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The Attorneys at Dutton & Casey

Helen Mesoloras, Janna Dutton,

Kathryn Casey, Hanny Pei-Rodriguez


Appointments Are Available In:

Arlington Heights, Chicago, Skokie, and Westchester


When you die, your debts do not die with you.   Most debt  still needs to be paid off, if possible, although who is responsible for paying the debt depends on the type of debt. Some assets are protected from being used to satisfy a debt.

Outstanding debt may include mortgages, credit card bills, car loans, personal loans, or condominium fees -- even car leases, where death is considered "early termination" of a contract.


Usually your estate is responsible for paying any debts you leave behind. If the estate does not have enough money, the debts will go unpaid. In general, debt collectors may not try to collect payment from your relatives and heirs. However, there are some exceptions.  Creditors are paid from the part of your estate that passes through probate, which means any property that passes through a will. The person who is appointed personal representative or executor of your estate is responsible for making sure the creditors are paid. The personal representative uses estate assets to pay off the debts before any money passes to heirs. If you have significant debts, it is possible that your entire estate will be used to pay creditors.




The firm of Dutton & Casey helps families plan for their long-term care needs... incuding probate. Learn more about how we can assist you and / or someone who you care about.


Individuals with  special needs often face "quality of life" challenges different from  those without special needs.

Many times, individuals with special needs require added expenses to meet those needs.


The added financial burden often leads individuals with special needs to depend on public benefits to help them meet those costs. Unfortunately, public benefits often fail to meet all of the needs of a disabled individual. However, the supplemental needs of those individuals (meaning needs not covered by public benefits) can be met by using funds held in a Special Needs Trust (SNT).


Understanding Special Needs Trusts


A Special Needs Trust is a trust that is established for an individual with special needs who is or may become dependent on public benefits. The trust is specifically identified to meet certain supplemental needs and to enhance the quality of life for the beneficiary, the special needs person. Most importantly, the SNT is created so as to not disqualify the beneficiary for the public benefits being received. The trust, then, is a pool of money available for the benefit of the beneficiary in order to provide him or her with goods or services that public benefits do not provide. For example, SNT funds may be used for in-home care services that would otherwise not be affordable to the beneficiary. Should a person with special needs receive these funds outright and outside a properly created SNT, the individual may become ineligible for the public benefits, and reinstatement of the benefits can be a difficult process.




The Attorneys at Dutton & Casey assist with special needs trusts and other aspects of special needs planning.

Learn more. 





Yellow Dot Program

In the moments directly following a crash, every minute counts. The Illinois Yellow Dot Program alerts first responders to the availably of important medical information.With the program, simply fill out a medical card, which contains a photo, emergency contact information, the name of your physician, any medical conditions, a list of recent surgeries, any allergies, and current medications being taken. After you fill out your card and place it in your glove box, you simply place your yellow dot sticker on your back window.


click here for more information.


Emergency Contact Database grey-car-icon.jpg

The Illinois Secretary of State's office established the Emergency Contact Database in July 2009. The database allows Illinois driver's license, instruction permits, and ID cardholders to enter emergency contact information into a voluntary, secure database. In the event of a motor vehicle crash or other emergency situation when a person is unable to communicate directly, law enforcement may access the database to help them reach the person's designated contacts.


click here for more information.



For both community members, and professionals, we have MANY programs currently scheduled and are scheduling more all the time.


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Serving Cook, DuPage, and Lake Counties in Illinois.
Office Hours in Arlington Heights, Chicago,
Skokie, and Westchester, Illinois.