Michael O. Hartz

Chicago Office
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Michael O. Hartz, co-head of the Chicago Trusts and Estates practice that was recognized as part of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2015 "Best Law Firms" rankings, has more than 30 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. His significant experience, attention and care are the elements that guide Michael in advising his clients as well as his clients’ future generations.

His clients consist primarily of high-net-worth family business owners, including owners of some of the largest businesses in the Midwest. Matters range from the early stages of wealth creation through wealth transfer planning and charitable giving issues, including 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 individualized 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 including the Journal of Taxation and TAXES, and serves on the Estate Planning & Taxation Committee for Trusts & Estates magazine. Michael has been recognized by both Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America, and is also a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel. He often speaks at estate planning, tax and retirement seminars.

Shown below is a selection of Michael’s engagements.


Best Lawyers in America, 2008–2013, 2015–2017
Super Lawyers, 2005–2017

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow
Citywealth Leaderslist, 2015–2016
Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2017, Trust and Estates, Chicago
Firm News


  • LLM, University of Florida
  • JD, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
  • BA, Kalamazoo College

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


2008–2013, 2015–2017

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

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  • Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning & Taxation Committee
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