About Charles Harris

Charles Harris counsels high-net-worth individuals and owners of closely-held businesses on matters related to tax and estate planning, wealth preservation and overall family governance. Charles is recognized as a leading attorney on tax and estate planning by the Chambers High Net Worth guide.

Recognized tax planning insight for US citizens who own closely-held companies and have foreign interests

Charles is a certified public accountant as well as a private practicing attorney. His experience includes restructuring stock ownership in closely-held businesses, establishing family-limited partnerships, creating various trusts and limited liability companies, analyzing the income, gift and estate tax implications of various techniques and developing business succession plans. Charles advises private equity investors in structuring their investments in a tax efficient manner and in planning for the transfer of their interests to family members. In addition, Charles counsels high-net-worth clients regarding family governance and related structures. He also advises investors of private and publicly traded companies to effectively plan for carried interests, stock options and retirement plans.

Charles works extensively on planning for US citizens with a foreign connection, whether the US citizen resides in a foreign country or is otherwise connected with a foreign government. He counsels clients who are non-resident aliens on the most tax-efficient manner for investing in US entities. He represents several companies in the US Virgin Islands that are part of the Economic Development Commission program and is involved in all aspects of the design, implementation and qualification of appropriate vehicles that can qualify for the benefits under the program, coordinating the overall income tax and estate planning needs of the owners of these companies.

For clients who are philanthropically minded, Charles assists in creating private foundations and other arrangements, such as charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts, to help clients facilitate both charitable giving and tax efficiency.

For 10 years, Charles teaches an Estate and Gift Tax Class for the Graduate Tax Program at The John Marshall Law School. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Charles has authored articles on such topics as generation skipping transfer tax planning, life insurance planning, tax payment clauses, and Illinois probate and trust administration.

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"He is very forward-thinking and innovative in crafting solutions. We view him as the architect of our tax and trust estate planning structure."

Chambers High Net Worth 2023
(Illinois, Private Wealth Law) survey response

Practice Focus

  • Tax and estate planning

Presentations and Events