Section Newsletter Articles on Trusts and Estates

Time-out for Talty By Robert Iverson Trusts and Estates, February 2008 In Talty v. Talty, decided in October of 2007, the Third District Appellate Court delivered a forceful message to self-interested fiduciaries.
The delayed QTIP: The Illinois Wait-n-See By Katarinna McBride Trusts and Estates, December 2007 After several frustrating and failed attempts to combine efforts with the Attorney General to structure legislation, the ISBA Trusts & Estates Section Council is taking the initiative to propose legislation amending 35 ILCS 405/2 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes.
Not just wills for heroes By Tarek A. Fadel Young Lawyers Division, December 2007 Over the past few weeks, a few of my colleagues from the Young Lawyer’s Division and I have been evaluating a program called Wills for Heroes (
What a difference a day makes: Estate of Frazier Jelke III By Katarinna McBride Trusts and Estates, December 2007 In a case of first impression, and reversing the Tax Court, the Eleventh Circuit in Estate of Frazier Jelke III held that in determining the estate tax value of company stock, the company’s value is reduced by the entire built-in capital gain as of the date of death.
Legislative update: Ten new Public Acts that affect general practice By J.A. Sebastian General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, November 2007 The following is a summary of recent legislative action of interest to members of the ISBA General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section.
Car dealers—Don’t get stuck with a lemon for an estate plan By Martin P. Ryan, Bill Kelly, and Ira Levin Corporate Law Departments, October 2007 Automobile dealers spend their lifetimes building dealerships into profitable and valuable enterprises.
Estate tax update: Estate tax reform proposals By Gregg M. Simon Trusts and Estates, October 2007 On March 21, 2007, while the Senate was considering the fiscal 2008 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 21), Congress hinted that it just may take up estate tax reform.
Five new laws passed in Springfield: Trusts and Estates Section Council legislative update By Ray J. Koenig and Amy Jo Smith Trusts and Estates, October 2007 During the 95th Session of the Illinois General Assembly, the Trusts and Estates Section Council monitored 20 pieces of proposed legislation impacting our area of practice.
A lesson in discretion: Leona Helmsley’s last will and testament By Katarinna McBride Trusts and Estates, October 2007 Many clients regard the content of their wills to be a private matter. Unfortunately, state law often requires that wills be recorded, and therefore open to public inspection by the media, creditors, distant relatives—essentially anyone.
Regulating the acronyms: GRAT, GRUT, QPRT, CRAT and CRUT By Gregg M. Simon Trusts and Estates, October 2007 The IRS proposed rules for determining the extent to which a trust in which the grantor has retained the use of property or the right to an annuity, unitrust, or other income payment for life, for any period not ascertainable without reference to the Grantor’s death, or for a period that does not in fact end before the Grantor’s death, is includible in the Grantor’s gross estate under IRC §2036. Prop. Reg. §20.2036-1, Prop. Reg §20.2039-1.
Major “Kiddie Tax” changes By Edward J. Fellin Trusts and Estates, September 2007 The Small Business and Work Community Tax Act of 2007 extends the reach of “Kiddie Tax” that is imposed on the investment income of minor children.
Memorials for families with minor children By Paul A. Meints Agricultural Law, September 2007 Normally the memorials selected represent a charitable interest that was important to the person while he or she was alive.
Adventures in dying: The journey of a Law Clerk By Cynthia K. Hagemeyer Trusts and Estates, June 2007 I first became fascinated, or rather disgusted, with estate litigation when my grandmother’s estate became the subject of a heated will contest.
Estate and gift tax recent cases and rulings By Joseph P. O’Keefe and Elizabeth C. Hesselbach Federal Taxation, June 2007 At issue in this case was the estate tax valuation of a decedent’s shares in a publicly traded company.
Illinois land trusts: Five statutes that can compromise the anonymity of beneficiaries By Seth A. Kaplan Trusts and Estates, June 2007 In Illinois, land trusts have long been a device in which estate planning and real estate lawyers can assist clients in managing and controlling real estate while the title of the real estate is in the hands of a trustee.
