Amy J. DeLaney

Top rated Elder Law attorney in Chicago, Illinois

DDV Law, Ltd.
Amy J. DeLaney
DDV Law, Ltd.

Practice Areas: Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate, Estate & Trust Litigation; view more

Licensed in Illinois since: 1999

Education: Lewis & Clark Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2024

DDV Law, Ltd.

111 N Wabash Ave
Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60602 Visit website


One of the founding attorneys of DDV Law, Ltd., a one-stop solution law firm based in the city of Chicago, Illinois, Amy J. DeLaney is a seasoned litigator with nearly two and a half decades of experience under her sleeve. A board-certified elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, she concentrates her practice on protecting the rights of elderly citizens, special needs, guardianship and probate administration issues and special needs matters.

Ms. DeLaney's work throughout the years has earned her the respect of her colleagues and clients alike, garnering accolades such as the highest rating in Avvo, "Superb," and an AV Preeminent* peer-review rating through Martindale-Hubbell. Her shrewd legal acumen and practical approach to every case she handles sets her apart from other seasoned professionals in the legal sphere. The Leading Lawyers Network named her one of the Top 100 Female Lawyers in Illinois, along with including her in their Top Ten Elder Law Attorneys in Illinois list.

A graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Ms. DeLaney earned both a bachelor’s (1992) and a master’s degree (1995) here. She later obtained her Juris Doctor from the Northwestern Lewis & Clark Law School in 1998. A year later, she was admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association and started her career as an associate attorney at a renowned firm.

Ms. DeLaney’s dedication to uplifting society isn’t confined within the four walls of her office. She is an active member of various organizations, including the Morgan Park Academy, the Veterans' Legal Aid Society and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate, Estate & Trust Litigation

Focus areas

Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Probate & Estate Administration, Will Contests

  • 50% Elder Law
  • 40% Estate Planning & Probate
  • 10% Estate & Trust Litigation

First Admitted: 1998, Oregon

Professional Webpage:

  • Outstanding Chapter Member, Illinois Chapter, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, 2010
  • Top 50 Female Attorneys in Illinois
  • AV Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Highest Rating, Avvo
  • Super Lawyer, Recipient for a decade
  • Appeared, PBS to comment on the Constitutionality of the use cameras in nursing homes to monitor care
  • Quoted, Daily Southtown
  • Council of Advanced Practitioners, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, 2017
  • Leading Lawyer, Leading Lawyers Network, 2013
  • Quoted, Chicago Tribune
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • 2010: NAELA, Illinois - Outstanding Chapter Member
White Papers:
  • In Illinois, there were several recent attempts to adopt the Uniform Trust Code (“UTC”). In 2015, the legislature introduced House Bill 6312, but the bill became stuck in committee. During the last session, legislators again filed House Bill 2526; however, the bill did not ever leave the committee. The adoption of the UTC has occurred in thirty-two (32) jurisdictions to date. Some of the greatest opposition to the adoption of the UTC has been from special needs advocates. Many attorneys who practice in the area of governments benefits planning are very concerned with how the adoption of the UTC will influence special needs trusts. The two greatest issues include: (1) Will the government be able to attach the beneficial interest of a special needs trust? (2) Will the trust be considered an available resource? The analyses of these two concerns surround three components of a trust: distribution standards, control, and spendthrift provisions. The author served as the NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys) liaison to the Uniform Law Commission’s discussions held in Chicago concerning the initial drafting of the UTC, and has provided comments on behalf of the Illinois Chapter of NAELA with respect to pending legislation in the most recent legislative sessions. Illinois General Assembly, Bill Status of HB6312, Illinois Trust Code, (last visited August 7, 2018). Illinois General Assembly, Bill Status of HB2526, Illinois Trust Code, (last visited August 7, 2018). Thirty-one (31) states and the District of Columbia have enacted a version of the UTC. The states that have enacted a version of the UTC are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. For the purposes of this article, “special needs trusts” include supplemental needs trusts and special needs trusts, Harmonizing Hodgepodge or Eliminating Individualism - A brief analysis of the UTC and its Impact on Special Needs Trusts in Illinois (2018)
Educational Background:
  • University of Illinois at Springfield, M.A.
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A.
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Chicago Bar Association, Elder Law Committee, Member
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in Illinois, Legislative Committee
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in Illinois, Board Member
  • Illinois
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • South Suburban Estate Planning Council, Member
  • Illinois Bar Association, Member
  • Member of the NAELA Executive Committee on DRA Adoption in Illinois
  • Veterans Administration
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • Past President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Illinois Chapter
  • U.S. District Court
  • Board Member, Illinois Chapter of NAELA 
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Veterans’ Legal Aid Society
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Law Journal, Editorial Board
  • University of Illinois College of Nursing, Advisory Board
  • National Elder Law Foundation
  • Has served on Charitable Boards including Alvernia Manor Retirement Community, Veterans Legal Aid Society, University of Illinois at Chicago Nursing School Advisory Board.
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Editor of the NAELA Journal, law review
  • Lecturer, Elder Law, advising and educating other attorneys and community organizations through her service at the faculty of the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the National Business Institute, and Illinois State Bar Association
  • John Marshall Law School, Professor
  • Maneuvering the Labyrinth of Nursing Home Admissions and Evictions, NAELA Journal (2009) Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Faculty Member and Frequent Lecturer (2005-present)
  • Law Ed, Faculty Member and Frequent Lecturer (2009-present) NAELA VA Seminar, Practical Advice on Application Preparation (2011)
  • Removal of Rogue Agents presented at national NAELA Conference in Las Vegas, NV (2011)
  • Nursing Home Residents Rights - Recognizing Red Flags presented at national NAELA Conference in Seattle, WA, (2012)
  • Contributing Author to Elder Law, published by Lexis-Nexus, Contributing Author to Advising Elderly Clients and their Families, published by IICLE
  • Navigating the Labyrinth of Nursing Home Contracts, NAELA Law Journal
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Certified Elder Law Attorney (only one of twelve in the State of Illinois), as certified by the National Elder Law Foundation ABA Certified Program. **This certification is not required to practice law in the State of Illinois nor is it recognized by the Supreme Court in Illinois, 2005
Industry Groups:
  • Consumers
  • Health Care
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes

Office location for Amy J. DeLaney

111 N Wabash Ave
Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 855-857-4754


11 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2024

Top Lists

Top 50: Women Illinois Super Lawyers: 2021 - 2022

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