Counseling in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust, and taxation law, Cindy helps individual and corporate clients with sophisticated wealth management and asset transfer decisions and planning. She handles sensitive financial issues in complete confidence, takes the time to truly listen and examine each situation, and then guides her clients through complicated situations with sensitivity and professional insight. She is known for effectively combining an empathetic approach with professional prowess to achieve her clients’ business and personal goals.

Cindy’s experience includes a wide range of estate and trust administration, tax planning, and compliance and wealth preservation concerns, and matters such as:

  • Antenuptial agreements
  • Charitable gift planning
  • Tax-exempt organizations
  • Guardianships and conservatorships
  • Wills and trust agreements
  • Intergenerational wealth transfers
  • Internal Revenue Service audits

Experience

  • A Sound and Sensible Business Transfer. Business owners were facing major challenges in transferring valuable businesses to the next generation, and they needed to avoid significant estate taxes and liquidity issues upon their deaths. We successfully transferred the enterprises without incurring any estate or gift taxes by using the following techniques: (1) converting the stock in the enterprises to voting and nonvoting stock; (2) gifting a portion of the nonvoting stock to special trusts designed to reduce income taxes and provide protection for the benefit of the second generation; (3) selling a portion of the nonvoting stock to a specially designed trust that resulted in no income taxes payable on the gain resulting from the sale; and (4) using significant discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability.
  • Preserving Wealth in Charitable Giving. Maintaining large amounts in IRAs or other retirement plans, which are subject to income taxes and estate taxes upon death, can result in as much as 75% of those savings being paid to federal and state governments. One solution we have devised for many clients with charitable wishes is creating their own private foundation. The foundation is named as the beneficiary of the IRA or retirement plan proceeds, and all income and estate tax on those proceeds is eliminated. Clients’ families then have the full benefit of managing all of the funds to accomplish their charitable objectives.

  • Keeping a House a Family Home. Frequently, clients have valuable and highly sentimental residential property, such as a lake home or second home in a warmer climate. We have assisted many families by developing trusts, limited liability companies, or other ownership vehicles to maintain those second homes indefinitely. One key planning technique is to provide for proper funding of the expenses of the home to ensure continuing family harmony in the use and enjoyment of those properties.

  • Sibling Will Dispute Resolved. We represented one of the disputing siblings in a family will contest, which involved claims that our client had forged the mother’s signature. During the trial in probate court, we convincingly attacked the credibility and reliability of the other side’s handwriting expert during cross-examination and eventually helped our client prevail.

Credentials

Education

William Mitchell College of Law, J.D.; cum laude

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, B.S.B.

Classes / Seminars Taught

  • National Business Institute
  • Minnesota Paralegal Institute
  • Institute for Paralegal Education, a division of NBI Inc.

Certifications / Specialties

  • Certified Public Accountant (inactive), Minnesota

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin

Honors & Recognitions

Minnesota Super Lawyers (2014-present)

The Best Lawyers in America (2013-present)

Five-Star Investment Professional, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business (2017)

Five-Star Financial Services Professional, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business (2016)

Five-Star Estate Planning Professional, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business (2014)

Five-Star Wealth Manager, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business (2011)

News & Insights

News

Speaking Engagements

Publications

Multimedia

Affiliations

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Former secretary, Plymouth Arts Council
  • Past founding director, Plymouth Community Foundation

Co-author of major estate and trusts administration reference books published yearly by the Minnesota State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, including Minnesota Estate Administration, Fifth Edition (2017) and Minnesota Trust Administration, Third Edition (2014)

Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Probate Forms Committee

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