planning ahead

Trusts & Estates


Our Trusts and Estates team can help you plan for and administer the efficient transfer of assets to spouses, children, charities and others. Understanding your objectives is our first priority.

We work with clients to help them achieve their goals with respect to wills and trusts, charitable giving, family-owned business succession planning, international estate planning, education funding and estate and trust administration. We assist both individuals and fiduciaries — including professionals, corporate executives, trust companies, business owners and multigenerational families with significant wealth — to achieve their business, financial and family objectives efficiently and at the lowest possible tax cost.

Our Trusts and Estates team is comprised of lawyers and accountants, a number of whom are CPAs or have LL.M.s in taxation, with a broad range of practical experience in estate planning and administration.

Read more about our services in each of the following key areas:

Business Succession Planning + -
Estate Planning + -
Family Governance + -
Estate & Trust Administration + -
Dorsey & Whitney Trust Company + -
Trusts & Estates Litigation + -


Representative Clients
Our Trusts & Estates practice focuses on serving:

  • High net-worth individuals and families
  • Closely held business owners and executives
  • Fiduciaries
  • Beneficiaries
  • Charitable organizations
  • Corporate and family foundations
  • Family offices
  • International families and businesses
  • Private trust companies

Representative Matters
Our Trusts & Estates group offers a sophisticated array of services covering virtually all aspects of estate and succession planning, including:

  • Basic estate planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, community property agreements, durable powers of attorney, health care directives (living wills)
  • International estate planning
  • Probate and trust administration
  • Executive compensation, qualified retirement plans and life insurance plans
  • Business succession planning for all forms of businesses, including corporations, family limited partnership and limited liability companies
  • Irrevocable trusts, including life insurance trusts, children’s/grandchildren’s trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and grantor retained annuity trusts


US News Best Lawyers 2021 Top Trusts & Estates Law Firm

US News Best Lawyers 2021 Top Tax Law Firm

BTI Client Service A-Team 2019

58 Dorsey Leading Lawyers-Chambers 2020

135 Dorsey Lawyers-50+ Practices Best Lawyers 2021

2015 Leading Real Estate & Construction Firm US-Legal 500

13 Dorsey Leading Litigators-Chambers 2020

Leading Firm-Over 23 Dorsey Practices Chambers 2020

5 Leading Lawyers Ranked for Private Wealth Law Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) 2020

Band 1 Private Wealth Law Ranked in Minnesota Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) 2020

Leading Law Firm Private Wealth Law Ranked in Washington Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) 2020

12 Lawyers of the Year Best Lawyers 2021

24 Lawyers Named "Ones to Watch" Best Lawyers in America 2021

Over 100 Dorsey Super Lawyers 2020


William Berens
Practice Group Co-Chair
Katina Peterson
Practice Group Co-Chair