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Maureen Strauts

Maureen C. Strauts

Direct Dial: (630) 472-3411; e-mail:

Maureen C. Strauts received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University and her law degree, with honors and the Order of Coif, from Northwestern University where she served on the Law Review. She is a member of the Illinois Bar Association and the DuPage County Estate Planning Council. Ms. Strauts was named an Illinois Super Lawyer in 2005, 2006 and 2009. She was also named as a Top Scoring Wealth Manager for 2010 and 2012 in Chicago Magazine. She joined Martin, Craig, Chester & Sonnenschein LLP in 2007 as a partner.

Ms. Strauts concentrates her practice in estate planning, trust and estate administration, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) planning and special needs planning. She represents probate estates and trusts, including the preparation of the federal and Illinois estate tax returns and the use of qualified disclaimers to achieve post-death tax savings.

She regularly advises individuals, business owners and same-sex couples on ways to transfer their wealth to the next generation or to charity while minimizing taxes, avoiding probate and protecting their assets from creditors. This often involves the use of wills, living trusts, powers of attorney and irrevocable insurance trusts. As a hedge against future changes in the estate tax law and to provide creditor protection for multiple generations, she recommends the use of dynasty or generation skipping trusts.

For same-sex couples, she recommends the use of trusts for the protection of both partners and the importance of powers of attorney for health care and property. She advises clients on the effects of the civil union law including the need for pre-union agreements, or alternatively, the use of a domestic partnership agreement for those not entering into a civil union.

To achieve greater tax savings, Ms. Strauts frequently uses sophisticated techniques such as family limited partnerships, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, sales to defective grantor trusts and charitable trusts. Her experience in real estate matters allows Ms. Strauts to structure real estate family limited partnerships or limited liability companies that meet both estate planning and business goals. She also advises clients on how to name beneficiaries of qualified plans and IRAs to achieve the greatest income tax savings.

Ms. Strauts is an elder law attorney and has substantial experience in advising families about the problems facing the elderly and the disabled, including the preparation of special needs trusts.

Ms. Strauts is active in community affairs. She currently serves on the advisory board of the Center of Concern, an agency that assists the elderly. She served as an Alderman on the City Council of Park Ridge from 1993 to 2002 and during her term served as the Chairperson of the Procedures and Regulations Committee and as liaison to the Planning and Zoning Commission. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Corporation of Park Ridge from 2002 to 2005.

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