James Lestikow is an experienced estate planning, business and real estate lawyer. He focuses his practice in a number of distinct areas, including:
Estate Planning, Administration, Litigation and Asset Protection
. Mr. Lestikow’s estate planning and wealth preservation practice includes the drafting of wills and trusts, family limited partnerships and other devices that help clients achieve their financial goals in the most tax efficient manner and protect their assets for retirement and the next generation. He also handles estate and trust administration, as well as handling estate and trust administration disputes through alternate dispute resolution or through litigation in court and has testified as an expert witness on duties of executors / trustees, fees of executors and trustees and in attorney malpractice cases. Reflecting his substantial estate planning experience, he was elected to Fellowship in the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel in 2001, and in 2006 was appointed a member of its Asset Protection Committee.
Corporate and Business Law
. Mr. Lestikow represents businesses (many of them family and closely held), not-for-profit associations and foundations, limited liability companies and partnerships. He helps them with their choice of business entity, and advises them on such day-to-day issues as employment discrimination, credit, contracts and management activities. He advises on succession plans for closely held and family held businesses including buy-sell agreements, and offers transactional advice on asset sales, mergers, acquisitions, financing and dissolutions. Some of Mr. Lestikow’s clients in this area include the Springfield Airport Authority; Community Care Systems, Inc.; and Springfield Farm & Home Supply, Inc. d/b/a Big R.
Commercial Real Estate
. In this area Mr. Lestikow handles commercial real estate matters including financing, tax-free exchanges, purchases, sales, leasing, annexation, construction and zoning. He has testified as an expert witness on the subject of attornment agreements in a commercial lease.
Since its inception, Mr. Lestikow has been a member of the Leading Lawyers Network, and has been recognized by his peers as a “Leading Lawyer” in the category of Trusts, Wills and Estate Planning Law, with extensive experience in Asset Protection, Corporate and Business Law and Real Estate Law. He has served on the Network’s Advisory Board.
Mr. Lestikow has appeared many times on Leading Lawyers Magazine’s “Top” lists, including:
- 2011 Consumer Edition: Top 50 Downstate Illinois Consumer Lawyers
- 2010 Business Edition: Top 100 Leading Downstate Illinois Business Lawyers
- 2009 Consumer Edition: Top 50 Downstate Illinois Consumer Lawyers
- 2008 Consumer Edition: Top 100 Leading Consumer Lawyers in Illinois, and Top 50 Downstate Illinois Consumer Lawyers.
Mr. Lestikow was one of the initial members of the Advisory Board of the Central Illinois Family Business Forum, sponsored by Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Since 2007 he has been included annually in “The Best Lawyers in America®” in the area of Trusts, Estates and Probate. Since 2005 Mr. Lestikow has been included annually on the Super Lawyer
list in the area of Estate Planning/Trusts by Illinois Super Lawyers
Mr. Lestikow is a past chair and former member of the Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Trusts and Estates Section Council (Chair in 1989) and the Business Advice & Financial Planning Section Council (Chair in 1999). In addition, he is a past president of the Sangamon Valley Estate Planning Council and a current member of the American Bar Association's Probate, Trust and Real Estate Section.
In addition, Mr. Lestikow holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability, and is included in Martindale’s “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers."
He joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP as a Partner in February 1992.
Mr. Lestikow is a frequent writer and speaker on estate planning topics for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE). He helped plan the 48th, 50th, 52nd and 54th Annual IICLE Estate Planning Short Course (2005 to 2011).
Mr. Lestikow is the Co-General Editor of “Asset Protection Planning,” published by IICLE in February 2007, Supp. 2010. He also authored a chapter, “Practical and Ethical Considerations
”. In addition, Mr. Lestikow served as General Editor of “Estate Planning for Illinois Lawyers: The Basics and Beyond
,” IICLE, 2001, 2005, 2008 and due in 2011, and authored the chapter dealing with the initial meeting and client relationships. He is a Co-General Editor of “Postmortem Estate Planning
,” (IICLE 2010) and wrote its “Asset Protection” chapter.
His presentations include:
- “Asset Protection Planning," Illinois State Medical Society webinar, October 2012.
- “Asset Protection for Physicians,” Rock Island County and Scott County Medical Society, East Moline, Illinois, April 2011.
- “Asset Protection and Family Wealth Management for Physicians,” Illinois State Medical Society Seminars, Collinsville and Peoria, Illinois, July 2006.
- “Protecting Family Assets,” IICLE, Advanced Asset Protection Planning for 2006 seminar, Bloomington, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois, December 2005.
- “Planning and Drafting for Illiquid Assets,” IICLE, 48th Annual Estate Planning Short Course, Chicago, Illinois, April 2005, and again in Urbana, Illinois, May 2005.
- "Post-Mortem Planning with Disclaimers," IICLE, Springfield and Chicago, Illinois, June 2004.
Mr. Lestikow is very active in the Illinois Bar Foundation, of which he is both a Charter and Gold Fellow, and a charter member of its Lincoln Legacy Society. He was appointed as a Director of the Foundation in 2004 and served as its Treasurer and Chair of its Budget and Finance Committee. In addition, he is a member of its Executive, Investment Oversight and Planned Giving Committees. Mr. Lestikow has been elected as the Foundation’s First Vice President. He will become the Foundation’s President in June 2014.
Since 2010 Mr. Lestikow has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
Mr. Lestikow served two terms, one in the 1990’s (as a member), and was the 2008 Chairman, of the Board of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. He has served in the past as the President and board member of the Sangamo Club and the Springfield High School Boosters Club, and as Commodore and board member of the Island Bay Yacht Club.