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Robert T. Napier helps a wide range of clients protect their wealth and families through creative, but conservative, estate planning. He represents individuals, families, foundations, closely-held corporations, and fiduciaries.
Mr. Napier has administered countless estates that range from simple to complex with some involving contentious beneficiaries.
Mr. Napier has received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® ranking and has been named a Leading Lawyer.
Mr. Napier joined Harrison & Held in 2012 after managing his own Chicago law firm, Robert T. Napier and Associates, P.C., for nearly 20 years.
Member of the Professional Advisors Council of the Community Foundation of Collier County
Member of the Estate Planning Council of Naples
Past President of the Greater North Shore Estate and Financial Planning Council
Columnist for Trusts & Estates
Director of Friends of the USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72 (www.ussabe.org)
Former member of the Planned Giving Committee of The Hadley Institute for the Blind (www.hadley.edu)
Former member of the Planned Giving Committee of the Ravinia Festival (www.ravinia.org)
Member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council
Member of the Collier County Bar Association
Former trustee for his community library
Former trustee of Allendale Association
Former school board member
Former parish Resource Allocation Committee member
Former student basketball coach
Publications & Speeches
Mr. Napier has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and published in Barron’s magazine. He has lectured for the Chicago Bar Association, ICLE, financial consultants, executives, and the Illinois CPA Society. He has addressed numerous business and civic groups, acted as a defense expert witness, and published the following articles:
DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1987
Certified Public Accountant, 1986
Marquette University, B.S. Salutatorian, 1984
State Bar of Florida, 2015
State Bar of Michigan, 2004
Northern District of Illinois, 2001
Supreme Court of the United States, 2001
Illinois Supreme Court, 1987
U.S. District Court, 1987
I've advised generations of families for three decades. They often ask for advice for the younger generations, which we call Generation Two, or G2 for short.
Below are 21 points for advising G2. While much of the advice may be familiar, it may be helpful.
Donor advised funds (DAFs)1 and private foundations (PFs)2 are often compared and con- trasted. Those making the comparisons often quickly conclude that a DAF is the better choice. More and more it seems that DAFs are becoming the reflexive recommendation of many advisors. Almost before a client describes her charitable desires—or how large the —the advisor enthusiastically decrees, “The DAF is the right choice for you!”
In the movie Scarface, Al Pacino inhospitably quips, “Say hello to my little friend!” He could easily have been introducing the new healthcare tax.1 Estate planning attorneys, financial advisors, trust officers and certified public accountants attend innumerable seminars, some lasting up to a week, to strategize on how best to save their clients from dreaded gift and estate taxes. However, the new healthcare tax also deserves special attention because it’s efficiently attacking their clients’ wallets now.
Much has been made recently of professional athletes, like Phil Mickelson, considering fleeing less favorable state tax jurisdictions. Many clients will wander the country, and even the globe, in search of jurisdictions willing to tax less of their incomes or estates. Many states have imposed ever-higher taxes, resulting in a new migration of clients prepared to wander from their old place of domicile to a new, less-taxing place.
Somewhere in a bleak house in Washington, D.C. a plot exists. The conspirators are working against a favorite planning tool, the grantor retailed annuity trust (GRAT). Bill after bill has been born to limit the flexibility and power of the GRAT. The authors of these legislative works have great expectations to oppress this popular idea.
In what kind of Alice in Wonderland world might clients be better off destroying good things like charitable remainder trusts (CRTs)
Many clients believe that the greatest enemy to their wealth is the federal estate tax. The reality is that very few estates actually pay a federal estate tax and current estimates are that fewer than 20,000 estates annually will actually pay the federal estate tax.
Picture the smiling face of a child staring at a cookie jar. What joy to see the cookies loaded in, knowing that, in time, the occasional cookie will be dispensed. Now imagine the joy on that same child’s face when he or she raids the cookie jar, cradling as many cookies as a child can hold.