IRS releases new gift and estate tax exemptions for 2018

IRS 2018The IRS has announced new limits for federal estate and gift tax for 2018.  Beginning January 1, 2018, the annual exclusion gift amount will increase from $14,000 per person per year to $15,000.  The estate and gift tax exemption will also increase from $5.49 million in 2017 to $5.6 million in 2018.  This is the first increase in the annual exclusion gift since 2013 and and married couples will now be able to shield up to $11.2 million with appropriate estate planning.  The impact of these increases is uncertain with tax reform looming.

Updates have been made to the Illinois FED Act

New Illinois Eviction lawThe Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act is commonly referred to as the Eviction Act.  Well, the State of Illinois has basically embodied that common parlance into an amendment to Illinois law which, among other things, changes the phrase forcible entry and detainer to eviction and changes the phrase judgment for possession to eviction order.  This is a modernization of the verbiage used in eviction law.  A copy of the new law, Public Act 100-0173, can be found here and the law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

2015 State of Illinois Security Deposit Interest Rate

The Illinois Security Deposit Interest Act requires certain landlords to make annual payments of interest on the security deposits of their residential tenants.  Every year, the State of Illinois determines the rate to be paid.  For 2015, the State of Illinois has announced that the interest rate to be used in calculating interest payments under the Act is 0.005%.  This is the fourth year in a row that the rate has been set at 0.005%

Here are the historical rates for the current and prior year.

Is that condominium FHA approved?

fhaapprovedAs most home buyers and sellers know, the FHA helps buyers purchase homes.  They do this by “insuring” loans on behalf of buyers who might not be able to otherwise afford a conventional loan.  As a result, FHA buyers can still get financing with lower credit scores and lower down-payments than a conventional buyer.  However, not all real estate properties qualify for an FHA loan. Continue reading

Quick Topic: Congnitive Impairment, Guardianship, and Estate Planning

brain1Our own Ed Reda penned a short piece on the topic of impairment and the issues it creates in estate planning.

As our population ages, more and more attorneys are dealing with clients with cognitive impairment.  What is cognitive impairment?  One clinical definition is “A change in intellectual capacity characterized by a loss in both memory and executive functioning.” (Dr. Stafford Henry).  Continue reading