John R. Wiktor Chair | Private Client, Trusts and Estates Group
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John R. Wiktor

John R. Wiktor

Chair | Private Client, Trusts and Estates Group

“I want to learn everything about my clients—their work, their goals, their passions. I truly believe that to serve people best as counselor to their most important needs, it’s crucial I go beyond the ‘standard questionnaire’ and carefully get to know them.”

John is a partner at HMB and Chair of the firm’s Private Client, Trusts and Estates Group. He focuses his practice on business planning and tax issues, estate and charitable planning and trust and estate litigation.

Representing business owners, banks, charitable organizations, wealthy families, athletes and high-net-worth individuals, John advises clients on income, corporate, estate, gift and generation-skipping tax considerations, as well as general business matters that help business owners build and grow successful enterprises.

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John partners with business owners on day-to-day corporate issues, succession planning, shareholder agreements and divestitures. He also regularly advises individuals in all manners of estate planning, estate administration, will and trust litigation and asset protection planning.

With over 20 years of experience counseling both “donee” and “donor” side philanthropists, John counsels large public charities, sophisticated private family foundations, grant-making organizations and high net-worth individuals on issues related to governance, tax, structure of gift agreements and preserving legacy.

A Holistic Approach to Estate, Business and Charitable Planning

Clients rely on John for practical advice that compliments their full state of affairs. They appreciate John’s devotion to learning their life, their goals and their businesses, and they depend on his close guidance as a true family counselor and charitable tax authority to help them pass wealth and wisdom across generations.


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. with honors
  • University of Michigan, B.A. in History


  • Illinois
  • Indiana


  • “Gift Agreements: Whether Giving or Receiving, How Can Good Intentions Be Preserved,” Family Foundation Advisor, May/June 2019
  • “How to Connect With the Next Generation of Philanthropists,” Family Foundation Advisor, January/February 2017
  • “Philanthropy Well Planned,” Family Foundation Advisor, September/October 2016
  • “Understanding the Business Owner Donor: Key Issues and Solutions in Transferring Closely Held Business Interests to Private Foundations,” BNA Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal, September 2016
  • “When Does a Private Foundation Make Sense?  Initial Questions and Organizational Issues Donors Must Consider,” Family Foundation Advisor, November/December 2015
  • “The Family Business: Preserving and Maximizing an Investment in the Past, Present and Future,” Journal of Taxation of Investments, December 2014
  • “Reaching Potential:  Planning for Families With Young Children,” Journal of Taxation of Investments, Winter 2011
  • “Maximizing a Charitable Gift,” Journal of Taxation of Investments, Fall 2011
  • “Restructuring Charitable Gifts in Tough Economic Times,” Family Foundation Advisor, July/August 2010
  • Putting Family First: Intergenerational Wealth Transfer and Investment Planning,” Journal of Taxation of Investments, Spring 2010
  • “Promoting Family Values,” Family Foundation Advisor, May/June 2008


  • John Wiktor will Discuss Legal Issues Relating to COVID-19 at the JourneyCare Virtual Town Hall - 5/28/20May 21, 2020

    5/28/20 11:00AM - 12:00PM CT Please join John Wiktor, with President and CEO of JourneyCare, Kimberly Hobson and Greg Hummel of BCLP, LLP, for a virtual town hall to discuss legal issues and changes in the time of COVID-19. This is your opportunity to learn from industry leaders about estate planning tools and changes, tax law updates, and new employee/employer mandates…

  • John Wiktor Presents "Charitable Gift Agreements: Restrictions, Naming Rights, Enforcement and Ensuring Deductibility of Contributions"May 17, 2019

    The necessary details of charitable agreements are often overlooked by the parties, potentially resulting in serious legal ramifications. Incorporating charitable giving in an estate plan involves careful consideration to specific rights, conditions, restrictions and other vital provisions within a charitable gift to ensure the donor's intent and the benefits allowed for estate planning purposes. Charitable gift agreements must outline the…

