Beginning July 1, 2011, the State of Illinois will for the first time allow for civil unions among gay and lesbian couples. We are grateful to see that the government will no longer discriminate against these individuals and will now recognize their ability to legally make a commitment to their partners. With this new law will come many legal questions. How will civil unions affect rights to property acquired both before and after the union becomes legal? How will gay and lesbian couples be able to hold title to real estate? What are the legal and financial ramifications of terminating a civil union? What effect will a civil union have on estate planning? Our firm looks forward to learning the nuances of the new law. We want to make sure that we will be able to give sound legal advice and counseling to those who want or need to learn more about civil unions.