Newsletter Archive

Spring 2021

The Power of Yes

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Some fifty years ago, Sammy L. Davis did what few would have done. Davis had been shot in the leg, his ribs broken, his spine fractured, and his buttocks riddled with shrapnel when his unit was overrun in a midnight raid by 1,500 Vietcong. Yet, when he heard a cry for help, he didn’t hesitate. […]
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Winter 2021

Creating Your Personal Masterpiece

“Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”
One day years ago, my young son stared at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. While the popes may have been awestruck by the ceiling, my son was unimpressed.  “I could paint that,” he scoffed. Perhaps, with the right tools, he could!  Did you know that many famous artists of old used a tool that […]
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Fall 2020

Make Loans, Not War

"Money equals freedom."
Was William Shakespeare foolish when he penned, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be"?  Shakespeare’s counsel was certainly sound in his day.  But these times are not Shakespeare’s times. Instead, perhaps we should update an adage of another time, the 1960s.  For our purpose, let’s refresh a popular counterculture phrase of the ‘60s, "Make love, […]
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Summer 2020

Did Isaac Newton Sing the Blues?

"I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people."
If Isaac Newton was alive today and could sing the blues, he might select a song by legendary blues guitarist Robert Cray, "The Forecast Calls for Pain." What’s with Newton, blues, and pain?  Well, let’s begin with his Third Law of Motion: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." Oh, let me […]
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Spring 2020

Your Big Beluga

“The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.”
Imagine the State of Illinois as a white, blubbery beluga whale.  Let’s examine your relationship with the big beluga as it was yesterday, as it is today, and as it may be tomorrow. Yesterday, say 20 years ago, you enjoyed a fine time with the beluga.  Income tax rates, property taxes, estate taxes, and even […]
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Winter 2020

The Myth of Donor Advised Funds

“It is difficult, at times, to separate the myth from the truth.”
The Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, and a lawyer walk into a bar... Of course, this joke has no punch line as the monsters I mentioned don’t exist.  They are merely myths. As a young boy, I was fascinated by books about myths.  The most intriguing myth for me was the Bermuda Triangle.  The more […]
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Fall 2019

The Nine Suggestions

“If you’ve been blessed, be a blessing.”
A long time ago, a guy who may have looked a lot like Mel Brooks descended from a mountain.  He had two tablets (or was it three?) containing 10 commandments.  Because I don’t have the authority to command how folks behave, perhaps these nine suggestions are about as far as my counsel may extend. THOU […]
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Summer 2019

The Brick House Trust

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
What if your greatest responsibility in life is to protect three pink little piggies, whom you love? It’s your responsibility, and nobody else’s. You know life has a whole pack of wolves stalking your little piggies, waiting for the right moment to attack your vulnerable, curly-tailed loved ones. Who, or what, makes up this wolf […]
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Spring 2019

Naked and Unafraid

“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow”
The legendary musical band Fleetwood Mac made hundreds of millions of dollars together.  Off and on over many decades, they toured the world and sold countless records. All the while they were surrounded by many attorneys, business managers, promoters, copyright experts, financial advisors, and insurance gurus. Yet the entire time the band played together, they […]
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Winter 2019

Why Fly from Illinois?

“Anybody who wants to leave Illinois already has.” ("Oh, really?")
I have written a lot about how clients can extricate themselves from Illinois.  More interestingly, however, is why so many Illinoisans choose to leave. Many people conclude they want out of Illinois even before they become aware of all the consequences of staying Illinois residents.  The most popular destination for affluent Illinoisans is Florida.  According […]
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Fall 2018

Just Say No – to Charity?

“You’ll get nothing and like it!”
Most estate plans that have my fingerprints on them make minimal reference to charity and the less fortunate.  You may be asking yourself if it was me who penned the questions, "Are there no workhouses?  Are there no prisons?" There are often many good reasons to "Just say no!" to naming charity in your will […]
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