  • John R. Wiktor Presents: Charitable PlanningAugust 7, 2018

    8/7/18 - 8/8/18 Momentum Advanced Planning: Family Office Symposium Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Click here for more info and to register. This symposium will provide the opportunity to explore what it takes to succeed in the family office space with fantastic guest speakers who are eager to share their expertise by discussing the myriad of challenges they've helped affluent families…


  • Economic Downturn Plus Low Interest Rates Equals An Excellent Opportunity for Estate PlanningMay 12, 2020

    While the world continues to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current interest rate environment creates excellent opportunities for advanced estate, income and creditor protection planning.  The following are eight tips/opportunities that should currently be considered in the current market environment: 1. Review Your Plan Before getting into advanced estate plan strategies, for clients with existing estate plans, now is…

  • HMB's John Wiktor is Published in Family Foundation Advisor's Jan/Feb 2017 IssueFebruary 1, 2017

    Family Foundation Advisor is a publication of the Civic Research Institute, offering guidance for effective foundation management, development and grant-making. Family Foundation Advisor is devoted exclusively to helping family foundation administrators and their professional advisors. In How to Connect With the Next Generation of Philanthropists, John discusses the changing landscape of philanthropy with respect to millennials joining the charitable planning…


  • Attorneys in Action: Keith H. Berk and John R. Wiktor Give Back with Northmoor Education FoundationFebruary 21, 2024

    Northmoor Education Foundation awarded $90,000 of college scholarships to 15 outstanding Northmoor employees. The Northmoor Education Foundation (NEF) was founded in 2018 to assist Northmoor Country Club employees, caddies and their children who plan to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. Scholarships are offered each year for full-time or part-time study at accredited institutions of the student’s…

  • HMB Announces 2023 Practice Group ChairsOctober 3, 2022

    HMB is pleased to announce that Jenna E. Stein has been elevated to Practice Chair of the firm’s Real Estate Group. She will oversee coaching, planning economic oversight, positioning and recruitment for the group.

  • John R. Wiktor Win Trial to Enforce $1M Oral Pledge to Non-Profit CongregationJuly 1, 2020

    John R. Wiktor filed claims on behalf of a non-profit Congregation to enforce two oral pledges made by one of its prominent and beloved members, who died suddenly before fulfilling his pledges. The Congregation filed claims in the probate proceedings in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois asserting that its member made a $1 million dollar oral pledge towards…

  • HMB Announces 2020 Practice ChairsJanuary 8, 2020

    Chicago, IL January 8, 2020 HMB Legal Counsel, a preeminent provider of legal services in Business and Finance, State and Local Tax, Trusts and Estates, Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors' Rights, Real Estate and Litigation announced the 2020 Practice Chairs. John W. Guzzardo will lead the firm's Litigation Group, taking over for Rick S. Rein. As a practice group leader, John…

  • Attorneys in Action: John Wiktor Gives Back as Bethesda Board MemberAugust 23, 2019

    On 8/15/19, John Wiktor, Chair of HMB's Private Client, Trusts & Estates Group and pictured above in the blue shirt, joined the groundbreaking ceremony for Bethesda Cornerstone Village, in Victoria, Minnesota. The community, one of the first of its kind in the United States, will provide an inclusive environment for active seniors and independent adults with disabilities. John is a Board…


  • Estate Planning Awareness Week 2022October 17, 2022

    Why Estate Planning Awareness Week? In 2008, Congress designated the third week of October (October 17-23, 2022) as National Estate Planning Awareness Week as a reminder to the public of the importance of estate planning. Having a proper estate plan is important to ensure that you and your loved ones are taken care of. When done well, estate planning aims…

  • New Illinois Statute Creates Presumption of Invalidity as to Transfers to Caregivers Over $20,000October 11, 2015

    A new section in the Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/4-a, et seq., titled "Presumptively Void Transfers," which took effect January 1, 2015, creates a rebuttable presumption that a document that transfers assets upon a person's death, referred to as a "transfer instrument," that transfers $20,000 or more to a caregiver is invalid. The intent of the new law is…

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. with honors
  • University of Michigan, B.A. in History
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
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