William C. Weinsheimer

Retired Partner


William C. Weinsheimer (pronounced Weins-heimer) is a retired partner with Foley & Lardner LLP where he specialized in estate planning and estate and trust law. He focused on tax and succession planning for owners of closely held businesses, key executives and other wealthy individuals. Mr. Weinsheimer also advised clients regarding trust and estate administration, charitable planning and fiduciary litigation and related areas of taxation and has frequently been invited to speak on these topics. He is a former co-chair of Foley’s Estates and Trusts Practice and was a member of the firm’s Tax and Individual Planning Practice.

Mr. Weinsheimer is the former chair of the Probate Practice Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and a past director of the Chicago and Illinois Bar Foundations. He is an active member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), where he recently chaired the Task Force on Patenting Estate Planning Techniques. He is a past regent of ACTEC, a former Illinois State chair, a former editor of ACTEC Notes, a past chair of ACTEC’s Editorial Board and Practice Committee, and a co-author of the ACTEC guide for clients entitled "What it Means to Be a Trustee." Mr. Weinsheimer received the 2010 Austin Fleming Distinguished Service Award from the Chicago Estate Planning Council.

Mr. Weinsheimer is involved in a variety of community groups, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Planned Giving Advisory Council (chair, 2006-2009), Ravinia Festival Planned Giving Advisory Council, Chicago Community Trust Professional Advisors Committee, Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Ragdale Foundation, and the Economic Club of Chicago. He was the recipient of the 2000 Thomas R. Leavens Award from Lawyers for the Creative Arts, an organization which he helped found in 1972.

Co-author of "The New Generation-Skipping Tax: Analysis, Planning and Drafting" (1987) and "Drafting Wills and Trust Agreements" (1990), Mr. Weinsheimer has been listed in Best Lawyers in America®* (1987-2011), Leading Illinois Attorneys, and Illinois Super Lawyers® (2005-2013).*

Mr. Weinsheimer is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law ( J.D., 1965) and the University of Notre Dame (B.B.A., 1962). He is admitted to the bar in Illinois and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the U.S. Tax Court.

Recent Publications and Presentations:

  • Co-author of “Temporary Repeal of Federal Estate Tax and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax May Affect Your Estate Plan,” Foley Legal News: Estates and Trusts (2010)
  • Co-author and co-presenter of "Risk Management for Trustees," at the 39th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, published by University of Miami Law School in Proceedings of 2005 Institute on Estate Planning
  • Co-author and presenter of "Risk Management for Trustees," at Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute (2005); New Mexico State Bar Foundation Annual Probate Institute (2005); Washington State Bar Association Annual Estate Planning Seminar (2005); American Bankers Association; Advanced Program for Trust Professionals (2006) and Southern New Mexico Estate Planning Institute (2006)
  • Co-author and presenter of "Patenting Estate Planning Techniques: A Patently Difficult Issue," at: Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute (2007); ALI-ABA Tax and Estate Planning Institute (2007); and John Marshall Law School Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits (2008)
  • Author and presenter of "Estate Planning For The Nearly Retired But Not Yet Expired," at Notre Dame University Alumni Reunion Seminar (2007)
  • Co-author of "Patenting Estate Planning Techniques," in Spring 2008 issue of The Practical Tax Lawyer
  • Author and presenter of "You Can’t Take It With You But You Don’t Have To Leave It To Uncle Sam," at Insurance Accounting & Systems Association Continuing Education Conference (2008)

*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.