A note from Jim Sanford:

Estate planning involves more than a will. It involves a combination of disciplines and some important decisions for you and your family. Financial and estate planning used in combination can provide tremendous benefits for you and your loved ones. It can make the difference between survivable transitions and painful decisions.

I have experienced these benefits first hand. In 1978 my family was involved in a devastating car accident. My father and sister were killed and my brother left in a wheelchair. Through my father’s estate planning and careful purchase and use of insurance products the transition was survivable. Despite the turmoil we were able to keep our home and make the remodeling changes required for my brother. Both he and I were able to attend college and graduate school. Without the careful planning of my father it may not have been possible. It is that foresight, and its positive effect, that has led me to estate planning.

The options are varied, including wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives, testamentary trusts, insurance trusts and educational trusts. The goal is always the same: To provide security and a bright future to you and your family. It worked for my family, let us help it work for you and your loved ones. Contact Sanford, Pierson, Thone & Strean so that we can develop the proper plan for you.

– Jim Sanford


Estate planning is about your life and your legacy. The process is about your life plan, leveraging the tax system and caring for loved ones; easing the transition after the loss is a meaningful final gift to your family and friends.  

For more than 20 years, individuals, families, and business leaders in Wayzata, the West Metro and throughout Minnesota have put their trust in us to help the achieve their estate planning goals. We understand that many of our clients have spent a lifetime building their estates, and our attorneys are devoted to understanding your concerns and helping you maximize the impact of your assets. 

Whether your needs are straightforward or complex, we can implement plans to address your unique circumstances. We leverage our collective experience and strong commitment to client service to offer sophisticated, practical, and responsive counsel, focusing on efficient wealth preservation, estate planning, and business-succession planning.

Our team counsels in the following areas of estate planning. 

  • Asset Protection Strategies

  • Business Succession Planning

  • Charitable Giving Options

  • Conduit Trusts

  • Conservatorship/Guardianship

  • Estate Administration

  • Estate Tax Planning

To prepare for your consultation with one of our Estate Planning attorneys, please complete our Estate Planning Questionnaire.