Charles Harris helps high-net-worth individuals and owners of closely held businesses on matters related to tax and estate planning. Charles is recognized as a leading lawyer on tax and estate planning by the Chambers High Net Worth guide, which cited his "expertise in handling planning for US citizens with foreign interests, including US citizens who live elsewhere, or who are marrying a non-US citizen.
As a certified public accountant as well as a private practicing attorney, Charles helps private equity investors in structuring their investments in a tax efficient manner and in planning for the transfer of their interests to family members. His estate planning skills include restructuring stock ownership in closely held businesses, establishing family limited partnerships, developing business succession plans, creating various trusts and limited liability companies, and analyzing the income, gift and estate tax implications of various techniques. In addition, Charles counsels executives of publicly traded companies, advising them on effectively planning for the exercise of stock options and structuring distributions from retirement plans. Charles works extensively on planning for US citizens with a foreign connection, whether the US citizen is residing in a foreign country, marrying a non-citizen spouse or otherwise connected with a foreign government. He counsels clients who are non-resident aliens on the most tax-efficient manner for investing in US entities. He represents several companies in the US Virgin Islands that are part of the Economic Development Commission program and is involved in all aspects of the design, implementation and qualification of appropriate vehicles that can qualify for the benefits under the program, coordinating the overall income tax and estate planning needs of the owners of these companies.For clients who are philanthropically minded, Charles assists in creating private foundations and other arrangements, such as charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts, to help clients facilitate both charitable giving and tax efficiency.
Charles teaches an Estate and Gift Tax Class for the Graduate Tax Program at The John Marshall Law School. A prolific writer and lecturer, he has authored articles on such topics as generation skipping transfer tax planning, life insurance planning, tax payment clauses, and Illinois probate and trust administration, and frequently speaks on these topics before the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the Chicago Bar Association and National Business Institute.