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The Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered

Blogs

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

Many business agreements include a provision calling for the resolution of disputes through arbitration rather than resort to the available court systems. These clauses are often recommended by reason of the delays and costs involved in court-centered litigation. However, considering the additional costs that may be incurred through arbitration, one should not blindly agree to an arbitration clause without considering the…Read More

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

The Bonus Forfeiture: The courts of Illinois have generally disfavored non-compete provisions in Illinois employment contracts. An employer who seeks to enforce a competition restriction that precludes a former employee from engaging in competitive activities must demonstrate the reasonableness of the restriction. In order to be enforceable, the courts of Illinois have repeatedly required that the restrictions be very narrow…Read More

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

In a recent Note from the Desk, I commented on the propitiousness of making family gifts in 2012 in order to take advantage of low values, low interest rates and the unprecedented $5,120,000 federal estate tax exemption. Recently, the United States tax court issued an opinion which further supports this proposition.Read More

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

As many of you know, there is an Illinois statute which shields property owners from liability for having created unnatural accumulations of ice and snow where they have made efforts to remove snow and ice from sidewalks abutting residential property. There is an exception to this protection where the property owner’s alleged misconduct was willful and wanton. The Illinois statute…Read More

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

The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear Carr and Newell vs. Koch State Board of Education, a case challenging Illinois’ public education funding mechanism. The plaintiffs challenged the use of local tax assessments as a key variable in provisioning state education payments to school districts. While the state currently sets a minimum level of target funding for each student…Read More

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

DONATING APPRECIATED STOCK AND SECURITIES (Since the Stock Market Debacle of 2008 and 2009) The stock market has made a tremendous comeback and the values of the common stock of many companies have returned to or exceed their former highs. Some people, who still had the wherewithal, went back into the market and purchased at what are now considered very low…Read More

  • 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

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