IL Estate Planning Blog

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Year End Charitable Planning

Compliments of Lauren Iwema from The American Heart Association:


The new tax plan is expected to eliminate tax advantages for charitable gifts made in 2018 for most Americans. With days left in the year, many taxpayers are now scrambling to take advantage of tax deductible gift benefits before Sunday, Dec 31st.

The American Heart Association Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a great tax deductible giving option that allows you to continue working with your trusted financial advisor to manage your assets in the DAF!

Looking for an immediate tax deduction or a way to avoid capital gains? The American Heart Association has a new Donor Advised Fund (DAF) Program, sponsored by Renaissance Charitable Foundation, that can help.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Medicare New Observation Status Toolkit

Center for Medicare Advocacy Has a New Observation Status Toolkit
Medicare-eligible patients may find themselves in the hospital, receiving medical services, tests, and treatment, sometimes for many days, but find out too late that they are considered outpatients, in Observation Status, not admitted inpatients. Observation status continues to harm Medicare beneficiaries and their families. With generous support from the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has put together an Observation Status Toolkit that can be used by patients and their advocates.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Brace Your Car for Winter

Robert Duffer
Contact ReporterChicago Tribune

Whether there will be balmy El Nino effect or some menacing vortex or other, two things remain relatively certain: The temperature will drop and your vehicle will be affected.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Brighthouse FInancial



We have received numerous questions regarding the separation of BRIGHTHOUSE FINANCIAL from MET LIFE.  If you own MET LIFE shares, you shall continue to own the same number of MET LIFE shares. For every eleven shares of MET LIFE stock that you own, you should have received 1 share of BRIGHTHOUSE FINANCIAL.  The shares are held by Computershare.  For example, if you owned 27 shares of MET LIFE stock, you would received 2.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Rising Medicare Part B Costs

Rising Medicare Part B Costs Leave Seniors in Bind
Millions of seniors will soon be notified that Medicare premiums for physicians’ services are rising and likely to consume most of the cost-of-living adjustment they’ll receive next year from Social Security. Higher 2018 premiums for Medicare Part B will hit older adults who’ve been shielded from significant cost increases for several years, including large numbers of low-income individuals who struggle to make ends meet. “In effect, this means that increases in Social Security benefits will be minimal, for a third year, for many people, putting them in a bind,” said Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy consultant at the Senior Citizens League. In a new study, her organization estimates that seniors have lost one-third of their buying power since 2000 as Social Security cost-of-living adjustments have flattened and health care and housing costs have soared.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pre-Tax Retirement Contributions at Risk

Pre-Tax Retirement Contributions at Risk in Tax Reform
If you like the income tax reduction you get for your 401(k) contribution then make sure to max out now, because you may not get the chance in the future. Tax reform proposals of past years from both political parties have targeted the break people get for 401(k)s because it is a gigantic source of untaxed money – perhaps more than $580 billion over five years, according to a 2016 Joint Committee on Taxation estimate. The Tax Policy Center suggests that Congress needs to find $2.4 trillion over 10 years to avoid increasing the deficit with the current tax reform proposal.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What to know when selecting Medigap supplement insurance

Why seniors should choose wisely when selecting Medigap supplement insurance

Gail MarksJarvisContact Reporter  Chicago Tribune September 10, 2017


A plan to shut the doors on the most popular insurance policies used by retirees on Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hidden fees when buying a home....

Buying a home? Misc. fees could cost you thousands. Here's what to expect.

When Nors Beatriz bought a condo in this Albany Park building, she’d saved up enough for the down payment — but she wasn’t prepared to pay an extra $10,000 in closing costs. She now rents out the condo to pay the mortgage.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


By Ellen James Martin (Chicago Tribune August 20, 2017)


Competition for affordable entry-level homes in desirable neighborhoods remains intense, due to a shortage of available property. This has many first-time buyers very frustrated.


What’s worse is there’s no end in sight to the problem, says Svenja Gudell, the chief economist for Zillow, the real estate database company.


“Simple demographic change is contributing to incredibly high demand, as millennials reach their prime home-buying years and begin to enter the market in droves,” Gudell says.


Competition among rival buyers is prompting some young home-buying hopefuls to consider properties they would otherwise have ruled out -- like homes in rundown condition or those in neighborhoods not to their liking.
Read more . . .

Monday, August 28, 2017

Top 10 FBI Behavioral Unit Techniques for Building Rapport With Anyone

Eric Barker

May 13, 2014


Robin Dreeke is head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Behavioral Analysis Program.

In his book It’s Not All About “Me”: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone he simply and clearly spells out methods for connecting with people.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Four Steps to Take Now if You Plan to Sell Your Home Later

By Nicole Anzia
 The Washington Post
It requires a lot of time and energy to maintain an organized home, but the benefits of that labor can pay off — while you’re living in your house and when you’re ready to sell. Real estate agents consistently report that potential buyers don’t overlook a house’s organizational elements. In fact, buyers-to-be value organization. Orderly storage spaces signal that the current owners have carefully maintained their home. This, in turn, can translate to less time on the market and higher sales prices.
Read more . . .

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With two offices in Oak Lawn and Oak Brook, Stephen M. Sutera assists clients throughout Cook County, DuPage County and Will County IL including Chicago, Hometown, Barrington, Burbank, Burr Ridge, Chicago Ridge, Darien, Downers Grove, Evergreen Park, Geneva, Worth, Bridgeview, Palos Park, Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Hickory Hills, Midlothian, Willow Springs, Oak Forest, Orland Park, La Grange, Brookfield, Berwyn, Tinley Park, Hinsdale, Villa Park, Clarendon Hills, Westchester, Westmont, Lombard, Elmhurst, Western Springs, Berkeley, Downers Grove, Fox Valley, Glen Ellyn, Willowbrook, Aurora, Addison, Lisle, Forest Park, Bensenville, Wheaton, River Forest, Itasca, Shorewood, Frankfort, Mokena, Naperville, Crest Hill, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Bollingbrook, Schaumburg, Channahon and Woodridge.

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