“I have a passion for helping family business owners achieve and secure the success of their businesses from inception, through growth and transition and to the succeeding generation. I have the same passion to work with all types of families to effectively plan their estates and provide for their legacy.”
- State of Minnesota
- State of Illinois
- State of Iowa
- United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
I work creatively with businesses, farmers, and families to provide practical transitions. With a focus on business and farm succession planning, corporate law and governance, finance, estate planning and probate and forming LLCs and partnerships, I serve as an experienced, trusted legal advisor and counselor to numerous business owners and their families.
Planning is a delicate process of balancing family dynamics, tax laws and business sustainability which calls for technical expertise along with careful thought and wisdom. I know how to strategically structure, negotiate and document the planning transactions my clients need to take their business operations forward. One of my proudest efforts was crafting the joint venture between the Blackhawks and the Bulls to construct the United Center in Chicago. I also help negotiate, document, and efficiently close all types of transactions, from business acquisitions or sales to real estate sales and leases to financing and loan transactions. I helped shepherd the new Minnesota LLC Act through to adoption in 2015.
I lead the Avisen Estate and Succession Planning Practice Group and am active in several professional organizations including the MSBA Partnership/LLC Committee and the MSBA Business Law Section Counsel.
I am a dedicated Blackhawks hockey and Twins baseball fan and serve in church congregations and other community organizations.
Business and Commercial Law
Client’s Issue: Development, Construction and Financing of Joint Venture to construct new stadium
My Approach: Working with multi-disciplinary team to facilitate, negotiate and document joint venture and related financing.
Result: Successful transaction
Type of Client: Family owned real estate, beverage distribution, banking and sports businesses
Client’s Issue: Planning and execution of leadership and ownership succession planning to achieve effective generational transfer of management into 4th generation and beyond
My Approach: Collaborate with multiple professional advisors (estate planning, corporate, finance and valuation) and board leaders to design, structure and implement succession plan and follow up to achieve smooth transitions
Client’s Issue: Plan to consolidate and merge with parent/subsidiary corporations
My Approach: Create plan and documentation to complete merger, work with financial professionals to
Result: Established stock valuation and merger financial terms
Type of Client: Commercial Real Estate Developer & Owner
Client’s Issue: Obtain and close construction financing
My Approach: Negotiate and finalize loan documents
Result: closed transaction on time and at efficient cost
Type of Client: Professional Non-profit Practice
Client’s Issue: Obtain and close bond financing for acquisition and construction of new facility, negotiate leases
My Approach: Worked with lenders, bond counsel, tenants and city government to document
Result: Closed transaction in timely manner
Estate and Succession Planning
Client’s Issue: Create estate plan and business ownership structure to facilitate founding generation retirement and transfer of land and operating assets to succeeding generation
My Approach: Working with accounting and tax advisors to analyze best structure for land ownership and operating entities, giving regard to interests of farming and non-farming family members and creating opportunity for 3rd generation participation in farming
Result: Established will and trust planning to minimize potential transfer taxes and maximize family harmony
Type of Client: Family owned construction business
Client’s Issue: Design and implement sophisticated gifting and sale transactions to transfer ownership to following generation with minimal tax implications with attention to securing stable and successful management
Result: Structured wills and related plan documents to achieve clarity, match family assets to family interests and establish a charitable legacy
Type of Client: Professional advisory practice
Client’s Issue: Assist with redemption of non-family partner’s equity interest, restructure LLC and create plan for succession with new family member partner
Result: Created will and trust plan to support business succession while maintaining fairness and equity with remaining family members
Client Type: Corporate Trustee and Executor
Client’s Issue: Efficient administration of complex estate and trust where heirs were not on speaking terms. Implemented and maintained reliable communications and process with all parties, supervised distribution of disputed assets, assisted with tax and financial reporting
Result: Closed estate and trust administration successfully without material disputes
Mergers and Acquisitions
Client’s Issue: Strategic growth into to new markets through practice acquisitions.
My Approach: Design, draft and negotiate transaction documents including purchase agreements, employment agreements, lease and asset transfers and all other documentation
Result: Successfully closed transactions efficiently and without disruption of business relationships
Client’s Issue: Represented environmentally sensitive buyer of forest properties for unique long-term conservation uses
Result: Successfully drafted, negotiated and closed purchase transactions to achieve organizational goals cost effectively
- University of Minnesota Law School, Juris Doctor, cum laude
- Concordia College, magna cum laude
I have represented several community non-profits and church organizations in contract, financing, governance and general business matters. Some of my pro-bono relationships have been ongoing for more than 20 years.
Extensive speaking on estate planning, wills, trusts, estate and gift tax, charitable giving, LLC and Corporate organization law and agreements, financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions.
- Planning the Exit – Estate and Succession Planning for the Business Owner, 12/1/2022
- Minnesota LLCs Deskbook. Co-author, Co-editor
- MSBA Business Law Section Council, Chair (2021-2022)
- MSBA Business Law Section, Executive Council and Officer (2016-present)
- MSBA Business Law Section, Co-Chair LLCs and Partnerships Committee (2015-present)
- MSBA Probate & Trust Law Section
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Recognized as a Lawyer of Distinction by The New York Times and The National Law Journal, 2022