Section Newsletter Articles on Trusts and Estates

Converting a life insurance policy into cash while the insured is alive: Viatical and life settlements By Paul E. Freehling Senior Lawyers, March 2008 This article concerns a relatively new way to convert a life insurance policy into cash while the insured person is alive: sell it on the market.
An ancillary lesson By Darrell Dies Trusts and Estates, February 2008 A hypothetical scenario illustrating potential estate administrative expenses in several states.
Keeping score: New reporting requirements for capital gains By Robert Weber Trusts and Estates, February 2008 According to the IRS, incorrect reporting of capital gains accounts for nearly $345 billion per year in unpaid taxes.
Life estate transaction legal considerations By Alan E. Stumpf Agricultural Law, February 2008 To serve our clients better we need to be thinking and counseling about a number of future responsibility, transaction and taxation issues.
Return Preparer Accuracy Standards under 6694 now applicable to estate and gift tax returns By David A. Berek Trusts and Estates, February 2008 Just in time for tax return season, Congress and Treasury recently revised the preparer accuracy standards that govern the preparation of tax returns.
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).
IRS still not charitably driven when clients steer IRAs to trusts By Michael Cyrs Trusts and Estates, March 2007 The Internal Revenue Service is still a miser when it comes to trusts and individual retirement accounts. In a recent internal legal memorandum (Internal Legal Memorandum 200644020 “ILM”) the Internal Revenue Service (“Service”) concluded that a transfer of an individual retirement account (“IRA”) to charity to satisfy a legacy from a trust was taxable to the trust as income in respect of the decedent under Internal Revenue Code Section 691(a)(2).
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?