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Category Archives: Estate Planning


New Illinois Law Questions Bequests to Non-Family Caregivers

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

On August 26, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a brand new section in the Illinois Probate Act, at 755 ILCS 5/4-a, entitled “Presumptively Void Transfers.” While the intent of the new law is aimed squarely at non-family caregivers who may abuse their position by exercising undue influence, the law could have… Read More »

wrecking ball

5 Ways to Wreck a Good Estate Plan

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

You’ve taken the important step of working with an estate planning attorney to create an estate plan tailored to your needs. Maybe you’ve created a trust, a will and powers of attorney. You feel a sense of peace of mind. And you should. Estate planning need not be on your mind on a daily… Read More »


The New ‘Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets’ (UFADA) Act

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Last year I wrote an Introduction to Estate Planning for Digital Assets. One of the issues I highlighted is the lack of legal guidance addressing a fiduciary’s ability to access to digital assets. I noted that the Uniform Law Commission had formed a committee that was drafting model legislation known as the “Uniform Fiduciary… Read More »

filling out form

How to Prepare for Meeting with an Estate Planning Attorney

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

You’ve decided that you want to create your estate plan. It’s a wise choice, and committing to the process is the first step. You want an effective and comprehensive estate plan that accomplishes your goals, but you’re busy so you want the process to be efficient. The key is preparation. Consider taking the following… Read More »


6 Charitable Giving Internet Research Tools

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Charitable giving is a wonderful way to create a legacy, not only for yourself, but also to express your values to your children and to encourage them to become better citizens. But if you’re going to donate your hard-earned resources, you want to make wise choices. Part of the process includes working with an… Read More »

Living Will

Living Wills for all…in La Crosse, WI

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

NPR recently published an interesting and unique piece, entitled “The Town Where Everyone Talks About Death“. Something out of a Stephen King novel, perhaps? Despite the ominous and morbid sounding title, the article and accompanying radio story is actually about how Bud Hammes, a medical ethicist at a hospital in La Crosse, has encouraged… Read More »

Conflict and Resolution

10 Estate Planning Steps to Avoid Family Inheritance Disputes

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

In addition to representing trustees and executors named in estate plans that our firm has prepared, I also advise and represent clients in estate administration and litigation matters for estate plans that we did not create. While every family and estate plan is unique, when I review disputed or contested estate administration cases and… Read More »


The Illinois Intestacy Will: An Unplanned Estate Plan

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Are you thinking about creating a Will, but just have not gotten around to it yet?  You’re not alone.  I’m going to be completely honest with you, it’s not as much fun as watching a movie or going on vacation.  Procrastination can be a powerful force. Even if you’ve never thought about estate planning,… Read More »

time to change

Updating Living Trusts: Amendment vs. Restatement

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

One of the features of a revocable living trust is that it is easy to amend.  When a trust is created, the person(s) who creates the trust (the “grantor”) will typically reserve full rights to amend or restate the terms at any time in a writing delivered to the trustee. This power to amend… Read More »


Retirement Account Beneficiary Designations

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

One of the most common estate planning mistakes is failing to properly consider and execute beneficiary designation forms for all IRA’s and 401(k)’s.  Errors and oversights in beneficiary forms can lead to unintended consequences, including disinheriting intended beneficiaries and limiting income tax deferral options for beneficiaries. In a recent article, Forbes contributor Deborah L…. Read More »