Southern Illinois Estate & Trust Law

What Are Your Estate Planning Needs?

Lawler Brown drafts estate planning documents based on each client’s individual needs. We will work with you to help you answer important questions such as, would a trust be beneficial to you or would a simple Will suffice? Whom should you name as your trustee, executor or guardian? Can disagreements within a blended family be mitigated or prevented?

During your consultation we sit down with you, face to face, to understand your goals and needs. We will explain what each document does in terms you can understand, and how each can offer you peace of mind. Our services include the following:

  • Wills and trusts
  • Health care directives and living wills
  • Revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts
  • Special needs trusts
  • Prenuptial agreements

A clear understanding of your goals for yourself and family in the years ahead is essential to any estate plan. The assistance of an attorney experienced with effective estate planning tools such as a will, trusts and powers of attorney can ensure your wishes become the reality you intend.

Let Us Help

In a world filled with unexpected twists and turns, advanced planning is essential. Through effective estate planning, you can ensure that your wishes regarding health care, asset distribution and other important matters are clear.

At Lawler Brown Law Firm in Marion, Illinois, our skills can help you prepare for all contingencies. Whether you are a new parent worried about who will care for your children if something happens to you or you are approaching the later years in your life and want to clearly establish your health care wishes, we can effectively serve you.

Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation to begin getting your affairs in order.

Effectively Handling All Aspects of Estate Planning

Our attorneys address all elements of estate planning. Most importantly, we will assist you in developing a plan that leaves your estate to the people you choose. We can prepare trusts which protect assets that you leave to someone who is a minor or disabled. We will help you arrange your assets to minimize estate taxes and to enhance the efficiency of the probate administration process or to avoid probate entirely. We will draft wills and create trusts as necessary to distribute your assets. We prepare durable powers of attorney for health care and finances, so that you can select the people who will make essential decisions should you become unable to make these decisions yourself. We prepare living wills, so that you can make your health care wishes clear.

If you are a small business owner, we can address your business succession planning needs.

Create Wills and Trusts to Manage Assets Your Way

A Will controls the distribution of the assets of your estate. A Trust legally defines how money, investments, property and other assets are to be managed before and after your death, and who the beneficiaries are. While you may revoke or change a will prior to it taking effect, if you die without one, assets may not be divided as you intend, or there could be tax consequences. A Trust or Trusts can work as flexible tools in planning your estate. They can ensure a particular person is taken care of financially, they can help reduce potential taxes, they can help to minimize probate administration and they can fund gifts to a favored charity.

We help clients draft wills that can prevent surviving family member disputes, ensure young children are properly cared for or a family business remains so. We also assist clients in creating testamentary or living trusts-revocable or irrevocable-designed to provide for special needs, engage in charitable giving and facilitate asset transfers or avoid probate issues.

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What to do if Your Spouse Files an Order of Protection

Spouses can accuse each other of abuse for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are planning divorce and want to gain an upper hand in custody matters and other issues in the divorce proceedings. Perhaps they have themselves been abusive and want to deflect from their own actions. Whatever the reason, if your spouse files an order of protection against you, it is critical to take immediate action. An order of protection may do the following: Force you to stay away from your home Keep you from seeing your spouse or children Give up any guns that you own While an emergency order may go into effect, you will have the opportunity to appear at a hearing to defend against an extended order being granted. It is critical to have the assistance of a highly experienced defense attorney who understands how orders of protection cases work in Illinois. In addition, order of protection cases may also be accompanied by criminal charges for domestic violence and you want a lawyer who can handle both of your cases with skill. Domestic violence charges can result in the following consequences and more: Time in jail Probation Fines Extended order of protection Limitations on your professional options At your hearing, your attorney can provide evidence in your defense that an order of protection is not warranted and can help you avoid the restrictions on your life that an order of protection would create. If the order is granted, your lawyer can help to negotiate for less stringent terms of the order. Contact a Southern Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible Facing... read more

Concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

While a concussion is considered to be a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), one concussion can increase your chances of suffering additional concussions in the future. Sustaining multiple concussions in your life can then have long-term effects, including early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other degenerative cognitive disorders. One particularly concerning effect of multiple concussions is a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE refers to the degeneration of brain tissue caused by repeated head trauma. The symptoms of CTE can be very severe and include the following: -Cognitive difficulties -Lack of emotional control -Aggression -Physical impairments -Sensory problems -Dementia -Suicidal thinking or behavior As of now, the only way to diagnose CTE is to examine the brain in sections, which can only happen after death. CTE is commonly diagnosed in autopsies, especially in athletes who played contact sports such as football or hockey. Unfortunately, many of those players commit suicide due to the symptoms of undiagnosed CTE. Anyone who has suffered multiple concussions or head traumas should be aware of the symptoms of CTE and should discuss any symptoms with a medical professional. If you require treatment for your symptoms, you may be entitled to compensation for the costs of treatment and your suffering. If you had a family member who was diagnosed with CTE after death, you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a sports league or another party who was responsible for the multiple concussions. Call for a Free Consultation with an Experienced Southern Illinois Concussion Lawyer If you have suffered a concussion in a motor vehicle accident, fall, sports... read more

Penalties for Hunting Violations in Illinois

Hunting, fishing, and trapping are highly regulated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”).1 The DNR has over 160 conservation police officers (“CPOs”) patrolling the state enforcing these regulations. Illinois Law Hunting, fishing, and trapping are extremely regulated by Illinois law. There are over 75 laws and regulations that specifically restrict hunting and trapping. There are also federal regulations that restrict hunting activity within Illinois as well. While the law restricting hunting activity is complicated, ignorance of the law will not protect you from the penalties that come along with breaking these laws. Be sure to review all of the relevant regulations before heading out for a day of hunting or fishing to avoid finding yourself face to face with a CPO. The most common violations include permit violations, license violations, site violations, hunting too close to another and trespassing. Penalties The punishment for most violations is simply a ticket. Tickets come with fines, court costs, and attorney fees, which can really add up. In addition to the financial cost of the ticket, convictions of game law offenses can count against your record with the DNR.2 Just as tickets for traffic infractions can result in points against your driver’s license, the DNR keeps a record of points against your hunting and/or fishing license. Too many infractions can result in the suspension or loss of your ability to hunt. If a sportsman accrues 13 points over three years, they face suspension of his or her license for up to three years. As a general rule: Petty Offense = 3 Points Class C Offense = 6 Points Class B Offense... read more