Professionals

Thomas Handler
Thomas J. Handler, J.D., P.C.
Presentations

Presenter, U.S. Family Office Structures and Operations for Global Families. Practicing Law Institute's International Estate & Tax Planning 2017 program. New York, New York (May 22, 2017).

Interview, Family Office Developments. Jim Fried with "Fried on Business" (March 30, 2017).

Presenter at the Chicago Bar Association's Trust Law Seminar. Topics include estate planning, buy-sell agreements and governance (March 23, 2017)

Interview, U.S. Family Office Real Estate. Podcast (March 8, 2017).

Speaker, Advanced Planning in the Trump Presidency: Asset Protection and Tax/Estate Considerations. Empowered Wealth Symposium, Rosemont, Illinois (March 8, 2017).

Panel Member, How to Structure Your Family Office: The Evolution of the Modern Day and the Future. Opal Financial Group Family Office Winter Forum in New York, New York (March 1, 2017).

Panel Member, Expert Tax Panel & Security Study Results Revealed. Family Wealth Alliance, Webcast (February 22, 2017).

Panel Member Remaking Income Tax & Wealth Transfer Strategies. Family Wealth Alliance, Houston, Texas (February 9, 2017).

Panel Member, How to Structure Your Family Office: A Strategic Planning Mechanism for Family Offices. Opal Financial Group Family Office Private Wealth West Forum. Napa Valley, California (October 26, 2016)

Panel Member, Making Legal Mountains out of Legal Molehills - When To and When Not To. New York State Society of CPAs Family Office Committe Seminar. New York, New York (September 22, 2016).

Keynote Speaker, Advanced Planning: The Changing Landscape of Income, Gift & Estate Taxation. Annual Family Wealth Report Asset Allocation Summit. New York, New York (September 21, 2016).

Keynote Speaker, Setting Up Your Family Office & Building Your Family Office's Capabilities. IMN's 1st Annual Real Estate Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum. Chicago, Illinois (September 12, 2016).

Panel Member, Defining Niche Investments and Finding & Evaluating Alternatives. IMN's 1st Annual Real Estate Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum. Chicago, Illinois (September 12, 2016).

Panel Member, How to Structure Your Family Office: A Stretegic Planning Mechanism for Family Offices. Opal Financial Group Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum. Newport, Rhode Island (July 18, 2016)

Presenter, Structuring Family Offices and Private Trust Companies. Chicago Bar Association Trust Law Committee. Chicago, Illinois (May 9, 2016).

Keynote Presenter, Best-in-Class Advanced Planning Structures & Strategies. 4th Private Banking and Family Office Summit. New York, New York (April 28, 2016).

Moderator of the panel, Family Office Client Acquisition and Relationships. Union League Club of Chicago (April 7, 2016).

Panel Member, How to Structure your Family Office: A Strategic Planning Mechanism for Family Offices for 2016 and Beyond. Opal Financial Group Family Office Winter Forum. New York, New York (March 8, 2016).

Panel Member, Defining the Role and Responsibilities of the Family Office. LegalWeek Private Client Forum Americas. Rosewood Tucker's Point, Bermuda (February 12, 2016).

Starting a Family Office & Best-in-Class Global Structures. Family Office Caucus sponsored by Heirloom Investment Management. Toronto, Canada (December 10, 2015).

Advanced Estate Planning: Current Opportunities. Loyola University’s Family Business Council PAG 7. Schaumburg, Illinois (November 16, 2015).

Panel Member, A New Day, a New Model:  How to Structure your Family Office for Success and Minimize the Government’s Hold. Opal Financial Group Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum West. Napa, California (October 28, 2015).

Panel Member, A New Day, a New Model:  How to Structure your Family Office for Success and Minimize the Government’s Hold. Opal Financial Group Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum. Newport, Rhode Island (July 20, 2015).

Family Offices A Perspective. The Portrait Group's Annual Internal Conference. Chicago, Illinois (May 29, 2015).

Finding the Exit: When and How to Sell your Business or Portfolio Company. Wilson Conferences Direct Investment & Deal Flow Summit. Chicago, Illinois (May 8, 2015).             

