Largely raised by his grandparents, Larry Magill grew up affectionately referring to them as Mom and Dad. “I was privileged to have their outlook, worldview, and perspective and became very comfortable with older adults,” Magill explains. His relationship with his grandparents had a lasting impact on his professional career and shaped the way he now practices law. “I ultimately had to care for them as they aged, so I have dealt with long-term care issues from both sides of the table.”
After earning his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago, Magill went on to pursue his master’s degree from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University. In 1992, he founded the Center for Elder Law Solutions in Northbrook and has since sat down with hundreds of families to discuss the best options for accommodating the personal and financial needs of loved ones whose health requires chronic care.
When a loved one’s health begins to decline, the last thing anyone wants to think about is the possibility that they will not have the means to provide the necessary care. Planning ahead for these types of obstacles is key, says Magill. “The earlier you involve someone and start working through the issues, the more likely you are to achieve positive results at a lower cost,” Magill says. While Magill’s background in law allows him to advise his clients on how best to handle the legalities of the situation, his personal experience provides his clients with insight on what obstacles they may come across. “This is an area of law and there are certain technical things that you need to know and understand,” Magill explains. “But more importantly, it is also about listening, caring, and understanding what people need both legally and personally.”
Magill’s personal approach to planning for his clients is a testament to his understanding of how these decisions will affect the entire family unit. “I want to bring everyone on board to make sure that everyone feels that they are part of the decision-making process,” he says. “We address their interests and concerns, and do our best to defuse anything that may become an issue years from now.” While his doors are open to clients at any stage of the planning process, Magill says that the best-case scenario is when a client comes in and they haven’t attempted any elaborate planning or shifted any assets. “Then, we can start out with good information and begin accurate and appropriate planning,” he explains.
One of Magill’s first priorities is having his clients appoint a Power of Attorney for financial matters and a Power of Attorney for health care issues. Those appointed would have the legal right to make decisions if the client is unable to do so. While many may believe that once they have financial documents and a will in place, they are set, Magill advises that there is more to be done, as these documents are only relevant after someone has passed. “My focus is not when they are gone,” he explains. “My focus is giving them the greatest quality of life and the highest level of care while they are here and with us.”
The Center for Elder Law Solutions has an impressive record of minimizing—at times, even eliminating—the cost of chronic care, but that is not all they offer. Magill utilizes his years of experience working with care specialists to refer his clients to individuals who can help with the “human issues,” like finding proper caregivers, facilities, and support organizations. “Working in a community of people who address long-term care needs, you come to know who the genuine and caring people are,” Magill says. “I am very protective of my clients and want someone to care for my clients in the way that I do.”
While many of his clients are planning for loved ones who are getting older and requiring more care, Magill is quick to remind us that it is not just the elderly who should be planning ahead.
Magill’s clients include young adults planning for the future, families caring for children born with genetic illnesses, and people in their 30s and 40s whose loved ones suffer from progressive illness like ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. “[The circumstances] are quite similar whether the caregiver is dealing with a child, spouse, or parent,” Magill explains. “It is the same type of relationship.”
Although he has spent years working with families facing difficult situations, Magill remains positive and looks forward to meeting new clients. “Amidst the crisis, I feel privileged to experience real intimate human truth in relationships,” he explains. While Magill’s main concern is providing the best legal advice he can offer, he never forgets that this is a time when families really need a friend to listen.
For more information about the Center for Elder Law Solutions or to make an appointment with Larry Magill, call 847-564-5644, or visit centerforelderlawsolutions.com.