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Ryan W. Gardner

Estate planning Attorney at Chicago, IL

5.0   51 reviews

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About Ryan

Learn Ryan’s areas of practice.

4
Practice areas
  1. Estate planning
    70%
    Wills, Living/Revocable Trusts, Medical/Financial Powers of Attorney, Special Needs Planning, LLCs, Deeds, Irrevocable Instruments, Gifting Trusts, Family Settlement Agreements, Land Trusts, Real Estate Planning, Succession Planning

  2. Business
    10%
    LLCs, Operating Agreements, Shareholder Agreements, Corporate Formation, Tax Planning, Business Succession Planning

  3. Guardianship
    10%
    Disabled Adults, Minor Estates, Accountings, All Aspects of Court-Administered Guardianship Proceedings

  4. Probate
    10%
    Decedent's Estates, Guardianship Estates, Small Estate Affidavits, Non-Judicial Settlement Agreements, Virtual Representation, All Aspects of Court-Administered Probate Estates

Ryan W. Gardner is a Partner and Practice Group Leader of the the Trust and Estate Planning Practice Group at Howard & Howard, Attorneys, PLLC, a full-service law firm with over 130 attorneys in 5 offices nationwide.  Ryan regularly counsels and represents individuals and families, business owners, and diverse entrepreneurs, helping to educate and navigate simple to complex estate and business succession planning by creating sensible, customized solutions to ensure that his clients' families, assets, and business interests are protected.

Photos and videos

Licensed for 7 years
State MI
Status Active in Good Standing
Acquired 2022
Updated 12/26/2022
State IL
Status Active And Authorized To Practice Law
Acquired 2015
Updated 01/06/2023

