Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Gottlieb, LLC

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I wanted to personally update all past, current and future clients regarding the coronavirus impact on my office and on estate planning and probate in general. My family and I are doing well, and I hope you are too. I know that these are challenging times, but I am confident we will all get through this together. Office Hours and Operation While nothing right now is business as usual for any of us, I am fortunate to be able to continue to service past, current and future clients alike. My plan over at least the next two weeks is to…
Happy New Year everyone! I know I haven’t written on this blog in a little while, but there are some brand new estate planning and estate administration changes that I will be discussing in the coming weeks and months. Today I will outline the MAJOR change passed late in 2019 that will impact the way your beneficiaries will inherit retirement accounts and may impact how you choose to designate beneficiaries in your estate plan. Do You Feel Secure? The “Secure Act” (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019) was signed into law on December 20, 2019 and…
Last week I summarized the 2018 rates and exemptions for gift, estates and trusts. Compared to the major tax code reforms to personal and business taxation, the estate tax changes appear relatively straightforward. The estate tax was not repealed, but the unified Federal gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions more than doubled overnight from $5.49 million in 2017 to $11.2 million in 2018. That doubled exemption will remain inflation-indexed and in force until the doubling “sunsets” in 2026, at which time the exemption will revert to $5 million inflation-indexed from 2011. But simple changes often have important implications. Here…
I previously provided summaries of estate and gift taxes for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Unlike the minor changes of the prior few years, 2018 brings major federal tax law changes via the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” signed late 2017, which includes significant changes to Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Here is an executive summary of the Federal and Illinois estate, gift and generation skipping tax exemptions and rates for 2018: Federal Estate Tax 2018 Exemption Equivalent: $11,200,000* (up from $5,490,000 in 2017) Annual Inflation Indexing: Yes* (rounded annually to…
If you haven’t already heard, Bob Glorch is retiring from the practice of law next week, at the end of 2017.  Bob retires after a 50-year distinguished legal career focused on estate planning. I had the great fortune of being hired by Bob as a law clerk in 1998 while attending DePaul Law, and two years later, I became Bob’s associate. At the end of 2014, Bob sold the practice to me, while staying on as “Of Counsel” to complete the transition. Bob has now completed his tour of duty and has more than earned his free time to cycle,…
In an unexpected move, the IRS announced in Rev. Proc. 2017-34 (June 9, 2017) that estates who failed to file an optional estate tax return (Form 706) to elect “portability” of a deceased spouse’s unused exemption (DSUE) now have until at least January 2, 2018 to file. This relief extends all the way back to estates of individuals who died in 2011 or after, and left a surviving spouse. To learn about the basics of portability and why it can be so valuable, read about why I called it “the tax election every surviving spouse must consider” in…
This is the third and final post in a series about new Illinois probate and estate laws taking effect in late 2016 or the beginning of 2017.  Read Part 1 and Part 2. In all, last year the Illinois legislature passed 192 new laws. To download a summary of all of them in an excel chart, click here. This week I will provide short summaries of seven additional new Illinois laws that relate to real property, guardianship, disability and death. 1. Transfers of Property into Trust. Public Act 099-0743 (eff. 1/1/17) requires all transfers of real property into…
This is the second in a series of posts about new Illinois probate and estate laws taking effect in late 2016 or the beginning of 2017. One of the primary tasks of an executor or successor trustee is to ascertain and marshal the decedent’s assets. As an attorney who regularly advises and assists executors and trustees, one of the items that is always on my checklist is “unclaimed property.” What is unclaimed property? It’s property that has been turned over to the State after it has been abandoned and not claimed by the true owner. This could be a utility…
This post will be the first in a series of posts about new Illinois probate and estate laws taking effect in late 2016 or the beginning of 2017. I have been writing about the emerging issues surrounding estate planning for digital assets for several years (read all of my posts here). After years of debate and revisions, states began introducing and passing legislation in 2016 based upon the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA) passed by the Uniform Law Commission.  At last count, at least 25 states have enacted legislation based closely on the RUFADAA approach.…
I previously provided summaries of estate and gift taxes for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. As with the last few years, the changes at the beginning of this year are primarily inflation adjustments. For 2017, the unified federal estate, gift and GST tax exemption rises by just $40,000 — from $5.45 million in 2016 to $5.49 million in 2017. Here is an executive summary of the current Federal and Illinois estate, gift and generation skipping tax exemptions and rates for 2017: Federal Estate Tax Exemption Equivalent: $5,490,000 (up $40,000) Annual Inflation Indexing: Yes (rounded annually to the…