Illinois Bar Journal


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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.