Estate Planning for Retirement Benefits
Illinois Institute for Continuing Learning Education

An overview of the rights of the spouse of a participant in a qualified retirement plan, the obligations of the qualified retirement plan with respect to the spouse, and the treatment of domestic partners with respect to retirement plan benefits under current law.

September 10, 2015
Journal of Passthrough Entities

As estate planners, we often focus on our role as strategists, planners that set up a workable estate plan. Examples include establishing a family limited partnership to achieve estate tax discounts, or creation of one or more trusts for estate tax reduction, or establishment of a trust for creditor or spousal protection.

Journal of Passthrough Entities

In one of its most important valuation decisions since the 1981 valuation opinion in MF Bright Est., the Fifth Circuit in J.A. Elkins Est., addressed the issue of whether a partial interest in artwork is entitled to a discount, and at what level.

Practical Tax Strategies

There are numerous elections that fiduciaries can make on estate and trust federal income tax returns to help maximize tax efficiency for the entity and its beneficiaries. One such election is the Section 643(e)(3) election, which permits a fiduciary to treat the distribution of in-kind property as having been sold by the entity to the beneficiaries at fair market value (FMV), thereby triggering potential gain, among other consequences.

Liability Insurance: The Strongest Pillar in an Asset Protection Plan
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

"Asset protection" has remained a hot, though oftentimes mysterious, term in the legal field for some time now. Many times, it carries with it a dirty connotation (e.g. a texting driver blows a red light doing 80mph in his Aston Martin, causing a fatal accident in Chicago, then two days later, transfers all of his assets to his brother in California as "a gift").

September 22, 2014

With the increased use of intervivos trusts, it is now less common to have ancillary administration in Illinois in estates of nonresident decedents. Attorneys representing nonresidents of the State of Illinois should counsel clients to use a revocable “living” trust for Illinois assets so the delay and expense of administration in Illinois, as an ancillary jurisdiction, will be eliminated. 

August 1, 2014
Journal of Passthrough Entities

For our clients' businesses in the partnership format, the interplay of income tax planning and estate planning will continue to present sophisticated challenges. This is particularly demonstrated by questions regarding the 3.8-percent tax on net investment income under Code Sec. 1411 (c), and whether material participation by the trustees avoids passive income for a trust that receives trade or business income from an operating partnership.

Trusts & Estates

Donor advised funds (DAFs)1 and private foundations (PFs)2 are often compared and con- trasted.  Those making the comparisons often quickly conclude that a DAF is the better choice. More and more it seems that DAFs are becoming the  reflexive recommendation of many advisors. Almost before a client describes her charitable  desires—or how large the —the advisor enthusiastically decrees, “The DAF is the right choice for you!”

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Many of us are familiar with the English wedding rhyme that describes what a bride should wear on her wedding day for good luck: Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue, And a silver sixpence in her shoe. As cohabitation before marriage in continues to rise, now, more than ever, a bride’s something new may be her pregnancy.

April 21, 2014
The Journal of Passthrough Entities

In 2014 and going forward, income tax planning in estate planning will be parallel in importance to estate tax planning. For estate planners, planning for the step-up in basis (until that too is repealed) is a critical step. And in the partnership context, that step becomes critical. Typically, discounts for estate tax purposes reduce the potential step-up in basis and are therefore costly from an income tax perspective. That increased income tax burden will become apparent when a partner exits from the partnership.