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Ryan

Howard & Howard, Attorneys, PLLC
200 S. Michigan Avenue
Suite #1100
Chicago, IL, 60604
Howard & Howard, Attorneys, PLLC
450 West Fourth Street
Royal Oak, MI, 48067
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Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  51 customer reviews
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Posted by Marvin | December 7, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Ryan is nothing short of exceptional
We hired Ryan and his team for our estate planning. Ryan was very clear, kind, and thorough in explaining the estate planning process, the timing, and the cost. Professional and accommodating to any changes that you need along the way, and willing to wait as long as it takes to ensure everything is in order. I cannot express how deeply grateful I am to him, as well as the team a Howard & Howard. Thank you so much for everything.
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Posted by K B | December 7, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Proactive, professional and friendly
Ryan combines the world-class expertise you need with a good personality. He's easy to talk to. He knows about the best tools for every problem I've handed him. He explains complex issues well. I interviewed four attorneys in my selection process and I chose him. I recommend him without reservation.
Posted by Antoine | March 23, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Lawyer Who Cares
As an individual who doesn't come from a background that has afforded me the knowledge of how best to secure my future, working with Ryan has been a huge delight. I was referred to Ryan when inquiring within my network about a lawyer who can help me get my estate affairs in order. In our first call, Ryan set out to make sure he understood my short and long-term goals and took the time to make sure I was properly educated on any terms I did not understand. Despite any delays that were caused by myself, Ryan and his team worked diligently to provide me with the highest quality of service. Working with Ryan is one of the single best decisions that I made this year.
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Posted by Tushar | January 27, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Ryan Gardner- The best estate planning attorney out there
We hired Ryan and his team for our estate planning needs. Ryan was very clear and thorough in explaining about the estate planning process, what to expect from him and fees. He was very precise in collecting data from our side and putting them in to trust documents and explain each document very clearly to us. Ryan and his team was always there and ready to answer any questions we had. Very professional and accommodating to any changes that you need along the process. We highly recommend Ryan and his team for estate planning. Two thumbs UP !!!
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Posted by Debby | January 23, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent and friendly legal services
We hired Ryan for our estate planning needs and were extremely pleased with his friendly demeanor and thorough explanation of the process and our options. We always felt completely heard, and he made sure we never left a session together without having our questions answered clearly. He was very considerate of our circumstances, and we could not have been more satisfied with his attention to detail or disposition. By the end of our term, we felt empowered knowing we had proper legal documentation in place for our needs. We would recommend him in the highest regard!
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Posted by anonymous | January 11, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Help with Estate
Ryan helped me at a very difficult time with estate issues of my son. Ryan has been kind and supportive and got the job done as he said he would. I am very thankful for that and I wish him the very best!
Posted by Andrés | March 2, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The Estate Lawyer You Want in Your Corner
Ryan knows the law, knows the strategies, knows the emotions, knows the what ifs. And he gets to know YOU and your family. Superlative experience with Ryan and his team. Patient in explaining, efficient in the processes, flawless execution. And a downright nice guy.
Posted by anonymous | March 2, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Estate planning
Ryan helped us with our estate planning. We have been very happy with the overall process, clear explanation of the documents, the timeline and the fees. He was thorough answering our questions.
Posted by anonymous | February 18, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Estate Planning made easy
My wife and I hired Ryan Gardner for our estate planning needs. Ryan and his team exceeded our expectations in the service provided. I appreciated the educational approach to estate planning he provides and have a ton of confidence in the strategies he tailored for my families needs. What a huge sense of relief to get this taken care of and it was made easy by Ryan and his team.
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Posted by Dan | February 18, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Did a great job helping us with estate plan.
We contacted Ryan to help us develop our estate plan. Timing was critical. We wanted it completed prior to our "bucket list" trip to Scotland. Ryan assured us that we had plenty of time and we got it completed without stress, thanks to Ryan. He is very professional and caring. Really helped us define the important details and get through the difficult family discussions and decisions. Great job!
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Posted by Kevin | February 16, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thorough, Comprehensive, and Comprehendable!
My wife and I used Ryan Gardner to prepare our wills and Revocable Trusts. We'd initially asked another lawyer about how to set up the types of trusts we wanted and learned that what we were looking for was more than just a simple trust and that he wasn't comfortable doing the work. After contacting Ryan we were immediately impressed with his knowledge of what we were looking to do and were convinced that he could do the work we needed done. After wading through the documents and terminology as best we could we had multiple questions for Ryan which required a lot of explanation. Ryan patiently answered all our questions and did so in a way that we could easily understand. Ryan made a difficult task easier for us to understand and complete. I wholeheartedly recommend Ryan Gardner for anyone serious about estate planning.
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Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you, Kevin. I'm grateful for the opportunity to support you and your family with your legal planning.
Posted by Jonathan | February 15, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
so easy and streamlined!
Estate planning can be daunting--at least it was for us! The entire concept brought up all sorts of uncomfortable ideas we didn't want to confront, and every time we sat down to think about it, we were confused and clueless and so we would give up and think, "We'll figure it out later." Thankfully we found Ryan!! Ryan and his team immediately put us at ease and heeded our pleas to "make this whole thing as straightforward as possible." He was knowledgable, down-to-earth, easygoing, and answered all of our questions and handled the whole thing so quickly that it left us wondering why we had waited so long. I know I sound like an infomercial when I say this but if you've found Ryan and Lavelle Law, your hard work is done.
