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Sarah M. Barnes

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Attorney

Sarah M. Barnes

Sarah M. Barnes is an attorney and member of the Trusts & Estates group at Harrison & Held, LLP.  Sarah concentrates her practice in the areas of estate and trust administration, estate planning, and probate, including decedent and guardianship estates.

Sarah represents numerous individual and corporate fiduciaries charged with trust and estate administration and guides them through the probate process when required.   Sarah also handles controversies that arise during the administration process and frequently appears in court to handle both routine and contested matters.   She often advises fiduciaries and beneficiaries on cost-effective solutions under the Illinois Trust Code when dealing with obsolete estate planning documents, or ambiguous terms within those documents.

Sarah also regularly handles trust and estate litigation matters in probate and chancery court.  Sarah uses her litigation experience in her estate planning and administration practice to foresee potential challenges and to take steps to mitigate issues that may arise during the administration phase.

Sarah received her law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law where she was regularly named to the Dean’s List and received the CALI award for excellence in Legal Writing IV, Civil Litigation.  Prior to law school, Sarah graduated from Michigan State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Education

  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 2015
    • CALI Award for highest grade in Legal Writing IV: Civil Litigation
  • Michigan State University, B.A., 2010
    • Completed Study Abroad Program at University of New South Wales, Australia

Organizations

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association, Member of Probate Practice Committee
  • Lake County Bar Association

Admissions

  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • Southern District of Illinois

Awards & Honors

Speeches & Publications

  • Co-author: Reflecting on Mental Health Awareness Month: A Refresher on Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Advanced Directives and Guardianships, and What Happens When There Is Disagreement, IICLE Estate Planning & Probate Law Flashpoints, June 2021
  • Co-author: SECURE Act Impacts Non-Spouse Beneficiaries of Retirement Plans, IICLE Estate Planning & Probate Law Flashpoints, May 2021
  • Co-author: Estate Planning During COVID-19: Current Law and Restrictions and Some Proposed Solutions, IICLE Estate Planning & Probate Law Flashpoints, April 2020
  • Co-author: Considerations in Advising the Fiduciary After Death, IICLE Estate Administration, 2019
  • Contributor: Opening the Probate Estate and Alternatives to Probate, IICLE Estate Administration, 2019
  • Co-presenter: A Refresher on Claims and the Intersection of Personal Injury & Probate: Practical Tips from Probate Practitioners and a View from the Bench, 2019 CBA Probate Practice Committee Annual Seminar, November 6, 2019

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