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Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates

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Pass Through Deduction in New Tax Bill Unlikely to Slow Trend Toward Industry Consolidation

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law on December 22, 2017 by President Trump added a new deduction for noncorporate taxpayers (i.e. S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and trusts) who have qualified business income.  This deduction, found in section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code, is also referred to as the “business pass-through income deduction.” 

The changing face of estate planning

Adlai Stevenson said that which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another.

Tax, legal developments signal estate plan review

It has often been said the only constant in life is change.

Succession Planning: Avoid Pitfalls in Buy-Sell Agreements

Buy-sell agreements are an important tool in developing any successful succession plan for a business.

Don’t Let 2010 Fade Away Without Careful Review

Another year will soon be added to our storehouse of memories. But before we start pasting items into that scrapbook we will remember as 2010, there is still time to consider what we might yet do to live up to those New Years resolutions we all made last January. This past year has involved a great deal of uncertainty, change and anxiety, in both the economic and political arenas. The fluctuations in the financial markets and the significant rebalancing of political influence evidenced by the recent elections should have caused all of us to more carefully examine our own situations.

‘Tis the Season

Like most Americans, your finances have probably declined in value this year. The silver lining to the bad economic scenario presents the “perfect moment” to make gifts to one’s heirs. Revenue procedure 2008-66 was recently issued by the IRS setting forth increases in certain exempt amounts that are indexed to inflation. Beginning with the calendar year 2009, the amount of the annual exclusion gift made to any person (other than gifts of future interests in property) increases from $12,000 per calendar year to $13,000 per calendar year.

Trust Administration

Revocable living trusts are used by estate planning attorneys to accomplish a variety of objectives. Although “revocable living trusts” avoid probate and facilitate the administration of the trustmaker’s estate, there may still be certain legal formalities which should be followed.

What Is The “Best Deal” In Tax Law Today?

The use of a “Dynasty Trust” is a wasted exemption for many estate plans. For example, a trust funded with $500,000 growing at 7% annually could be worth over $1.9 million after 20 years.

Illinois Estate Tax Alert

The federal government enacted legislation in 2001 that provided for significant increases in the federal estate tax exemption. In 2008, estates under $2,000,000.00 are exempt from federal estate taxes. This legislation has been well publicized. Less widely reported, however, have been the responses of state governments, which had historically tied their estate tax system to the federal estate tax system.

Leaving Property for Young Children

One of the primary objectives of many clients is to protect and provide for their minor children should something happen to the parents. The first step in this process is to name Guardians
under a Last Will and Testament. Guardians are the individuals who will have the care, custody and control of your children. The guardian is the person who makes the decision as to where a child would live or attend school. However, structuring a sound method for the control and management
of your assets for the benefi t of minor children is an equally important aspect of an estate plan.

Powers of Appointment: Flexibility in Estate Planning Documents

An individual who prepares a Trust (a “Trustmaker”) as part of his or her estate plan faces many choices in deciding how to divide his or her estate. One of the choices the Trustmaker may face is whether the assets to be distributed at his death should be distributed outright to the beneficiary; or, whether they should be held in trust for the benefit of the beneficiary.

Illinois To Increase Its Estate Tax in 2009

In 2009, when the federal applicable exclusion amount increases from $2 million to $3.5 million, Illinois will retain the $2 million exemption for Illinois estate tax purposes. This is referred to as “decoupling.”

Planning Ideas for 2008

Many clients have taken advantage of family limited partnerships (FLPs) to help reduce the value of the assets owned by a client at the time of death. Lack of control and lack of marketability justify discounts. When the value of the asset owned at death is reduced, the estate tax is also reduced. FLPs have been used in a similar fashion to reduce the value of gifts made during life.