About Michelle R. Canerday

Michelle Canerday concentrates her practice on estate planning for high net worth individuals, fiduciary litigation, contested estate and trust matters, and estate and gift tax controversies. She assists individuals, business owners and art collectors with tax planning strategies to minimize income, gift and estate tax exposure. She also represents corporate and individual trustees, as well as beneficiaries on contested matters. If a family finds itself in a trust and estate dispute, Michelle is there to negotiate settlement agreements and virtual representation agreements, work closely with her litigation team on motions and trial strategies, and even handle the case in trial, if it ultimately comes to that point. Michelle has extensive motion practice, trial and appellate experience. Her estate planning background and LLM in Taxation enables her to fully understand the issues in complex trust litigation cases and implement creative strategies that ultimately lead to favorable verdicts or settlement negotiations. She recently handled a three-week jury trial, which was ultimately found in her client’s favor on all issues.

Well-versed in estate planning and administration

Michelle has extensive experience working on estate planning and tax planning for high net worth individuals, family offices and business owners. She understands how important it is for clients to have an estate plan that minimizes taxes and protects their assets for future generations. That's why individuals, wealthy families and business owners seek her advice on complex estate, gift and charitable planning matters, as well as on disputes concerning trusts and estates. She structures and drafts wills and trusts, handles estate administration, helps businesses with succession planning, and provides strategies to private equity fund principals on how to minimize taxes. Nonprofits also turn to Michelle for legal counsel in these areas.

Practice Focus

  • Private equity
  • Private wealth
  • Fiduciary litigation
  • Family offices and nonprofits

Representative Experience

  • Lead counsel representing a corporate fiduciary and sought instructions from the court on a complex trust matter involving a significant estate tax owed in a short time frame. The parties ultimately went to mediation and successfully negotiated indemnification in addition to a full release from liability for the corporate trustee.
  • Lead counsel on trust litigation case. $7 million judgment was obtained for the client after winning on all issues at trial.
  • Lead counsel in an appeal to uphold a favorable judgment that was obtained for a client after a jury trial in a complex trust litigation matter. The appellate court substantially upheld the judgment for the client. *
  • Lead attorney on a federal income and estate tax audit, which resulted in a $6 million refund for the client. Attended all meetings with the IRSĀ agent and obtained interest on the refund owed to the client. *
  • Negotiated a nonjudicial settlement agreement for a billionaire business owner to keep the family and descendants out of litigation. *
  • Obtained judicial approval of nonjudicial settlement agreements in the Chancery Court in Cook County, Illinois. *
* Experience prior to Katten

Presentations and Events