William J. Fairbanks


William J. Fairbanks concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, and fiduciary and individual income taxation. His estate planning practice focuses on tax advantaged multigenerational wealth transfers, preservation, and enhancement and business succession planning. Tax advantaged planning can involve planning for charities and use of entities such as limited liability companies, partnerships, and S corporations. Trust and estate administration includes probate court practice and close coordination with fiduciaries, beneficiaries, investment managers, and accountants. Trust and estate administration also can involve contested matters. His fiduciary and income tax work complements the other areas of his practice. His clients include investors, whose wealth comes from many different sources, owners of closely held businesses, and executives of major corporations. In recent years, his practice has expanded into advising several generations within families.

Education & Admissions
  • University of Illinois College of Law,
  • J.D.
  • Brown University, B.A., with a concentration in philosophy and minors in English and economics

Bar Admissions:

  • Illinois
Areas of Practice
  • Estate Planning
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Charitable Planning
  • Trust and Estate Administration and Probate
  • Tax Controversy

Professional Associations

  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Past Chair, Division A [Estate and Gift] Federal Tax Committee
    • Executive Committee of the Federal Tax Committee
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Community Associations

  • Board of Directors and Officer of Thresholds, a psychiatric rehabilitation organization
  • Past President and Board of Directors of Montgomery Place, a senior citizen residential program offering a full continuum of care
  • The Church Home, as Past President and Board of Directors
  • His church, in a number of leadership positions

Speaking Engagements and Publications

  • Bill has spoken at IICLE conferences and written chapters for IICLE handbooks.