The Virtual Attorney Blog

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Welcome to 2016! If you’re like me, you’ve spent the first few weeks of the New Year trying to get organized and set some goals for the year to come.  Whether it’s a new workout regimen, quitting smoking, spending more time with family, or something else, the start of a new year presents a natural opportunity to make some small changes to improve ourselves and our lives. One item that you may have been putting off for a while may be putting an estate plan in place to protect your family. And, if you haven’t done so, I’m happy to help you make 2016 the year you...

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A revocable trust is one that is created during the life of the grantor, and its primary uses are to manage property during the grantor’s life and reduce the cost and time associated with probate upon the grantor’s death while permitting the grantor to retain an amount of control over the assets it holds. Along with the ability to retain control over the assets in a revocable trust, a grantor retains the power to amend or even revoke the trust entirely during his life. 


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In 2015 it is estimated that 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's, most of those over the age of 65. Surprisingly though, a few hundred thousand of those cases occur in individuals younger than 65. As everyone knows, Alzheimer’s is a condition that reduces cognitive function due to degeneration of the brain. Unfortunately, the number of patients living with Alzheimer’s is only expected to rise over the next decade.  While advancements in medicine offer some promising hope for earlier diagnosis, and...

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Knowing the differences between federal and state estate tax laws is essential for estate planning attorneys that want to ensure they are minimizing any tax burden on their clients. 

In Illinois, there are some important differences when it comes to estate tax considerations, including an exclusion amount that differs from the federal exclusion amount by over $1 million, the ability to use portability when planning for married couples, and differeing gift exclusion amounts which open up the potential...

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The leaves are just beginning to fall outside, but we’re already seeing changes to the Illinois Power of Attorney Act that will become effective on January 1, 2016. The changes are relatively minor compared to some of the most recent statutory restructuring that has occurred over the past few years. But, they are important nevertheless. For those that are bold enough to draft and execute their own statutory short form powers of attorney or maybe even an entirely customized HCPOA, the changes carry implications...

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An update is likely coming to the Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act which will make it more efficient for the trustee of an Illinois trust to deal with third parties and trust property. Illinois SB1877 will write into the Act (760 ILCS 5) a new section expressly authorizing the trustee to use a “Certification of Trust” in order to deal with trust affairs. Previously, when a trustee wished to act in his or her capacity as trustee, he often found that third...

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