People: Stephen L. Schar, Senior Counsel

Photo of Stephen L. Schar, Senior Counsel

Stephen L. Schar

Senior Counsel

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5649
Fax: (312) 460-7649
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Mr. Schar is senior cousel in the Corporate Department of the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is a member of the Trusts and Estate Practice Group.  He has nearly 40 years of experience creating estate plans allowing wealth to pass from generation to generation while minimizing income, estate, gift and generation-skipping  tax consequences.

Mr. Schar represents numerous family-owned businesses and advises clients regarding succession, retirement and estate planning issues impacting their businesses.  In addition, he has handled federal estate tax audits for family-owned businesses and has succeeded in obtaining substantial reductions in business valuations for tax purposes.

Demonstrating his experience, Mr. Schar devised a plan to save the owners of a substantial Chicago-area family business over $30 million by implementing a major gift program that preserved the family’s ownership succession.  He also helped restructure family businesses into limited partnerships that maintained family control yet provided substantial income to family members not active in the business. He has experience with sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts and other strategies to significantly reduce the potential estate tax liability with minimal gift and income tax consequences.

Mr. Schar also represents public charities and private foundations and advises clients regarding supporting organizations, charitable gift annuities, donor advised funds and endowment fund matters.  Among his recent accomplishments, Mr. Schar has advised on the split up of a private foundation and on issues pertaining to a foundation’s ownership and sale of family business interests.

Mr. Schar is senior cousel in the Corporate Department of the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is a member of the Trusts and Estate Practice Group.  He has nearly 40 years of experience creating estate plans allowing wealth to pass from generation to generation while minimizing income, estate, gift and generation-skipping  tax consequences.

Mr. Schar represents numerous family-owned businesses and advises clients regarding succession, retirement and estate planning issues impacting their businesses.  In addition, he has handled federal estate tax audits for family-owned businesses and has succeeded in obtaining substantial reductions in business valuations for tax purposes.

Demonstrating his experience, Mr. Schar devised a plan to save the owners of a substantial Chicago-area family business over $30 million by implementing a major gift program that preserved the family’s ownership succession.  He also helped restructure family businesses into limited partnerships that maintained family control yet provided substantial income to family members not active in the business. He has experience with sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts and other strategies to significantly reduce the potential estate tax liability with minimal gift and income tax consequences.

Mr. Schar also represents public charities and private foundations and advises clients regarding supporting organizations, charitable gift annuities, donor advised funds and endowment fund matters.  Among his recent accomplishments, Mr. Schar has advised on the split up of a private foundation and on issues pertaining to a foundation’s ownership and sale of family business interests.

Education

  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law (1970)
    Case Note Editor, DePaul Law Review
  • B.A., University of Chicago (1967)

Admissions

  • Illinois

Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association (Member, Committee on Estate Planning)
  • Illinois State Bar Association (Member, Committee on Estate Planning)
  • Chicago Estate Planning Council

Recognition

  • Illinois Super Lawyer (2005, 2006)


The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no certificate, award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.