Legislative Update: Section success and opportunity in the 95th Session By Ray J. Koenig, III Trusts and Estates, June 2007 During the 95th session of the Illinois General Assembly, the Trusts and Estates Section Council monitored nineteen (19) pieces of proposed legislation impacting our area of practice.
Simple steps to avoid perjury in will signing By Eugenia C. Hunter Elder Law, June 2007 The article titled, “Do Witnesses of a Will Commit Perjury?” by Michael H. Erde in the June, 2006, Elder Law Section Council Newsletter prompted me to describe the will execution procedure in my office which I suggest would avoid the potential problems about which Mr. Erde writes.
Stranger than fiction: The Illinois Attorney General wants trustees to WHAT! By Mary Cascino Trusts and Estates, June 2007 Under the Charitable Trust Act, 760 ILCS 55/1, the Attorney General requires an estate representative or a trustee of a trust to notify the Attorney General of charitable bequests in excess of $4,000. Failure to comply with the notice requirements could result in a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000 to be levied against the estate or trust.
A trustee you can trust: Responsibilities and liabilities of trustees By Karen MacKay and Gerry Ring Corporate Law Departments, May 2007 The following are things you should consider when selecting a trustee.
The departed and divorced By Katarinna McBride Trusts and Estates, March 2007 Which is legally more complicated, death during a divorce or death after a divorce?
Here we go ‘round the Rosen bush—An FLP roadmap By Richard A. Sugar Trusts and Estates, March 2007 The Rosen case sets out one of the best roadmaps for how to avoid the failure of family limited partnerships as governed by Section 2036(a)(1).
Mooove over Illinois, Wisconsin Real Estate Sheds Probate Harness By Michael Cyrs Trusts and Estates, March 2007 Wisconsin recently passed legislation permitting owners of real property to avoid probate simply by naming a beneficiary to inherit the real estate.
Federal estate and gift tax update By Michelle L. Heller Federal Taxation, January 2007 The Tax Court decided that the fair market value of decedent’s personal residence, which was transferred to a partnership formed shortly before the transfer, was includable in her gross estate under section 2036(a)(1) because she retained the “possession” and “enjoyment” of the property after the transfer.
Estate planning with the increasing exclusion amount By David A. Berek Trusts and Estates, December 2006 Who would have thought we’d hear discussions around the water cooler about changes to the estate tax law?
A season for giving: Organ donation in Illinois By Justin J. Karubas Trusts and Estates, December 2006 There is a need for greater awareness about organ donation. People die waiting for donations and people die without donating.
Selected developments in income, estate, gift & generation-skipping transfer tax By David A. Berek Trusts and Estates, December 2006 Consistent with the holding in O’Neill, the Second Circuit affirmed the Tax Court in Rudkin v. United States, 124 TC No. 19 (June 27, 2005) that investment advisory fees paid by a trust are deductible only to the extent those fees exceed 2 percent of the trusts adjusted gross income.
Tax and estate planning for year-end and looking ahead to 2007 By Karen MacKay and Gregory M. Winters Corporate Law Departments, December 2006 A summary of some of the more noteworthy changes to the tax law over the past year, along with planning opportunities you might consider prior to year-end. 
REV. RUL. 2006-34 defines when real estate ownership constitutes closely held business for Section 6166 purposes By Charles G. Brown Trusts and Estates, November 2006 In recent Revenue Ruling 2006-34, 2006-26 I.R.B 1171, the Service provides clarification as to when the ownership of real estate constitutes a closely held business for purposes of the installment payment of estate taxes under Section 6166 of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended.
Estate Planning Update for the Solo, Small Firm & General Practice & Probate By James F. Dunneback General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, July 2006 With the increase in the applicable exclusion amount to $2 million this year, increasing to $3.5 million in 2009 and the promised (but yet to be fulfilled) removal of the estate tax in 2010, the emphasis on the tax planning element of our estate planning practices may seem to be diminishing.
Estate planning update: Recent case decisions By James F. Dunneback General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, June 2006 The Estate of Helen H. Noble, 89 TCM 649 stands for the proposition that sales following death, so long as the transaction occurred within a reasonable time, can be used to establish value as much as a sale prior to the date of death.