Section Newsletter Articles on Trusts and Estates

Preserving the practice: Estate planning pitfalls for owners of a professional services firm By Aaron T. Troy and David F. Rolewick Trusts and Estates, May 2012 A brief summary of the possible problems associated with the death of a sole owner of a professional practice.
For what it’s worth—Odds and ends By Paul A. Meints Federal Taxation, April 2012 Updates of interest to tax practitioners.
Preparing a will for a client with communication challenges By Gerry W. Beyer Trusts and Estates, April 2012 This article reviews a variety of communication challenges and recommends techniques to reduce the likelihood of these challenges playing a part in setting aside the testator’s will.
Roth 401(k) plans By Leonard S. DeFranco Federal Taxation, April 2012 An overview of Roth accounts for retirement planning.
Whither the remainderman By Robert W. Kaufman and Amanda M. Byrne Trusts and Estates, April 2012 A discussion of the recent case of Carter v. Carter, and its treatment towards trust remaindermen.
Should your client consider a change of residency to avoid state estate taxes? By Margot Gordon Trusts and Estates, February 2012 To avoid state estate and income taxes, individuals who own homes in more than one state may be considering changing their residency to a state other than Illinois. Before one of your clients makes this decision, you will want to make sure that your client understands that changing his or her state residency can be fairly complicated.
Trust protectors By Thayer J. Herte Trusts and Estates, February 2012 How can the grantor ensure that after their death, their irrevocable trust is not modified in a way that totally turns on end or completely overrides their original intent? One option that has recently gained much attention is to name someone to be a “Trust Protector.”
2012 Estate/gift/income tax pointers By Paul A. Meints Trusts and Estates, January 2012 A comprehensive guide to the tax-related questions and issues that may arise in the coming year.
It’s more than the documents creating the estate plan and the taxes By Franklin M. Hartzell Trusts and Estates, January 2012 The author offers a list of topics to discuss with your client when planning for his or her future.
Historical review of inflation adjustments to estate tax exemptions By Gregg M. Simon Trusts and Estates, December 2011 A compilation of tables that illustrate the changes that have been made in estate tax exemptions over the years.
The Illinois gift tax and a planning opportunity, perhaps? By Gary R. Gehlbach Trusts and Estates, December 2011 With the $5 million federal gift and estate tax exemption and the $2 million Illinois estate tax exemption, a popular planning technique is to have clients make substantial lifetime gifts, using some or all of their $5 million federal gift tax exemption.
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?