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Mary Lee focuses her practice on the representation of high net worth individuals, in all aspects of their estate planning needs, with particular focus on charitable planned giving and planning for collectibles. She works closely with individuals and families to structure charitable giving which achieves both personal goals as well as beneficial tax treatment using a variety of tools available, including donor advised funds, charitable split interest trusts, restricted gifts, conservation easements and private foundations.
Mary Lee advises clients on effective wealth transfer techniques and combines this planning with asset protection strategies when appropriate. She regularly provides advice on complex gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax issues. Fiduciaries and estate and trust beneficiaries retain her on matters concerning estate and trust administration.
Mary Lee is a frequent speaker on issues affecting charitable giving and planning for collections. She was actively involved in the American Bar Association and through that affiliation has co-authored submissions to the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on laws affecting the not-for-profit sector. Prior to joining the firm in 2009, Mary Lee practiced law in the trusts and estates department of two different large Chicago law firms. Since 2005, Mary Lee has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer. She is also recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Trust, Will and Estate Planning Law by the Illinois Leading Lawyers Network. She is also a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Co-Author, “The Demise of the Type III Supporting Organization,” American College of Trust & Estate Counsel Journal, Spring 2007
“Patenting Tax Strategies,” Trusts & Estates, December 2006
“Supporting Organizations Revisited (After the Pension Protection Act of 2006),”Family Foundation Advisor, November/December 2006
Upcoming or Recent Presentations:
Mary Lee Turk will be a panelist on “Closing Shop – When Foundations Terminate: Legal Aspects of Terminating a Private Foundation” at the 2014 Exponent Philanthropy National Conference (for private foundations with a small staff) being held in Washington D.C. October 30 – November 1st.
Mary Lee Turk will be fielding questions on private foundations from attendees at the Exponent Philanthropy National Conference being held in Washington D.C. October 30 – November 1st as part of “The Lawyer is In” program.
“Getting on the Same Page: Working with Banks, Lawyers and Auction Houses” at the International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference, April 2013
“Practical Aspects of Charitable Planning/Administration at the Chicago Estate Planning Council meeting, April 2013
“Non-Trust Giving Techniques” presented at ALI-ABA Charitable Giving Techniques Seminar, April 2012
“Complex Assets: The Most Overlooked Charitable Donations,” presented at Fidelity Charitable sponsored event on October 2011
“Estate Planning for Baby Boomers and Thier Toys” to be presented at the American Bar Association RPTE Spring Symposia, Washington, D.C., April 2011
“Planned Giving in the Current Tax Environment: Congress, Treasury and You,” presented for the Chicago Council on Planned Giving, July 2009
“What Drives the Gift Plan,” presented at the Chicago Council on Planned Giving Annual Seminar, May 2008
“Cross Border Philanthropy” presented as a panel member at the American Bar Association Annual Joint CLE Meeting of the Tax and Real Property Trust & Estate Law Sections, September 2007
“Patenting Tax Strategies” presented as a panel member at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Annual Seminar, January 2007
“The Provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 Affecting Charitable Planned Giving” presented as a panel member at the American Bar Association Annual Joint CLE Meeting of the Tax and Real Property Trust & Estate Law Sections, October 2006
“The Provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 Affecting Donor Advised Funds, Supporting Organizations and Private Foundations” presented at the Chicago Bar Association Exempt Organizations Subcommittee/Tax Committee Meeting, September 2006
J.D., University of Chicago, 1980
B.A., with highest distinction, Indiana University, 1977 – Phi Beta Kappa
New York, 2011
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel – Fellow
American Bar Association – Former Chair, Charitable Planning and Organizations Group of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
Chicago Estate Planning Council
The Chicago Community Trust – Professional Advisory Committee
Chicago Foundation for Women – Professional Advisory Committee
The Shedd Aquarium – Professional Advisory Committee
Chicago Symphony Orchestra – Professional Advisory Committee