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Illinois Inheritance Tax and Estate Planning

by Kevin J. Richter, Shareholder

The Illinois Inheritance Tax has become an important estate planning aspect that must be factored in to larger estates.  The current exemption of $4 million applies to each individual and may not be coupled with the other spouse.  Therefore, unlike the federal exemption, the Illinois Inheritance Tax cannot be “carried over” to the surviving spouse.

This unique aspect of the Illinois Inheritance Tax will require careful planning in establishing the exemption trust commonly named “family trust” a/k/a “credit shelter trust.”  Many times a partitioner when encountering the family trust will want to utilize a Q-Tip election specifically to address the Illinois Inheritance Tax exemption.  Failure to take into account the lower exemption amounts may result in your client having to pay an unintended inheritance tax. 

Kevin J. Richter is a shareholder at Mathis, Marifian & Richter (MM&R), who focuses his practice in business law, taxation law, estate planning, employee benefits law, employment law and real estate law. Kevin’s Certified Public Accountant (CPA) background is helpful in understanding complex financial issues. He has represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Revenue and the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

If you would like more information about the Illinois Inheritance Tax, contact Kevin J. Richter by phone at (618) 234-9800, ext. 228 or by email at

Professional Services Disclaimer: Please note that the information presented here is as an educational service, and while it contains information about legal issues, it is not legal advice. No warranty is made regarding the applicability of the information presented to a particular client situation, and the information set forth is not a substitute for original legal research, analysis and drafting for a particular client situation.

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