you fulfill them.

To learn more about how he can help you with the estate, trust and probate administration process, contact us at
(847) 221-0154. We are available to help clients throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, Cook County and DuPage County, including, but not limited to, Rosemont, Oak Brook, Burr Ridge, Rolling Meadows.
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Special Needs Planning

A big concern for our clients who wish to provide for loved ones  with special needs, is what happens to our loved one when we are gone? Those with special needs may have physical or mental disabilities.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can leave money or other assets outright for your loved one for the future. While you can do this, this may have the effect of disrupting or even disqualifying them from public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid.

Another major concern is that public benefits provide only for certain necessities such as food, clothing, housing and medicine. For those parents that want to provide a higher standard of living for their special needs loved one, it is essential to leave additional assets to this individual, but not disqualify them from receiving public benefits.

Fortunately, our federal and state governments have legislated tools that can be used to allow money and other assets to be held in a special trust.  These trusts are called “Special Needs” or “Supplemental Needs” Trusts (SNT’s) and are created for a recipients of SSI and/or Medicaid.At The Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro, LLC, we help clients create special needs trusts so that governmental benefits eligibility is preserved, while at the same time allowing assets to provide for needs beyond what is provided for by means-tested governmental benefits.

SNTs can provide for variety of expenditures that enhance life such as the following: clothing, funds for trips, funds for certain entertainments such as movies and outings, specialized automobile or transportation requirements, special dietary needs, etc.

The types of trust we create can sometimes be built in to your revocable living trust, sometimes they stand by themselves as separate trusts, or sometimes these types of trusts are built into your will when the beneficiary of your special needs trust is your spouse.

Medicaid Asset Protection Planning

DID YOU KNOW… your loved one can receive medicaid benefits while you legally and effectively protect your home and savings from the devastating cost of a long-term nursing home stay?


As Chicago-area Elder Law and Medicaid Attorneys, we offer seniors and boomers guidance and solutions for long-term care planning. Our FREE Long-Term Care Planning Guide offers consumers a simple, easy-to-understand explanation of the confusing Medicaid process and reveals the steps you should be taking RIGHT NOW to protect your family’s assets and regain peace of mind.


Our passion as Elder Law Attorneys is helping senior citizen-taxpayers avoid financial ruin at the end of life due to the devastating costs of long-term care.


This is a scenario we see often and relish:


Relieved, Dad says:


I met with an Elder Law Attorney who helped explain some things that had been weighing heavily on me…

  • We do not have to lose our home.

  • We do not have to wait five years to qualify for Illinois Medicaid.

  • We do not have to give away our assets to protect them”.



Suddenly, for many boomers or parents of boomers, their future becomes brighter. 


We can provide you with a similarly bright outlook! The average cost of a nursing home in Illinois is in the range of $6,000-$10,000 per month, or more.  Who can afford that? Most individuals who are forced to private pay for their nursing home care will see their life savings drained in a matter of months, and you might not be able to keep your spouse at home or leave your children the financial legacy that you worked you entire life to provide.


You see, Medicare pays for a great deal of the health needs that boomers and seniors incur. However, for diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, Medicare has no solutions. You are on your own. 


Our healthcare system has an inherent unfairness in it.  For example , if you have a disease that Medicare will cover, you’re okay.  But with dementia, Alzheimer’s or chronic conditions that require long-term care, there are no governmental benefit solutions, other than qualifying under the Medicaid program, which is difficult to obtain because Medicaid (unlike Medicare) is “means tested” (i.e., based on assets and income). The rules for Medicaid in Illinois are a minefield for the inexperienced. 


A competent, experienced Elder Law Attorney with significant Medicaid experience can guide you in your dealings with the State and ensure that you are financially eligible–ethically and legally.


Anthony B. Ferraro, Attorney – MS Tax – CPA, has been in practice for over 25 years and can assist you with all aspects of Medicaid in Illinois, including:



  • pre-planning

  • wait and see planning

  • crisis planning

  • filing an application for Medicaid qualification


At Dimonte & Lizak, LLC, Mr. Ferraro, his associates and staff are trained and will to help you get the benefits you need for a comfortable future and peace of mind – without going broke before you die.


As mentioned above, Mr. Ferraro can help you with: Pre-Planning (Proactive) Planning, when there is plenty of time and opportunity for planning (starting at about age 60, or sooner if there is a known health issue) and using, for example-



  • Special purpose documents that we prepare for you, such as a Medicaid asset protection blueprint

  • Current interpretation of changing Illinois Medicaid law, rules and policy

  • Illinois Medicaid eligibility review and and application filing strategies at the point of needing a nursing home


Wait and See Planning, when there is a diagnosis of a chronic illness or aging problems, but you can still remain at home for a period of time into the future. – and – Crisis Planning, when you or someone you care for needs to be financially eligible for Illinois Medicaid as soon as possible because they are:



  • about to enter a nursing home

  • already in a nursing home

  • in need of preparation for a Medicaid application

  • require a review of a Medicaid denial


Please click here to receive our FREE Report entitled “Don’t Go Broke In A Nursing Home!”, or call (847) 221-0154 to set up your no-cost 15 minute telephone consultation.

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Guardianship

If a loved one has been incapacitated by illness or accident, he or she may require a legal guardian. 

Guardianship is administered through a lifetime probate proceeding.  It is necessary when the incapacitated person did not have powers of attorney or advance directives in place prior to a crisis situation.

We have more than 25 years of experience helping people obtain guardianship of the person or guardianship of the estate of  a loved one. We can put our experience to work for you.

Contact us at (847) 221-0154 to discuss guardianship. There are several types of legal guardians.  The most common is guardian of the person.  This provides you legal standing to make important decisions regarding the healthcare and treatment that your loved one receives. 

The second type is guardian of the estate.  This provides you power to make decisions about your loved one’s assets and property. 

Both types of guardianship can be held by the same person, or each can be held by a different person, depending on the needs of your loved one.  Other types of guardianships include limited guardianship and temporary guardianship.

Anthony B. Ferraro, partner, DiMonte & Lizak, LLC understands that dealing with the incapacity of a loved one is never easy.  We want to help you through all of the legal aspects of the situations you face.  Our office is able to provide you with the one-on-one attention you deserve.  We take pride in being available to answer any questions and address any concerns that may arise.  We want you to understand the process and we will take the time necessary to make certain you do.

To find out how he can help you with guardianship and related matters, contact us at (847) 221-0154.  We are available to help clients throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, including Rosemont, Northbrook, Palatine, Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, and Park Ridge.