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Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you, Jonathan. It was a pleasure to help you and your family.
Posted by Jeff | February 15, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great for estate
Ryan is very knowledgeable, makes great suggestions and is very responsive to any questions or suggestions that we had. 100% would refer to friends and family!
Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you for the kind words, Jeff, and for your referrals. It was great to work with you.
Posted by Tina | February 15, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Ryan Gardner is a remarkable attorney and person
I met Ryan when I started working for Mass Mutual back in 2017. He was a guest speaker at one of our Motivational Monthly Meetings. I was so impressed by his knowledge and his honesty and sincerity. I reached out to him a few times, over the last four years, to get advice on some personal matters and he always was very informative and understanding. When it came time to address my Estate Planning, without hesitation, I called Ryan. He worked through a difficult scenario for me and gave me the best options for my case. As I’m navigating through some other areas in my life that will need addressing, I will undoubtedly reach out to Ryan and his firm, once more. I trust Ryan and I truly appreciated feeling like a person and not another case. I highly recommend Ryan. Once you start talking with him, you will know you found the right lawyer to ensure you are taken care of. He is an outstanding attorney and a remarkable person.
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Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you for the kind words, Tina. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with you and support your family.
Posted by David | July 22, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Complex law explained plainly and thoroughly
My wife and I hired Ryan to help us do estate planning, something that felt icky but necessary since we had just had our first child. We met with Ryan and associates in his office and he patiently and clearly explained the complexities of Illinois estate laws, guiding us to make decisions that we hope to never have to think about, but if that sad day comes we know we'll be in good shape. His office was also very accommodating of how we signed the paperwork since this all went down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you, David. It was a pleasure to support you and your family with your estate planning. As you know, new parents need this important planning, arguably more than most.
Posted by anonymous | June 3, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fantastic Estate Planning Experience
To most people estate planning can seem overwhelming and even somewhat 'boring'. However, it is something very important to plan for the future. Ryan did a fantastic job of not only simplifying what can be a very complex process, but also making the journey fun. The way he walked us through the process was engaging, relatable, and anything but boring. He explained everything in simple terms, provided insight, personalized the experience to us (vs a generic presentation given to all clients) and then allowed us to make decisions. We left our meeting feeling knowledgeable about the process, enthusiastic about our experience and knew we were in great hands with Ryan. I would highly recommend him as an attorney!
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Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you!
Posted by anonymous | May 14, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
First time estate planning.
My husband and I knew nothing about estate planning. Our goal was to find someone that would help us create the best plan for our family. We were nervous about the whole process and didn't quite understand the estate planning process. After consulting with Ryan, we felt confident that he would create the best trust for our family. Ryan is professional, knowledgeable, and funny. Some of the decisions that have to be made during estate planning may be difficult, such as, discussing guardianship for your small children. However, Ryan found a way to put us at ease with his expertise and sense of humor (just the right balance). In the end, the process could not have been any smoother. He walked us through all of our decisions (giving us all scenarios), educated us on estate laws, etc., how to store our documents, and how to communicate with our loved ones about our decisions. Now, we feel secure with the plan that we have in place. If you are new to this process, like we were, feel confident that Ryan will answer any and every question you have about this process.
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Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you!
Posted by Nisar | February 26, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
It was a true pleasure working with Ryan
Working with Ryan was a true pleasure. As a custodian for my elder parents, it is nerve-wrecking having to go through their final wishes and plan for what happens when they pass on. It gave my parents immense comfort working with Ryan. He explained all of their options and suggested the best route he felt worked for their finances and assets. It is tough for my parents, who are South Asian background, to fully trust and open up to someone, especially if they do not understand the culture and it's nuances. Ryan took the time to answer all of their questions, and built a trusting relationship with them. I would highly recommend Ryan and his team to anyone looking to plan for their elder parents' future or for their own future. He is professional, knowledgeable, and patient. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you, Nisar. I greatly enjoyed working with you and your parents. I appreciate your kind words.
Posted by Jess | January 26, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Estate Planning Attorney!
Ryan is the best!! He did an excellent job in creating my estate plan documents, as well as my mothers estate plan documents. He was such a great person to work with from beginning to end. I highly recommend him to do your estate plan documents. He’s awesome, kind, and very knowledgeable. I will continue to refer him to all my family and friends. Thank you, Ryan, for giving me and my family peace of mind. It was a pleasure working with you! (:
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Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you, Jess. The pleasure was mine - thank you for your trust and confidence.
Posted by anonymous | January 22, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great attorney
Ryan is a pleasure to work with! He really helped my husband and I while educating us on long-term planning as well. We would highly recommend him.
Response from Ryan Gardner March 13, 2021
Thank you!
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 90 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 395-495 per hour
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 8.3 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC
  • 2021 - Present
  • Associate Attorney
  • Lavelle Law, Ltd.
  • 2015 - 2021
  • Judicial Extern for the Honorable Aurelia Pucinski
  • Illinois Appellate Court 1st Judicial District
  • 2014 - 2014
  • Paralegal/Law Clerk
  • Novack & Macey, LLP
  • 2008 - 2014
View all work experience