Regulatory and Tax Issues Facing Family Offices. Family Office Association Spring Global Summit. Rye, New York (April 8, 2015). 

Panel Member, A New Day, a New Model:  How to Structure your Family Office for Success and Minimize the Government’s Hold. Opal Financial Group Family Office and Private Wealth Management Winter Forum. New York, New York (March 10, 2015).

Panel Member, Nontraditional Capital: Family Office Funding. University of Florida Bergstrom Center Real Estate Trends and Strategies Conference. Orlando, Florida (February 26, 2015).

Advanced Estate Planning; Top 10 Pitfalls & Best Practices. The Institute for Private Investors' Winter Conference. San Francisco, CA (February 12, 2015).

Structuring your Family Office for Success: What Every Family Should Know Regarding Government Taxation and Regulation and The Rules for 2015 and Beyond. The New York State Society of CPAs Family Office Conference. New York City, NY (February 3, 2015).

Chicago Bar Association’s Trust Law Committee on Taxpayer Flight & Domicile Issues. Chicago, Illinois (January 12, 2015).

Best-in-Class Advanced Tax & Estate Planning. Family Office Super Summit. Miami, Florida. (November 11-13, 2014).

Moderator. Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum - West, sponsored by Opal Financial Group. Napa Valley, California (October 27-29, 2014).

Moderator. The Annual Alliance Fall Forum sponsored by Family Wealth Alliance. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (October 21-22, 2014).

Asset Protection Planning: Business and Advanced Planning with LLCs. Willis Group Holding plc. Webinar. (October 16, 2014).

Advanced Estate and Asset Protection Planning. 2014 Fee Based Financial Planning Annual Meeting. Rosemont, Illinois (October 6-8, 2014).

Advanced Planning Strategies. Northwestern Mutual Business Market Conference. Atlanta, Georgia (September 9, 2014).

Structuring your Family Office for Success: What Every Family Should Know Regarding Government Taxation and Regulation and The New Rules for 2014 and Beyond. Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum sponsored by Opal Financial Group. Newport, Rhode Island (July 21-23, 2014).

Conference Chairman. Advanced Planning for UHNW Families and Family Offices. Family Wealth Alliance Chicago Regional Event. Chicago, Illinois (June 26, 2014).

Conference Chairman. Family Office Regulation and Taxation: Current Issues. Spring Global Summit sponsored by the Family Office Association. Rye, New York (April 9-10, 2014).

Structuring your Family Office for Success: What Every Family Should Know Regarding Government Taxation and Regulation and The New Rules for 2014 and Beyond. Opal Family Office Winter Forum, sponsored by Opal Financial Group. New York, New York (March 12, 2014).

Family Office panel moderator. The 9th Annual Family Office Investment Symposium sponsored by Lido Consulting, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA (February 5-7, 2014).

IRS Global High Wealth Industry and IRS Representation Practice Tips. CBA Trust Law Committee, Chicago, Illinois (December 9, 2013).  

Advanced Planning for Ultra-High Net Worth Families, Celebrities, Professional Athletes and Family Offices. Rusty Humphries Talk Radio Show hosted by Charles Butler (December 2, 2013).

Structuring Your Family Office: Formation through Government Regulation. The Opal Family Office West Conference, sponsored by the Opal Financial Group, Napa Valley, California (October 23-25, 2013).

Panel Moderator. Family Wealth Alliance 2013 Fall Forum, Chicago, Illinois (October 16-18, 2013).

Advanced Estate Planning. Northwestern Mutual Annual Financial Planning Meeting, Chicago, Illinois (October 9, 2013).

Advanced Tax and Estate Planning. The Advanced Wealth Management Conference sponsored by Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), Chicago, Illinois (October 8, 2013).

Current Trends in Advanced Planning. RIA Advisor Investment Forum sponsored by Lord Abbett, Newark, New Jersey (September 26, 2013).

Government Taxation and Regulation. The Opal Family Office Forum, sponsored by Opal Financial Group, Newport, Rhode Island (July 22-24, 2013).

