Meet W. DOUGLAS HOAK

W. Douglas Hoak

Managing Member

Doug Hoak is an attorney and member of Illumine Legal LLC, where he leads the firm’s estate and tax planning department. Doug’s practice concentrates on estate and tax planning, estate administration, and business succession planning for high-net-worth families and individuals. Doug is known for his creativity – his ability to think clearly about complex problems and develop clever, client-centric legal solutions. He also prides himself on his ability to clearly communicate complex strategies in a way that the average person can understand. His practice experience includes a range of area-specific solutions and activities, including creation of revocable trusts and wills, irrevocable grantor and on-grantor trusts, sales, gifts, and loans to individuals and trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts and personal residence trusts, as well as trust modifications through court action, decanting, and non-judicial settlements, and the preparation of tax returns such as the Form 709, U.S. Gift Tax Return, and the Form 706, U.S. Estate Tax Return (for taxable and non-taxable estates).

Doug received his law degree from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, where he graduated in the top 17% of his class, and then went on to receive a Master of Law (“LL.M.”) in estate and tax planning from the University of Miami School of Law in Miami, Florida, where he achieved top grades in generation-skipping transfer tax planning and marital deduction planning. He was selected for a prestigious internship with a professor-led law firm.

Prior to attending law school, Doug was a wildland firefighter with the Midnight Sun Hotshots, in Fairbanks, Alaska, and a Yellowstone Helitack, in Yellowstone National Park. Doug fought fire in three of the largest fire seasons on record and was a squad boss and sawyer.

Doug lives in Denver and is married and has three children. He sits on the Board of Directors for his church and for a local non-profit focused on character coaching.

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Experience
His experience includes estate planning using wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, and related instruments, as well as transfer tax planning involving irrevocable trusts (grantor and non-grantor), annuity trusts, personal residence trusts, trust modification actions, and estate and trust administration. Doug represents both people of average means as well as some of the most affluent families in the nation. He is pleased to work with anyone who values his service.
Publications/Presentations/Recognition

Substitutes for Marital Agreements in Elective Share Planning: The Surviving Spouse Incentive
Trust and Source Stripping, The Colorado Lawyer, December 2015 (Vol. 44, No. 12)

Presentation – Estate Planning for Oil & Gas Interests, Nat’l Business Institute, Denver, Colorado,
2016

Presentation – Estate Administration: Preparing the Client’s Estate Tax Return and Estate
Accounting, Nat’l Business Institute, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 2018

Presentation – Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts: Survey of a Popular Planning Technique, 42 nd
Annual Estate Planning Retreat, Plenary Session, Beaver Creek, Colorado, June, 2022
Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star – 2018 and 2019

Denver Estate Planning Council, Board Member (and President), 2016-2020

Education

Master of Law, 2011
University of Miami, School of Law, Miami, Florida

 

Juris Doctorate, 2010 (Top 17%)
University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado

 

Bachelor of Arts, History, 2006
Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana