Thomas J. Handler, J.D., P.C.
Handler Thayer, LLP

191 N. Wacker Drive
Floor 23
Chicago, Illinois 60606, United States
Phone: 312-641-2100
Fax: 312-641-6866
Areas of Practice
  • Business Organizations
  • Taxation
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Practice/Organization Description

Mr. Handler is an advanced planning attorney focused on structuring complex estate plans and handling related business structures and tax planning issues for affluent families, family businesses and family offices. Such planning often involves the interplay of income tax, estate tax, executive benefits, and financial matters. In this regard, Mr. Handler is particularly experienced in dealing with business owners, directors, executives, professional athletes, celebrities and family offices. He has extensive experience in the analysis, design and implementation of domestic and international business planning, financial and estate planning, and advanced tax planning strategies. Mr. Handler is a managing partner in Handler Thayer, LLP, where he chairs the firm's Advanced Planning & Family Office Practice Group.

Bar Admissions

Admitted to the Illinois Bar; Admitted to the U.S. Tax Court


He earned a Bachelor of Sciences in Accountancy degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Juris Doctorate degree (Law Review) from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.

Professional Associations & Memberships

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-present

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

Honors and Awards

• Family Office Review - Michael J. Brink Wealth Industry Leadership & Service Award, 2015

• Leading Lawyers (IL) - Trust, Will and Estate Planning Law, 2010-2014

• Leading Lawyers (IL) - Closely & Privately Held Business Law, 2010-2014

• CityWealth Global Leaders List - International Wealth Planning Attorneys, 2013

• University of Illinois Scholarship Foundation Loyalty Circle Award, 2007

• Pi Kappa Alpha Chicago Alumni Association Loyalty Award, 2004

• Named to PCG Wealth Strategies Design Team, 2001-2007 (comprised of 15 of the top wealth planners in the U.S.)

• 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, 1990, 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

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