Relationship Development: what is it, how does it happen, and how do you become the advisor families and family offices choose to work with. Opal Financial Group Webinar. (June 27, 2013).

Relationship Risk: what is it, where is it and how does it affect family sustainability. Opal Financial Group Webinar. (June 20, 2013).

Sophisticated Estate Planning. 2013 Estate and High Net Worth Sales Conference sponsored by Northwestern Mutual in Chicago, Illinios (June 4, 2013).

When the Going Gets Tough - To Save or Dissolve the Family Office. Building the Better Family Office sponsored by Financial Research Associates, New York City, New York (May 15-16, 2013).

Head-On Solutions for Regulatory Obstacles. Building the Better Family Office sponsored by Financial Research Associates, New York City, New York (May 15-16, 2013).

Advanced Estate Planning. Annual RIA Forum sponsored by Lord Abbett and Co.. Jersey City, New Jersey (May 8-9, 2013).

Current Estate Planning. Trinity Life Settlements, LLC, Webinar (April 30, 2013).

Estate Planning For The Affluent. The 8th Annual Family Office Symposium, sponsored by Lido Consulting in Beverly Hills, California (March 6-8, 2013).

Government Taxation & Regulation: New Rules for 2013 and Beyond. Family Office Winter Forum, sponsored by Opal Financial Group, New York, New York (March 4, 2013).

Relevant Income Tax Issues for the Estate Planner. Chicago Bar Association Trust Tax Law Committee, Chicago, Illinois (February 11, 2013).

Global Family Office Regulation: The U.S. Dodd-Frank Act. The European Family Office and Wealth Management Conference, sponsored by ESAFON, in Geneva, Switzerland (January 31 - February 1, 2013).

Government Taxation & Regulation: New Rules for 2012 and Beyond. Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum - West sponsored by Opal Financial Group, Napa Valley, California (October 24-26, 2012).

Business and Advanced Planning with Limited Liability Companies, Webinar sponsored by Hub International Personal Insurance.  (October 2, 2012).

Advanced Estate Planning Master class workshop. National Family Office Forum sponsored by World Research Group, Boston, Massachusetts (September 21, 2012).

The Changing Tax Landscape for 2012/2013. National Family Office Forum sponsored by World Research Group, Boston, Massachusetts (September 20, 2012).

Gift Tax Planning and Federal Estate Tax Update. Tax Planning for Trusts and Estates Seminar sponsored by National Business Institute, Chicago, Illinois (September 19, 2012).

Government Taxation & Regulation: New Rules for 2012 and Beyond. Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum sponsored by Opal Financial Group, Newport, Rhode Island (July 23-25, 2012).

The Future of the Family Office Industry. Centers of Influence Network sponsored by Private Asset Management, White Plains, New York (June 26–27, 2012).

Conference Chairman of the Family Office Association (FOA) Chicago Special Event (Keynote Interview with Sam Zell), Chicago, Illinois (June 13, 2012).

Debating the New SEC Rules: How Should Families Adapt? 10th Anniversary Family Office Symposium sponsored by Financial Research Associates, LLC, Southampton, Bermuda (May 7-8, 2012).

Advanced Estate Planning in the Current Regulatory and Economic Climate. Webinar sponsored by The New York Life Insurance Company (April 25, 2012).

Family Offices in the Dodd Frank Regulatory Environment. Webinar sponsored by HUB International Personal Insurance. (March 29, 2012).

Tax and Estate Consequences of Annuity Contracts. John Hancock Continuing Education Seminar, Skokie, Illinois (March 22, 2012).

Government Taxation and Regulation: New Rules for 2012 and Beyond. Tax, Trust & Estate Planning Forum sponsored by Opal Financial Group, New York City, New York (March 2, 2012).

Establishing a Firm Strategy and How to Comply with SEC Regulations and Tax Initiatives. National Family Office Forum sponsored by World Research Group, Beverly Hills, California (January 30-31, 2012).

Advanced Tax & Estate Planning (panel moderator and speaker) and Structuring a Family Office (panelist). Family Office West Conference hosted by Opal Financial Group, Santa Rosa, California (November 7-9, 2011).

Setting Up Family Offices Abroad. World Research Group’s Family Office Summit Latin America Conference, Sao Paulo, Brazil (September 26-28, 2011).

The Dodd-Frank Act and Its Implications for Family Offices Under a New Regulatory Scheme. 12th Annual Family Office Wealth Conference sponsored by Institutional Investor and LIDO Consulting, Inc., Laguna Beach, California (September 18-20, 2011).

21st Century Family Office Caliber Advanced Tax and Estate Planning. Opal Financial Group’s Annual Family Office & Private Wealth Conference, Newport Beach, Rhode Island (July 18-20, 2011).

The Newly Enacted SEC Regulations Governing Family Offices. Single Family Offices virtual conference sponsored by The Family Office Association of Greenwich, Connecticut (June 27, 2011).

Advanced Estate Planning in the Current Regulatory and Economic Environment. Family Office Forum, Chicago, Illinois (June 2-3, 2011). 

Setting the Stage: Opportunistic Planning in Light of the New Tax Laws. IIR Family Office Series Conference - Trust & Estate Planning Summit, Chicago, Illinois (June 1, 2011).

Security Council Expert Panel: Macro Threats (Moderator), Family Wealth Alliance Spring Conference, Oak Brook, Illinois (May 18-20, 2011).

Advanced Planning and Tax Compliance, West Coast Family Office Roundtable hosted by Greenwich-based Family Office Association, San Francisco, California (May 16, 2011).

Family Limited Liability Entities – Estate Planning Opportunities & Caveats. Chicago Bar Association Trust Law Committee, Chicago, Illinois (May 9, 2011).

High Value Clients: Planning Opportunities in 2011 and Beyond. AALU Annual Meeting, Washington, DC (May 1-4, 2011).

Government Taxation and Regulation. Trust, Tax and Estate Planning Forum, New York, New York (March 7, 2011).

Directorships

Director, Trōv, Incorporated, 2012 to 2014
Director, Advisory Board, Lido Consulting, Inc. family office conferences,   2012 to present
Director, Advisory Board, Financial Research Associates family office   conferences, 2012 to present
Director, Advisory Board, Family Office Association, 2011-Present
Chairman, Handler Thayer, LLP, Advanced Planning & Family Office
  Practice Group, 2009-present
Director, Advisory Board, Opal Financial Group Family Office & Private
  Wealth Forum, 2009-present
Director, Advisory Board, Lexington Family Office, 2008-present
Director, Advisory Board, Family Wealth Alliance, 2003-present
Director, Family Office Conference Advisory Board, IIR, 2002-2011
Director, BPS International, LLC, 1998-2008
Director, Ultra Stores, Incorporated, 1994-2009
 • Member, Compensation Committee, 1995-2009
 • Member, Audit Committee, 1995-2009
Director, The Mid-Day Club of Chicago, 1996-2007
 • Secretary, 2002-2007
 • Assistant Secretary, 1997-1998
 • Member, Executive Committee, 1997-2007
 • Vice Chairman, Membership Committee, 1996-1998
 • Chairman, Membership Committee, 1998-2002
 • Member, Finance Committee, 1996-1998
 • Director, Associate Board, 1995-1996
Director, Professional Benefit Trust Advisory Board, 2003-2005
Director, Winnetka Tennis Association, 2000-2004
 • Vice President, 2000-2001
 • President, 2001-2002
Director, Business Planning Systems, LLC, 1996-2004
Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity International/Educational Foundation
 • Chairman of the Board/International President, 1998-2000
 • Director/International Vice President, 1994-1998, 2000-2002
 • Director/National Vice President, 1978-1979
 • National Rush Director, 1982-1994
 • Director/President, Chicago Alumni Association, 1988-1989
 • Advisory Board Member, U of C, Northwestern, and U of I Chapters
 • Member, Educational Foundation Planned Gifts Committee, 1992-1996
 • Director, University of Chicago Housing Corporation, 1992-1995
Director, Robert B. Huff Scholarship Foundation, 1990-1998
 • Chairman, Celebrity Committee
Chairman, Celebrity Committee, 1990-1998
Director, Qualified Planning Resources, Inc., 1995-1997
Director, Aerospace International Companies, Inc., 1995-1996
Director/Advisory Board, Aon-Maryville NFL Players Alumni
  Association Charity Golf Tournament, 1990-1991
Director/Advisory Board, Winnetka Nielsen Tennis Center,
  1990-1991

