J. Amber Drew
Ms. Drew concentrates her practice in estate planning, probate and trust administration, and guardianships. She advises clients regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues, as well as non-tax issues, such as planning for retirement, providing for family members with special needs, and planning for varied family situations. She prepares wills and trusts of all levels of complexity and handles estate and trust administration including litigated matters. Amber is on the DuPage Foundation’s Next Generation Steering Committee and is Vice Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Elder Law Section Council.
Prior to joining CCM, Amber worked as an estates and trusts attorney for many years at a law firm in Urbana, Illinois. She was a mediator with the Sixth Circuit’s Foreclosure Mediation Program. Amber served as Treasurer of the Champaign County Bar Association for most of that time, as well as spending many years on the board of the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum. Amber continues to engage in philanthropic work in connection with and outside of her work at CCM. Amber is the Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Elder Law Section Council and is on the DuPage Foundation’s Next Generation Steering Committee as well as the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Planned Giving Council.
Practice Admissions, Affiliations & Memberships
- Supreme Court of Illinois
- Supreme Court of Minnesota
- Supreme Court of New Jersey
- Supreme Court of Washington D.C.
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois
- Illinois State Bar Association
- DuPage County Bar Association
- DuPage County Estate Planning Council
- Fox Valley Estate Planning Council
- Kane County Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- East Central Illinois Women Attorneys Assoc. (past Treasurer and VP of Membership)
- Champaign Bar Association (past Treasurer)
- Eastern Illinois Estate Planning Council
- Former member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
- Junior League (past Treasurer)
- Orpheum Children’s Science Museum (past board member)
Current Board/Committee Positions
- Illinois State Bar Association Elder Law Section Council (Vice Chair, past secretary)
- DuPage Foundation – Next Generation Initiative Steering Committee
- Juris Doctor, University of Illinois College of Law (2007)
- Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, DePauw University (1999)
- Estate Administration from Start to Finish: Marshalling Assets, J. A. Drew, Ch. III, National Business Institute – CLE; Seminar Presenter, Dec. 5, 2016
- Estate Administration from Start to Finish: Handling Creditor Claims and Debt, J. A. Drew, Ch. III, National Business Institute – CLE; Seminar Presenter, Dec. 5, 2016
- Don’t Forget Dad! Short-term Guardianships Aren’t Just for the Kids, ISBA: Elder Law, Feb. 2016 (reprinted in ISBA: Trusts & Estates, Nov. 2016)
- Protecting Assets While Qualifying for Medicaid: Trust Based Medicaid Planning in Detail, J. A. Drew, Ch. III, National Business Institute – CLE; Seminar Presenter, Mar. 10, 2015
- Protecting Assets While Qualifying for Medicaid: Using Special Needs Trusts, J. A. Drew, Ch. IV, National Business Institute – CLE; Seminar Presenter, Mar. 10, 2015
- Webber, Carl and J. Amber Drew, Every Will Needs a Paragraph Allowing for a Supplemental Needs Trust, ISBA: Elder Law, Apr. 2013, vol. 18, no. 4
- “A Comprehensive Look at Guardianships” Amber Drew and Roaa Al-Heeti – continuing legal education presentation to the Champaign County Bar Association, Mar. 23, 2013
- The Military, Veterans, and the Law: A Primer for Young Lawyers, ISBA: Young Lawyers Division, Jun. 2012
- Death of Dawn Donut: The Demise of Concurrent Trademarks, J.L. Tech. & Pol’y Spring 2007, pg. 101 et seq.
- Estate planning for modest to large estate clients. Recent plans have included:
- Complex beneficiary schemes including charitable giving plans;
- Stand-alone or backup supplemental needs trust provisions to protect beneficiaries who participate in needs-based aid programs; and
- Provisions to ensure compliance with and enforcement of marital settlement agreements
- Representative trust and estate administration matters have included:
- matters that had real estate (ranging from residential properties to apartment complexes, to farm land) that required being sold or transferred from the estates
- matters that had unusual assets to be managed (e.g. art collections, coins, guns, doll collections, old private bank stocks)
- estates with holographic wills, wills that were found after the estate was open, and where there were will contests
- Represented all sides of guardianship actions, including having served as guardian ad litem and having represented the respondent. These matters have ranged from simple and/or consented to guardianships to contested guardianships.
- As a mediator for a court-run foreclosure mediation program, she has mediated cases with results ranging from home retention to the graceful negotiation of non-retention options.
- Recently she chaired the Aurora/Pratt Survivor’s Fund Steering Committee that was set up by parent company Mueller Water Products in response to the Aurora, Illinois tragedy.