Michelle helps clients plan for some of the most important transitions in their lives while leaving a meaningful legacy.

Overview

Michelle works with individuals, business owners, entrepreneurs and executives to design custom estate planning and transfer tax solutions. She helps clients structure wealth transfer vehicles, including irrevocable trusts, foundations, family holding companies and partnerships. She also helps clients with life insurance planning, business succession, and philanthropic giving.

Michelle works with clients to craft tax and estate planning solutions to meet specific needs, taking into account business and personal circumstances and goals. Her clients include successful families and family offices throughout the Midwest region, from start-up founders to those managing the legacy of multi-generational wealth. She also advises fiduciaries on estate and trust administration, and represents beneficiaries of estates and trusts. Michelle represents clients before the IRS in examinations of gift and estate tax returns.

Michelle serves as deputy chair of the firm's Tax, Trusts and Estates division. Outside of the office, Michelle enjoys exploring Minnesota's parks and trails with her spouse and two children.

Experience

She helps clients sort through many complexities and creates plans that maximize asset value and preserve wealth. She enjoys educating clients and speaking to groups, and recently presented on dynastic trust planning for privacy and flexibility. 

Michelle works with clients and their professional advisors to model realistic scenarios, and then helps clients choose which resonate most with their goals and values. Her clients say that Michelle knows the questions to ask to get to the heart of the issue on the table.

Michelle represents both fiduciaries and beneficiaries of trusts, and aids clients in trust creation, modification, and administration. Michelle works with her clients and their professional advisors to manage and maintain wealth structures through changing needs and family priorities, and in response to tax law changes.

Michelle is a volunteer mediator for the Hennepin County Probate Court, and was the program director for an emergency family homeless shelter for two years before law school. Through the Deinard Legal Clinic, Michelle provides community education on basic estate planning and helps pro bono clients with estate planning and probate matters.

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

"Good Planning from the Badlands: Trusting Your Client with a South Dakota Trustee," Minnesota CLE's 2018 Probate & Trust Law Conference, June 4 – 5, 2018

"Retirement Asset Planning," HalfMoon Education's "Estate Planning" Seminar, June 22, 2016

"Issues in Trust Wind up and Termination," Best Practices for Corporate Trustees: Trust Administration and Fiduciary Litigation Trends Seminar, The Minneapolis Club, May 26, 2016

"Protecting the Golden Goose: Transitioning Your Business to the Next Generation," Project: Business™, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, April 27, 2016

"Irrevocable Trust Planning with Real Estate," Minnesota CLE, Handling Real Estate Issues in Estate Planning seminar, January 15, 2015

Recognitions

Recognitions

Selected to the Minnesota Super Lawyers© Rising Stars list, 2013, 2015-2017

North Star Lawyer, 2015

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

Hennepin County Bar Association, Probate and Trust Law Section

American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section

Minnesota State Bar Association, Probate and Trust Law Section

Volunteer, Hennepin County Probate Court pro bono mediation program

Admissions

  • Minnesota

Education

University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2008

University of Illinois, B.A., Sociology, 1998

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