Legal matters surrounding your estate can be complicated. Being aware of five common mistakes that occur during the estate planning process can help you ensure that your estate is managed according to your wishes.

It is vital to carefully consider the person named durable power of attorney or medical power of attorney. If you choose someone who is untrustworthy or unqualified for the responsibility, your wishes might not be honored.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid naming your estate as the individual retirement account (IRA) beneficiary. If this mistake is made, your estate could be subject to numerous legal procedures. Only after the probate process, which could take years, will your heirs possibly receive funds from your estate.

When there is a shift in the family it is important to update IRA beneficiary information. For example, if you go through a divorce, it is critical that you un-name your ex-spouse as the IRA beneficiary and name someone else.

To help your family in the event that you become ill or incapacitated, it is crucial to sign a healthcare directive, also known as a “living will.” Your living will is meant to give your family insight into your preferences should you require emergency health procedures such as CPR or life support.

Lastly, be sure to add funds to the trust that you leave for your heirs. This is an all too common mistake that can leave many family members without the assets that you wanted them to have.

The legal matters around estate planning can seem confusing and overwhelming to people unfamiliar with the processes. If you live in the Chicago area, the attorneys of Peck Ritchey, LLC, can answer your questions about estate planning. Call our offices today at (855) 328-5787 to speak with a member of our legal team.


Attorney Kyle Fahey handled our matter with skill and professionalism, and was always responsive. 10/10, would work with him and the firm again.

–Jon T.

The peace of mind that Peck Ricthey's office has given me is worth every penny. The services they provided me and my family in an emergency medical situation is beyond outstanding. Last minute notice, Peter Brady and team were compassionate, understanding and most importantly efficient and got the job done. Look no further if you have any needs that this office can provide for you. Definitely in good hands! Thank you, a thousand times over for all of your help.

–Christine K.

Very responsive and knowledgeable at handling our brother’s estate. Would definitely recommend!

–Ralph C.

I solicited Peck Ritchey, LLC for assistance with a living trust for which I became the beneficiary. I needed assistance with understanding the details of how it all worked. However, I was especially concerned because there were threats of allegations made by family members and a lawsuit was filed against me. I needed a solid professional who had my best interests in mind. Peter Brady took my case and he managed it flawlessly. He explained everything in a way I could understand, he knew the law inside and out, he was always available to answer questions, and even offer support when things seemed like they could become extremely problematic. In addition to this, he had a plan. He navigated the course as if he already knew the next move by the opposing attorney. He made me feel like everything was in control and that’s because he knew exactly what he was doing and he consulted with me about everything. We ended up settling out of court and ultimately the court officially dismissed the lawsuit. I honestly believe if it wasn’t for Peter and his expertise this could have gone in an entirely different direction. Peter did a stellar job and I couldn’t be more pleased and impressed with his performance.

–John T.

Tim Ritchey is as smart, honest, and genuine as they come. He truly puts helping people above making money. If you have a need, don’t hesitate to hire him.

–Jay T.

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