Robert J. Kolasa, Attorney at Law
I take pride in my highly personalized approach which takes into account the individual needs and goals of each of my clients to create a custom tailored estate plan. My background as a C.P.A. and former IRS attorney, along with over a 25-year legal career, complements my “straight talk” and strong technical analysis in leading clients through the estate planning, trust administration and estate tax maze.
I’ve been practicing law since 1983 and hold a C.P.A. license from the State of Illinois. In 1993 I started my own law firm specializing in probate, estate planning, asset protection and trust administration in Lake Forest, Illinois, which is where I also live. I graduated magna cum laude from the University of Detroit (B.S. Accounting – 1979) and hold law degrees from the University of Detroit (J.D. – 1982) and Georgetown University Law Center (L.L.M. Tax – 1983). I began my legal career in 1983 as an attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, D.C. This is where I developed a sophisticated knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code and the workings of the IRS.
Associations, Speaking Engagements and Publications
In 2009 I was elected President of the Lake County Estate Planning Council, a non-profit association comprised of the top estate professionals (attorneys, accountants, trust officers, financial, insurance and charitable planners) in Lake County Illinois. I’ve frequently written legal articles to educate my peers on tax issues, including two recent articles regarding the changing estate tax laws published in the Illinois Bar Journal (the monthly legal periodical for Illinois attorneys). I have lectured extensively on probate and estate planning in many seminars and before the Chicago Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Lake County Estate Planning Council, North Suburban Bar Association and other groups. I have also taught adult education classes on estate planning and asset protection for the College of Lake County and Highland Park adult education program.
My lawfirm offers a full range of estate planning documents, asset protection and trust and estate administration services. These include preparation of wills, revocable living trusts, life insurance, dynasty and other irrevocable trusts, charitable remainder trusts, family limited partnerships, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, stockholder agreements, buy-sell agreements, living wills, durable health and property powers of attorney, property transfers, probate documents, and estate and gift tax returns. I also do real estate transactions for existing clients. In addition to formulating highly personal estate plans, I enjoy helping trustees, executors and guardians fulfill their respective fiduciary responsibilities imposed by state law and the Internal Revenue Code.
Custom Planning and Drafting
Beware so called estate planning attorneys who utilize the same forms for ALL their clients, irrespective of financial and family differences. My lawfirm is not a “trust mill” or “one size fit all” practice. Our trusts and estate planning documents reflect the individual needs, financial and family circumstances of the particular client involved. Of the many, many trusts I’ve drafted during my career, no two documents are ever exactly the same. Although there may be similarities between documents drafted for certain classes of clients (i.e., young families with minor children; seniors with adult children; families with special needs children; grandparents wanting to set up educational trusts for their grandchildren), the individual family circumstances of the clients dictate the precise terms of the documents.
I painstakingly take my time in the interview process to explain ALL reasonable and practical drafting options to my clients. We then make an informed decision as to what should work for the client’s unique circumstance. Drafts are never “pushed” in front of clients with the directive to “sign here.” We sincerely try to ensure that our clients are cognizant of what they are signing and the reasons why particular legal provisions appear in their documents. In short, there is a high degree of specialization and attention to detail for every estate planning document drafted by my lawfirm. I would have it no other way.
My wife, Eileen, is also a lawyer (and hospital risk manager) and we’re the proud parents of three active children, Kelsey, Carter and George.