Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Trusts

Read the letters to the Editor

December
2009
Column
Page 594
Use trusts, not wills in most cases; Robes, dickies, and wigs.

Illinois Supreme Court upholds jewish-marriage clause in trust provision

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2009
LawPulse
Page 546
But the court's narrow framing of the issue avoids the question of whether such religious restrictions in wills and trusts are broadly permissible.

New Law Promotes Private Trust-Administration Agreements

By Lyman W. Welch & Susan T. Bart
November
2009
Article
Page 562
The new Illinois virtual representation law allows more trustees and beneficiaries to resolve trust matters by private agreement.

2009 Spring Session Roundup

By Jim Covington
August
2009
Column
Page 396
A summary of key legislation.

Passing the Buck: Private Split-Dollar for Every Vocabulary

By Katarinna McBride
May
2009
Column
Page 262
Split-dollar agreements allow wealthy clients to use life-insurance trusts to avoid gift taxes and maximize estate value.

Beneficiaries can’t be given power to approve trustee accounts

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2009
LawPulse
Page 168
A trust can't allow a majority of beneficiaries to approve the trustee's accounts, the Illinois Appellate Court holds.

Estate Planning for FDIC Coverage

By Katarinna McBride
November
2008
Column
Page 590
New FDIC rules provide more protection for revocable trusts.

Living trust amendment drafted by a nonlawyer ruled invalid

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2008
LawPulse
Page 438
A living trust amendment drafted by a nonlawyer is invalid under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, the Illinois Appellate Court rules.

Trust and Trustees Act amended. PA 95-0605

April
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 180
The Trusts and Trustees Act has been amended by changing section 4 and adding section 4.26. 760 ILCS 5/4, 760 ILCS 5/4.26. 

Supremes limit trusts ability to subtract investment-advice costs

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2008
LawPulse
Page 118
The U.S. Supreme Court holds that trusts are subject to a two-percent floor for subtracting investment advisory fees from their taxable income.

Estate attorneys disqualified from representation of deceased client’s son

February
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 72
On December 3, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Du-Page County granting in part Northern Trust Company's motion to disqualify counsel for Peter Wright. 

Small-trust-termination amendment gets mixed reviews

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2007
LawPulse
Page 622
It’s good to allow trustees to terminate small trusts when fees are consuming income. But should income, rather than remainder, beneficiaries automatically get the proceeds?

Year-End Planning for Trust-and-Estate Clients

By David A. Berek
November
2007
Column
Page 606
It's not too late to implement some tax-saving strategies for your estate-planning clients.

Estate Planning for the Rest of Us

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2007
Cover Story
Page 520
Most people don't have estates large enough to owe tax when they die. But they still need estate-planning advice.

Helping Parents Plan for Children with Special Needs

By Kerry R. Peck & D. Rebecca Mitchell
February
2007
Article
Page 82
Drafting tips to help lawyers help parents plan, financially and otherwise, for special-needs children.

Living-trust scams: all too alive and well in Illinois

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2006
LawPulse
Page 642
Meanwhile, a recent Indiana Supreme Court opinion unambiguously declares that drafting a testamentary trust is the practice of law.

State can’t dun surviving spouse’s estate for nursing home bill

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2006
LawPulse
Page 398
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the state can't seek reimbursement for long-term care from a surviving spouse's estate, making the revocable living trust an even more attractive estate-planning tool. 

A trustee must serve the interest of the beneficiaries with total loyalty

November
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 564
On August 31, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of Rock Island County granting summary judgment for defendant trustees. 

Trust agreement provisions take precedence over the Principal and Income Act

August
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 390
On April 25, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting the petitioner's motion for summary judgment and denying the respondents' motion for summary judgment.

Trust transparency

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2005
LawPulse
Page 274
Members of an ISBA e-mail discussion group agree that despite a trustee's reluctance, beneficiaries are entitled to see trust instruments that confer benefits upon them.

A Trust Counsel’s Duty to Beneficiaries

By Robert S. Held
December
2004
Article
Page 636
Although the law is unsettled, attorneys for trusts may owe a fiduciary duty to trust beneficiaries.

Trustees dissatisfied with a judgment are free to appeal, but do so at their own risk and cost

October
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 514
On July 12, 2004, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court affirmed that part of the Circuit Court of McLean County's judgment that refused to award attorney's fees incurred by a trustee on appeal.

Posthumous pet protection provisions

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2004
LawPulse
Page 390
A new statute validates trusts for the benefit of pets, but what provisions should pet trusts include? Here are suggestions.

Trusts for Domestic Animals are Valid; P.A. 93-0668

June
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 292
Effective January 1, 2005, the Illinois Trust and Trustees Act will acknowledge the validity of a trust for the care of one or more designated domestic or pet animals.

Total Return Trusts Give Trustees Flexibility in Ever-changing Markets

By Louis S. Harrison, Erica E. Lord, & 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.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s 2002 Civil Cases: A New Court Settles In

By Nancy J. Arnold, Tim Eaton, & Michael T. Reagan
April
2003
Article
Page 172
Our annual review of the leading cases.

Wife’s petition for injunctive relief, compelling husband to reinstate her name as beneficiary of trust and prevent further transfer of marital property, failed to state cause of action

March
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 116
On November 27, 2002, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting the husband's motion to dismiss the wife's petition for injunctive relief for failure to state a cause of action.

New law will help trustees avoid Hobson’s Choice

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2002
LawPulse
Page 448
SB 1697, now awaiting Gov. Ryan's signature, will make it easier for trustees of certain commonly used trusts to invest the principal so as to benefit both income and remainder beneficiaries.

Funding Living Trusts: An Overview

By Richard P. Miller
December
2001
Article
Page 628
Creating a living trust is easy; funding it is another story. Here's a primer.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie McGrath
October
1999
Column
Page 514
Insurance policies and the discovery rule; read the fine print.

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