Gould + Ratner




Vice Chair, Tax and Wealth Transfer Practice

Ilana Bley focuses her practice on assisting individuals, families and business owners with complex tax planning and wealth transfer strategies. Ilana handles a variety of matters, including implementing tax efficient estate plans, administering trusts and estates, estate and gift tax returns and charitable planning.

Ilana is an Associate Member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council (CEPC) was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 2021-2024 editions of U.S. News Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch.” Ilana is a member of the American Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association and frequently writes articles pertaining to changes in tax law.

Prior to joining Gould & Ratner, Ilana was a corporate associate at a large law firm in Chicago where she counseled clients on a wide range of matters, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity and general corporate matters.


Connect with Ilana

(312) 899-1601 Office
(847) 902-6880 Mobile

Connect with Ilana

(312) 899-1601 Office
(847) 902-6880 Mobile




  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, Alpha Sigma Nu, 2015
  • Washington University, B.A., 2010

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • Chicago Estate Planning Council (CEPC)
  • Workshops and Fundamentals Committee Chair, 2023-2024
  • Workshops and Roundtables Subcommittee Co-Chair, 2022-2023
  • Emerging Members Program (now known as Emerging Leaders Program) Participant, 2019-2020
  • American Technion Society – Chicago, Technion Innovators Program Participant, 2022-2023

Key Cases or Transactions

    • Assisted clients with a variety of transactions to maximize use of gift exemption amounts and other planning in anticipation of potential changes in the law. 
    • Aided clients with reorganizations of closely-held companies to accomplish family goals in the most tax-efficient manner.
    • Advised clients with respect to Section 1202 qualified small business stock (QSBS) and implementation of gifts.
    • Advised clients on charitable planning, including the creation of charitable lead annuity trusts.
    • Worked extensively on limited liability company and other agreements among family members.
    • Analyzed related party rules under Internal Revenue Code Sections 318 and 1563 and other related Code Sections.
    • Counseled clients with respect to the employee retention tax credit and analyzed clients’ specific eligibility for the credit.
    • Analyzed excise tax on executive compensation under Section 4960.
    • Assisted clients with determination of whether subject to Bureau of Economic Analysis Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad (BE-10) reporting requirement.


More than just legal advisors, our lawyers consistently demonstrate the care and commitment that set us apart from much larger law firms.