Mel M. Justak Photo

Mel chairs the firm’s Private Client Services team in the Global Corporate Group focusing on sophisticated estate planning, particularly for private business owners and their families. He places special emphasis on integrating sophisticated estate and gift tax planning with the business and personal aspects of succession planning. This planning includes the use of grantor retained annuity trusts, intra-family sales, generation-skipping tax planning, family partnerships, marital agreements, insurance planning and buy-sell agreements for family businesses. For the business owner who may have had a significant liquidity event, Mel provides advice regarding the implementation and administration of family office structures. He also advises clients on a range of charitable giving techniques including the formation of private foundations and other not-for-profit entities, and their proper administration. Mel represents both trustees and lenders in complex, premium financed life insurance transactions. In addition, Mel has represented clients in estate and gift tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service and various state tax agencies. Mel was recognized as a "Rising Star" by Illinois Super Lawyers for 2009-2011.


  • Georgetown University Law Center, 2002, LL.M., Taxation
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, 2001, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
  • University of Notre Dame, 1996, B.A.

  • Illinois
  • Indiana

  • Fellow, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
  • Past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Trust Law Committee
  • Member of the Illinois State Bar Association
  • Member of the Chicago Bar Association
  • Member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council