Education

  • DePaul University College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2014
  • Michigan State University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2008

Legal Cases

  • Special Needs Trust
  • Happy clients
  • Business Succession Plan
  • Happy clients

Associations

  • III Gentlemen
  • Board Member
  • 2018 - Present
  • Kicks 4 The City
  • Ambassador
  • 2016 - Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF)
  • Volunteer / Pro Bono Attorney
  • 2015 - Present
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award
  • DePaul University College of Law
  • 2013

Speaking Engagements

  • Monthly Continuing Education
  • The Importance of Estate Planning
  • 2019
  • KW Lunch & Learn
  • Protecting Rental and Investment Properties
  • 2017
  • Career Builder Mentoring
  • Why Everyone Needs Estate Planning
  • 2017
  • SBA Connections
  • Non-Tax Benefits of Revocable Trusts
  • 2015
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (23)
Given (18)
Endorse Ryan
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 20
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ryan is knowledgeable, ethical, caring, and attentive when it comes to helping clients navigate estate planning issues. He can be counted on to provide personalized attention and a quality deliverable. I highly recommend him!"
Business Attorney | Nov 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ryan is an attentive, experienced, and pragmatic business attorney."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Your search for a lawyer ends here. Ryan is a stand up person, is intelligent and is committed to his practice. I highly highly endorse Ryan for all areas of law and is just a great person to know all together. Added bonus: Ryan has an expansive network which he isn't hesitant to utilize to assist others."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ryan is an excellent attorney with great character. He is diligent and attentive to his client's needs. He is extremely knowledgeable in estate planning. I would not hesitate to recommend him to my clients."
Estate planning Attorney | Jul 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"As a former classmate and fellow attorney in the community, I endorse Ryan as a trustworthy and competent lawyer. For this reason, my husband and I engaged his services for our estate planning, and we were completely satisfied with his representation. His knowledge, care for his clients, and diligence were obvious from the moment we met with him for a consultation. I highly endorse Ryan Gardner as a fellow attorney."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 12
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Ryan is a fantastic estate planning attorney. I have referred clients to him, and have heard nothing but great things from them about his work performance. I will continue to refer clients his way, and recommend others do so as well."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 24
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ryan is an excellent addition to our estate planning team whose enthusiasm is refreshing. He is highly committed to preparing customized estate plans which meet client objectives."
Probate Attorney | Jan 18
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Ryan is a talented, smart lawyer. He uses his substantial savvy to deliver excellent results for his clients. I can't say enough good things about Ryan. Not only does he possess great business sense, he also is a tireless advocate on behalf of his clients."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 18
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ryan is an enormous asset to Lavelle Law and the Clients we serve via our estate planning practice. He is an incredibly knowledgeable and diligent lawyer who takes a very personal approach to representing his clients."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 10
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer. Ryan has really jumped into our firm and has added value to our estate planning group from the day he started. He is very thorough in his documentation of estate plans."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 10
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ryan is a motivated and driven attorney. He is committed to exceeding client expectations and I am constantly impressed with his knowledge in all areas of estate planning."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 10
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ryan is passionate about his clients and will ensure their questions are answered and their needs are met at every step of the estate planning process."
Unknown Attorney | Nov 10
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ryan works tirelessly for his clients and guides them through every step, ensuring they are getting the results the client desires. He has set a high standard for both professionalism and ethics. I highly recommend this attorney."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 09
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"Ryan's enthusiasm and commitment to high-level client service are second to none. He is an asset to our estate planning practice group, and I endorse him without reservation."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Gardner is through and through a great attorney. His wealth of knowledge in the Estate Planning, Probate, Medicare, Medicaid and Guardianship fields make him an impressive mind to have in your corner. I know that he is knowledgable, respectful, personable and diligent. This makes him my first selection in referring anyone to an attorney in the aforementioned fields."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 12
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ryan brings a high level of energy to any case he is handling, and is a strong advocate for all of his clients. He's a great problem solver and genuinely cares about the outcomes he is seeking for his clients. I definitely endorse Ryan."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Co-worker
"I highly recommend Ryan. He is very knowledgeable about complex estate planning and probate issues. He is very hard-working and extremely talented and provides excellent representation and counsel for his clients."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ryan is a very conscientious, diligent and focused lawyer. I recommend and endorse Ryan."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Co-worker
"Ryan has shown an eagerness and a passion for excellence in his legal work. He wants to put his client's interests first and foremost and walk them through the estate planning process to accomplish their goals. He is a budding future star in the legal community."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer. Ryan has shown a strong work ethic and great understanding of the law in regards to estate planning and probate that enables him to provide high quality legal services to clients at an affordable price."
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Chicago Estate planning Lawyer Ryan W. Gardner
Ryan W. Gardner
Estate planning Attorney
Chicago, IL
Licensed for 7 years
Free Consultation