Michelle H. Gooze-Miller
Michelle Gooze-Miller is a partner in the firm’s Estate Planning and Tax Practice Groups. Michelle’s experience includes working with clients on the technical and practical aspects of estate planning, probate and estate administration, advising clients on complex federal and state tax matters, working with charitable entities and assisting with business transactions for the family business owner. She also oversees the formation and operation of nonprofit entities, both private foundations and public charities, and creates a variety of charitable vehicles to carry out the plans of individual donors. As a part of her practice, she regularly provides advice regarding income, estate, gift and generation-skipping tax matters affecting individuals, estates and trusts.
The combination of a love of planning by reference to a code and an interest in peoples’ unique life stories led her easily into the field one twenty years ago. She has stuck with the practice and been along for the very interesting tax ride on which Congress and its ever changing tax provisions has led the country.
Regarding her approach to the estate planning process, she believes that “it’s learning about people, listening and really hearing what they have to say. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in The Hobbit, ‘It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.’ Part of what I pride myself on as an experienced Estate Planning attorney is helping my clients identify their live dragon and put together practical solutions for its handling. The dragon or concern may be an obvious one, such as naming guardians for children. It may be a complicated and emotional matter of determining how assets should be distributed between children, step-children and spouses in blended family situations. The issue may be a business one, such as business succession planning and equalization among other family members. There are many dragons, and each client’s is unique As an attorney, I see my role as that of someone who listens and then is able to use my estate law and tax knowledge to provide practical and sustainable advice and implementation.”
While it can be an emotional process, Michelle says that “putting together a plan for death and/or disability tends to result in a huge weight being lifted from peoples’ minds Completion of the process allows life to move forward, a little lighter. That is what I try to accomplish for each of my clients at the end of our process, a sense of security and accomplishment – a lifting of a weight and the moving on with life.”
Besides her love of saving taxes and planning for the future, Michelle also enjoys attending concerts of all sorts, especially during the summer months. In addition, Michelle loves to travel. As a young adult she spent a year backpacking through Israel, South-East Asia and Western Europe.
Michelle also serves on the Board of Directors of Devon Bank and on the Advisory Board of Summit Design + Build LLC.
Michelle is a graduate of Northwestern University (B.A., with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, 1993) and the University of Chicago Law School (J.D., with honors, 1997). She is admitted to practice in Illinois (1997) and Florida (2006).
- Estate Planning
- University of Chicago (J.D., with honors, 1997)
- Northwestern University (B.A., with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, 1993)
- Illinois State Bar (1997)
- Florida State Bar (2006)
- North Shore Law
- Florida Bar Association
- Super Lawyers (2016-2020)