About Adam M. Damerow

Adam Damerow assists ultra high-net-worth individuals in creating tax-efficient estate plans to preserve, protect and transfer wealth to future generations. He also guides fiduciaries and beneficiaries through disputes over estates and trusts, often helping them avoid the time, expense and burden of litigation.

Advising clients with both pragmatism and strategy

Adam focuses solely on private client matters. He knows that wealth creators don't just want to transfer their wealth in tax-efficient ways; they want to give their beneficiaries the flexibility to use and maintain that wealth for future generations. He works to understand his clients' values and goals with their tax planning, and then achieve those goals as efficiently and creatively as possible.

Toward that end, Adam undertakes varied strategies for his clients — from the formation and funding of family investment holding companies and family offices to the creation of dynasty trusts. The thoughtfulness of his planning stands the test of time; years after working with a first-generation wealth creator, for instance, the second generation of family members asked Adam to reinforce the planning that had positioned them so well.

Helping fiduciaries and beneficiaries resolve disputes

Adam also advises individual and corporate fiduciaries on the often-challenging task of administering trusts and estates. When he is not advising the fiduciary, Adam will represent estate and trust beneficiaries and zealously advocate for their rights under the governing documents of the estate plan. While he represents clients in contested court proceedings, he more often helps fiduciary clients find creative ways to resolve disputes before they evolve into litigation. In one matter involving a multi-billion-dollar estate and litigious beneficiaries, he facilitated two different settlements among the beneficiaries and the tax authorities, avoiding further litigation.

Adam helps public charities, foundations and charitable trusts ensure their compliance with state and federal laws. He also represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service in controversies over estate and gift tax filings and audits.

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Practice Focus

  • Tax-efficient wealth transfer planning for ultra high-net-worth business owners, executives, individuals and family offices
  • Drafting core estate plan documents (wills, trusts and powers of attorney)
  • Implementation of wealth preservation and transfer strategies (dynasty trusts, family limited partnerships, etc.)
  • Representation of beneficiaries and fiduciaries in disputed matters relating to estates and trusts
  • Minimizing risk for fiduciaries tasked with administering trusts and estates
  • Multi-jurisdictional wealth planning for US residents who have assets abroad, and non-residents with interests in the United States.

Representative Experience

  • Represented family members in contested, billion-dollar estate trust administration matters related to valuation, distribution and audits with the Internal Revenue Service.  *
  • Advised an ultra-high-net-worth individual on the purchase and sale of $35 million of assets from a generation-skipping transfer tax-exempt trust created in the 1940s to a newly formed intentionally defective family dynasty trust created to efficiently transfer wealth to be held in perpetuity for the benefit of the client’s descendants.  *
  • Represented corporate fiduciaries in contested trust matters.  *
  • Represented fiduciaries in preparation of non-judicial settlement and virtual representation agreement to settle issues arising in trust administration with beneficiaries.  *
  • Created series of grantor-retained annuity trusts for clients with (i) concentrated positions in publicly traded companies or (ii) privately held companies to transfer wealth to younger generations with minimal transfer tax cost.  *
  • Formed tax-exempt charities for professional athletes and advised on programming, fundraising and administration.  *
  • Advised nonresident, noncitizen families on the tax-efficient transfer and holding of wealth outside the United States into the United States for the benefit of US persons.  *
* Experience prior to Katten

Publications

Presentations and Events

  • Speaker
    October 15, 2019
  • Speaker
    July 15, 2019
  • Trusts and Estates Practice Group of BMO Financial Group
    Speaker | Heckerling 2019 Roundup
    March 18, 2019
  • ABA Real Property Trusts & Estates Section Spring Symposium
    Speaker | Cabins and Compounds, Boats and Biplanes – Planning for Vacation and Recreation Assets
    May 11, 2018
  • Indiana Bankers Association Megaconference
    Speaker | Fiduciary Litigation Update: Observing Pitfalls and Leaping Over Them
    May 2, 2018
  • Annual Charlotte Estate Planning Seminar
    Speaker | Impacts of Tax Reform on Estate Planning
    April 24, 2018
  • Essential Insight on Sweeping Tax Reforms
    Speaker |Tax Reform and the Impact on You and Your Estate
    January 18, 2018
  • 12th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar: Issues Confronting Fiduciaries
    Speaker | Cross-Border Estate Planning
    October 4, 2017
  • 12th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar: Issues Confronting Institutional Fiduciaries
    Speaker | Trust Modifications in Light of Unforeseen Circumstances and Mistakes
    October 4, 2017
  • View All Presentations and Events