2010 year-end estate planning: Navigating the uncertaintyBy Gregg M. SimonDecember 2010While 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.
Awarding attorney fees in fiduciary duty casesBy Lawrence E. Varsek & Roman R. OkreiMarch 2010Illinois courts have made clear that they will enter an award against a person who breaches his fiduciary duty when that person benefits from the breach and causes harm to the party or parties to which they owe a fiduciary duty.
Congress may be frozen, but the Supreme Court is acting!By Philip E. KoenigFebruary 2010Normally, the activity of the United States Supreme Court and the Illinois Supreme Court has little effect on the work of trust and estate lawyers. In 2009, however, there were three decisions of note: one by the U.S. Supreme Court and two by the Illinois Supreme Court that are of significance and importance to trust and estate lawyers.
Estate plan prepared by guardian not ripe for challengeBy Margot GordonJanuary 2010In October 2009, the First District dismissed the appeal of the former caretaker and nephew-in-law of a disabled person (both of whom were named in the disabled person’s prior estate planning documents) of the dismissal of their challenge to the corporate guardian’s new estate plan for the disabled person for lack of standing.
George Steinbrenner’s estate tax homerunBy Robert J. KolasaOctober 2010Since 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.
Not just a billBy Mary CascinoMay 2010HB 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.
Note from the EditorBy Katarinna McBrideAugust 2010Where do you believe estate law is headed? E-mail your thoughts to newsletter editor Katarinna McBride.
A question of healthBy Jay S. GoldenbergNovember 2010Suggested 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.
Say bye-bye to passive activity losses: A possible past-time for LLCs and LLPsBy Jesse T. CoyleJanuary 2010Limited liability companies (LLCs) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) are well ingrained as two of the preferred techniques used by estate planning professionals. Both LLCs and LLPs offer significant advantages that many other techniques do not: valuation discounts, retention of control, and tax efficiency. To the delight of those individuals who use LLCs and LLPs in their estate planning work, the perceived tax efficiency of these methods has improved through two recent court cases.
Terms of engagementBy Darrell DiesJanuary 2010If using an engagement letter is a foreign concept to you, then you will benefit from reviewing this article, which summarizes a couple of the new Rules of Professional Conduct adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court that became effective January 1, 2010
Trust TBE Creditor Protection—A bonanza or a boondoggle?By Gregg M. SimonSeptember 2010Because 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.