Section Newsletter Articles on Trusts and Estates

Make fiduciary accounting software work for you By Janet L. Grove Trusts and Estates, December 2011 A discussion of the benefits of using software to manage the office's accounts.
Child as trustee: A per se conflict? By Gary R. Gehlbach Trusts and Estates, November 2011 Is it permissible for a child of the settlor to act as a trustee of the settlor’s revocable living trust or of a testamentary trust created by the settlor, if the child-trustee is also a contingent remainder beneficiary?
The new Civil Union Act and its effect on the Illinois Probate Act By Joanna M. Lekkas Trusts and Estates, November 2011 While intestacy laws may protect surviving spouses who are parties to a civil union, it is important to keep in mind that only six states recognize these unions. Therefore, estate planning for disability and death remain important tools for same-sex couples.
Who gets an accounting? A case summary of Sanders v. Stasi, 2011 IL App (4th) 100750 By Sean D. Brady Trusts and Estates, November 2011 Is a beneficiary of a trust entitled to receive an accounting from the trustee even when there is not sufficient income generated by the trust to trigger the income payment to that beneficiary?
Using a probate citation for recovering real estate & more… By Philip E. Koenig Trusts and Estates, October 2011 An overview of Citations for Recovery of property, who may bring a citation proceeding and what property may be recovered in such a proceeding, as well as some sample pleadings.
“Sorry, my mistake”: Correcting putative testamentary errors By Malcolm L. Morris Trusts and Estates, September 2011 Upon application of any interested person, the court may reform the terms of a will, even if unambiguous, to conform the terms to the testator’s intent if it is proved by clear and convincing evidence that both the accomplishment of the testator’s intent and the terms of the will were affected by a mistake of fact or law, whether in expression or inducement.
Ethics corner: The ethics of working with non-attorney professionals By Darrell Dies Trusts and Estates, July 2011 A look at some of the issues involved with providing estate planning and estate administration services to a financial planning firm's clients.
Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act awaits governor’s signature By Charles G. Brown Trusts and Estates, July 2011 An overview of the Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act, written by the author of the bill.
Summary of Illinois Practitioner Liaison Committee meeting—May 2, 2011 By Robert Weber Trusts and Estates, July 2011 A summary of trusts & estates-affecting portions of the Practitioner Liaison Committee meeting.
Illinois legislation update: Trust, probate, powers of attorney, property issues By Lesser, Lutrey & McGlynn LLP Trusts and Estates, June 2011 Legislation affecting trust & estate attorneys.
Poruba v. Poruba: Partitioning a life estate from a remainder interest By Michael R. Lucas Elder Law, June 2011 In Poruba v. Poruba, the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s action finding that a single life tenant has no authority to force a partition upon a single remainderman.
Estate and Gift Tax recent cases and rulings By Joseph P. O’Keefe, Elizabeth C. Hesselbach, and Paul A. Fagyal Federal Taxation, February 2011 A summary of recent cases from the past year.
2010 year-end estate planning: Navigating the uncertainty By Gregg M. Simon Trusts and Estates, December 2010 While many of the usual planning techniques remain viable, the current state of the transfer tax laws provides for additional opportunities but makes 2010 year-end planning a bigger challenge than in past years.
Record low interest rates mean good times for estate planning By Gregg M. Simon Trusts and Estates, December 2010 The current economic environment presents significant opportunities for leveraging tax savings and transferring wealth to descendants on a tax-advantaged basis.
Billion dollar baby: The Supreme Court will once again review Anna Nicole Smith case By Katarinna McBride Trusts and Estates, November 2010 The Court will now review if Ms. Smith (or Ms. Smith’s estate) received a proper hearing in federal courts (a procedural question), and whether state probate courts (Texas) should be the proper venue for hearing such cases.
Estate planning by guardians: The next generation By Robert W. Kaufman Trusts and Estates, November 2010 Although guardianship law has come a long way over the years, recent cases demonstrate there is still conflicting authority on these matters.
A question of health By Jay S. Goldenberg Trusts and Estates, November 2010 Suggested language to add to a statutory form so that medical information can be released to a designated person other than the primary Health Care Agent.
George Steinbrenner’s estate tax homerun By Robert J. Kolasa Trusts and Estates, October 2010 Since Mr. Steinbrenner died in 2010 (a year in which there may be no federal estate taxes), his heirs pitched the proverbial perfect game and escaped with a zero estate tax bill.
Pet trusts: Practice tips for Fluffy (or Fido) By Eugenia C. Hunter Elder Law, October 2010 What will happen to your client's beloved pet if she becomes ill, incapacitated or dies?
Trust TBE Creditor Protection—A bonanza or a boondoggle? By Gregg M. Simon Trusts and Estates, September 2010 Because of uncertainty as to how the Illinois tenancy by the entirety statute may be applied, until clarified by remedial legislation, case law or otherwise, utilization of this statute may not be prudent.
Life insurance litigation post-divorce: Easy to avoid, commonly neglected By Lauren J. Wolven and Ashley Crettol Trusts and Estates, August 2010 Even if a valid waiver is included in the divorce decree, practitioners should also impress upon their clients the importance of changing their beneficiary designations.
The DOs and DON’Ts when seeking fees in probate By Martin W. Siemer Elder Law, June 2010 A recent decision handed down by the First District Appellate Court, In re Estate of Bitoy, provides a good review of fee issues in probate estates.
Exploring and exploiting the Internet: A guide for estate planning attorneys By Jay S. Goldenberg Trusts and Estates, June 2010 Some helpful Web sites and links for Trusts & Estates attorneys.
A frequently asked question of elder law attorneys By Ford C. June, III Elder Law, June 2010 A description of Illinois' Health Care Surrogate Act.
Legal business models: Ethical concerns of adjusting to client demands By Darrell Dies Trusts and Estates, June 2010 How do the personalities and expectations of a new generation of clients affect a lawyer's practice?
New senior minefield: The DRA comes to Illinois Elder Law, June 2010 The Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 imposes harsh penalties against seniors who gift money to family members and charities.
Not just a bill By Mary Cascino Elder Law, June 2010 HB 6477, which revises the Illinois Power of Attorney Act to minimize abuses, has passed the Illinois General Assembly and is ready for the Governor to sign.
The “real” living will* By Roza Gossage Elder Law, June 2010 A few light-hearted final words.
2010 Bank Convenience Accounts: An exciting new tool? By Graham Boardman Schmidt Trusts and Estates, May 2010 Many bank customers may find it useful to establish an account that grants possession, but not title, of funds to another individual.
Basis adjustments for 2010 estates: A navigation system for unknown routes By Alan E. Stumpf Trusts and Estates, April 2010 In 2010, the basis of property acquired from a decedent is no longer automatically stepped-up. Rather, the basis is the decedent’s adjusted basis in that property or the fair market value of the property on the date of death, whichever is less.