About Michael O. Hartz

Described by clients as a "phenomenal practitioner and extremely bright," Michael Hartz advises on business succession planning, tax-efficient wealth transfer into trusts for future generations and strategies for fulfilling philanthropic goals. Michael is ranked among the leading lawyers for private wealth law in Chambers High Net Worth, where his practical, effective solutions to complex problems have led to consistent recognition. With 40 years of experience in trust and estate planning and administration, Michael has exceptional insight into the issues that confront families, family-owned businesses and wealthy entrepreneurs.

A recognized leader in trust and estate planning

Michael's experience, attention to detail and care for his clients guide his handling of every matter. Primarily representing high net worth family business owners, including owners of some of the largest businesses in the Midwest, Michael helps them from the early stages of wealth creation through wealth transfer planning and charitable giving issues. He advises on all phases of estate planning, trust administration, ownership transition and risk management.

Michael also designs and administers family business succession plans. Many of his clients require sophisticated planning techniques to shift future wealth to the next generations in a fair and tax-efficient way. He helps his clients with integrating charitable planning strategies into their overall estate plans. Michael understands that many facets of his clients' lives will impact the design of their estate plans. Evaluating the various complexities, he assists clients to achieve their trust and estate planning goals.

A prolific author, Michael has written articles on tax and estate planning matters for publications such as the Journal of Taxation and TAXES, and he serves on the Estate Planning & Taxation Committee for Trusts & Estates magazine. Michael has been recognized by both Chambers High Net Worth and Best Lawyers in America, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He speaks frequently at estate planning and tax seminars.

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"Another source comments that 'aside from being a phenomenal practitioner and extremely bright, he is just a good person. He's compassionate and when he talks with clients, he understands and he communicates well.'"

Chambers HNW 2018
(Illinois, Private Wealth Law) survey response

Practice Focus

  • Wealth transfer planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Philanthropic planning