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Adam M. Damerow

Chicago Office

As a partner in the firm's Trusts and Estates practice, Adam Damerow concentrates his practice on domestic and international estate planning and administration for high-net-worth individuals, including families, owners of closely held businesses, family offices, executives, and other professionals. He also devotes a significant part of his practice to advising US residents with assets abroad and non-residents with interests in the United States regarding multijurisdictional planning and tax issues. Adam's experience ranges from the preparation of estate planning documents, including wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts and powers of attorney to work on designing and implementing wealth preservation and transfer strategies using generation-skipping transfer tax-exempt (dynasty) trusts, sales to grantor trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) and formation and funding of family LLCs and partnerships, including family offices.

Adam regularly counsels corporate and individual fiduciaries in contested and non-contested estate and trust administration matters. He also represents nonprofit entities, including private foundations, public charities and trustees of charitable trusts, on compliance, administration and related issues at state and federal levels. Adam has experience preparing business documents for family-owned businesses, including business formation, governing instruments, and buy-sell agreements. His experience also includes representing clients in tax controversy matters involving estate and gift tax audits with the Internal Revenue Service.

Adam was managing editor of the Loyola University Chicago International Law Review.

Shown below is a selection of Adam’s engagements.

  • While at a prior firm:
    • Representation of family members in contested, billion-dollar estate trust administration matters related to valuation, distribution and audits with the Internal Revenue Service.
    • Advice to 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.
    • Representation of corporate fiduciaries in court in contested trust matters.
    • Representation of fiduciaries in the preparation of a non-judicial settlement and virtual representation agreement to settle issues arising in trust administration with beneficiaries.
    • Creation of a 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.
    • Formation of tax-exempt charities for professional athletes and provision of ongoing advice on programming, fundraising and administration.
    • Provision of advice to 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.


Chambers High Net Worth

Chambers High Net Worth, Private Wealth Law, 2019
January 31, 2018
Co-author | Tax Reduction Opportunities for Non-U.S. Families, Family Offices and Trusts after Tax Reform, Steve Leimberg's International Tax Planning Newsletter #23
December 2014
Co-author | Fiduciary Litigation Update: Trustee Duties and the Probate Exception – Three Cases, ABA Trust Letter
October 3, 2012
Co-author | Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries, LISI Estate Planning Newsletter #2011
June 25, 2012
Co-author | Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries, LISI Estate Planning Newsletter #1980
May 2, 2012
Co-author | Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries, LISI Estate Planning Newsletter #1957
March 28, 2012
Co-author | Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries, LISI Estate Planning Newsletter #1942
June 2011
Co-author | Making Sense of the 2010 Estate Tax Legislation, CCH
March 18, 2019
Speaker | Heckerling 2019 Roundup | Trusts and Estates Practice Group of BMO Financial Group
May 11, 2018
Speaker | Cabins and Compounds, Boats and Biplanes – Planning for Vacation and Recreation Assets | ABA Real Property Trusts & Estates Section Spring Symposium
May 2, 2018
Speaker | Fiduciary Litigation Update: Observing Pitfalls and Leaping Over Them | Indiana Bankers Association Megaconference
April 24, 2018
Speaker | Impacts of Tax Reform on Estate Planning | Annual Charlotte Estate Planning Seminar
January 18, 2018
Speaker |Tax Reform and the Impact on You and Your Estate | Essential Insight on Sweeping Tax Reforms
October 4, 2017
Speaker | Trust Modifications in Light of Unforeseen Circumstances and Mistakes | 12th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar: Issues Confronting Institutional Fiduciaries
October 4, 2017
Speaker | Cross-Border Estate Planning | 12th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar: Issues Confronting Fiduciaries
June 8, 2017
Speaker | Digital Assets: The Latest Frontier in Estate and Trust Administration | BMO Private Bank Estate Settlement Services Group
April 2017
Presenter | Cross Border Estate and Income Tax Planning | Estate Planning – Beyond the Basics, Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE
April 2017
Speaker | Cross Border Estate and Tax Planning | New Developments in Tax and Wealth Planning Seminar
October 2016
Speaker | Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA) | 11th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar
August 2016
Speaker | Cybersecurity and Digital Assets: Threats and Duties | Conference of State Bank Supervisors' Trust Forum
April 2016
Speaker | Cybersecurity and Digital Assets: The Latest Frontiers in Administration | AccuTech Executive Conference
October 2015
Speaker | Cyber Security Threats and Duties | Be a Road Warrior, Not Road Kill: Issues Confronting Fiduciaries
April 22, 2015
Speaker | Fiduciary Litigation Update | U.S. Bank Fiduciary Leadership Team
October 2013
Speaker | Charitable Trusts: Tax Classification Under the 2012 Type III Supporting Organization Final and Temporary Regulations | Surmounting the Current Challenges: Issues Confronting Professional Fiduciaries
November 2012
Speaker | Creative Trust Planning – Decanting and Directed Trusts | Chicago Bar Association YLS Estate Planning Committee
October 2012
Speaker | Creative Trust Planning – Decanting, Directed Trustees, Reformation and More | Who's on First? Issues Confronting Professional Fiduciaries, The Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar, co-presented by the Fiduciary Education Center
Adam M. Damerow


  • JD, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, cum laude
  • MBA, Loyola University Chicago Graduate School of Business
  • MST, Pace University School of Education
  • BA, University of Michigan

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • US Tax Court


Chambers High Net Worth

Private Wealth Law, 2019
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  • Wood Family Foundation, Board Member
  • Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, American Bar Association and Co-Chair, Digital Assets Committee
  • Illinois Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Section
  • The Chicago Bar Association, Trust Law Committee and Co-Chair, Uniform Trust Code Committee Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • Chicago Estate Planning Council
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