James W. Benckendorf

James W. Benckendorf

Peoria, Illinois
(309) 265-0812 (Peoria)
(309) 938-4296 (Morton)
(309) 673-8759

Having grown up in Morton Illinois, Jim returned to the area after completing his education at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.  He joined his father and brother in the practice of law at Benckendorf & Benckendorf, P.C. in 1988.

Jim's practice involves complex estate and tax planning and trusts, trusts, elder law, and probate, the formation and representation of corporations and LLCs, drafting employment, non-compete and other documents as well as representing parties in the transfer of a business.  He has also represented parties in numerous 1031 exchanges throughout Central Illinois as well as representation in both commercial and residential real estate transactions.  This work includes representing parties before units of local government for rezoning, variances and similar changes.

Jim is married to Jayne, with whom he has two sons.  He is an active member of the Morton United Methodist Church, and his hobbies include home remodeling and hunting with his boys.

Year Joined Firm

  • 1988

Areas of Practice

  • 40% Real Property
  • 40% Trusts and Estates
  • 20% Corporate, Business and LLC

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1988
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1988
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1988


  • Northern Illinois University College of Law, DeKalb, Illinois
    • J.D. - 1987
  • Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois
    • B.A.
    • Major: History

Representative Clients

  • Morton United Methodist Church
  • Craig Miller Financial Services, Inc.
  • Heart Technologies, Inc.
  • Wm. Aupperle & Sons, Inc.
  • Morton Community Bank


  • Wills and Estate Planning, 1991 - Present
  • Residential Real Estate, 1997 - Present
  • Elder Law, 1991 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Morton Community Foundation, President, 2016 - 2017
  • Morton Community Foundation, Trustee, 2005 - 2011
  • Morton Community Foundation, Trustee, 2015 - 2018
  • Distinguished Service Award recipient - 2014 - Morton Chamber of Commerce
  • Morton Economic Development Council, Founding President, 2009-2011; Board Member, 2008 – present
  • Morton Chamber of Commerce, Board Member and Officer, 2006 - 2012
  • Morton Economic Development Council, Founding President, 2009 - 2011; Board Member, 2008 - present
  • Morton United Methodist Church, multiple committees, Current Administrative Board chairman
  • Morton Chamber Leadership Academy Instructor