Welch Law Office P.A.
13167 Coastal Links Court, Fort Myers, FL 33908
Office Phone: 312-315-0706


Mr. Welch is an attorney licensed to practice in both Florida and Illinois.


A principal draftsman of the expanded Illinois Virtual Representation Act (2014), Illinois Directed Trusts Act (2012), the Illinois Trust Decanting Act (2012), the Illinois Virtual Representation Act (2010), the Illinois Total Return Trust Act (2003), and the Illinois Prudent Investor Act (1992). Selected by Worth Magazine as one of the Nation’s Top 100 Attorneys (2005 and 2006). Selected as Florida Super Lawyer (2015). Recipient of the 2005 Austin Fleming Award from the Chicago Estate Planning Council (presented annually to a person highly regarded by practicing estate planners for his or her expertise in the field and who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of estate planning practices); Recognized by Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2005 to 2012) Selected as a Leading Illinois Attorney in Trust and Estate Planning Law (1999 to 2012). Selected as one of the Best Trusts and Estates Lawyers in America by Bloomberg Personal Finance (1999).


Knox College (B.A., cum laude, 1964); Harvard Law School (J.D., 1967). Staff Member, Journal on Legislation, Harvard Law School (1966‐1967). First prize in Williston Drafting Competition (1967). Certified graduate of “Effective Mediation Training” of Oregon Mediation Center, Inc., a 40 hour mediation course sponsored by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (2004). Mr. Welch has a Basic Program Certificate from The University of Chicago (1998) for its four-year great books program.


Licensed to practice law in Illinois (1968) and Florida (1978). Adviser to Restatement of Trusts (Third) Project of the American Law Institute (2003 – 2011); Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (1990 to present); Member of the State Laws Committee (2014 to present); Member of Fiduciary Litigation Committee (1992 to 2013); Member of the Estate and Gift Tax Committee (1997 to 2013). Member and former chair of Chicago Bar Association Trust Law Committee; Member and former chair of Illinois State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section Council; Member American Bar Association [Section of Taxation, and Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law (1977 to present).


“Trusts & Trustees Act Modernized: Decanting and Directed Trusts,” (Illinois Bar Journal – November 2012); “Virtual Representation in Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution: Opportunities and Risks,” with Susan T. Bart, et al., ALI-ABA Estate Planning Course Materials Journal (October 2010); “State Statutes on Virtual Representation – A New State Survey,” with Susan T. Bart, ACTEC Journal (Spring 2010); “New Law Promotes Private Trust-Administration Agreements,” with Susan T. Bart, Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 97, #11 (November 2009); “Trustee Deduction of Investment Advisor Fees,” ISBA Trusts and Estates Section Council (2007); “Current Estate & Financial Planning Developments,” Greater North Shore Estate & Financial Planning Council (2006); “Modern Trust Design: How to Determine and Achieve the Client’s Purposes,” Chicago Estate Planning Council (2005); “Answers to Tax and Economic FAQs About Total Return Trusts,” Federal Tax Committee of the Chicago Bar Association (2005); “Essential Estate Planning and Charitable Tools – Tried, Tested and Cutting Edge,” The Association of Small Foundations 2004 National Conference (2004); “New Alternatives in Trust Design: How to Structure Beneficial Ownership and Trusteeship for Multi-generational Wealth,” FOX CEO Forum (2003); “When and How to Use a Total Return Trust,” CPA Estate & Gift Tax Conference (2003); “Implementing the New Total Return Trust Law,” Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2003); “Implementing Sophisticated Trust and Tax Structures,” FOX Fall Forum (2002); “Policy Differences of Total Return Laws,“ Trusts & Estates (2002); “Status Report on Total Return Legislation,” Trusts & Estates (2001); “Total Return Trusts: New Ways of Drafting Trusts Under the Prudent Investor Act,” Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2001); “The Impact of the Prudent Investor Rule on Trust Department Examinations,” Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Trust Conference (1997); “The Impact of the Prudent Investor Rule on Trust Investments, Administration and Drafting,” Chicago Bar Association Trust Law Seminar (1997); “Multistate Estate Planning,” Chicago Estate Planning Council (1994); “Ethics and the Bottom Line,” National Society of Fund Raising Executives (1993); “Action Needed in Response to New Prudent Investor Rule,” ACTEC Notes (1992); “Estate Freeze Techniques for Family Business Owners,” Practising Law Institute (1992); “Qualified Personal Residence Trusts — Planning and Drafting,” Practising Law Institute (1992); “How the Prudent Investor Rule May Affect Trustees,” Trusts & Estates (1991); “Drafting Multigenerational Trusts: Nontax Considerations,” IICLE (1990); “How to Defend or Attack the Trustee for Breach of Duty,” ISBA‐CLE (1990); “Problem or Opportunity: Learning to Live with Section 2036(c),” CBA (1989); “Income Taxation of Estates,” Estate Administration in Illinois, IICLE (1989); “Income Taxation of Trusts,” Trust Administration in Illinois, IICLE (1989); “Practical Advice in Dealing with Section 2036(c),” IICLE (1989); “Recent Developments in Illinois Law of Trusts and Estates,” ISBA Continuing Legal Education (1989); “Impact of TAMRA on Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates,” Chicago Estate Planning Council (1988); “Techniques to Maximize Tax Savings from the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust,” IICLE Estate Planning Short Course (1988); “Executive Compensation Alternatives,” Financial Planning for the Successful Client, CBA (1986); “Personal Holding Companies, Accumulated Earnings Tax and Collapsible Corporations,” Corporate Shareholders Tax Problems, IICLE (1984); “Current Estate, Gift and Income Tax Developments,” IIT‐Chicago‐Kent Federal Tax Institute (1983); “Structuring and Funding Buy‐Sell Agreements,” Estate Planning for Executives of Closely Held Corporations, IICLE (1982); “Installment Sales and Private Annuities as Estate Planning Tools,” Freezing Asset Values, IICLE (1981); “New Rules of Thumb for Marital Deduction Planning,” CBA (1981); “Motivating the Trust Team,” American Bankers Association National Trust School (1974).

Prior Employment:

Sidley Austin LLP (1994-2012); Hopkins & Sutter (1976-1994); Continental Bank (1969-1976); McDermott, Will & Emery (1967-1969).