Elise J. McGee - McDermott Will & Emery


Elise J. McGee advises high-net-worth individuals and business owners on all aspects of wealth-transfer planning, including estate and trust administration, leveraged wealth-transfer techniques, tax matters, cryptocurrency and QSBS planning, real estate transactions and closely held business matters. Elise has extensive experience working with owners of closely held businesses to develop governance and succession plans, and on corporate, tax and compliance matters relating to those businesses.

Elise specializes in the formation and operation of private trust companies, and has advised clients on these structures in multiple jurisdictions. Elise has worked with state regulators to develop customized private trust company structures for clients, including for international families. Most recently, she co-drafted Wyoming’s 2019 trust company legislation including 2021 legislative updates. Elise has analyzed SEC and regulatory compliance issues facing private trust companies, and has helped clients develop policies and procedures for their private trust companies. She also advises clients on the litigation and regulatory risks facing private trust companies and their decision-makers.

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  • Created customized, complex private trust companies, each serving as trustee of family trusts having more than US$ 500 million in assets
  • Develop estate planning transactions for clients with heavily regulated assets, including professional sports teams, gaming entities, banks and wineries
  • Lead a team in restructuring a multimillion-dollar closely held operating business

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  • Chambers High Net Worth, Illinois: Private Wealth Law, 2021–2023
  • Citywealth Crypto 100, Top Advisor, 2022


  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow
  • Chicago Bar Association, Executive Committee of the Trust Law Committee, Member


University of Michigan Law School, JD, 2005
University of Chicago, AB, with honors, 2000