Serving North Central Illinois,

LaSalle, Bureau, Putnam, Marshall,

              Grundy and Livingston Counties

Reputation Matters

      James T. Reilly

Jennifer Bunker Skerston

name gavel, books, and scales of justice

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By Reilly Law Office, Mar 1 2019 04:10PM

We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Bunker Skerston, a partner at Law Offices of Reilly & Skerston, LLC, has been selected to the 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star list in the area of Family Law. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than five percent of attorneys in the State.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.

The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes:

• Peer nominations

• Independent research by Super Lawyers

• Evaluations from a highly credentialed panel of attorneys

The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both referring attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazine and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country, as well as the Illinois Super Lawyers Digital Magazine.

Please join us in congratulating Jennifer Bunker Skerston on her selection.

For more information about Super Lawyers, go to

By Reilly Law Office, Dec 26 2018 06:53PM

Well-known financial columnist Mary Hunt states, “Every adult needs his or her own will – one that is frequently updated and compliant with the laws of the state in which that person maintains permanent residence”. There are numerous problems with using the online or off the shelf will forms. A simple will for an individual prepared by an attorney is not that costly. The forms available online are often confusing and require some degree of computer savvy that not everyone has. An attorney will also be able to answer any legal questions you may have before signing your will and take appropriate actions to ensure that your wishes are met and concerns addressed.

If you die without a will or with one that has not been properly created, you are considered “intestate”. In this situation, the directions you wanted are often not followed. Asset division is made according to the laws of the state you reside in. That can often have money going to persons you did not intend to leave your estate to. Incurring unnecessary attorney fees that could have been avoided if you had done some advanced planning is a possibility. A will is important for planning who will take care of your minor children if you pass away, what specific items you desire to go to certain individuals, what charities or other organizations you wish to give money to in addition to your kin, and which of your descendants or heirs are to get what type and amounts of your various assets and under what conditions.

There are other more extensive estate planning tools such as Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and division of your assets by contract. All of these things should be discussed with a competent Trust and Estate attorney.

by James T. Reilly

Reilly Law Office, LLC can help you with any Estate Planning needs you may have. You can call us from Monday to Friday between 8.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 815-672-8505.

By Reilly Law Office, Dec 4 2018 12:24AM

On October 1, 2018, St. Margaret’s support group for persons affected by Parkinson’s disease met at 1:30 p.m. in Spring Valley, Illinois. The support group offers emotional support and information for people affected by Parkinson’s disease and their families. The group meets monthly in St. Margaret’s Presentation Room for socialization.

Attorney Jennifer Bunker Skerston presented valuable information about estate planning, Powers of Attorney, their importance and implications. The presentation addressed important aspects on Financial Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, their role and importance for people with Parkinson’s disease.

The question of whether or not having an Estate Plan is necessary also came up. Attorney Jennifer Bunker Skerston explained that an Estate plan can be useful to make sure that the right people get the right property at the same time, that the wishes of the Decedent will be fulfilled and last, but not least, to ensure that the Decedent’s family will continue to have the standard of living they are used to. Among the goals of an Estate Plan is preventing unnecessary taxes, costs and the guarantee of property distribution according to the Decedent’s wishes. During the presentation it was also explained what intestacy, or passing away without a Will, involved and what the Illinois law allows for in these cases. Attorney Jennifer Bunker Skerston’s presentation tackled complex issues such as Probate time frames and costs and delicate information like what happens to an Estates after death.

The issue of Trusts and their usefulness was also approached. The Attorney explained that Trusts can save people time, money and taxes making them one of the most efficient modern estate planning tools. The advantages and disadvantages of Living Trusts were explained and a presentation of the different types of Special Needs Trust was also given.

With today’s rising taxes and life’s uncertainty, the best way to make sure that your family’s needs are taken care of after your passing is to plan ahead. At REILLY LAW OFFICE, LLC we make sure your family and loved ones will receive the property you wish them to have and give you peace of mind so you can enjoy your golden years with less to worry about.

CALL 815-672-8505 TODAY for a FREE consultation and find out what we can do for you and the ones you care about most!

By Reilly Law Office, Nov 19 2018 05:55PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) — Under Illinois law, kids between the ages of six and 17 are required to attend school and when it comes to absences, they can't miss more than nine days a year.

“It's hard to learn when you're not in school,” Addams Elementary School Principal Mike Grossen said.

A District 186 elementary school has a new way to encourage parents to get their kids to school.

“Actually, I got this idea at Sandburg Elementary School,” Grossen said.

The school put up a board to track absences, tardiness and early dismissals from the day before. The sign, which is located on the office door, is visible to parents that come inside.

Principal Mike Grossen put it up a few weeks ago.

Thursday, the board showed 92.9 percent of the students were present, five students were late to school and five students left early.

“Our goal [is] to get zeros across the board for at least a few days," Grossen said.

If that sign isn't enough, students with several unexcused absences get letters sent to their parents.

Addams Elementary School also has a sign outside where students are dropped off that alerts parents to come inside to sign their kids in because they’re tardy.

If your kid has more than nine unexcused absences, you could end up facing a Class C misdemeanor, which could land you with a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.

Some think the punishment acts as a good deterrent.

"It might scare them enough where they won't want to do that,” parent and Carlinville teacher Tonya Koller said.

While others think it may be too harsh.

"If the parent is in jail, who will the child? Where will the child go? Who will take care of the child," parent Melissa Mitchell said.

While Grossen understands that life happens and there are times students may need to miss school, he said it shouldn’t become a habit.

"We only have them for so much time, and that time is precious,” Grossen said.

Something many parents agree with.

"I believe school's very important,” Mitchell said. “I believe children should be in school every day they’re able to be.”

Koller said as a teacher, she’s seen firsthand how kids can struggle after missing stretches of school.

"It puts them behind and then they're lost,” Koller said.

This law only applies to unexcused absences.

Students can miss more than nine days of school if those absences are excused.


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