Michelle provides invaluable guidance to clients planning for some of the most pivotal transitions in their lives.


Michelle works with individual private clients, business owners, and family offices to design custom estate planning and transfer tax solutions. She structures wealth management and transfer vehicles, including complex trusts and corporate entities, to help her clients realize their tax and non-tax objectives.

She helps clients plan the transition of their closely-held businesses during life and through their estate using gift planning, sale arrangements, insurance, and owner agreements to facilitate business succession. To help clients achieve their philanthropic giving goals, she advises on sophisticated charitable giving design, charitable trusts, and private foundation matters.

Michelle's clients include successful families and family offices, from start-up founders to those managing the legacy of multi-generational wealth. She also advises individual and corporate 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 has helped clients navigate milestone liquidity planning, administer large estates crossing multiple tax jurisdictions, analyze special elections for tax reduction and deferral, plan for special assets, and negotiate difficult family dynamics that can flare at the intersection of wealth and mortality. Michelle's clients appreciate her steadiness and ability to listen closely before problem solving.

She works with clients and their professional advisors to manage and maintain wealth structures through changing needs and family priorities, and in response to tax law changes. She helps clients modernize irrevocable trusts through decanting and other means of modification. Michelle represents both fiduciaries and beneficiaries of trusts, and aids clients in trust creation, administration, partition, distribution, and termination.

Through the Deinard Legal Clinic, Michelle provides community education on basic estate planning and helps pro bono clients with estate planning and probate matters. Michelle volunteers with the Election Protection hotline to answer voter questions about registration and the voting process.

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


Author, Minnesota Trust Administration Deskbook, Chapter 3: Creation and Modification of Trusts



Selected to the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers in America©

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

North Star Lawyer, 2015

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

Colorado Bar Association

State Bar of South Dakota 

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


  • Minnesota
  • Colorado
  • South Dakota


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

University of Illinois, B.A.

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