Don’t risk your future with a cookie-cutter estate plan or a will you downloaded online. Saving a few bucks on DIY solutions might be enticing now, but could cost you thousands more in court fees (not to mention the hassle) when they don’t work correctly later. Trust us, we’ve seen it happen – and it’s not pretty.
Need help planning for an elderly parent? A special needs child? With Generation Law, you’ve got people for that – whatever that may be. And if we can’t handle those issues, you can be sure we’ll refer you to experienced attorneys who can. You’ve ‘gotta guy.’
Think your issue is too messy to fix? Just try us. As one of the few elder law firms that also offers litigation, we provide support both in and out of court to find a successful resolution for your family. We’re very good at complicated.
Ben A. Neiburger, J.D., C.P.A.
Founder, Generation Law
As one of only a few elder law attorneys in Illinois with a CPA after his name, Ben offers a unique perspective to help his clients plan for their future. Since founding Generation Law in 2003, Ben has helped thousands of families care for aging loved ones, resolve family conflicts, afford long-term care costs and ensure their wishes are carried out – without losing their sanity or going broke.
Ben formed Generation Law, which concentrates in elder law, estate planning, wills and trusts, and guardianship and probate litigation, after spending several years with worldwide law firm Baker & McKenzie. Ben was named an Illinois Super Lawyer in Elder Law in 2007, receiving this recognition again in 2009 and every year since. After graduating with a degree in finance from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, he earned his law degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
A frequent professional speaker, Ben is known for his candid approach to the so-called “Caregiver Storm” – the challenges of caring for a loved one while maintaining your own life. Ben is also actively involved in the legal community, currently serving as the chairman of the board of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and as a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Bar of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois and the Bar of the State of Illinois.
Ben is a supportive husband and involved dad, despite limited success convincing his teenage sons to put down the video games. After abandoning his late-in-life speed skating career, Ben slowed down the pace by switching
to triathlons and has successfully completed several half Ironman races.
Melissa Johnson, J.D.
Melissa Johnson joined Generation Law, Ltd. in 2015 as their litigation counsel. After graduating from DePaul University College of Law, she spent a year practicing at the Law Offices of Howard Lee Schiff in Connecticut before spending seven years at Freedman Anselmo Lindberg LLC as a litigator and managing attorney.
Melissa has handled hundreds of contested motions and trials throughout her career. Her focus at Generation Law is on contested probates and guardianships for disabled adults with an emphasis on citation proceedings involving the financial exploitation of the elderly and presumptively void transfers. In addition, Melissa vigorously represents clients in the areas of trust litigation, including land trusts, elder law, estate planning and estate administration.
Melissa is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association where she has been a featured speaker on a variety of topics. She is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys where she serves as the chair of the Litigation and Education committees for the Illinois chapter.
Both of Melissa’s grandmothers are alive in their 90s, so there is a personal connection to making sure the elderly are well represented. She takes on each client’s cause as if it were her own. By the end of the case, clients may feel that Melissa is part of their family. She is married with three young boys, (8, 2 and 4 mos.), and stays busy with them as a travel hockey team manager and member of the Parent Teacher Organization. She loves to read and attend concerts, and offer up her sarcastic wit around the office. She is addicted to Diet Coke and will not start the day without one. It’s what allows her to win all of her cases.
Andrea Kovar, J.D., LL.M.
Andrea Kovar focuses her practice on estate planning and elder law, which includes helping families plan for long-term care and navigating the Medicaid planning and application process. Her strong tax and employee benefits background enable her to develop comprehensive estate plans designed to help families achieve their personal goals while transferring wealth to future generations in a tax advantaged manner.
Before joining Generation Law, Andrea spent 12 years as an employee benefits and executive compensation attorney at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago. Andrea received her J.D. and LL.M. from John Marshall Law School, graduating summa cum laude and with honors, respectively. Andrea also served as the Lead Articles Editor of The John Marshall Law Review.
Andrea is a huge hockey fan, loves to garden and reads obsessively. In addition, she is an opera and ballet enthusiast, attending performances as often as possible.
Ken Kugelberg, J.D.
Ken Kugelberg, a native to the Chicagoland area, has been with Generation Law since 2013. His dedicated career in the legal profession spans several decades.
Ken is an experienced litigator in court, handling guardianships, decedent’s estate administration, trust administration, and as a court appointed Guardian ad Litem, where he is able to apply his years in the court system to obtain positive results for his clients. He also has experience in criminal and traffic matters. Ken also applies his court experience to avoid pitfalls and omissions when discussing and drafting estate plans, and supplemental needs trusts and Medicaid planning.
His career in public service began in 1987 in the Office of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court Clerk, continued with the Naperville Police Department and then the Office of the DuPage County State’s Attorney. At the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Ken spent over 19 years interacting with judges and attorneys within the courtroom. As a member of the management team, Ken created and managed a quality assurance department overseeing processes, policies and interagency activity across the DuPage County Court System.
Ken is also active member in the Illinois State Bar Association and the DuPage County Bar Association and has served on the ISBA Judicial Evaluation Committee since 2014. Ken is a presenter for and has been published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He is also a presenter for the Illinois State Bar Association and the National Business Institute on various topics for continuing legal education seminars.
Prior to earning his Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School, he graduated summa cum laude from AIU. In addition to Ken’s distinguished career in public service, his broad array of life experiences working as a successful entrepreneur as owner of Big Guy Little Guy Home Improvements, as well as working in and with family businesses provide him with a unique perspective on the complex legal and personal dynamics associated with elder law.
When not working, Ken serves as president of his home owners association and enjoys coaching his sons’ flag football team for the park district.
Sandra M. Schildgen, J.D.
An experienced attorney and former financial advisor with UBS Financial Services, Sandra M. Schildgen is well-equipped to usher the firm’s clients through estate planning, trust and probate estate administration, guardianships, Medicaid applications, and long-term care planning. She is fluent in Spanish and has an innate ability to understand and distill complex legal issues into workable solutions.
Sandra graduated with honors from the University of Iowa College of Law before working as a staff attorney with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). There, she received the NASD President’s Award and the Above & Beyond Award. She maintains this award-winning work ethic as she passionately helps families and individuals age with dignity.
Prior to beginning her professional career, Sandra fancied herself a poet. But duty to her livelihood took precedence. She lives in Chicago where you can find her drinking pumpkin spice lattes in the fall and doing her best to keep up with the household errands, and a cardio and weightlifting routine.