Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Estate Planning

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?
Compensation for Family Caregivers By Margot Gordon May 2010 Article, Page 256 Custodial claims enable family members who cared for a now-deceased relative to be compensated for their years of unpaid or underpaid caregiving. Here's how it works.
The Estate Tax- dumped on New year’s Eve By Katarinna McBride February 2010 Column, Page 104 Congress defied the conventional wisdom and let the estate tax die. What will replace it?
The Illinois QTIP Election to the Rescue By Robert J. Kolasa December 2009 Article, Page 612 Big news for estate planners - the new Illinois QTIP lets clients use the full federal exclusion without Illinois estate tax consequences.
Stranger-Owned Life Insurance: The Rewards: a Fictional Case Study By Stephen M. Margolin and Valerie J. Freireich November 2009 Article, Page 568 An elderly - and wealthy - person lets investors buy insurance on his life in return for cash, and everyone makes money. Or do they?
Stranger-Owned Life Insurance: The Risks and How to minimize them By James C. Shanley November 2009 Article, Page 569 An elderly - and wealthy - person lets investors buy insurance on his life in return for cash, and everyone makes money. Or do they?
ANATOMY OF A WILL: A Step-By-Step Guide By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2009 Article, Page 506 A step-by-step primer on simple wills for newbies, litigators, and other will-drafting novices.
Winning at Darwin’s Game By Katarinna McBride August 2009 Column, Page 420 Survivor-style challenges and opportunities confront estate planners.
Five Wishes: “zero cases of litigation” June 2009 Column, Page 274 We're flattered that authors Koenig and Hyde ("Be Careful What You Wish For: Analyzing the Five Wishes Advance Directive," IBJ May 2009) pored over our document, and as would a law student studying a model contract, found areas that might-could-maybe-potentially become a problem.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Analyzing the “Five Wishes” Advance Directive By Ray J. Koenig, III and MacKenzie Hyde May 2009 Article, Page 242 The popular Five Wishes document helps clients think about life issues. But don't use it in place of Illinois statutory forms, these authors argue.
Passing the Buck: Private Split-Dollar for Every Vocabulary By Katarinna McBride May 2009 Column, Page 262 Split-dollar agreements allow wealthy clients to use life-insurance trusts to avoid gift taxes and maximize estate value.
Illinois Estate Tax Planning in 2009 and Beyond By Gary R. Gehlbach and Emily R. Vivian February 2009 Article, Page 80 Beginning this year, the gap between the Illinois and federal estate tax widens. This article discusses the implications and makes the case for an Illinois QTIP.
Waiver of Minimum Required Distributions for 2009 By David A. Berek February 2009 Column, Page 102 A new law lessens the impact of the market downturn on retirement accounts.
Estate Planning for FDIC Coverage By Katarinna McBride November 2008 Column, Page 590 New FDIC rules provide more protection for revocable trusts.
How to use Gifts to reduce Illinois estate taxes By Robert J. Kolasa November 2008 Article, Page 580 In 2009, federal and Illinois estate taxes will be "decoupled." Here's how estate planners can use gifts to help clients pay less.
New Preparer Standards For Estate, Gift Returns By David A. Berek February 2008 Column, Page 102 The standards and penalties long app-licable to income tax returns now apply to estate and gift tax filings.
Medicaid Planning in Illinois: Are You Ready for the DRA? By Kirsten Izatt November 2007 Article, Page 586 The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 requires estate planners to devise new ways to protect the assets of clients who face long nursing-home stays. Illinois hasn't implemented the law, but it will.
Year-End Planning for Trust-and-Estate Clients By David A. Berek November 2007 Column, Page 606 It's not too late to implement some tax-saving strategies for your estate-planning clients.
Estate Planning for the Rest of Us By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2007 Article, Page 520 Most people don't have estates large enough to owe tax when they die. But they still need estate-planning advice.
POD and TOD accounts and your estate-planning arsenal By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2007 LawPulse, Page 510 Payable/transfer-on-death accounts are handy probate-avoidance tools that can even be used to transfer real estate. Or can they?
What’s Great about GRATs? By David A. Berek August 2007 Column, Page 438 A look at how and why to use grantor retained annuity trusts.
Can lawyers patent their legal techniques? By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2007 LawPulse, Page 342 A patent issued on an estate-planning technique has that bar buzzing.
Anna Nicole Smith’s Will By Katarinna McBride May 2007 Column, Page 270 Informal speculation about what becomes of Anna Nicole's estate.
Are Investment Advisory Fees 100-Percent Deductible? By David A. Berek February 2007 Column, Page 104 The federal circuits are split and the seventh circuit is silent.
New Pension Protection Act a Boon to Giving By David A. Berek November 2006 Column, Page 628 A new law lets age-70-plus taxpayers give up to $100K from their IRAs to charity.
Estate Planning for Disabled Adults: The Legal Framework By Thomas A. Pasquesi May 2006 Article, Page 242 A look at the standards that guide guardians and courts charged with making decisions on behalf of incompetent wards.
Legislation Would Reduce Confusion for Health Care, Property POA Agents By David A. Berek May 2006 Column, Page 262 Two important legislative proposals that estate planners should know about.
Higher Exclusion Limit Presents New Opportunities for Gifts to Minors By David A. Berek February 2006 Column, Page 94 A new law raised the gift tax ceiling: are you taking advantage for your clients?
Three New Illinois Laws Affect Estate-Planning Practice By David A. Berek November 2005 Column, Page 600 Find out more about Illinois estate-tax revisions, series LLCs, and the Disposition of Remains Act.