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Holiday Visits Can Create a Heartbreaking Reality

While we all hope visits with family over the holidays are filled with laughter, stories, and memories old and new, sometimes a holiday visit pushes a heartbreaking reality to the forefront. Their traditionally tidy home is a mess, their weight is dropping and they're quick to get angry. Your loved one is giving you cause for worry. 

You're concerned about their well-being. Has anyone else noticed? Are they able to care for themselves? Does someone need to intervene? 

Often times the holidays are when families notice a decline in loved ones that might require help. With the start of the new year, January is also a good time to re-evaluate or create estate plans so family members are protected. Thankfully with careful planning and the right resources, a difficult time can be made easier.


Is Someone Trying to Steal Your Inheritance?


Is it a family member, caregiver, or "new" friend?

We can help!

Call (312) 201-0900 for a no-cost initial consultation.

Financial scams have become increasingly popular, especially among seniors. Seniors typically have worked hard to save money and have large sums sitting in accounts which is exactly what the scammers are after.

Below is a popular scam to be aware of so you can protect yourself and loved ones.

Funeral Scam

"The FBI warns about two types of funeral and cemetery fraud perpetrated on seniors.

In one approach, scammers read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them, scammers will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts.

Another tactic of disreputable funeral homes is to capitalize on family members’ unfamiliarity with the considerable cost of funeral services to add unnecessary charges to the bill. In one common scam of this type, funeral directors will insist that a casket, usually one of the most expensive parts of funeral services, is necessary even when performing a direct cremation, which can be accomplished with a cardboard casket rather than an expensive display or burial casket."

National Department on Aging

Keeping Seniors & Loved Ones Safe in Cold Weather

Winter, especially in the Chicagoland area, can bring lots of below-freezing temperatures, snow and ice. With that comes the risk to slip and fall and/or get sick.

Below are some tips to keep yourself, seniors and your loved ones safe.

  1. Dress for the cold. Whether staying inside or venturing outside, dress in layers to be prepared for the conditions. If going outside, be sure all exposed skin is covered.
  2. Avoid a slip and fall. Ice makes it easy for anyone to slip, regardless of age. Wear shoes with proper traction, take small steps and slow down. It's best to assume all surfaces are slick. Once back home, take off your shoes to avoid slipping inside.
  3. Be prepared. Keep flashlights, a battery-operated radio, blankets and non-perishable food on hand in the event of an emergency. If the power goes out, dress in several layers and keep moving to raise body temperature.
  4. Buy a carbon monoxide detector. While having a carbon monoxide detector is a must, so is replacing the battery each year. With winter bringing the added use of fireplaces and heaters, making sure the detector is in working order is more important than ever.
  5. Ask for help. There's no shame in asking for help with errands, getting to appointments, buying groceries, shoveling snow and the like. It's not worth the risk of hurting yourself - ask for help or hire a professional.

Peck Ritchey's Lauren Muttschall Accepts Role as Marketing Coordinator

Lauren Muttschall, Executive Legal Assistant to Kerry Peck, accepted the additional role as Marketing Coordinator with Peck Ritchey, LLC in December.
Lauren brings 2 years of experience in working with Kerry at Peck Ritchey to this role. We look forward to having Lauren as an active liason in the community and sharing all of the valuable resources Peck Ritchey has to offer.
Congratulations, Lauren! 

What is the difference between an executor and administrator?

An executor is someone that has been appointed within a will to oversee someone's estate upon their passing. The executor must follow the terms laid out in the will naming them as executor.

An administrator is someone appointed by the Court if an executor cannot act, if an executor has not been named, or someone passes without a will. The administrator needs the Court's approval to act and is closely monitored.


What is Adult Protective Services?

Adult Protective Services (APS) is a program that strives to prevent abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of those with disabilities and those over 60.

To report suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect of a disabled or elderly person, the Adult Protective Services Hotline is (866) 800-1409.


What is joint tenancy?

Joint tenancy is a way of titling property so that upon a joint owner's death, the property automatically passes to the surviving owner without having to go through probate.


Peck Ritchey in the Community

Peck Ritchey is proud to educate residents and professionals in the Chicagoland community on a number of important issues surrounding aging and estate planning. Here are our upcoming speaking events:

Guardianship, Powers of Attorney & Alzheimer's Disease

Kerry is honored to present a webinar with the Illinois Department on Aging in February to discuss pressing issues within the aging community.


If you are interested in having Peck Ritchey speak in your community, please contact Marketing Coordinator, Lauren Muttschall, at

Elder Law News

New Law Makes Big Changes to Retirement Plans
A spending bill signed into law by the President contains major changes to retirement plans. The bipartisan legislation is designed to provide more incentives to save for retirement, but it may require workers to rethink some of their planning.
Will Restrictive Immigration Policies Cause a Shortage of Caregivers for the Elderly?
As the population ages, the need for caregivers is growing, but restrictive immigration policies, whatever you may think of them, could have a negative impact on a caregiving industry that is already facing workforce shortages.

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