The Heartland Law Firm​

About Us

The Heartland Law Firm

Who We Are

Heartland Law Firm is a legal practice specializing in probate law, elder law, trust administration, real estate, and business transitions. With over 21 years of experience, we have been serving the Chicagoland area since 2000.

Our Philosophy – The Heartland Method

Our unique approach, known as “The Heartland Method,” focuses on delivering “Legal Well-Being” to our clients. We understand that people seek legal assistance not just for legal issues but to ensure their overall well-being. Our team is committed to supporting you through organized processes that resolve your legal issues affordably and efficiently.

Our Services

Our Team

Marty Fogarty

Company Founder

I’m Marty Fogarty, founder of The Heartland Law Firm, and founder of ElderSmart® – a 501c3 non-profit organization.

For nearly 30 years, I’ve been solving problems with others: as an attorney, confidant, mentor, friend, father, and spouse.

This is what I know for sure: life’s a journey. The milestones and challenges along the way are transition points. These transition points pull us from one chapter to the next. For life’s higher stake transitions, we need a relationship with someone who can make clear the landscape we’re in. Someone who empowers us to make the best choices in this transition to move forward with confidence and peace of mind. I founded The Heartland Law Firm on this idea. The Heartland team is driven by our mission to enrich lives in meaningful ways.

Personally and professionally, I have been immersed in the “elder transition.” I can see that the way society supports elders in a long-term health care transition is fragmented and often disregards consideration of the vulnerable elder’s personal dignity.

The “elder advocate” movement calls for a new standard of elder law to be adopted by the legal industry: that “elder law without social work is an incomplete solution.”

Key Areas of Practice


Marty Fogarty earned his Juris Doctor in 1989 from the Loyola School of Law in Chicago. Prior to law school, he graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign and Fenwick High School. He was born and raised in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. Marty lives in Glenview with his wife, four children, and dog.

Amber Latham


Amber Latham is an Attorney at The Heartland Law Firm where she leads the Trust Administrations and Business Planning practice areas.

For Amber, empathy is the name of the game.

Amber helps individuals and closely held businesses through all stages of their life cycle, guiding them through legal complexities while maintaining focus on well-being and honoring their ultimate wishes. When Amber takes on a case, her clients reap the benefits of her knowledge, intense personal investment, as well as her ready sense of humor.

She understands that the areas of trust administration and business planning can bring some tough conversations, difficult decisions, and uncomfortable feelings. No matter the matter at hand, Amber provides her clients with attention, support, responsive communication, and an adaptable approach to life’s difficult transitions that threaten their well-being.

Note from Amber:

My life experience informs my practice as equally as my knowledge and received mentorship does. Like you, I have encountered many significant transitions in my life, including the loss of a parent, the loss of a home, blending a family, illness, helping family deal with illness and injury, helping loved ones embrace non-traditional family situations, helping loved ones deal with acute mental health issues, assisting with the decline and eventual passing of loved ones, and more. I appreciate the opportunity to help you and your family, not only as an attorney, but hopefully as a trusted friend and advisor.


She earned her A.A.S. degree from Southern State Community College (Hillsboro, Ohio), her B.S. degree from Mount St. Joseph University (Cincinnati, Ohio), and her J.D. degree from John Marshall Law School (Chicago, Illinois).

Outside Interests

Amber resides in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago and when she’s not practicing law, she enjoys playing golf, painting, and spending time with her dog.

Kathy Cristan

MBA, Real Estate Paralegal

At the head of the The Heartland Law Firm real estate team, you’ll find Kathy Cristan, MBA. She has a unique ability to work collaboratively to close a deal and relentlessly advocate for your interests. That’s important because real estate is a team sport in which every participant has an agenda. Kathy intuitively and analytically protects you as her client while moving your transaction along.

Even in the closing process, Kathy acts as your shield while educating you and helping you plan for the next steps. She juggles many tasks, and she thrives in the pressure cooker environment of real estate.

Since buy or selling a house and involves your family, your sense of home, and the biggest financial transaction you may ever make, it’s important that it be as understandable as possible. For that reason, Kathy was instrumental in developing The Heartland Law Firm’s RealtySmart™ solution and making sure it’s safe and affordable.

Kristen Leanhart

Freedom Plan Trust Advisor

Kristen brings a passion for helping people and intimate knowledge of the Freedom Plan Trust process to The Heartland Law Firm.

If you’ve engaged with her at all you know her empathy and attention to detail are a key ingredient in The Heartland Law Firm not just bringing stellar clients service to the table, but also helping make the administrative side of creating a trust seem simple.

A Message from Our Founder, Marty Fogarty
“For over 20 years, we’ve been perfecting the art of delivering ‘Legal Well-Being’ to our clients. We see ourselves as a ‘Well-Being Firm’ as much as a ‘Law Firm.’ We deliver increased Well-Being, Clarity, and a Relationship that has your back for all of life’s complexities going forward.”