Blog

  • How to Stay Connected with Kaufman Law Group, LLC

    || 19-Apr-2016

    At Kaufman Law Group, LLC, we know that estate planning can be a complex and emotionally overwhelming endeavor and work hard to ease the process by providing clients with clear and comprehensive legal counsel. Our law firm has over 34 years of legal experience and has the documented success needed to prove that their Cook County estate planning attorneys provide effective legal counsel. Schedule ...
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  • NEWSLETTER: 2016 Law Changes

    || 11-Jan-2016

    Happy New Year. As is their practice every year, the Illinois General Assembly passed new laws which are effective January 1, 2016. Here are just a few. Some follow cultural trends. Others are just interesting. One important trend is increasing emphasis on the needs of senior citizens. An increasing proportion of our work is in this area. Driving: DUI: An individual with 4 convictions for driving ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors, Community The tax code allows a family to save $6,550 (on a pre-tax basis) in a health savings account. These accounts are designed to cover deductibles and co-pays in a health care plan with cost sharing and relatively high deductibles. Is it better to fund an HSA pre-tax or a savings account after tax? Fund an HSA or Taxable Account? If a family contributes the maximum to ...
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  • Supreme Court Holds Inherited IRAs Are Not Asset Protected

    || 24-Jun-2014

    For Clients, Advisors and Community. If you or your parents have an IRA with six figures or more, you need to read this article carefully. A word of introduction: An “inherited IRA” is an account originally established by Mom or Dad and at the death of Mom or Dad is held for the benefit of son or daughter or grandchild (or other relative). It is typically titled, “Mom or Dad IRA ...
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  • A Lesson From Phillip Seymour Hoffman

    || 10-Mar-2014

    For Clients, Advisors and Community. My staff will tell you that I take pride in writing my own blog articles. I don’t have a ghost writer and I don’t buy a service. This very recent article in “Wealth Management” quoted below is so well written that I can’t possibly do better. Large parts of this blog are taken directly from that article. (“Keeping Up with ...
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  • Sylvia had her estate plan drafted. It was a revocable trust and pour over will. The terms of the trust provide that upon her death, the assets are to be divided between her two daughters, Alicia and Olivia. She made it clear that she wanted everything divided 50/50. The trust was funded with six different bank accounts. She didn’t tell her attorneys about one account. It was a $200,000 ...
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  • A Very Unexpected Use - For a Death Certificate!

    || 6-Aug-2013

    As Practice Manager at Kaufman Law Group, one of my responsibilities is to keep an alphabetical file of death certificates of clients and their loved ones who we have helped in settling estates. I have often wondered how long we need to keep these, especially after an estate is settled. I recently received my answer, on a very personal note. My mom received a jury summons to the Daley Center ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors, Community: Do you know for sure that there will be no title problems when you go to sell your home? Are you sure everything is in order? As part of our regular process, we want to be certain our clients’ real estate is titled consistently with their estate plan. It is occasionally necessary to look at the county records or if we find something suspicious, obtain more ...
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  • INHERITED IRAS ARE NOT CREDITOR PROTECTED For Clients, Advisors and Community: Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are becoming an increasing portion of wealth transferred from generation to generation. Do you have or do you anticipate owning an Inherited IRA from a parent or grandparent? If you do, this article applies to you. What is It? An “inherited IRA” is an IRA inherited from ...
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  • An Envelope with a Surprise in It

    || 18-Jun-2013

    For Clients, Professional Advisors and Community: Very recently, I came home to a strange brown envelope from Lutheran General Hospital. It wasn’t a bill or a lab report. It was from “Medical Records” and was hand addressed. I couldn’t figure out what it might be. My only encounter with Lutheran General this year was when I had revision surgery on my left foot. I opened it ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors and Community: In this article (briefly delayed by technical glitches), I review the implications of the income tax changes in the legislation. I have chosen not to restate that which has been published in the general news, but rather some interesting tidbits related to the new law. Increased Brackets. We have a “progressive” income tax system. This means that the ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors & Community: Happy New Year! We begin the year by helping you understand the impact of the “Fiscal Cliff” legislation passed by Congress while we were all partying or sleeping. (I actually was reading the bill, H.R. 8, in my pajamas). I’m not going to attempt a summary in one blog post. I am going to break it down into a number of little sections and ...
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  • Retirement Plan Loans Become High Audit Risk

    || 10-Nov-2012

    Participants are allowed to borrow from their account balance in some profit sharing and 401(k) plans, if the governing plan document allows. It is optional with the employer. We have discouraged our employer-clients from including loan provisions in their plan documents because loans have often burdensome administration requirements. There are strict limits. When a participant misses a payment ...
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  • The Worst Bank in America

    || 15-May-2012

    For Clients, Community and Advisors. Every day, we assist our clients in transferring assets to their trusts to ensure that the goals and objectives of their estate plans are accomplished. Once the assets are transferred, we endeavor to verify that the assets are correctly titled. I would venture to say that every year, we deal with hundreds of financial institutions. Some are easier to work with ...
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  • Organ Donation via Facebook. Is It Binding?

