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About Lynda L. Sands, J.D., M.B.A

Lynda L. Sands is a lawyer, consultant, trainer, author and motivational speaker in philanthropic planning.

She specializes in strategic designs and solutions for philanthropic transfers of wealth. Her 40+ years of specializing in high net worth philanthropy have provided her with exceptional depth of expertise in solving design issues and asset transfer issues, as well as resolving problematic cases where charitable gifts were not well designed and executed. She served as Tax Attorney for charitable trusts and pooled income funds for Bank of America World Headquarters, Assistant General Counsel for Yale University for development and institutional advancement, and was selected to serve on United Way’s early project in Planned Giving funded by a Lilly Endowment grant. She has served on many nonprofit boards, served on Finance and Audit committees, and was Chairwoman of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

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Lynda serves primarily three groups involved with philanthropy

Nonprofits: Lynda works with fundraising offices, especially major, planned and principal gifts, and with funds administration offices. In addition to providing legal and consulting on donor-donee transactions, she also establishes effective planned giving programs or revamps flailing ones. She creates and implements new donor advised funds and endowment programs for nonprofit clients wishing to add new program components or to enhance existing ones.

Individuals: Lynda represents individuals and families in their philanthropic endeavors. She designs and creates charitable trusts, private foundations and new public charities. She also assists in correcting these entities where either they were not created correctly at the outset or the erroneous operation of them threatens serious detrimental consequences to the founders or managers.

Advisors: Lynda has always enjoyed working with other advisors to bring them into the field of philanthropy and to help them see how adding philanthropic planning to their business model can greatly enhance their business. It also allows advisors to offer a service to their clients that other advisors ignore or miss, as well as provide a rich offering of planning tools for their clients.

Value to the client and to the field of philanthropy

Forty plus years of experience in working with these three groups, writing over 200 articles and more than six books, creating document assembly software, speaking to more than 1,000 audiences, and doing audio and video presentations has allowed Lynda to develop breadth and depth of experience and to share that experience in all forms for so many clients. She has trained more than 35,000 financial advisors and planned giving officers. She has initiated, assisted, concluded and joint ventured on well over $1 billion in charitable gifts, trusts, annuities, and foundations. And that number was achieved by 2001 when she stopped counting and just enjoyed continuing on to the present day.

New ventures: online videos, books, training, much more

Not wanting to stand still, Lynda has begun online video training for major gift officers, new planned giving officers, and other nonprofit staff/volunteers who want or need to understand planned giving without becoming a technical expert at it. Plain English Planned Giving is comprised of eight courses each with 8 topics in a coordinated format for easy, quick learning on how to spot potential planned gift opportunities in a donor’s life or assets. Each video is 25-30 minutes for convenience of learning.


About Amina Saeed , J.D., LL.M.

Note from Lynda:  Amina was in my CSULB Research Foundation Certified Specialist in Planned Giving. Module Five Charitable Remainder Trust class in 2021.  I was a founding instructor in that program and have taught for many years.  There were many attorneys in my classes over the years, but never one I invited to work with me.  But in the 2021 class, I noticed that she stood out as highly knowledgeable about the subject.  She joined my charitable planning membership forum where we discuss cases and I witnessed the degree to which she excelled in charitable planning, analyzing cases, and creatively structuring charitable plans and designs.  In a one-on-one conversation with her, I inquired of her what her experience was in charitable planning and discovered that she had her own firm concentrating on high net worth estate planning, complex business structures, with a specific focus on philanthropic planning and growing her practice in that area. As I became better acquainted with her, I realized that her practice was very similar to mine and asked her to take part in some of my client cases.  After working with Amina on several cases, including existing nonprofits’ creation of donor advised funds and endowment funds, establishment of new public charities and private foundations, creation of seven and eight-figure charitable lead grantor and nongrantor trusts, and a wide variety of charitable remainder trusts, I realized she would be the perfect match for my law and consulting business.  I invited her to become Of Counsel to my firm not only because of her knowledge and type of practice which is very similar to mine but also because she shares many of the same goals, philosophies and ideals that I consider the “North Star” of my 40+ years in philanthropic planning.
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Amina serves clients for estate planning, business structures, and charitable planning

After several years of practicing law in litigation and appeals, and community advocacy as director of a nonprofit, in 2006, Amina Saeed opened her estate planning law firm in North Aurora, Illinois. Today, the firm has grown to include an office in Naperville, and she serves clients throughout the Chicagoland area and beyond. Amina provides practical and creative estate planning, representing many high net worth clients, asset protection solutions using complex business structures for the myriad challenges faced by her clients, and innovative charitable solutions for both tax planning and philanthropy goals.


Value to her clients

Amina’s clients trust her with the two most valuable aspects of their lives: everyone they love and everything they own. She considers this the highest honor. Her mission is to give them peace of mind and unparalleled service.  Amina is known for her ability to deliver well-crafted estate plans to clients based upon their specific situations, with a primary focus on providing for the security of their loved ones while minimizing taxes. She prides herself on the lifelong relationships she forms with each and every one of her clients.  


Professional Associations

She is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the DuPage County Estate Planning Council, the DuPage County Bar Association, and the Fox Valley Estate Planning Council. She serves on the Illinois State Bar Association’s Trusts & Estates Section Council, is a former member of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council, and a former Chair of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law. Amina is also a founding member of the Muslim Bar Association of Chicago.   Amina has worked with nonprofit groups in various capacities.  She is a Leadership Greater Chicago fellow, a member of the Chicago Council on Planned Giving, and studying to become a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG) through the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies at California State University Long Beach. Amina is also an advisor to the board of The Mecca Center Endowment Fund. She advises nonprofits on building a planned giving program and accepting planned gifts. She speaks and writes frequently about estate planning and planned giving for other professionals as well as the general public. 


Personal Notes

Originally from London, England, Amina is a north side Chicagoan at heart. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University Chicago, her Juris Doctorate from Valparaiso University School of Law, and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Information Technology and Privacy Law from the John Marshall Law School.    Married with four children, Amina balances her spare moments between her children’s interests—baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, and scouting—and her family’s passion to visit all 60 national parks.  Amina’s husband also has a professional practice as a well-known and liked dentist in the West suburban Chicago area.