Robert J. Kolasa
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 a 30-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. I also am an ACTEC Fellow. 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 have a Masters degree in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center (L.L.M. Tax – 1983) and twin degrees from the University of Detroit (J.D. – 1982; B.S.
Accounting, magna cum laude - 1979). I began my legal career in 1983 in the IRS National Office, 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 2020 I was elected to the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a national organization of more than 2,500 peer-elected lawyers. Members, called "Fellows," represent the best and brightest in the trust and estate practice. I am honored by my membership in ACTEC. I also previously served as President of the Lake County Estate Planning Council, a group of the top estate professionals (attorneys, accountants, trust officers and financial advisors) in Lake County, Illinois. I’ve lectured frequently on estate planning and asset protection topics before the Chicago Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Lake County Estate Planning Council, and numerous other organizations. I frequently publish on estate planning topics, including recent feature articles in Trusts and Estates magazine and the Ilinois Bar Journal.
Robert J. Kolasa, Ltd. offers a full range of estate planning, probate, and trust administration services. These include preparation of wills, revocable living trusts, life insurance, dynasty, and other irrevocable trusts, grantor trusts, charitable trusts, family limited partnerships, grantor retained annuity trusts, spousal access 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. Besides 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 law firm is not a “trust mill” or “one size fits all” practice. Our trust 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 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 me. I would have it no other way.
My wife, Eileen, is a lawyer and hospital risk manager. We're the proud parents of three active young adults: Kelsey, Carter, and George. Kelsey (the eldest of our fiercely independent children) graduated from Georgetown University and the Kellogg M.B.A. program and is gainfully employed in Chicago. Our middle son, Carter, runs his long-standing SEO marketing business and attends college. Geoge started his education at the University of Chicago but now lives in Texas and is finishing his Computer Science degree (to complement his formidable technology skills). Both my boys strongly believe that the internet and e-commerce constitute the new frontier and that the opportunities presented therein are boundless.
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.