Jena L. Levin

Jena
L. Levin

Jena L. Levin is an associate with Foley & Lardner LLP in Chicago and is a member of the Firm’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice.
 
Ms. Levin concentrates a substantial portion of her practice on litigating contested estate and trust matters on behalf of individual clients, banks and non-profit corporations.  Her practice involves all aspects of estate and trust litigation including will and trust contests and judicial constructions, contested heirship and adoption issues, disputes over the enforcement of charitable pledges, and breach of fiduciary duty issues.  Ms. Levin is a frequent author on topics related to estate and trust litigation.  In addition to articles for the Trusts & Estates Magazine e-newsletter, she co-authors several chapters in the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s attorney practice handbooks.
 
Ms. Levin is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.  She earned her law degree from Duke University School of Law (J.D., 2009). She received her bachelor's degree, with highest distinction, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A., 2005), where she was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Articles
The Impact of Slayer Statutes on Surviving Spouse Benefits Under ERISA
Regular readers of our column may remember our article from this past Spring discussing the variations among state “slayer statutes”—laws preventing murderers from inheriting from their victims.
May He Rest In Pieces? 1
In Wilson v. Wilson, a Florida appellate court recently considered the awkward question of whether a decedent’s ashes are considered property for the purposes of determining who has the right to decide on their final disposition.
Slayer Statutes, Choice of Laws Create Lottery-Like Atmosphere
In the wake of a tragic murder-suicide, their family members and the courts were left to answer one particularly awkward and complicated question: Where should the trust money go?
Inherited IRAS Now Fair Game For Liquidation in Individual Bankruptcy Proceedings
The U.S. Supreme Court held that funds held in inherited IRAs aren’t “retirement funds” under the Bankruptcy Code and are therefore not entitled to exemption from a debtor’s bankruptcy estate.
A Brief Slay Ride Through a Slew of State Laws
“Slayer statutes”–laws preventing a murderer from inheriting from his victim–have been around for ages. These laws are generally based on public policy considerations centered on morality, equity and deterrence.
Heaven Can Wait
Young lawyers looking for the next hot area to specialize in might consider decedent’s defense work. An awful lot of folks seem to be wrongly accused of being departed these days.
Fight Erupts Over Portrait of an Angel
Our story this month has nothing short of an all-star cast, Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O’Neal, Andy Warhol and the kind of drama Hollywood writers are typically paid to make up.
Enforceability of Mandatory Arbitration Provisions in Trust Agreements
In recent years, arbitration clauses have finally started making their way into trust agreements. The big question that remains unanswered, however, is whether they’ll be enforced.
Mom and “De Son” Both in Trouble
A recent opinion by the Appellate Court in Missouri suggests that the beneficiaries of a trust may have a claim for breach of the trustees’ duties not only against the trustee, but also against the trustee’s mother.
The Walking Dead Come to Court
Earlier this month, Donald Eugene Miller stood before Judge Allen Davis in the probate court in Hancock County, Ohio, and asked for the court to recognize that he’s alive.
Borrowing Trouble
What began years ago in Illinois as a dispute among siblings over the administration of a trust created by their father and funded by his life insurance policy culminated recently in an opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court in Bullock v. BankChampaign, with serious implications for trustees everywhere.
“I Do – And Yes, He Does, Too”
Deathbed marriages have been a hot topic of concern in recent years, with many states enacting statutes to ensure that a decedent’s heirs have standing to challenge controversial nuptials.
Confession, While Good for the Soul, May be Subject to Disclosure
Courts consider whether the attorney-client privilege applies to a law firm’s internal loss prevention efforts
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