Teresa Nuccio has dedicated her career to working with individuals and families, creating estate plans that pave the way for smooth transitions throughout the life cycle and beyond. With the belief that the wealth of an individual is not defined by financial assets alone, she helps her clients integrate their wisdom, values, philanthropy, and life stories into their plans – an approach which ensures that, along with financial wealth, their personal legacy is passed to future generations.
Teresa concentrates her practice on proactive, trust-based strategies, including revocable trusts, third-party and first-party special needs trusts, irrevocable gift trusts, irrevocable asset protection trusts, enhanced powers of attorney, health care directives, and values-based planning.
Unique in the world of attorneys, Teresa holds a master’s degree in social work in addition to her J.D., and she has been trained in the Time to Think program. This means she is able to create an encouraging, understanding environment for her clients. More than offering legal opinions, Teresa actively listens and guides her clients through the process of arriving at their own decisions, leading to more satisfying conclusions.
Teresa serves a wide variety of clients of all ages, including unmarried individuals, married couples, young families with minor children, non-traditional families, and blended families. She is sensitive to the unique needs of parents who have minor or adult children with disabilities and works with families to ensure their children qualify or maintain eligibility for government benefits for which they may be eligible. Similarly, she is attuned to the needs of elderly clients, being especially attentive to planning for incapacity and end-of-life issues.
In addition to estate planning, when transition occurs, Teresa is available to help successor trustees and executors navigate the process of estate and trust administration. When the need arises, she efficiently initiates and manages decedents’ and guardianship estates in the probate court. Teresa also collaborates with personal injury attorneys to seek and gain approval of personal injury awards and settlements before the probate division.
Teresa is the co-author of two primers on estate planning: “Your Life, Your Legacy: The Fundamentals of Effective Estate Planning” and “Your Life, Your Legacy II: Protecting Those You Love.” Both books are designed to help clients understand in simple, easy-to-read language the legal concepts underlying their plans.
Prior to joining Harrison LLP in 2014, Teresa was founder and principal of the Law Office of Teresa Nuccio, P.C. for over 20 years.
Teresa loves to spend time on Vancouver Island with her son, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters. She also writes and illustrates stories for her grandchildren in which they are the main characters. Grandson Enzo, born earlier this year in Chicago, provides new storylines, in addition to being adorable.
Co-author and presenter, “Illinois Trust Code: Artful Drafting Results in Efficient Administration,” Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) Elder Law Short Course (October 29, 2020)
Co-author, “Stretching IRAs and Retirement Plans Beyond the 10-Year Max,” Foresight Newsletter, Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Fall 2020)
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U. S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Loyola University of Chicago, School of Law, J.D.
Loyola University of Chicago, School of Social Work, M.S.W.
Northeastern Illinois University, B.A.
Illinois State Bar Association
Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
Illinois Forum of Estate Planning Attorneys
Lurie Legacy Partners
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Philanthropy Advisory Council
Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2016-2023)
Utilized Illinois Decanting Statute to preserve government benefits for clients with disabilities who received inheritances from outdated trusts.
Established estate plan for married couple with minor children that included detailed trust purpose, guidelines to trustee for discretionary distributions with separate instructions to guardians.
Represented client who was a respondent in guardianship proceeding and successfully avoided guardianship of client’s estate as a result of previously established fully funded living trust over which court had no jurisdiction.
We are pleased to share that Jason Ornduff has been appointed to serve on the firm’s Board of Executives, effective September 12, 2023.
Elizabeth Garlovsky and Tiffany McKenzie explain why you’ll want to add provisions regarding tangible personal property, such as furniture, vehicles, electronics, and jewelry, to your will or trust to ensure smooth inheritance, prevent disputes, and help distribute sentimental items as you wish.