Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Estate Planning

Thoughts at 5 a.m.

By Gary R. Gehlbach
February
2021
Article
, Page 24
A veteran attorney shares insights into estate planning and administration.

A trust’s plain language must be examined when adjudicating unjust enrichment claims

November
2020
Illinois Law Update
, Page 18
On Aug. 31, 2020, the Third District of the Illinois Appellate Court held that a trustee’s distribution of a trust’s income and principal to only one of the beneficiaries did not constitute unjust enrichment.

Are Your Remote Signings Camera Ready?

September
2020
Article
, Page 14
The technology for recording estate-planning document signings has been inexpensive and readily accessible for decades.

Recorded deed found not subject to fraudulent concealment

September
2020
Illinois Law Update
, Page 18
On June 24, 2020, the Second District of the Illinois Appellate Court held that recorded deeds are not subject to fraudulent concealment.

Related attorney-in-fact required to reimburse estate due to presumption of fraud

June
2020
Illinois Law Update
, Page 14
A son’s financial dealings as the attorney-in-fact for his father led to reimbursement and reversal.

Retroactive effect given to disclaimer to allow QTIP election for Illinois estate tax

June
2020
Illinois Law Update
, Page 14
A husband executed a trust that gave his wife a power of appointment that was exercisable during her lifetime and allowed appointment to persons other than herself.

Sign Anywhere but Here

May
2020
Article
, Page 14
Notaries, signatures, and witnesses during a time of sheltering in place and social distancing.
1 comment (Most recent May 11, 2020)

Transfers from parents to children presumed to be gifts

March
2020
Illinois Law Update
, Page 20
On Dec. 26, 2019, the First District Appellate Court found that a claimant in a probate case had not demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that the transfers he made to his son and daughter-in-law were loans rather than gifts.

Maybe Next Year

January
2020
Article
, Page 22
What are heirs to do with permanent and nonpermanent Chicago Bears tickets?

When Is a Person or Trust an Illinois Resident?

By Richard A. Sugar
December
2019
Article
, Page 32
Determining whether a person or trust is an “Illinois resident” for income- and estate-tax purposes requires understanding the differences and similarities between “domicile” and “resident.

Wrapping Your Head Around the Illinois Estate Tax

By Robert J. Kolasa
July
2019
Article
, Page 38
Practitioners must master a confusing array of rules to advise clients on Illinois estate taxes.

Taking Your Powers of Attorney to the Bank

June
2019
Article
, Page 18
Banks have been known to challenge power-of-attorney agents, but steps can be taken to prevent such conflicts.
1 comment (Most recent June 5, 2019)

It’s Not All About Death and Taxes: Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation Through Estate Planning

By Darcy J. Chamberlin & Janna S. Dutton
April
2019
Article
, Page 28
Financial exploitation of the elderly is a growing social concern. Estate planners should examine issues involved in the exploitation of the elderly and consider provisions that may protect their clients.

From the Newsletters - Estate Planning for Second Marriages

By Richard W. Kuhn
March
2019
Article
, Page 24
Practical advice for estate planning attorneys encountering this emerging client demographic.

Debts, Secret Tax Liens, and Other Estate Traps

By Derek M. Johnson
October
2018
Article
, Page 28
Federal income taxes owed by a decedent's estate may take priority over other claims and expenses, especially when the estate is insolvent. Understanding how and when to pay an estate's taxes in relation to the estate's other obligations is critical.

Son entitled to compensation for acting as trustee and administering his deceased father’s trust

August
2018
Illinois Law Update
, Page 16
Plaintiffs (beneficiaries of a trust) filed suit alleging breach-of-trust agreement and challenging defendant trustee's payment of compensation to himself for administering the trust.

Estate Planning for Cryptocurrency

By Michael Alan Goldberg
February
2018
Article
, Page 38
Bitcoin's wild fluctuation in value has put cryptocurrency in the news. Whether or not digital currency becomes the exchange medium of the future, estate planners need to consider the special issues it raises.

Acknowledged Estate Planning Documents Are Self-Authenticating Evidence

By David M. Madden
November
2017
Article
, Page 44
Having a document acknowledged by a notary when it's executed can overcome a challenge to its authenticity at trial and ensure it will be admissible into evidence.

From the Newsletters - 10 tips from a veteran estate-planning lawyer

November
2017
Article
, Page 36
Why should you advise your clients to sign testamentary documents in blue ink? And should they leave a dollar to that disinherited heir? Read on and find out.

From the Newsletters - 5 estate planning steps for divorcing clients.

October
2017
Article
, Page 38
Divorcing clients should change beneficiary designations and take other steps to make sure their soon-to-be ex doesn't reap an unintended windfall if they die before the divorce is final.

No fiduciary duty for POA successor agents, high court rules

By Matthew Hector
August
2017
LawPulse
, Page 12
A recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling makes life less perilous for successor agents of POAs for property.

Estate planners vulnerable to dormant legal malpractice claims

By Matthew Hector
April
2017
LawPulse
, Page 22
There's a six-year statute of repose for legal malpractice - unless the alleged act or omission isn't discovered until the client dies. Estate planning lawyers want more protection.

A fiduciary can successfully rebut the presumption of fraud when transfers are made with donative intent to family members, and the principal expresses free desire to make such gifts

February
2017
Illinois Law Update
, Page 20
Petitioner brought a citation to discover against respondent and others to recover transfers that a disabled person, Agnes Spinnie, had made before the petitioner became her guardian.

Managing Your Electronic Estate: The New Digital Assets Act

By Mary D. Cascino
November
2016
Article
, Page 28
What happens to our password-protected online accounts when we die? A new Illinois law establishes the procedures that allow fiduciaries to get access to "digital assets."

Digital Assets Act gives access to decedents’ online accounts

By Matthew Hector
September
2016
LawPulse
, Page 12
After a false start in 2015, the legislature delivered and the governor signed a bill this year that gives fiduciaries the power to access email, social media, and other digital assets of a decedent.

Overturning Mendelson: Bill would forbid conveying real estate to trust without deed

By Matthew Hector
May
2016
LawPulse
, Page 10
Proposed legislation would amend the Trusts and Trustees Act to require that all transfers of property into a trust be evidenced by a written conveyance and acceptance by the trustee.
1 comment (Most recent April 28, 2016)

Sales to Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts: The Risks and Rewards

By Aaron D. Evans
February
2016
Article
, Page 34
Making installment sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts can be a valuable estate-freezing strategy. But there are pitfalls posed by recent IRS scrutiny.

How to Avoid Estate Planning Malpractice Claims

By Zachary J. Freeman, Thomas M. Staunton, & Arthur W. Friedman
December
2015
Article
, Page 32
A look at the unique malpractice risks - including the third-party beneficiary rule and the extended statute of repose - faced by estate planning lawyers.

Probate and ‘Underwater’ Real Estate: The Promise of LaPlume

By Fredric Bryan Lesser & Jeffrey P. O’Kelley
June
2015
Article
, Page 24
A groundbreaking appellate case holds that probate courts can sell an estate's "underwater" real property free and clear of all liens, including mortgage liens.

Proposed law would give fiduciaries easier access to decedents’ Facebook, other accounts

By Matthew Hector
June
2015
LawPulse
, Page 10
The proposed Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act would make it easier for executors and others to access the growing body of electronic data Illinoisans leave behind.
1 comment (Most recent May 20, 2015)

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