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
nursing home
The Arbitrary Nature of Health Care Arbitration Agreements
There’s little uniformity regarding whether courts will enforce a nursing home arbitration agreement.
Bin Laden’s Will UnSEALed
The infamous terrorists' last will and testament was recently made public.
Public Policy and the Boomerang Inheritance
Although slayer statutes – laws preventing murderers from inheriting from their victims – have been around for centuries, they’re continuously evolving as courts struggle to apply them to the particular facts of each new and sordid case.
Administration of Trusts And Estates in the Digital Age
As more and more of our important accounts and communications move online, questions about identification and ownership of the digital assets of a decedent’s estate are becoming increasingly important.
Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity
Statutes (and common law) often differ with respect to the sometimes interrelated questions of whether: (1) an insanity defense affects the inheritance analysis, (2) the slayer committed intentional homicide versus manslaughter, and (3) whether a criminal conviction is required for the law to apply.
No Standing to Enforce a Charitable Trust
A recent New York appellate court decision – the latest in the tumultuous saga of Gardiner’s Island in the town of East Hampton, N.Y. – provides a nice opportunity to re-visit the rules regarding who has standing to enforce a charitable trust.
The Rise of Green Funerals 2
Traditional burials and cremation are each facing increased criticism from an environmental perspective.
Trust Administration in the Digital Age 
Jena L. Levin tackles the ever-evolving issue of planning for digital assets
Trending Now: Hollywood Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceedings
While mental illness is fairly prevalent in our society, it’s particularly noticeable and acute in the unique circumstances of celebrities.
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.
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