Estate planning and business succession are Bill’s primary practice areas.

He focuses on estate tax minimization, wealth transfer and asset protection for clients and their descendants, many of whom are involved in farming or ranching, oil and gas, closely held businesses or licensed professions such as medicine or engineering.

Bill is the senior member of the Fargo Trusts & Estates team which consists of six lawyers, six paralegals, and four legal administrative assistants. He is chiefly responsible for the design and implementation of a systematic team approach to the needs of our clients which ensures the work is done promptly, efficiently and in the most cost-effective manner.

The system, developed and refined over the course of 46 years, helps maintain steady workflow by favoring flexible work distribution over rigid staff-to-attorney assignments. It enables each aspect of a client’s work to be performed by the individual who is best qualified and least expensive to the client. Giving the paralegals a leading role in document assembly, it also guarantees accessibility of up-to-date information to and from the clients and reliable flow of communication. The approach has proven flexible enough to be adapted to each client’s specific needs while also incorporating our latest thinking into each project and ensuring our work is completed in an efficient and timely manner.

Bill is licensed to practice law in both North Dakota and Minnesota. Bill is one of three lawyers on the Fargo Trusts & Estates team who is also a certified public accountant.



Business Succession, Estate Tax Minimization, Wealth Transfer & Asset Protection

Bill has represented numerous clients in both North Dakota and Minnesota with these objectives who are the owners of:

  • Oil and Gas Interests in Western North Dakota
  • Family Farming Operations
  • Certified Seed Companies
  • Agricultural Real Estate (that is rented to third parties)
  • Agricultural Equipment Manufacturing Companies
  • Rental Real Estate Management Companies
  • Real Estate Development Companies
  • General Contractor Construction Companies
  • Excavation Companies
  • Heavy Equipment Sales Companies
  • Family Asset Holding Companies
  • Physicians
  • Dental Practices
  • Pharmacies
  • Insurance Agencies



  • University of North Dakota School of Law, J.D., 1976
  • University of North Dakota, B.S. of B.A. in Accounting, 1968


  • North Dakota, 1976
  • Minnesota, 1976
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1976


  • Best Lawyers in America©, Trusts and Estates, 2010-2024
  • Chambers High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law, North Dakota, 2017-2023
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, 1987-present
  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell, 1987-present
  • Lawyer of the Year for Trusts and Estates in Fargo, Best Lawyers, 2012, 2017, 2021, 2023
  • Great Plains Super Lawyers
  • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2013-2014
  • Outstanding Chair Award, State Bar Association of North Dakota for chairing the N.D. Uniform Trust Code Legislative Drafting Task Force and for 25 years of chairing the N.D. Business Entity Legislative Drafting Task Force, 2007
  • Named “Best of the Bar” in the area of Trusts and Estates by attorneys in Cass and Clay Counties, 2002

Civic & Professional

Professional Activities

  • Minnesota Assistance CouncilVeterans, Pro Bono Attorney, 2013-present
  • Estate Planning Law Specialist and Accredited Estate Planner certifications by the National Association of Estate Planning Councils, 2000-present
  • Association of Estate Planning Councils, 2000-present
  • UND School of Law Building Planning Committee, Advisor, 2013-2015
  • State Bar Association of North Dakota, 1976-present
  • North Dakota Society of Certified Public Accountants, 1973-present
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, 1976-present
  • Clay County Bar Association, 1976-present
  • Cass County Bar Association, 1976-present
  • Red River Valley Estate Planning Council, 1976-present
  • Certified Public Accountant, North Dakota (Inactive), 1973-present
  • Navy Supply Corps Officer, U.S. Navy, 1969-1973


  • UND Pancratz Career Development Center, Mentor, 2012-present
  • Sanford Health Veterans Services Team, Volunteer, 2022-present
  • Minnesota Advisory Council – Veterans, Volunteer, 2019-present
  • University of North Dakota Alumni Association, President, 2007-2009
  • University of North Dakota Foundation and University of North Dakota Alumni Association, Director, 2001-2012
  • Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation, Director, 2000-2009
  • C-400 Project 16, Concordia College, National Co-Chair, 2000-2003
  • Fargo North Baseball Club, Director, 1999-2001
  • Fargo North Raiders Youth Hockey Club, Director, 1990-1996
  • Hope Lutheran Foundation, Director, 1989-1995
  • American Lutheran Church Board of Pensions, Director, 1979-1987

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