    || 9-May-2012

    For Clients, Advisors and Community. There was recent news that Facebook users could register as organ donors. This development gave great publicity to the fact that 70% of individuals would accept a donated organ if needed but only 30% are registered to be organ donors. The result has been a well publicized shortage of needed organs for transplantation. Please note that looking for an organ donor ...
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  • What Is a DNR Order? How Does It Work?

    || 1-May-2012

    For Clients, Community and Advisers. I am often asked about the mechanics of implementing a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order. Many elder or infirm clients do not want to spend their last months dragged through extraordinary medical procedures. Rather, they choose to have a natural death without having the medical establishment bring out the paddles every time they arrest or have breathing trouble. ...
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  • For Professional Advisors: If your clients are shopping for long-term care insurance, they should expect higher costs and a tougher approval process. That’s the message in a recent Wall Street Journal article ( http://on.wsj.com/2ljVOyV ) about the decision by an increasing number of insurers to stop selling such policies. Most recently, Prudential Financial announced plans to stop taking ...
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  • The Success of Minority Owned Businesses

    || 10-Apr-2012

    For Clients, Advisors and Community A recent Wall Street Journal article states that women owned businesses struggle when revenues get to the level of $250,000-$499,999. It also cites a 2011 study conclusing that the proportion of woman owned businesses with revenues of $1 million and more is about the same as it was in 1998. I wonder why this is the case. If you would like to see the article, ...
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  • Assisted Living: Promise or Dumping Ground?

    || 3-Apr-2012

    For Clients, Advisors and Community In my 32 years of practice, I have watched my clients age, enjoying long years with their children and grandchildren. In our senior care (elder law) practice, I am increasingly counselling my clients about long term care issues including, the transition from independent living to getting assistance whether it be with medications, getting to and from their doctor ...
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  • Are Living Trusts Created Just For Tax Benefits? For Professional Advisors. Lawyers and advisors around the country are getting some push back from their clients when they recommend Revocable Living Trusts (RLT). The issue seems to be that their clients perceive RLTs to only be good as tax planning tools. With the federal estate tax exemption currently set at $5 million per individual and $10 ...
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  • In recent years, have you made a gift of real estate to your children or grandchildren or, for that matter, anyone? If you have, you need to read this article. The Law. Transfer of real estate (or anything of value) from one person (donor) to another (donee) for less than fair market value is considered a gift for gift tax purposes. This is considered a separate tax system from our income tax ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors and Community. In March and May, 2011, I wrote blog articles about the asset protection aspects of inherited IRAs. This article describes current developments involving tax aspects of inherited IRAs. What is so important about inherited IRAs? With careful planning, the beneficiary of an inherited IRA (typically a child) has the opportunity to defer income taxes (with ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors and Community. Do you have a vacation home? Perhaps you celebrate every Christmas at a mountain lodge built by Grandpa, take the kids on a spring break to a beachside condo, or spend summer weekends at the old farmhouse so the little ones can catch fireflies. How do you pass on your vacation home to the next generation so that everyone still enjoys spending time together ...
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  • Surprise! Illinois Increases State Estate Tax Exemption

    || 27-Jan-2012

    For Clients, Advisors and Community. Senate Bill 0397 was passed on December 16, 2011 as Public Law 97-0636. It provides mostly for technical changes in the Illinois Income Tax Law. At the end of the legislation it provides for an increase in the lifetime exclusion from the Illinois Estate Tax. For individuals dying prior to 2012, the lifetime exclusion from the Illinois Estate Tax was $2,000,000. ...
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  • Retirement Planning and Meeting the Client's Objectives

    || 4-Jan-2012

    The Wealth Counselor provides helpful information regarding how to use IRAs and retirement plans to transfer wealth, addresses common misconceptions on this topic, and explains the importance of naming a trust as beneficiary. In this blog article, we will begin by covering the basics. If after reading this explanation, you have any questions or concerns for your clients’ estate planning and ...
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Northbrook Estate Planning Lawyers

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Kaufman Law Group, LLC
Northbrook Estate Planning Lawyers
707 Skokie Blvd,
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Northbrook, IL 60062
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