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The Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered

Blogs

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: August 15, 2012

What should you do (or not do) to assist an elderly parent in handling their finances? The time honored (or dishonored) technique is to put your name on their accounts or other financial instruments as a joint owner. If you are thinking of doing that – don’t. First, you could be liable for income taxes on the interest or capital…Read More

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: April 27, 2012

In a previous issue I reported that Illinois had enacted a new Civil Union Act which became effective on June 1, 2011. While the Act granted important new rights for gay couples in Illinois, it did not go so far as to establish that they can be married in this state. A bill has now been introduced into the Illinois…Read More

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: April 25, 2012

Because property values and interest rates are at historic lows and the federal gift and estate tax exemption is at a historically high level, there are currently unprecedented opportunities to leverage gifts and save on estate taxes. These opportunities are very likely to evaporate after the close of 2012 for the following reasons. First, there is virtually no real dialogue…Read More

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: February 29, 2012

Good News! The Illinois state death tax exclusion has increased from $2 million to $3.5 million effective January 1, 2012. Therefore, for estates of persons dying in 2012, Illinois’ piece of the estate tax pie will be appreciably reduced. The good news continues in 2013 when the exclusion increases to $4 million. This still leaves a gap between the federal…Read More

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: February 29, 2012

Durable powers of attorney for property (POAFP)are a relatively recent innovation and a very useful tool permitted under Illinois law. Such powers allow a trusted third party to handle individual financial transactions for the creator of the POAFP. A POAFP can be effective from the moment of its execution, or from the time the creator becomes incapacitated. Whether to use…Read More

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: February 20, 2012

Most employers have been counseled and are very careful with respect to any statements that are authorized to be made concerning the termination of an employee. However, there are exceptions. Recently an Illinois Appellate Court affirmed a jury verdict awarding a terminated employee $2 million in compensatory damages and $6 million in punitive damages (the jury awarded $10 million which…Read More

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: February 20, 2012

If you have an Internet policy that interferes with or restricts the rights of your employees to discuss working conditions, wages or hours, you might want to reconsider and revise that policy. Recently the National Labor Relations Board sued an employer that had terminated an employee for making disparaging remarks about her boss on Facebook. The NLRB claimed that the employer’s actions violated…Read More

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: February 10, 2012

As a matter of public policy a party who suffers damages by reason of the breach of a contract to perform an illegal act may not recover damages. For example, if two parties enter into a contract to engage in a transaction the essence of which is in the essence of which is in violation of existing law, and one of…Read More

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: January 20, 2012

Most traditional estate plans are designed to benefit and provide security to a surviving spouse for his or her lifetime and for the division of the decedent’s assets between and among the children and grandchildren.  As life expectancies. As life expectancies have increased, we have found that at the time such divisions and distributions occur, the “children” are often in…Read More

  • By: Alan E. Sohn
  • Published: January 20, 2012

As an estate planning practitioner, I have advocated the practice of periodically reviewing one’s estate plan in order to give due and current consideration to possible changes in a client’s family relationships and business circumstances. These changes occur much more frequently than most people believe, and it is imperative that such a periodic review become a part of an individual’s routine. One…Read More

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