Honors and Awards

• Citywealth Global Leaders List - Top 100 Lawyers in the U.S. 2016
• Citywealth Global Leaders List - Top International Wealth Planning Attorneys, 2015
• Family Office Review – Michael J. Brink Wealth Industry Leadership & Service Award, 2015
• Acquisition Finance Magazine – Wealth Planning Gamechanger Lawyer of the Year, 2015
• Acquisition Finance Magazine – International Wealth Planning Lawyer of the Year, 2015
• Leading Lawyers (IL) – Trust, Will and Estate Planning Law, 2010-Present
• Leading Lawyers (IL) – Closely & Privately Held Business Law, 2010-Present
• Citywealth Global Leaders List - Top International Wealth Planning Attorneys, 2013
• University of Illinois Scholarship Foundation Loyalty Circle Award, 2007
• Pi Kappa Alpha Chicago Alumni Association Loyalty Award, 2004
• Wealth Strategies Design Team (Comprised of fifteen of the top wealth 
planners in the United States), 2001-2007
• Life Member, National Registry of Who's Who in America, 2001-present
• Who's Who in Executives and Professionals in America, 1996-97, 1997-98
• Who's Who in American Law, 1989-1991
• Who's Who of Emerging Leaders of America, 1988, 1999, 1990, 1992
• Distinguished Leadership Award, 1988
• Men of Achievement, 1988
• Who's Who in the Midwest, 1987 and 1989
• Outstanding Young Men of America, 1985 and 1986
• University of Illinois Outstanding Senior Award, 1979
• Shorter Board Scholastic and Leadership Honorary, 1978
• 100 Club Scholastic and Leadership Honorary, 1978
• Pi Kappa Alpha Outstanding Service Award, 1978
• Sigma Iota Lambda Scholastic Honorary, 1977
• Phi Eta Sigma Scholastic Honorary, 1975

Thomas J. Handler, 21st Century Family Office Structures, Family Office Association White Paper, July (2017).

Thomas J. Handler, Virtual family offices - a global trend, The Int'l Family Offices J., 5 (December 2016). Subscribe to the magazine here.

Thomas J. Handler. "2015 Family Office Outlook," www.JDSupra.com. March 12, 2015.

Thomas J. Handler. "Establishing Virtual Family Offices," Trusts & Estates Magazine. March (2014).

Thomas J. Handler, Contributor. Breakthroughs In Managing Tangible Assets: Completing The Picture Of Wealth.” Ace Private Risk Services and Trōv White Paper. February (2014).  

Thomas J. Handler. "Do Your Research, and Be Stealthy" featured in the New York Times Forum on Prenuptial Agreements. The New York Times. March 21, 2013.

Thomas J. Handler and Christine E. McKillip. "CFTC Reinstates Family Office Exception." www.JDSupra.com. December 5, 2012. This article was republished by Family Office Association on December 12, 2012 and republished by Family Office News on December 14, 2012.

Thomas J. Handler. "The Dodd-Frank Act: Implications for Family Offices." 2012 Institute for Private Investors Report (2012).

Thomas J. Handler and Christine E. McKillip. "The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Rescinds a Common Family Office Exemption." www.JDSupra.com. May 17, 2012.

Thomas J. Handler. "Financial Regulation of Family Offices in the Current Environment," Family Office Association, January (2012).

Thomas J. Handler. S.E.C. Registration of Family Offices: Private Trust Companies May Provide One Avenue of Relief. Trusts & Estates Magazine, October (2011) (Republished by Family Offices Group).

Thomas J. Handler. Family Office Exemption Narrowly Defined by S.E.C.. Family Office Association SFO Letter, July (2011).

Thomas J. Handler. The Family Office Exception: Greater Clarity Could Force Greater Compliance. Family Wealth Report, June (2011).

