Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Estate Planning

New limits for family limited partnerships By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2005 Lawpulse, Page 382 Casting a shadow over a popular tax avoidance device, a recent case disallowed an estate tax break for a decedent who maintained too much control over the business he transferred to his family limited partnership.
Taxes, Marital QTIP Trusts, and Anti- Apportionment Clauses By David Berek August 2005 Column, Page 418 It's time to revisit the language you've been using in QTIP trusts.  Find out why.
Help Your Client Choose the Right Advance Directive By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2005 Article, Page 284 Advance directives aren't as simple as most people think. Here's how to help clients tailor POAs and living wills to their wishes.
Is the Family LLC Still a Good Asset Protection Device? By David Berek May 2005 Column, Page 256  Is a debtor's interest in a family LLC still beyond the reach of creditors?
Business Succession Planning: Lessons from True, Blount and Smith By David Berek February 2005 Column, Page 94 The IRS is taking a harder look at how the parties to buy-sell agree-ments for closely held businesses are calculating fair-market value.
New Small Estate, Anti-Lapse, Health POA Provisions By David Berek November 2004 Column, Page 601 A summary of three new estate-planning laws.
When Can A Disabled Surviving Spouse Renounce a Will? By Thomas A. Pasquesi June 2004 Article, Page 310 This article reviews the murky law of will renunciation by mentally incompetent surviving spouses.
This is Me Leaving You: Illinois Departs from the Federal Estate Tax Scheme By Susan T. Bart January 2004 Article, Page 20 A critical look at legislation "decoupling" Illinois' estate tax from the federal credit.
Estate Planning for Twenty-First Century Families By Janet L. Grove December 2003 Article, Page 631 In this age of blended families and test-tube babies, the familiar estate-planning boilerplate needs revision.
Illinois’ New Estate-Tax Law By David A. Berek September 2003 Article, Page 465 An overview of Illinois' newly "decoupled' estate-tax scheme.
Illinois says “no” to estate-tax elimination By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2003 Lawpulse, Page 374 The feds are phasing out the estate tax, but beginning this year cash-strapped Illinois will no longer cap its estate tax at the federal maximum.
Total Return Trusts Give Trustees Flexibility in Ever-changing Markets By Louis S. Harrison, Erica E. Lord, and Senator Kirk W. Dillard May 2003 Article, Page 240 This new law permits trustees to invest prudently while serving the needs of both remainder and income beneficiaries.
Pet trusts for trusty pets By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2003 Lawpulse, Page 110 Illinois may shortly join 16 other states that have passed laws authorizing the creation of trusts with pets as beneficiaries.
Pet project By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2002 Lawpulse, Page 628 More and more estate-planning clients want to make sure that Fluffy is well provided for. Here's how to help them.
Whither estate-planning practice? By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2002 Lawpulse, Page 628 Demographic trends and tax-law changes may generate some short-term business, but they'll mean less work for estate-planning lawyers in the long run. Are you ready to adjust your practice?
Probate Court Report #1: Protect children of divorce before probate By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2002 Lawpulse, Page 114 Take steps during the divorce to protect ex-spouses/children after their ex-partner/parent's death, or they might get no higher priority in probate court than magazine subscriptions and utility bills.
Probate Court Report #2: Take care with heirship By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2002 Lawpulse, Page 114 Do a little probate work? Then take heed: failing to properly prepare an affidavit of heirship can lead to embarrassment or worse if the will falls through.
All in the Family By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2002 Lawpulse, Page 62 Perhaps your family-owned-business clients can take advantage of this special estate-tax exclusion.
The New Estate and Gift Tax Law: Estate-Planning Pointers By Richard A. Campbell and Mary C. Talarico February 2002 Article, Page 80 More than ever, estate planners need to provide as much flexibility as possible.
Estate and Gift Tax Changes: What’s New in the New Law? By Richard A. Campbell and Mary C. Talarico January 2002 Article, Page 24 Here's a summary of the changes wrought by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act.
Estate-Planning Internet Resources for Illinois Lawyers By Adria P. Olmi January 2002 Column, Page 49 Don't let your brainchildren be like the proverbial cobbler's shoeless kids; lawyer, protect your IP rights.
Funding Living Trusts: An Overview By Richard P. Miler December 2001 Article, Page 628 Creating a living trust is easy; funding it is another story. Here's a primer.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath May 2001 Column, Page 226 Arbitration clauses in employment contracts are enforceable; visit the Illinois Supreme Court Web site; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath February 2001 Column, Page 56 When does may mean must? When it comes to appealing interlocutory orders
Court upholds decedent’s testamentary gift to dental school, which a university closed several months prior to testator’s death, because plain language of will revealed testator’s intent to provide university with a gift. September 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 500 On July 13, 2000, the Third District of the Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Northwestern University ("university").
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath July 2000 Column, Page 378 Grandparents lose at High Court—but how much? HMOs lose in one high court, win in another; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Mark Mathewson April 2000 Column, Page 192 What hath Tosado wrought? What do jurors think? Granny gives a gift; and more.
Nice Guys Finish Last in Wills and Estate Planning By Anne E. Thar April 2000 Column, Page 235 Confused elderly parents, estranged (and strange) children; estate-planning practice can pose serious malpractice risks for the best of lawyers. Here's what to watch for.
Gifts and POAs: Authorizing an Agent to Give Your Money Away By Wendy M. Goode February 2000 Article, Page 100 A power of attorney without express language doesn’t allow for gifts, this author argues.
Making the Most of the New Illinois Perpetuities Statute By Richard A. Campbell and Christopher D. Dwyer November 1999 Article, Page 594 Illinois' recently enacted rule-against-perpetuities statute permits estate planners to create perpetual trusts, and that opens new estate-planning possibilities. The authors describe the options.