Publications

Articles on Estate Planning

What’s Great about GRATs?

By David A. Berek
August
2007
Column
Page 438
A look at how and why to use grantor retained annuity trusts.

Can lawyers patent their legal techniques?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2007
LawPulse
Page 342
A patent issued on an estate-planning technique has that bar buzzing.

Anna Nicole Smith’s Will

By Katarinna McBride
May
2007
Column
Page 270
Informal speculation about what becomes of Anna Nicole's estate.

Are Investment Advisory Fees 100-Percent Deductible?

By David A. Berek
February
2007
Column
Page 104
The federal circuits are split and the seventh circuit is silent.

New Pension Protection Act a Boon to Giving

By David A. Berek
November
2006
Column
Page 628
A new law lets age-70-plus taxpayers give up to $100K from their IRAs to charity.

Estate Planning for Disabled Adults: The Legal Framework

By Thomas A. Pasquesi
May
2006
Article
Page 242
A look at the standards that guide guardians and courts charged with making decisions on behalf of incompetent wards.

Legislation Would Reduce Confusion for Health Care, Property POA Agents

By David A. Berek
May
2006
Column
Page 262
Two important legislative proposals that estate planners should know about.

Higher Exclusion Limit Presents New Opportunities for Gifts to Minors

By David A. Berek
February
2006
Column
Page 94
A new law raised the gift tax ceiling: are you taking advantage for your clients?

Three New Illinois Laws Affect Estate-Planning Practice

By David A. Berek
November
2005
Column
Page 600
Find out more about Illinois estate-tax revisions, series LLCs, and the Disposition of Remains Act.

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.

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