Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Estate Planning

Estate Planning and the American Taxpayer Relief Act By Stephen M. Margolin and Lindsey Paige Markus February 2014 Article, Page 92 Thanks to ATRA, a married couple with a properly structured estate can pass more than $10 million free of federal estate tax. But beware income and state-estate tax consequences.
Bump in social security benefits December 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 612 The allowance for aged, blind, and disabled recipients of supplemental security income (SSI) recently increased from $519.90 to $531.90. 89 Ill. Adm. Code 113.
Making Constitutional Challenges to the Illinois Tax on Trust Income By Robert J. Kolasa November 2013 Article, Page 584 Under Illinois law, income from a trust created by an Illinois resident is taxable even if the trust is not otherwise connected to Illinois. But is the state tax constitutionally infirm?
Supreme court declines to extend doctrine of election beyond wills to trusts By Adam W. Lasker July 2013 Lawpulse, Page 330 The Illinois Supreme Court found the doctrine irrelevant to the facts of In re Estate of Boyar, leaving the question of whether it applies to trusts as well as wills for another day.
Opportunities and Pitfalls in the New Illinois Directed Trust Statute By Daniel P. Felix June 2013 Article, Page 292 The new law allows unbundling of trustee investment and distribution responsibilities and adds a supervising trust protector.
Illinois Supreme Court recognizes doctrine of equitable adoption By Adam W. Lasker May 2013 Lawpulse, Page 222 If parents treat a child they have not legally adopted as their own, he can pursue an inheritance even in the absence of their express or implied contract to adopt him, the high court rules.
Legislature considering modifications to small-estate affidavits By Adam W. Lasker April 2013 Lawpulse, Page 170 ISBA-proposed changes would make the small-estate affidavit a more effective and easier-to-use probate avoidance device, a key proponent says.
Estate Planning for Clients Who Don’t By Regina Rathnau March 2013 Article, Page 138 Even when clients resist comprehensive estate planning you can help them better prepare for the inevitable.
Real Estate and Avoiding Probate: The Case for Land Trusts By David J. Lanciotti February 2013 Article, Page 86 While both land trusts and transfer on death instruments allow residential real estate to transfer outside probate, the land trust has important advantages for some clients, this author argues.
Making Gifts Can Reduce Illinois Estate Taxes By Robert J. Kolasa December 2012 Article, Page 646 Recent Illinois legislation established higher estate tax exclusion amounts. Learn how clients can use gifts to substantially reduce Illinois estate taxes.
Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax return November 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 580 The Attorney General recently implemented revisions to the regulations governing estate tax treatment of civil unions. 86 Ill. Adm. Code 2000.
Paying for Long-Term Care in Illinois By William Siebers and Zach Hesselbaum October 2012 Article, Page 536 There are five ways to pay for long-term care in Illinois. This article discusses all five and brings you the latest on the ever-shifting Medicaid and Veterans' Administration rules.
New Medicaid law will limit estate-planning, other options By Adam W. Lasker September 2012 Lawpulse, Page 458 The new Medicaid law means tighter regulations, higher costs, and reduced coverage for recipients, a family lawyer observes.
Dynasty Trusts for Everyone By Mary D. Cascino August 2012 Column, Page 440 Dynasty trusts give even those of ordinary means a way to minimize estate taxes prospectively.
Estate Planning for 2012: Looming Lower Gift Tax Exclusion Limits By David A. Berek February 2012 Column, Page 110 Encourage wealthy clients to give tax-avoiding gifts now.
New Long-Term Care Medicaid Rules Finally Come to Illinois By Diana Law and William Siebers January 2012 Article, Page 30 Effective January 1, Illinois finally brought its Medicaid rules for long-term care into compliance with federal requirements. The new rules make it harder for Illinois long-term care recipients to protect their assets while preserving Medicaid eligibility. Here's what you need to know.
The Transfer on Death Instrument Comes to Illinois By Charles G. Brown December 2011 Article, Page 618 Effective January 1, Illinois law gives your clients a convenient way to transfer residential real estate outside of probate. Here's a review of the new law by one of its drafters.
Attention estate planners: new Medicaid asset transfer rules finally adopted By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2011 Lawpulse, Page 550 New state regulations, passed in response to federal requirements after years of delay, make it harder for nursing home care recipients to both shelter assets and stay eligible for Medicaid.
Looking at 2011 and Beyond By Mary Cascino and Katarinna McBride November 2011 Column, Page 584 A late-2011 look how recent rulings should influence your estate-planning advice.
Illinois Estate Planning in Uncertain Times By Steven E. Siebers September 2011 Article, Page 448 What happens if the federal estate tax exclusion goes back to $1 million? What are the implications of decoupling the Illinois from the federal tax? A look at these and other questions.
Planning for a Civil Life By Katarinna McBride August 2011 Column, Page 421 Illinois' civil union law presents opportunities and challenges to those who advise same-sex couples.
B-DIT, B-DIT: Tax Planning More Thrilling than Michael Jackson By Katarinna McBride May 2011 Column, Page 262 Here's a new asset-protection strategy so cool you can dance to it.
Life Insurance Proceeds Are Exempt From Creditors - Or Are They? By Thomas A. Pasquesi and Thomas M. Badenhausen May 2011 Article, Page 254 The law exempts life insurance policy proceeds from the claims of a decedent-insured's creditors. But exceptions give creditors an opportunity to recover.
Mind the gap: Illinois taxes estates over $2 million By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2011 Lawpulse, Page 66 Illinois' new estate tax kicks in at $2 million, not $5 million like its federal counterpart. That creates some estate-planning challenges for Illinois residents.
Plan for administering your digital estate By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2011 Lawpulse, Page 66 If you don't write your passwords down somewhere, what will happen to your digital world after you die?
A Sigh of Tax Relief By Katarinna McBride February 2011 Column, Page 100 There's a lot for estate planners to like about the new federal tax law.
Estate-planning, other implications of the civil union law By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2011 Lawpulse, Page 10 Legally speaking, civil union partners will step into the shoes of spouses in most cases, students of the legislation say.
Back to the Future: Estate Planning for 2010 and Beyond By Katarinna McBride November 2010 Column, Page 590 Estate planners look for ways to use this year's expiration of the estate tax to clients' advantage.
Clearer Guidance for Estate Planning Lawyers By Katarinna McBride and Graham B. Schmidt August 2010 Column, Page 433 What about clients with diminished capacity? Confidentiality and prospective clients? Here's a look.
The Anna Nicole Smith Case: an Opera in Five Acts By Katarinna McBride May 2010 Column, Page 266 Is the battle over Anna Nicole Smith's husband's estate finally over?