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July 16, 2018

On December 22, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”).   The Act is the most comprehensive tax bill passed in the last 30 years and made substantial changes to our individual, business, international and estate tax rules.    

See my seminar outline “An Overview of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” where I lectured on the Act in New Orleans at a professional confer...

July 16, 2018


I'm really proud of this article, as it was published in the April 2018 edition of Trusts and Estates magazine, a prestigious legal publication. 

Taking into account the stratospheric $11.18 million federal estate tax exclusion enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,1 most decedents are no longer subject to federal estate taxes. This means that many existing credit shelter trusts (and other irrevocable trusts) will no longe...

November 3, 2017

On November 2, 2017, the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives released a major tax reform bill. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), if passed, would be the first comprehensive revision to the Internal Revenue Code in decades.  While the Act is being touted by Republicans as a significant middle class tax cut, its Democratic opponents are predictably casting it as giving the wealthy unneeded and generous...

Here's a video discussing common estate planning mistakes that many of my clients seem to continually make in their estate plans.  For example, assets with beneficiary designations generally pass outside of the client's living trust or will (i.e., the disposition of IRAs and insurance policies are determined by the underlying beneficiary designation and not the client's living trust or will).  Another example is the usage of j...

April 27, 2017

President Trump, living up to his campaign pledge rolled out his tax reform proposals today.  As reported by The Hill the major components of the plan are:

-  Tax relief for middle-income families and provisions aimed at helping people with childcare costs.

-  The current seven individual income tax brackets would be collapsed into three. (Journalists at Bloomberg and Fox News are reporting that the rates will be 10 percent, 25...

May 13, 2016

With “Dynasty Trust”, estate tax savings can be enormous. If we presume that estate taxes are applied to each generation, you could save up to 65% of your estate through three generations. Furthermore, properly structured Dynasty Trusts may provide significant asset protection features that make it much more difficult for creditors to seize trust property set aside for the benefit of family members.

A common and costly estate planning mistake is the improper drafting of beneficiary designations for IRA and other retirement assets. Typically, major tax savings can be obtained if after your death retirement benefits are paid out over the life expectancy of your loved ones (the "stretch IRA").  However, improper beneficiary and trust drafting may cause such benefits to be accelerated thereby disastrously increasing income ta...

May 13, 2016

Family members should not always receive their inheritances outright at your death.  Trust distributions can be delayed for age or educational achievements and for other scenarios dealing with drugs or alcohol, college incentives, second marriages or for special need beneficiaries.

Law Offices of Robert J. Kolasa, Ltd. in Lake Forest, Illinois, provides custom estate planning, tax, asset protection and probate services. Call 847-234-6262.

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November 3, 2017

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1401 N. Western Avenue, 2nd Floor
Lake Forest, IL 60045

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