“When it comes to death and taxes, only one is inevitable.”
- Nina Stillman

Estate Planning and Business Succession – How to Stay in Control and Keep Your Promises

When people ask me to explain what I do for my clients at Hecht Schondorf, I sometimes tell the story of an older man who is planting a “Promise Tree” when a young man comes upon him and says, “Why are you planting this tree, it won’t bloom for 100 years and you are in the sunset of your life?” and the older man answers, “Well, when I was young, Promise Trees bloomed and now I am planting one so I can pass on the promises that I made to my family and those who come after me.”

In short, even though it is a bit emotional, I help my clients keep their promises blooming for those they love and want to protect– perhaps for generations.

Whether it is for individuals or businesses, my goals are always to protect my clients, shelter them from risk, maximize their assets, and help keep their financial health solidly rooted and growing.  I help all my clients to be in control, and remain in control even after they are gone. That is what a will, trust, and business succession planning are all about.

For over 25 years, for highly reputable firms, including my own, it has been my job and joy to provide security, comfort, easier navigation through troubled times, and peace of mind for my clients. By the way, when you go, I believe you can take peace of mind with you.

  • Are you willing to allow the State of Illinois decide who gets your money and how your assets are distributed after your death?
  • Who will own and run your business after you are gone? Who will benefit from the hard work, sweat and tears you have expended to make your business a success? Your spouse, a partner, colleague, the close family member with the drinking and gambling problem?
  • If you have considerable wealth and an 18 -25 year-old child with a love of fast cars and shiny objects, how can you distribute your wealth slowly and safely until your child is “of age and of sound mind”
  • Will you decide when the plug should be pulled, or let loving relatives keep you on a breathing machine for weeks or months?


Work with me, and we can keep you in control of the most important decisions in life and death. This is something else I can promise— even while we confront these serious issues and critical challenges. I can offer you sense, sensibility and a generous sense of humor.

For Individuals – Particularly Business Owners

  • Estate Planning to achieve financial success, short and long term financial goals
  • Charitable Planning and Giving
  • Wealth Transfer Planning
  • Income Tax and Estate Tax Planning
  • Estate Administration and Litigation
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Probate
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Property
  • Health Care Directives

For Businesses

  • Business Succession Planning
  • Conflict Resolution regarding all types of Business Matters
  • Contract Management
  • Estate Tax Planning for owners and top executives
  • Asset Protection and Reorganization
  • Growth by Acquisition
  • Divestiture of Under performing Business

Contact Us or call (312) 878-1202 for a free consultation and we can discuss your estate and financial needs, concerns, options and positive courses of action!

Personal Estate Planning: