Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Trusts And Estates

Don’t miss this full-day seminar in Chicago or via live webcast on June 9, 2017 that offers valuable information on how to handle an assortment of complex issues facing certain families during the administration of an estate, including drafting appropriate estate planning documents, enforcing settlement agreements, repairing documents that do not work, understanding administrative provisions of trust instruments, administering qualified retirement assets, and preparing fiduciary tax returns. Attendees with intermediate or advanced experience in estate planning, probate, tax planning, trust construction, tax preparation, trust and estate administration, chancery, or charitable planning representing fiduciaries who attend this seminar will better understand: the role of the trust protector; statutory and common law techniques available to fiduciaries and beneficiaries; trust construction, modification, and decanting; charitable trust reformation and how to assure grantor’s intent is met; use of apportionment provisions in planning documents; inherited IRAs; typical issues faced in tax return preparation; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Trusts & Estates Section and qualifies for 6.25 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

ISBA member John Ahern of Chicago recently posted this query to the ISBA Trusts and Estates Section discussion group: "Client has no family and few friends. Client asks her attorney to be the agent on her powers of attorney and trustee on her trust and he agrees. Attorney creates the documents and discloses that he prepared them. He is not a beneficiary. Is there any specific prohibition that anyone is aware of for the attorney?"

Timothy S. Midura of Wheaton responded, saying this in part: "[There's no] 'prohibition.' [But have] your 'eyes wide open' for 1) any estate/beneficiary disputes that [the lawyer] might become a lightning rod for and 2) even higher (or highest) standards of fiduciary conduct/capability due to [being a member of the] legal profession. Bottom line: Be ready and able to do a superb job." Find out more in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

The fax machine is almost as quaint a relic as the typewriter, and Grandma loves her iPad. Isn’t it time for an Illinois statute that expressly provides for electronic wills? That’s the question Darrell Dies posed recently in the ISBA Trusts & Estates Section newsletter.

He notes that since 2002 the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) has “ensured the validity and legal effect of contracts entered into electronically.” In 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court promulgated statewide e-filing standards and encouraged circuit court clerks to implement them. Yet the probate process remains squarely in the world of “paper, lots of paper,” he writes.

Of course, just because no statute expressly authorizes digital wills doesn’t mean a court would refuse to recognize one. In fact, last year an Ohio judge recognized a will signed on a tablet with a stylus. But a statute is a far more efficient and comprehensive way to move the probate process into the digital age.

Thus far, only one state has an electronic will statute – Nevada, which, as Dies informs us, has no income or estate tax. And the statute also illustrates the many e-will obstacles that remain, including concerns about authentication, confidentiality, tampering, and fraud. Read his article for more, including a look at the Nevada statute.

So how will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) affect your estate planning clients as the rollout rolls along? Well, there is some bad news and some good news, write Steve Buttice and Darrell Dies in the latest ISBA Trusts & Estates newsletter.

Or, put another way, there are some tax increases and tax reductions. That means it's time to look at Obamacare-driven estate planning opportunities if you haven't already done so, especially for high-earning clients.

For example, a couple of new Medicare taxes kick in this year for high earners, one on earned income and one on investment income. As for earned income, there's not much your clients can do except "earn less," Buttice and Dies say. But for investment income, they write, "savvy estate planners might consider advising clients, in tandem with their investment advisors, to consider using Roth IRAs which do not give off taxable income, installment sales which spread out taxable income, contributions to charitable remainder trusts which act to defer taxable income or reduce net investment income with tax exempt bonds or consider the viability of using other insurance products to avoid the new tax." Read their article.

Master the basics of administering a decedent’s probate estate with this full-day seminar in Bloomington on October 23rd! Follow along as respected estate planning practitioners guide you through the estate administration process – from the initial meeting with clients to closing the estate. Trusts and estate professionals with basic to intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar will better understand: What needs to be discussed during the initial client meeting; how to determine if probate is necessary or appropriate; the appropriate procedures for locating heirs and legatees; how to prepare an Affidavit of Heirship; how to handle claims against the estate; the tax consequences of distributions from the estate; when to use disclaimers and Powers of Appointment; how to create a plan for distribution; how to avoid conflicts of interest; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Trusts & Estates Section and qualifies for 6.0 hours MCLE credit, including 0.75 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Back in February, Steven E. Siebers and Emily Scheuring Jones wrote about Cain v. Hamer, a taxpayer friendly Illinois Appellate Court ruling. Cain effectively allowed snowbirds who spend time down south to continue to own their Illinois homes while being treated as nonresidents for Illinois income tax purposes. (A nonresident pays no Illinois tax on income from non-Illinois sources.)

