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Recent Blog Posts

Banks Daley Plaza

Ernie Banks Estate, Part 9: Answer to the Will Contest

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

This is the ninth installment in my series on various legal aspects of the Estate of Ernie Banks. You can read my first eight pieces here. It’s been a couple of months since my last update on the Banks Estate case. Quick recap: Ernie’s surviving wife, Elizabeth Banks, filed a combined will and trust… Read More »


IllinoisEstatePlan Made the ABA Journal Blawg 100 for 2015!

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Well, this is a pleasant surprise. Last week I received an e-mail that started like this: Dear Blawgger, Congratulations are in order. Your blawg has earned a spot in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100, our 9th annual list of the best in blogs about lawyers and the law. The complete list of the 9th… Read More »


Year-End Annual Exclusion Gifting: Basics and Benefits

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Is it better to give than to receive? If you’re trying to reduce your estate tax exposure, it sure is. But before you start giving, you need to know the basic gift tax rules of the road. If your estate will be subject to estate tax under the current applicable estate tax exemptions, even… Read More »


Dividing the Estate: Equal vs. Unequal

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

“I leave my estate in equal shares to create one share for each then living child of mine and one share, per stirpes, for the then living descendants of each deceased child of mine.” Perhaps a majority of parents’ estate plans include a similar provision. It’s simple, clean and usually non-controversial. But what if… Read More »


The Good Wife, Probate and Sticky Notes

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Spoiler Alert: If you have the Oct. 4 season premiere of The Good Wife on your DVR, you may want to look away. Alicia has a new estate case Alicia has her first new client, apparently from her website (although we later learn that the client was referred by Louis Canning). Ms. Smulders explains… Read More »

Ernie Banks Eddie Vedder

Ernie Banks Estate, Part 8: Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

This is the eighth in my series on various legal aspects of the Estate of Ernie Banks. You can read my first seven installments here. Blogging has been a bit light lately with fall madness — and the Cubs playoff chase — upon us, but I wanted to update readers on the latest developments…. Read More »


New State, New Estate Plan? Why a Review After Moving is a Good Idea

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

We are a mobile society. More than 7 million Americans relocate to a new state each year. With an interstate move comes big changes — a new job (or retirement), new neighbors, a new drivers license. What about a new estate plan? One of the most common questions I hear — both from past… Read More »


Ernie Banks Estate, Part 7: Intro to Will and Trust Contests

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

This is the seventh in my series on various legal aspects of the Estate of Ernie Banks. You can read my first six installments here. Before I get into today’s main topic, I want to update regular readers on developments since my last installment on July 28. As you’re probably aware, Elizabeth Banks filed… Read More »


District 211 Trusts & Estates Class Announcement for Fall 2015

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

I will be teaching an adult continuing education class for District 211 covering a broad range of estate planning and estate administration topics. Topics include asset ownership, wills, trusts, probate, trust administration, estate and gift tax, powers of attorney, beneficiary designations and more. The class takes place at Palatine High School from 7pm to… Read More »

Blended Family

Blended Families and the Accidental Disinheritance

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Robin Williams, Casey Kasem, Dennis Hopper, Tom Clancy, Gene Roddenberry and Audrey Hepburn. What do they all have in common? They all left blended families that found themselves in court battling each other over estate issues. These types of clashes are not unique to the rich and famous. By their very nature, blended families… Read More »