830 East Sidewalk Road | Chesterton, Indiana 46304
Law Offices Of Michael T. Sawyier

Michael T. Sawyier, J.D., LL.M. (Tax)


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Michael T. Sawyier is the principal of the Law Offices Of Michael T. Sawyier. Mr. Sawyier received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where he entered as an advanced placement sophomore. He earned his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School, where he served on the Law Review, his first LL.M. in International Law from Yale University Law School, and his second LL.M. in Tax Law from The John Marshall Law School.

Mr. Sawyier concentrates his practice in the areas of asset protection, estate and business planning, business law, and real estate. He has engaged in the full-time practice of law for more than 40 years.

Mr. Sawyier's experience in bankruptcy law and creditors' rights, added to his expertise in trusts and limited liability entities (a subject on which Mr. Sawyier lectures for the National Business Institute and other business organizations), enables the firm to help clients formulate and carry out their optimal asset protection plans and tax planning, all at a reasonable cost to the client.

Mr. Sawyier lives with his family in Chesterton, Indiana, where he has long-time roots. His great-uncle, Robert Murray, who lived in Valparaiso, made the charitable remainder gift of the property that became the Sunset Hill County Park. His uncle, Arthur Horton, who also lived in Valparaiso on the Predere Farm Property, also gave generously to many local causes. His parents owned the same property, where Mr. Sawyier and his family now live, for almost 40 years.


Practice Areas:

  • Asset protection
  • Trusts and estates
  • Business law
  • Entity law
  • Tax planning
  • Commercial and residential real estate

Bar Admissions:

  • Illinois, 1972
  • New York, 1974
  • District of Columbia, 1974
  • California, 1976
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1977
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1981
  • Indiana, 1983
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1984
  • Texas, 1989
  • Michigan, 2010

Board Memberships:

  • Frontline Foundation, Inc, (General Counsel)
  • Shirley Heinze land Trust, Inc.

Representative Matters

Estate and Business Planning

  • Diverse business and transactional law practice extending for more than 40 years (corporate, limited liability company, partnership, tax, real estate, financing)
  • Asset protection, including family limited partnerships, family LLCs, and domestic asset protection trusts
  • Bankruptcy practice
  • Decedents' estates, guardianships, and special needs trusts
  • Preparation of estate and gift tax returns
  • Trust administration
  • Preparation and implementation (including funding) of a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT), Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT), Qualified Conservation Contribution (Easement), Multi-Corporate General Partner Family Limited Partnership, irrevocable gift trusts (including charitable trusts, life insurance trusts, and dynasty trusts), and numerous revocable trusts
  • Preparation of wills, codicils, powers of attorney, transfer on death instruments, and testamentary trusts
  • Review of trust instruments, powers of attorney, small estate affidavits, and sundry account ownership and control questions for financial institutions
  • General Counsel to Frontline Foundation, Inc. (an Indiana charity)
  • Planned giving counsel to Shirley Heinze Land Trust, Inc.  (an Indiana charity)
  • Counsel for retirement plan benefits and distributions, beneficiary designations (including IRA protection trusts and multi-generational IRAs), buy-sell agreements, employment agreements and severance agreements

Real Estate

  • Advising, negotiating, and drafting for numerous leases and construction contracts (commercial and residential)
  • Advising, negotiating, drafting, and closing for numerous real estate sales contracts (commercial and residential), including office buildings, stores, restaurants, an industrial plant, a motel, vacant parcels, and apartment buildings
  • Mortgage refinancing of 676 St. Clair office building (Chicago, Illinois) and other commercial properties
  • Negotiation of sale of institutional mortgage loan portfolio
  • Landmark ordinance (zoning) litigation for East Lake Shore Drive Association (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Limited Partnership Syndication
  • Townhouse Development
  • Tax counsel regarding sundry matters

Construction and property-related matters

  • Construction contracts
  • Construction defects
  • Mechanic's liens
  • Mortgage foreclosures
  • Building code violations
  • Bankruptcy
  • Eviction
  • Eminent domain (as Special Assistant Attorney General)
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