Thomas J. Handler, Contributor. The Domestic Staffing Cycle: From Hiring to Firing. Hub International Personal Insurance. (2009).

Handler and Heller, Asset Protection Planning,” Private Wealth (2005).

Handler and Heller, “Key Elements in Asset Protection Planning,” Institute for International Research Family Office Letter, February (2004).

Handler and Thornhill, Welfare Benefit Plans:  Current Trends and Legislative Proposals,” SF59, ALI-ABA, 255, Uses of Insurance in Estate and Tax Planning Course Book (2001).

Thomas J. Handler. “Family Limited Partnerships Continue to Increase in Popularity,” Wealth Enhancement and Preservation Letter, First Quarter (2000).

Thomas J. Handler. "Charitable Remainder Trusts,” Horizons Letter, Winter (1998).

Thomas J. Handler. "Welfare Benefit Plans - What You Need To Know,” Life and Health Insurance Sales (1997).

Thomas J. Handler. “Retention of Tax Records,” Horizons Letter, Winter (1996).

Thomas J. Handler. "Multiple Employer Welfare Benefit Plans Require Planning and Risk Evaluation,” Journal of Taxation of Employee Benefits, July/August (1995).

Thomas J. Handler. "Multiple Employer Welfare Benefit Plans Have Advantages for Employees and Executives," Journal of Taxation of Employee Benefits, May/June (1995).

Thomas J. Handler. "Family Limited Partnerships," Horizons Letter, Spring (1995).

Thomas J. Handler, Editor, "Legal & Tax Trends," Newsletter, Handler Thayer, LLP, (1988 to present).

Thomas J. Handler. "Can You Find a Break in the New Tax Cloud?” Horizons Letter, Winter (1994).

Thomas J. Handler. "Samuel K. Skinner Accepts The Challenge as President Bush's White House Chief Of Staff," Shield & Diamond Magazine, Volume 103, Number 2 (1992). 

Thomas J. Handler. "More Cash in Your Pocket," Horizons Letter, Winter (1992).

Thomas J. Handler, Contributing Editor, "Minding Your Own Business," Financial Lifestyles Publishing (1991), (Financial & Estate Planning Adjunct Book).

Thomas J. Handler. "At the Helm of the Department of Transportation, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Samuel K. Skinner," Shield & Diamond Magazine, Volume 100, Number 4 (1989).

Thomas J. Handler. "Legal & Tax Trends."  Professional periodical newsletter dealing with Tax, Business, and Financial & Estate Planning topics, Handler & Associates, Ltd., (1983 to 1988).                          

Thomas J. Handler. "The Financial Report."  Professional periodical newsletter dealing with Tax, Investment, and Financial & Estate Planning topics, Handler & Associates, Ltd., (1980-1984).

Broida and Handler, "Interference with Contract and Prospective Advantage in Illinois," 32 DePaul Law Review 325 (1983).

Affiliations

Member, The University Club of Chicago, 2008-present
Member, Asset Protection Society, 2006-present
Member, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Chicago Philanthropy Committee,
  2005-present
Member, International Business Forums Chicago Chapter, 2002-2012
Captain, Winnetka Tennis Team, 2001-present
Member, Winnetka Tennis Association, 1987-present
Member, Chicago Bar Association
• Member, CBA Trust Law Committee
  • Chairman, Subcommittee on Private Foundations, 2001-2002
  • Chairman, Subcommittee on Family Limited Partnerships, 2003-2004
  • Chairman, Subcommittee on FLP Administration, 2006-2007
• Member, CBA Federal Taxation Committee
Member, Illinois State Bar Association
• Member, Section on Corporation and Securities Law
• Member, Section on Federal Taxation
• Member, Section on Trusts & Estates
Member, American Bar Association
• Member, ABA Section of Taxation
Member, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
Member, Society of Financial Service Professionals, 2006-2007
Member, North American Interfraternity Conference
• Nominating Committee, 2004-2006
• Committee on Public Relations and Marketing, 1999-2002
Member, Financial Planning Association, 2001-2003
Member, Sierra Club Lawyers' Roundtable, 1992-1994

Tom Handler