Jeffrey works with a broad range of individuals and families to design and implement estate plans, helping clients accomplish their business, tax and charitable objectives. He advises clients on issues including fiduciary responsibilities, estate and income tax planning, and succession planning for family-owned businesses and professional firms.

Jeffrey prides himself on an approach that is both comprehensive and transparent, helping clients think through the issues that may impact their long-term objectives, and striking the right balance between simplicity and sophistication. He believes that successful estate planning is built on listening to the client, and finding the right solution to accomplish their individual objectives. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” plan, nor should there be.

  • Experience

    • Preparing estate planning documents including wills, revocable trusts, and irrevocable trusts for tax planning, asset protection, and other purposes.
    • Advising individual and corporate fiduciaries on trust administration, fiduciary income tax reporting and risk management.
    • Negotiating and preparing shareholders’ agreements for business succession planning. Jeffrey has a particular experience working with professional service firms, including architecture and medical practices.
    • Advising individuals and families on estate, gift and income tax planning for complex investments, including closely-held partnerships, real estate holding companies, retirement assets and copyrights.
    • Advising on and implementing asset-protection plans for business owners, physicians and others in high-risk professions.
  • Credentials


    • University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 2008
    • Grinnell College, B.A., 2003, with honors

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois

            Professional Memberships

            • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
            • Chicago Estate Planning Council
            • Illinois State Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Section

            Teaching Appointments

            • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University Law School
          • Insights


            Planning for Portability

            The Chicago Bar Association Trust Law Committee Meeting

            Chicago, Ill.

            Two in One: Digital, Literary Assets & More

            Schiff Hardin associate Jeffrey M. Bergman will present during the Chicago Bar Association’s event “Two in One: Digital, Literary Assets & More” on May 12-13, 2016.

            Chicago, Ill.
            News Release

            22 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Emerging Lawyers Network

            The list comprises those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

            In The News

            Other Publications

            • Co-author, “Estate Planning's Most Powerful Tool: Powers of Appointment Refreshed, Redefined and Reexamined,” Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal (Winter 2013)
            • Co-author, “Asset Protection During Estate and Trust Administration,” Postmortem Estate Planning (Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education Handbook) (2014)
            • Co-author, “Fiduciary Liability for Noninvestment Issues,” ABA Trusts & Investments (Jul./Aug. 2010)

            Speeches & Presentations

            • “Putting It All Together: Case Studies on Integrating the Planning and the Reporting—An In-Depth Walk Through 1041 Preparation: Simple, Complex, or Something Else?” Chicago Estate Planning Council: Estate Planning Fundamentals Training Program, Chicago, Ill. (Feb. 1, 2017)
            • "Planning for Portability," (co-presenter) The Chicago Bar Association Trust Law Committee Meeting, Chicago, Ill (Jan. 9, 2017)
            • Speaker, “Literary Estates for the Not So Rich and Famous: Making Sure the Author is Not Forgotten (and Not Unrewarded),” Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago, Ill. (Jun. 2015)
            • Speaker, “Trust Income Taxation and the 3.8% Surtax,” Schiff Hardin LLP, Chicago, Ill. (Jun. 2014)
            • Speaker, “New Issues in Residential Real Estate: An Estate Planner's View,” Illinois Credit Union League, Oak Brook, Ill. (Sep. 2012)
            • Speaker, “Gifting Strategies: Guiding Your Clients through the Current Environment and Identifying Strategies in Need of Repair,” Illinois CPA Society, Chicago, Ill. (Jan. 2012)
            • Speaker, “Fundamentals of Trust Income Taxation,” Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, Chicago, Ill. (Aug. 2011)
          • Citizenship

            Civic and Charitable Memberships

            Jeffrey is a member of the Young Professionals Advisory Committee at the Chicago Community Trust. The YPAC is an association of attorneys, financial advisors, and others who support the work of the Trust and act as links to the broader community. He is a director and treasurer of his local homeowners association, and an active member of his synagogue.