• Daci Jett Law, LLC
    Estate Planning, Probate, Mediation

DACI L. JETT

Daci L. Jett is an experienced attorney. She advises her clients on the best ways to achieve their goals of protecting their families, preserving their children’s inheritance, passing their values to the next generation, and minimizing conflict.

Daci is a certified mediator who trained at the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago. People come to her to resolve conflict privately and on terms that work for their specific situations.

Daci earned a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, her home town.

In her free time, Daci likes to be outdoors, and enjoys canoeing and remote wilderness camping. Mantra meditation is an important part of her life. She and her husband teach free meditation classes in Chicago.

Keeping her skills sharp is important to Daci. She is a member of WealthCounsel, a national association of estate planning attorneys that provides a wealth of intellectual resources and top-notch continuing legal education. She also is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association.

Ethos

I care about doing the best job I can, with kindness and sensitivity, to get a good result for you and your family.

Listen

Every person, every family, every conflict is unique. I listen to your story so I can understand your situation.

Care

Your family is important to you, so I do what I can to make a difficult time a little easier.

Solve

I can tell you what steps to take now to avoid conflict down the road. If you are already in conflict, mediation empowers you to reach a solution that works for you.

Thank you very much. I believe that you and I have created a document that will protect myself and my darling daughters. It is one month until my daughter’s wedding and I can now turn my attention to this very special event and my future.

K.F.

Your life changes. The law changes.

Something that sets my firm apart is my Client Maintenance Program, a tool for keeping your estate plan up to date as your life and circumstances change.

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AREAS OF PRACTICE

Planning ahead makes such a difference for your loved ones. Imagine giving them a road map and a car instead of leaving them at a loss in unfamiliar territory. That is the difference an estate plan makes.

A plan for your estate is just like a plan for anything else — it’s a way to get to a goal. So the first step is to figure out your goals. Think about why you work so hard. Most of us don’t make money just for the sake of making money. We have reasons for working so hard, and those reasons have names. Those reasons are what drive your estate plan.

Who will take care of your children? Who will be in charge of carrying out your wishes? Who will make decisions for you if you can’t and your spouse is unable? What is your money for? How do you want your money used? Do you want the state to make all these decisions or do you want to make them yourself?

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Aftera person dies, probate is the process of taking charge of everything he owned, paying all his bills, and distributing his property to the people who should receive it. This always takes longer than people want it to.

If you are concerned about privacy, you should know that probate is a public proceeding, which means the will and papers filed in court are available for anyone to read. This includes the names and addresses of your heirs (including minor children) and the value of your probate estate.

There might be good reasons to probate. Every situation is unique, and I can help you and your family decide which route to take.

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Mediation is a guided negotiation, a process that people use when they want to resolve a conflict themselves, rather than having a judge impose a solution on them. Mediation allows people the flexibility and creativity to custom-tailor a solution that fits their specific situation, personalities, and needs.

There are many benefits in choosing mediation over going to court:

  • Mediation is private and less costly than litigation in terms of time and energy, as well as money. You can reach a resolution in as little as one day.
  • Mediation allows people to preserve their relationships, which will certainly be destroyed in a lawsuit.
  • If you are fighting with a relative, mediation is often your only chance to keep your family together.

As a mediator, I am a neutral third party, with no personal investment in the outcome of the mediation. I mediate a wide variety of situations, including business disputes; estate and probate conflicts; conflicts between neighbors or family members; landlord-tenant disputes; and divorce, child custody, pet custody, and other domestic conflicts.

Call today to schedule an appointment and take charge of your situation.

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I Do Not Sell Documents.

I provide counseling and advice to develop a plan that works for your family. Once you have a plan, we use trusts, wills, and powers of attorney to implement it.

The Planning Process

The estate planning process begins with a complimentary 30-minute meeting so we can get to know each other and decide if we are a good fit. If we decide to go forward, I gather some information from you so I can analyze your situation.

At our second meeting, we discuss your goals and create a plan. Then I draft the documents to implement your plan and we meet again to review them. After I make the final revisions, we meet for your signing ceremony.

