Susan L. Goldenberg


Susan is a partner in the Private Wealth Services practice group. Susan focuses her practice on sophisticated estate planning for business owners, wealthy individuals and entrepreneurs. She helps her clients transfer wealth to younger generations to achieve tax efficiencies as well as protection for beneficiaries and counsels her clients in connection with complex intrafamily issues that wealthy families often face.

In addition to helping clients structure their estate plans, Susan advises clients regarding succession planning for closely held businesses and stewards of family wealth. She also counsels wealthy donors regarding charitable gifts and negotiates agreements with charities involving naming rights, program development and other original uses of donated funds.

Having a unique ability to work with families and quickly earn their trust in managing the numerous risks and opportunities they face, Susan excels at managing the complex motivations and concerns within a multigenerational family and can succinctly explain complicated estate and tax planning concepts to each member of the family. Her ultimate goal is to help clients take care of their families by enabling them to make well-informed decisions that will positively impact their businesses and their families.

Susan has spoken to numerous organizations regarding estate planning considerations for women and family businesses owned by women. She has been a member of the governing board of Ravinia Associates, the Metropolitan Board of Youth Guidance (a private social service agency benefiting Chicago Public School students) and the junior board of the Chicago International Film Festival. Susan focused her volunteer efforts on Chicago Public School students. She tutored indigent Chicago Public School students, she founded and led a partnership with Simpson Academy for Young Women, the only Chicago Public School devoted exclusively to pregnant and parenting middle and high school students, and she fundraised, spearheaded efforts for facilities improvements and advocated for students at Franklin Fine Arts Center, a Chicago Public Magnet School focused on the fine and performing arts.

Susan attended a year-long program in Fine and Decorative Arts at Christie’s International Education in London and earned a Certificate of Fine Arts from Cambridge University.

Susan has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America since 2010, and has been AV Preeminent Rated (the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards) via the Martindale-Hubbell Ratings since 2002. She was named an Avvo Rated Top Lawyer for 2022 and 2023. Susan has also been selected by her peers as a Leading Lawyer in Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law since 2012 and also been recognized in Chambers High Net Worth - Private Wealth Law.

  • Chambers High Net Worth, recommended in “Private Wealth Law” since 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America, recommended in “Trusts and Estates” since 2010
  • "Notable Women in Law,” Crain’s Chicago Business, 2020

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois