Ray Prather, J.D., CPA

Ray Prather focuses his practice on helping couples, individuals, and the owners of small and closely held businesses achieve their estate planning and charitable giving goals. Ray has created estate and tax plans to help clients protect their family members and reduce their potential estate tax burden. He has helped clients starting their own business choose and set up corporate entities for liability protection, and he has helped owners of stock in closely held businesses negotiate sales of their interest. In probate and estate administration, Ray has helped clients deal with contentious family members to secure their fair share of inheritances while minimizing costly litigation. Ray has also provided advice to fiduciaries about how to carry out their duties consistent with controlling laws.

Ray speaks and writes about the practice of estate planning and has been recognized for his knowledge and dedication to the practice. He is a member of Lambda Legal’s National Planned Giving Council, Metropolitan Family Services’ Planned Giving Committee, and Advocate Charitable Foundation’s Planned Giving Council. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law teaching Federal Transfer Taxes and Estate Planning. Ray was also a Fellow of the American Bar Association’s Section on Real Property, Trust & Estate Law from 2009-2010, and is currently Chair for the Section’s Charitable Planning Committee and Assistant Editor to Trusts and Estates for the Section’s eReport publication. And he has been quoted on estate planning and tax issues in Crain’s, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and the Chicago Tribune.

Ray also is active in the community. He is former chair of Lambda Legal’s Chicago Leadership Council where he helped organize Lambda Legal’s volunteer presence in Chicago. Ray serves on the Illinois State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. And, in 2008, Windy City Times named Ray as one of the recipients of its 30 Under 30 Awards.

Ray graduated from Augustana College with a degree in accounting in 2003 and received his J.D. from the DePaul University College of Law in 2005.  Ray’s prior experience includes clerking for Supervising Judge Drella Savage in the Domestic Relations Division of Cook County Circuit Court and interning with Lambda Legal.

Representative Publications

Estate Planning and Charitable Giving for Same-Sex Couples After United States v. Windsor, Probate & Property, September/October 2014

Proposed Regulations Affecting the Uniform Basis Rule as Applied to Charitable Remainder Trusts, ISBA Trusts & Estates, July 2014, vol. 61, no. 1 at 15

The Supreme Court DOMA Ruling, Civil Unions, and Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois, Illinois Bar Journal, September 2013

Defining a “Spouse” in Trust Documents, Trusts & Estates Journal, September 2012

2012 Federal Budget and Green Book, ABA’s Real Property and Trust and Estate Law eReport, February 2011

Representative Presentations

“A Treasure Trove of Charitable Updates” – ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Law Spring Symposium, May 1, 2014

“After DOMA: How Recent SCOTUS Decisions Affect Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples” – Chicago Estate Planning Council, July 2013

“Is Your Spouse a Trust Beneficiary? State Law Holds the Key for Same-Sex Spouses” – American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law 24th Annual Spring Symposium, May 2013

“Succession Planning for Small and Closely Held Businesses” – Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Personal Financial Planners, November 2010


American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section, Vice-Chair for Charitable Planning and Organizations Group; Assistant Editor to Trusts and Estates for the eReport; 2009-2010 Section Fellow

Illinois State Bar Association, Standing Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Chicago Estate Planning Council, Young Member’s Program Committee Member

Community Recognition

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, Adjunct Professor teaching Federal Transfer Taxes

Lambda Legal, National Planned Giving Council Member, 2009-2011 Chicago Leadership Council Chair

Metropolitan Family Services, Planned Giving Committee Member

Advocate Charitable Foundation, Planned Giving Council Member

Windy City Times, 2008 30 Under 30 Award Recipient