Well, the Illinois Department of Revenue was not amused. In the August ISBA Trusts and Estates newsletter, Siebers and Jones report that in response to Cain, the IDR changed its regs to make it tougher for Illinoisans to qualify as nonresidents. Here's what the new regs provide:

Are you a trust and estate professional, new attorney, financial planner, or accountant? Then don’t miss this hot topic discussion on a variety of estate planning issues in Chicago on October 10th! Designed for attorneys with all levels of practice experience, the seminar examines practical developments for estate planning practitioners and enhances your knowledge in a number of key areas, including: the recent changes in Federal and Illinois estate planning law; the ins and outs for irrevocable life insurance trusts; planning for disability; how to use available domestic and extra-jurisdictional vehicles to mitigate threats to your client’s wealth; the charitable planning choices and the rules for each type of gift; and same-sex planning. Can’t attend the live seminar in Chicago? Then join us via the web….this program is being broadcast as a live webcast via the Internet so attorneys can attend remotely! Click here for more information.

The program is presented by the ISBA Trusts & Estates Section and qualifies for 6.0 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register for the live program.

Join us in Chicago on April 25th for an in-depth look at the basic estate planning tools you need to effectively assist your estate planning clients! Learn the essentials of the initial client meeting, the appropriate use of advanced directives and the ethical considerations in the estate planning process. Don’t miss this opportunity to update your basic knowledge of wills, trusts, and formulating your client’s estate plan. Trusts and estate professionals, new attorneys, small and closely-held business counsel, financial planners and accountants with beginning to intermediate experience who attend this seminar will: learn how to obtain relevant information during the initial client meeting; be better prepared to draft dispositive provisions in a will; understand how to personalize a client’s will; learn to recognize potential gift and estate tax issues; understand the importance of funding trusts; learn to recognize potential gift and estate tax issues; be able to avoid the various pitfalls that may arise throughout the estate planning process; and better understand the ethical considerations in estate planning, including engagement letters, identifying conflicts, and complying with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.

The program is presented by the ISBA Trusts & Estate Section Council and qualifies for 6.25 hours MCLE credit, including 1.75 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Master the basics of administering a guardianship estate with this informative full-day seminar in Bloomington on February 15th! Discover the various issues surrounding guardianship estates for disabled persons as respected estate planning practitioners guide you through a number of topics, including who qualifies as a disabled person and why a guardian may be necessary; types of guardianship estates and who may serve as a guardian; the guardianship appointment process; requirements for opening and closing the guardianship estate; the powers, duties, and limitations of the guardian; investment requirements and fiduciary accountings; contested guardianships and how to avoid and/or settle them; the roles of the Public Guardian and Office of State Guardian; and the ethical issues to consider when acting as Power of Attorney.

The program is presented by the ISBA Trusts and Estates Section and qualifies for 6.5 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

The General Assembly is grappling with a $2.7 billion Medicaid funding gap in the as of yet unpublished "SMART" bill. One of the pieces in it may be a reversal of the Medicaid eligibility rules in the compromise last fall between the Department of Healthcare and Family Services' and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. An excellent and comprehensive summary of that compromise may be found here in the January 2012 Illinois Bar Journal (by Diana Law and William Siebers). Some of these changes may include the following: (1) A home held in a trust, even an individual’s personal revocable living trust, shall no longer be considered homestead property. (2) People over the age of 65 can no longer participate in a federally created OBRA Pooled Trust. (3) A healthy spouse still living at home will receive only the minimum resource allowance instead of the maximum allowance as previously approved by JCAR. Whatever action the General Assembly may take on this issue will occur in the next ten days, and we'll try to keep you informed to the extent we can.