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Category Archives: Law in General

2015 new laws

20 New Illinois Laws to Know for 2015

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Happy New Year! As the new year rings in, so do new Illinois laws taking affect. Roughly 220 new Illinois laws went into effect on January 1, 2015. Most are mundane and relatively uninteresting. But there are quite a few noteworthy new laws this year. Briefly summarized below (with links to the statute) are… Read More »

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Are you (and your Estate Plan) Ready for Some (Bears) Football?

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Over 60,000 Chicago Bears fans (and hopefully very few Packers fans) will converge on Soldier Field this Sunday to watch the Bears beat the Packers (the power of positive thinking, right?). Around half of them will be there by virtue of a “Permanent Seat License” (PSL). A PSL is a device mainly used for… Read More »


Illinois Emergency Contact Database

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

In July 2009, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office created an Emergency Contact Database. The program is free and voluntary and allows any Illinois ID cardholder (e.g. driver’s license, instruction permit or ID card) to designate one or two people to be contacted in case of an emergency, such as an auto crash. In… Read More »

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Short Answers to Long-Tail Google Search Questions

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Every once in awhile I check out our website’s Google Analytics page. It details things like how people find our website, what page they land on and where they are located. In the past, I would see almost all of the search queries. Over the last year though, Google changed its privacy settings such… Read More »


Illinois Same-Sex Marriage Law Now In Effect Statewide

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

On November 20, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a law legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois. While some counties began implementing the law prior to its effective date, the law went into full effect on June 1, 2014. After several years of failing to pass similar legislation, this legislative accomplishment followed on the heels… Read More »


Gift by Poetry: Dogged Unfairness or Poetic Justice?

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

In honor of April Fools Day (and National Poetry Month), today’s post reviews a new Illinois appellate court decision that seems like a spoof (or a law school exam question) — but isn’t. There are usually a handful of Illinois cases each month dealing with estate or trust issues. Many involve esoteric procedural matters… Read More »


Facebook Makes Memorialized Accounts More Public

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Last year I wrote an Introduction to Estate Planning for Digital Assets.  Digital assets include everything from e-mail to photo sharing to cloud music storage to social networks.  I explained that this is an emerging area without a lot of legal guidance and with a lot of change expected as laws and policies evolve… Read More »

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane /

IRS Clarifies New Same-Sex Marriage Tax Issues

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

As most of you are probably aware, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in June that struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Constitutional Due Process Challenge The case, United States vs. Windsor, was an estate tax case out of New York. Thea Spyer and Edith Windsor… Read More »


Free New Cook County Recorder of Deeds Property Fraud Alert System

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

The Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds has recently launched a new initiative aimed at helping homeowners discover and combat property and recording fraud.  Fraudsters filing forged documents (say that 5 times fast) against a homeowner’s property has become a white-collar crime of choice.  In many instances, the homeowner might not learn… Read More »


Illinois Attorney Kathleen Zellner Wins New Hearing for Wrongfully Convicted Missouri Man

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Today’s post does not involve trusts or estates, but instead highlights the tremendous work of a prominent local Illinois attorney, Kathleen Zellner.  Oak Brook-based Zellner represents Ryan Ferguson, a Missouri man who was convicted in 2005 for the 2001 murder of Columbia Tribune sports editor, Kent Heitholt.  Zellner was admitted pro hac vice (for this… Read More »