What is “Bad Debt”

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Taxation
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Lending money is a part of life and is also a normal practice for many types of businesses. But with lending money comes the real risk that it will never be repaid. The IRS allows for certain types of debt to be written off, classified as “bad debt.” However, the IRS also closely scrutinizes bad  … Read more

Tax Implications of Rental Property

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Taxation
  •   Comments Off on Tax Implications of Rental Property

Rental property can be a sound investment as it can bring in a consistent, predictable flow of income. Unfortunately, it can also make taxpayers targets of IRS scrutiny. In 2008, the Government Accounting Office estimated that over half of tax filers who own rental property misreported their income and losses on their tax returns. The  … Read more

Understanding Capital Gains and Losses

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Taxation
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What is a Capital Asset? The IRS considers capital assets to encompass almost all of the property you own for personal use or as an investment. This includes stocks, securities, houses, cars, and jewelry. However, under the tax code, Section 1221, capital assets exclude the following property: Stock or property in a taxpayer’s trade that  … Read more

Looking at the Latest Federal Tax Plan

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Estate Planning
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On November 2nd, Congress unveiled its latest proposal for the sweeping tax code reform that President Trump promised during his campaign. This plan is far from a finished product and has not made it to budget analysts or to the Senate. However, the GOP in the House and the Senate seem motivated to prove that  … Read more

Can Child Support Be Modified?

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Family Law
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Kids need to be supported, and it is their parents’ responsibility to support them. Not only is it right, it is the law. However, there is often a great difference in opinion regarding what a parent wants in child support, what the other person wants to pay in child support, and what the court orders  … Read more

Estate Planning with Privacy in Mind

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Estate Planning
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In spite of this age of social media, we still take great effort to protect our personal privacy. Most of us don’t want everyone to know how much we make and how much we own. In addition, we go to great lengths to protect ourselves from identity theft and people who seek to rip us  … Read more

Rules on Charitable Contributions

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Taxation
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Many of us have causes we believe in. For some, we support causes based on deeply personal experiences that have shaped us for better or worse. Others have identified with causes that fit with their belief systems or interests. There are a number of ways that people show their support: with their time, their voices,  … Read more

What are Void Transfers?

Caregivers who provide assistance to incapacitated people serve a vitally important role, whether it is in a part time or full time capacity. Under Illinois law, a caregiver is defined as “a person who voluntarily, or in exchange for compensation, has assumed responsibility for all or a portion of the care of another person who  … Read more

The “Classes” of Creditors

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Probate
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The Classes of Creditors

One of the critical purposes of the probate process is to settle all of an estate’s outstanding debts. This means that all creditors must be notified of the probate of an estate so that they can make their claims. Significantly, the property of an estate cannot be distributed until any proper creditor claims are resolved.  … Read more

Permissible Investments By A Representative

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Estate Planning, Probate
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Permissible Investments by a Representative

An executor or administrator of an estate plays a critical role and wears many hats when an estate goes through probate. One of these roles is a fiduciary duty to oversee the decedent’s property in a reasonable and responsible manner. This includes deciding where to invest the decedent’s money during probate. A decedent’s will may  … Read more