Blog Posts in 2011

  • George Clooney is starring in a movie about a family trust. Yes, you read correctly. “The Descendants,” which opened in select theaters last month, offers a great depiction of what the Trust industry is all about. The film comes from the creators of “Sideways” and “About Schmidt.” It tells a humorous and tragic story of Clooney’s character Matt King, a ...
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  • The Tables Are Turned - The Lawyer as Client

    || 2-Nov-2011

    For Clients, Community and Advisors. I’ve spent 30 years counseling clients in making choices and giving directions concerning durable powers of attorney for health care and end of life treatment. In the last week, I came face to face with the inevitable decisions that families of my clients have been forced to make. Being a “client” makes me more aware of the very real gut ...
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  • Celebrating 30 Years With Jay

    || 26-Oct-2011

    Jay Kaufman and I had only been married for 5 years when he started his law practice in October, 1981. And while our office location has moved several times (from Arlington Heights to Buffalo Grove, to Chicago, to our house in Buffalo Grove, to Northbrook and now also Lake in the Hills), Jay’s approach to working with clients has remained constant since Day 1. Jay has always dealt with ...
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  • Where Do You Really Live? - A Question of Taxes

    || 17-Oct-2011

    For Clients, Advisors and Community Our society is increasingly mobile. Many of our clients have multiple residences. They spent the spring and summer months in the Chicago area but spend the late fall and winter in warmer climates – Florida, Arizona, California, Hawaii and other locations. In a sometimes desperate chase for increased revenue, Illinois (and other states) have recently passed ...
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  • On first glance, it looks like the recently signed “Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act” would only interest lawyers, title companies, and the government. In fact, this new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2012, will allow a majority of our clients to “have their cake and eat it, too”, just by addressing how their residence title is ...
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  • Asset Protection - What's the Big Deal?

    || 21-Sep-2011

    For Clients, Community, Professional Advisors. Recently, business and estate planning attorneys have increasingly focused on assisting their clients in protecting their assets from loss due to unexpected circumstances. The typical business owner will respond, “But, my business is structured as a corporation/limited liability company (LLC). It’s already protected”. This is only ...
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  • Where Is the Original of Your Will?

    || 14-Sep-2011

    For Clients, Community, Professional Advisors. At least once per year (and sometimes more often) we receive a phone call from the children of one of our clients. It sounds like this: “Dad died yesterday. We’re trying to find the original of his will (and/or trust). Does your office have it? Might you know where it is?” In a recent case, three different copies of a will showed up ...
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  • Time Again to Check Beneficiary Designations

    || 10-Aug-2011

    For Clients, Advisors, Community A recent published case emphasizes the importance of clients checking their beneficiary designations of their retirement plans including; profit sharing, 401(k) and pension — on a regular basis. The general rule is that if the participant is married, he or she must name his or her spouse as beneficiary (unless the spouse signs a waiver in the presence of a ...
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  • For Clients, Advisors & Community In an earlier article, I discussed what a civil union is and how Illinois law affects spouses in a civil union under the new law. There is a major disconnect, however between the Illinois civil union law and Federal law. Illinois recognizes civil unions. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (defining marriage as a union between a male husband and a ...
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  • Will the Illinois Civil Union Law Affect Your Family? I

    || 20-Jun-2011

    For Clients, Advisors & Community On June 1, 2011, legislation establishing civil unions went into effect in Illinois. This is a major step in marital rights for gay and lesbian couples. What’s interesting, however, is that the law potentially impacts, perhaps in a major way, heterosexual couples as well. This article will outline the features of the new law as well as its impact on some ...
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  • Update on Inherited IRAs

    || 15-May-2011

    For Clients, Professional Advisors Since my March 3, 2011 posting on inherited IRAs, there has been an interesting precedent. A Federal Court in Texas has issued an important appellate decision. The case is Chilton v. Moser. What happened? Shirley died in 2007 naming Janice as beneficiary of her $170,000 IRA. Janice opened an IRA titled, “Janice, beneficiary of Shirley IRA” and ...
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  • For Community, Clients, Advisors In the first installment of this blog series, I described how, for one family we recently represented, procrastination caused unnecessary delay, expense and worry that their objectives would not be achieved. In the second installment, I discussed a case currently in my office where delay and a reliance on joint tenancy property caused husband and wife’s ...
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  • For Community, Clients, Advisors In the first installment of this blog series, I described how procrastination caused unnecessary delay, expense, and worry for one family we recently represented. Here is another. What I now describe is a matter in our office right now. I have the family’s permission to write and publish this expressly for the purpose of helping other families. Phyllis and ...
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  • The High Cost of Procrastinating (I of III)

    || 22-Mar-2011

    For Community, Clients, Advisors In the last year or two, our firm has represented three families who have come to us under circumstances where it was too late for us to help them plan. I’d like to tell you a little bit about each of their experiences, in hopes their lessons can save you some unnecessary troubles. Here’s the first example. More will follow in each of my next two blog ...
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  • Pita Inn - Our Wheeling Office

    || 15-Mar-2011

    For Community, Clients, Advisors Many of our clients know that we recently opened a second office in Lake in the Hills. What they don’t realize is that Kaufman Law Group has a Wheeling “office” as well. Okay, it’s not really an office. It’s where we have lunch at least once a week, sometimes more often. It’s Pita Inn, a Mediterranean restaurant located on ...
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