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Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-7552 | Fax: (847) 332-0313

Author Archives: Frank Nilsen

  • Special Needs Trust

    There are a variety of uses for Special Needs Trusts and they have various names that correspond with them. It is essential that all clients are asked about relatives with special needs, particularly if they are receiving Public Benefits, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income from Social Security or HUD Section 8 Housing benefits. If the special needs relative suddenly receives an unplanned inheritance, by will or through probate, they may lose their Public Benefits and have to hire an attorney to help them get these benefits restored. All of my wills and trusts have provisions for Special Needs Trusts embedded in them, in order to plan for a possible disability at a later date, when an heir may need their Public Benefits sheltered from an inheritance.

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  • What Does Great Pie and Elder Law Have in Common?

    My wife, Amy, and I became enamored with the wonderful pie at Lulu’s Café in Milwaukee after riding our bicycles around the lovely Wisconsin farm country all day.  Every chance we get to try a new pie place, we seize it.  We now include our pie loving son, Gabriel who enjoys ordering his own slice and doesn’t mind trading a bite here and there.  We first encountered the First Slice Pie Café while driving up Ravenswood and stopped into their café tucked into an art gallery for a slice of their signature sour cherry pie.  It was outstanding and we couldn’t help but notice people lining up for their weekly subscriptions to First Pie’s meals to go.  It turns out, First Slice Pie Café is a non-profit organization founded by woman named, Mary Ellen Diaz,  a first rate chef,  trained at l’Ecole des Arts Culinaires in Lyon, France.  Ms. Diaz has built her organization as a job training program after she volunteered in a soup kitchen and stunned the people there with her delicious soups.  She has a program she calls “The Shareholders Program” with over 100 families subscribing and receiving home-cooked meals on a weekly basis. First Slice Pie Café recently placed in the top 10 of all apple pies in the country in Food and Wine Magazine. It is heavenly to a pie fancier.

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  • Elder Law

    Elder Law is a broad area of practice that is focused holistically on older individuals and their families. This practice area came about to address an aging population that is increasing in the United States. My concentration in Elder Law is devoted to Long-term care planning, particularly as it intersects with Estate Law and the need to establish a trust to protect an elder’s assets for their heirs.

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  • Estate Planning

    Anyone planning their estate will begin with the basic estate package: Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Durable Power of Attorney for Property, an Illinois Living Will, and a HIPPA Medical Information Release. (more…)

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  • Medicaid Planning, Applications and Advocacy

    Even if you have carefully saved for long-term care, the actual cost of live-in home health aides, nursing homes and assisted living facilities is considerable. In fact, costs have risen to the point where the spouse not living in the facility, trying to cover the entire nursing home bill, risks complete destitution. Adult children may need to spend their own savings to care for their elder parents living in a facility. (more…)

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  • Guardianship

    If an elder has not planned for incapacity by obtaining a Durable Power of Attorney for Health care and a Durable Power of Attorney for Property prior to becoming incapacitated, Guardianship is necessary to protect the elder’s finances and to make sure his or her personal and medical needs are met. (more…)

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  • Veterans Administration Benefits Applications, Trusts and Appeals

    Our law office is accredited to assist veterans to apply for VA benefits. We do this as a service, in conjunction with related legal services, particularly for elders who are disabled and need to structure their assets in a trust in order to then be able to claim their Assisted Living Facility expenses as a medical expense. There are other types of benefits that an elder may want to pursue, whether they are a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran. Although the process can be drawn out, it is well worth pursuing, particularly if the applicant is disabled and in need of at least two Assisted Daily Living services from a caregiver. We use the Well Developed Claim method of submitting applications to the VA in an effort to obtain quicker results.

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  • Probate and Estate Administration

    Probate is the court supervised legal process after a person dies that collects that person’s assets, pays the final debts owed by the deceased person and distributes the remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries named in the Will (legatees), or by way of Illinois Statute when there is no Will (heirs). (more…)

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  • Nursing Home and Assisted Living Contract Review/Negotiations and Advocacy

    When you need to fill out an application for a nursing home or Assisted Living Facility for a relative or yourself, you will likely be facing illegal provisions that should be stricken from the contract before you sign. These provisions are unenforceable, however, the nursing home may attempt to enforce them in court or through a collection agency, forcing you or your family to hire a lawyer to defend yourself in court. (more…)

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