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Mary is an experienced Trusts and Estates Attorney, concentrating in Estate Planning, Asset Protection Planning, Tax Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, Decedent’s and Guardianship Probate Estate Administration and Charitable Gifting.
Mary’s philosophy is that each person should have a complete estate plan tailored to his or her individual circumstances, including: designating someone to efficiently take over the client’s affairs in the event of incapacity during life; providing for the orderly distribution of the client’s assets to his or her intended beneficiaries during life, if appropriate, and on death pursuant to the client’s direction; legally protecting assets from creditors; and minimizing federal and state estate and income taxes.
Mary’s Estate Planning practice focuses on advising each client regarding his or her best alternatives for lifetime and post-death planning based on each client’s family, financial, business and medical circumstances, using simple or advanced planning mechanisms as needed. Her experience ranges from simple Wills and Powers of Attorney through Dynasty, Generation-Skipping, Insurance, Gift and other specialized trusts. Mary works with a client’s established advisors to institute the client’s estate plan.
In her Estate and Trust Administration practice, Mary has assisted countless executors, trustees, agents under powers of attorney and guardians to administer estates and trusts within a range of minimal involvement to total oversight of the administration process. She has prepared numerous federal and state estate tax returns when required by state or federal law or when needed to protect a deceased spouse's federal exclusion amount. Her goal is to complete the administration of a decedent’s estate and/or trust within one year of the date of death.
Mary is also experienced in settling family disputes through family settlement agreements, with and without court intervention. Mary was involved in the development of the current decanting statute, which allows a trustee to amend irrevocable trusts in certain circumstances. Mary has also assisted clients in amending or updating irrevocable trusts with agreement of all of the relevant parties through virtual representation.
Mary is available to advise you on an hourly or flat fee basis, depending on each individual's circumstances. The first hour of an initial estate planning session is typically free of charge unless specific legal advice is required at that meeting.
Mary is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel where she serves on the State Law Committee and the Asset Protection Committee. She is past Chair of the Illinois Bar Association’s Trust & Estates Section Council and former chair of the Section Council's ethics committee and continuing legal education committee. Mary was an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School. She is a frequent author and lecturer at continuing legal education seminars for other attorneys.
Mary has been active in developing Illinois trust law legislation and was instrumental in developing the 2013 Directed Trust Statute and Decanting (Distributions in Further Trust) Statute which has been incorporated into the new Illinois Trust Code. She also participated in the development of amendments to the Illinois Power of Attorney Act.
Mary graduated from Loyola University of Chicago, where she also received her law degree. She also holds a Masters degree from the University of Chicago. Mary is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois and resides in Glencoe, Illinois.
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
Past Chair: Illinois Bar Association, Trust Law Committee