TESTIMONIALS

  • My wife and I were extremely happy with Daci Jett. She was very thorough and detail oriented, which made the process surprisingly enjoyable. I would recommend Daci Jett to anyone with estate planning needs.
    - P.M.
  • I saw my Aunt this morning and I mentioned to her what she can expect in the mail from you & she is so impressed by how thorough you are. She is so happy to be worry free and truly appreciates that she was still able to make all of the decisions herself. She will be talking to her friends about their need to contact you before it's too late.
    - S.I.
  • I finally got around to signing up as POA (power of attorney) on my aunt's (bank) account today as she is having a hard time reading the print and balancing her account. (T)he personal banker who took care of me, who specializes in POA, trust requests etc. was so impressed with your knowledge and portfolio presentation that he took your card and sincerely expressed an interest in doing business with you. He says that some attorneys that he has dealt with have no clue how to draw up POA, trust and other such documents.
    - S.I
  • Thank you very much. I believe that you and I have created a document that will protect myself and my darling daughters. It is one month until my daughter's wedding and I can now turn my attention to this very special event and my future.
    - K.F
  • I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to my minor client's personal injury case. You showed the utmost professionalism and - needless to mention - patience. It was a pleasure to collaborate with you and I look forward to doing more business with you.
    - O.D.
  • I was very pleased with the legal counsel you provided. My partner and I found communication with you to be easy and comfortable.
    - J.M.Y

FAQ

What is a living trust?

A living trust is an agreement between the Grantor (who creates the trust) and a Trustee (who administers the trust) for the benefit of the Beneficiary. Oftentimes, the Grantor, Trustee, and Beneficiary are the same individual at the beginning. I sometimes describe it as taking money from one pocket and putting it into your other pocket.

The living trust contains instructions for the Trustee to follow in administering the trust during the Grantor’s life, which becomes useful if the Grantor can no longer manage his own affairs. It also contains instructions for how to distribute the assets in the trust after the Grantor’s death. A living trust has built-in disability protections in case a Grantor becomes incapacitated during life, and functions as a will-substitute after death to avoid probate.

A living trust is especially useful for avoiding multiple probates if a person owns real estate in more than one state.

What happens to my property and my children if I do not have a will?

That is determined by the state you live in when you die. In Illinois, if you are married and have children, half the assets you own in your name go to your spouse and the other half go to your children.

If your children are minors, their inheritance will probably be placed in a court guardianship and given to them in a lump sum when they are 18. Most 18-year-olds are not mature enough to manage a windfall, and taking this approach can result in serious negative consequences.

Do I need a certain amount of assets to create a living trust?

No. Your goals and the types of assets you own are more important in determining whether a living trust is right for you. This is one reason I ask my clients about their assets.

Can we meet with you over the phone?

It is not possible to have an effective consultation over the phone. Estate planning deals with important issues like family dynamics, who will receive all your money, and who has the power to control your personal care and your money if you become disabled. Unfortunately, there is a risk of abuse or duress when it comes to money and control within a family. I need face-to-face conversations with my clients in order to be sure I understand their situation, to be sure they understand what we are doing, and to be sure they are expressing their own wishes.

Does my spouse have to come to the meeting?

If your spouse wants me to prepare an estate plan for him/her, then yes, he/she has to come to the meeting. I cannot prepare an estate plan for a person without meeting face-to-face with him or her. If you want me to prepare an estate plan just for you, and you want my duty of confidentiality to exclude your spouse, then come by yourself.

Why do we have to go through probate if there is a will that says how to distribute the assets?

First, a court must confirm that the will is valid and that it is actually the last will and not an earlier will. Then, certain people must be given the opportunity to object to the will. Also, all of the deceased person’s financial affairs must be finalized before the assets can be distributed.

There might be claims against the estate, such as unpaid bills or debts, that affect what beneficiaries receive. The executor must identify and pay outstanding bills and debts, collect debts owed to the deceased, and might need to finalize a contract, or close or sell a business.

My relative left a very small estate. Do we still have to go to court?

We can discuss whether that option is right for you. You may be able to avoid going to court.

Why can’t I write my own will or trust?

You could, but the risk is you don’t know what you don’t know. The value I provide my clients is in my counseling, which combines my knowledge, experience, and judgement. In a sense, the documents are free; it’s the counseling you pay for.

How can I be sure mediation will produce a fair result?

With mediation, the people involved in the conflict determine the result, not an outside party. If you do not believe an outcome is fair or good for you, then do not agree to it. In mediation, you are not forced to agree.

If I choose mediation, do I need a lawyer?

That is your decision. Most of the time, you do not need a lawyer to be there with you, for two reasons. First, in mediation, the parties are trying to work together to solve their conflict, not trying to convince a judge or arbitrator of their point of view. Second, the rules in mediation are few and easy to understand. That said, if you need a lawyer with you to feel comfortable, then you can bring one.

How long does mediation take?

Many cases can be resolved in one day. Divorce and custody issues often take many shorter sessions because there are so many issues to resolve and so much information the parties must consider.

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