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Estate Taxes

With the significant increase in the federal estate tax exemption in recent years, the focus for many clients has turned from estate tax planning to income tax planning.

Fifteen years ago the estate tax exclusion amount was $675,000. Today the federal exemption is $5.43 million and in 2016 will be $5.45 million. The Illinois estate tax exemption, however, is stuck at $4 million, which is still sufficiently high to allow most decedent’s estates to avoid filing an estate tax return and paying the estate tax.

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Concealed Carry Act

Illinois’s new Firearm Concealed Carry Act presents most businesses with at least two issues. First, businesses must decide whether to allow customers and other visitors to bring firearms into their stores or offices. Second, they must decide whether to allow employees to bring firearms into the workplace.

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First Time Landlords

For a variety of reasons, the economy has produced a number of new residential landlords and tenants. In addition to preparing themselves for calls in the middle of the night about broken furnaces and plugged toilets, first-time landlords should understand the legal requirements involved with renting houses. A sampling of these laws is as follows:

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Real estate Closing Changes

Arguably the most significant changes in residential real estate transactions in 40 years are now occurring.

The federal Dodd-Frank Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2011, in the midst of and to a large extent in reaction to the residential mortgage crisis then sweeping the nation. Concerned that residential mortgage lenders were not being sufficiently transparent with borrowers and that significant lender’s charges were not being disclosed until the closing, the CFPB developed new forms and procedures that are now effective for residential mortgage loan transactions for which applications were made on and after October 3, 2015.

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