Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Trusts and Estates

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?
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.
The “five and five”—Why and alternatives By Jay S. Goldenberg Trusts and Estates, May 2006 The “five and five” is a frequently used tool. One often finds that a trust beneficiary (whether spouse or child) has been granted such a power.
Have you appointed an Agent to control the disposition of your remains? By Darrell Dies Elder Law, May 2006 As of January 1, 2006, Public Act 094-0561 amended the Disposition of Remains Act (“D.R.A.”) to allow a specific agent to be named to control the disposition of one’s remains upon death.
US Supreme Court defines the “probate exception” to limits on federal jurisdiction By Philip E. Koenig Trusts and Estates, May 2006 It is not very often that probate law, a Hollywood figure and the United States Supreme Court converge upon one another.
Estate, Gift, and Generation Skipping Tax Update By Kelli E. Madigan and Joseph P. O’Keefe Federal Taxation, April 2006 In Estate of Smith v. U.S., the District Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the value of individual retirement accounts included in a decedent’s estate could not be discounted for the anticipated income tax to be paid by the estate or IRA beneficiaries upon receipt of the distribution of the IRA funds.
Elder notes Elder Law, November 2005 Small estate affidavit revision. Last year’s increase for small estate affidavits to $100,000 from $50,000 applies to all documents executed after August 6, 2004, regardless of when the decedent died, pursuant to Public Act 94-57.
In support for will depository legislation for Illinois By Paul A. Meints and Ray J. Koenig, III Trusts and Estates, October 2005 1. The concept of a will depository [being one and the same as a “will repository”] has been a goal of the Trusts and Estate’s Committee of the Illinois State Bar Association dating back to approximately 1988 when it was first proposed by Mr. Joseph LaRocco, an older sole practitioner in Chicago, now deceased, who was then a member of the Committee.
Recent cases and rulings regarding estate and gift tax issues By Joseph P. O’Keefe Federal Taxation, October 2005 The decedent died holding 11.6 percent of the outstanding shares of a bank holding company.
Estate and gift tax update By Joseph P. O’Keefe Federal Taxation, March 2005 With the recent re-election of President Bush and the aggressive agenda he has put forward, it looks like our estate and gift tax system is headed for further reform.
Recent developments and cases in Illinois By Paul A. Meints Trusts and Estates, March 2005 Illinois has been quietly and effectively stepping up its collection program to recover benefits paid to people in nursing homes.
Anti-lapse provision added for gifts to deceased beneficiaries of intervivos trusts By Dwight H. O’Keefe Trusts and Estates, October 2004 An amendment to HB 1080, now PA 93-0991, adds a new section to the Trust and Trustees Act, 760 ILCS 5/5.5, which provides anti-lapse provisions affecting trust beneficiaries of inter-vivos trusts.
Appraisal update By Carol Klima Martin Trusts and Estates, June 2004 On occasion, trust and estate attorneys must evaluate or sell interests in real property. Attorneys who deal with clients' real property need to know that both Federal and Illinois laws concerning appraisers have changed.
Did you ever wonder…? By Philip E. Koenig Trusts and Estates, June 2004 Did you ever wonder why most standard will and trust clauses direct an executor to pay all of the Decedent's debts "except those debts which are secured by an interest in real estate, beneficial interest in a land trust, a cooperative or by an assignment of a life insurance policy?"
Considerations to be made with respect to advance directives By Franklin M. Hartzell Trusts and Estates, February 2004 In the preparation of estate plans for clients, most lawyers draft Advance Directives.
529 college plans: An estate planning and education planning tool By Gregg A. Garofalo Young Lawyers Division, December 2003 Over the past 10 years, the cost of a college education has grown dramatically and there is little sign of that trend slowing over the next 10 years.
An idea in response to Hackl issues By Philip E. Koenig Trusts and Estates, December 2003 The following was a drafting idea submitted to the editors in response to the Hackl v. Commissioner case, 118 T.C. No. 14 (Mar. 27, 2002).
Planning pointer By Paul A. Meints Trusts and Estates, December 2003 On November 7, 2003, the U.S. Tax Court issued its 114-page opinion on the Estate of Eugene Stone's five family limited partnerships.
Is it time to modify the Small Estate Affidavit Act? By Daniel C. Hawkins Elder Law, June 2003 Under Illinois law, the beneficiaries of a decedent's estate can avoid probate and use small estate affidavit to transfer assets provided the gross value of the decedent's entire personal estate, including the value of all property passing to any party, either by intestacy or under a will does not exceed $50,000.
Seventh Circuit holds beneficiary designation of group term life insurance controls over marital settlement agreement By Philip E. Koenig Trusts and Estates, May 2003 On April 8, 2003, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of Melton v. Melton, held that the provisions of a beneficiary designation form control over conflicting provisions of a marital settlement agreement in determining the beneficiary of group term life insurance benefits.
Practice tips By Paul A. Meints Trusts and Estates, March 2003 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through its Lawyer Education Project of the Division of Transplantation, is asking bar association leaders to inform members of the need for organ donations and tissue transplants.