Michael W. Brown
Michael W. Brown is a shareholder with the firm and a member of the business and estate planning practice groups. Michael has a robust transactional practice, with a concentration in three primary areas:
- Business Law
- Estate Planning & Administration
- Real Estate
Michael is committed to helping his clients achieve favorable outcomes in a variety of different legal circumstances.
Michael graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and earned his law degree from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is admitted to practice in Idaho, Colorado, and Utah and serves on the Board of Directors for his local Kiwanis club. Michael and his wife, Lindsey, are the parents of four daughters.
Areas of Expertise
- S.J. Quinney School of Law – University of Utah, Juris Doctor 2007
- Member, Journal of Land, Resources, & Environmental Law
- Recipient of College of Law, Outstanding Achievement Award in Trial Advocacy
- Brigham Young University, BA Russian, Political Science 2004
As a business lawyer, Michael has extensive experience in advising clients on appropriate business structures to minimize tax burdens, achieve operational flexibility, and facilitate efficient succession and dissolution. Michael has considerable experience in forming business entities both for operating small businesses and inter-generational business succession planning. As part of his business practice, Michael also maintains an active trademark practice. Michael represents many regional and national clients in trademark matters, including trademark evaluations, searches, applications, USPTO office action responses, and maintenance. Michael frequently lectures to students attending Brigham Young University-Idaho on intellectual property matters.
- Represented trustees of three trusts and closely-held corporation in sale of multimillion dollar agribusiness.
- Represented clients in seeking registration of and maintaining federal trademarks in a diversity of economic sectors, including agriculture, computer software, real estate, heavy industry, interstate trucking, and distilled beverages.
- Represented limited liability company client in acquisition of multiple-asset business, including grocery store, gas station, and recreational rental properties.
- Represented limited liability company and corporation clients in sale of long-haul truck parts and repair business.
- Represented several clients in buying, selling, restructuring, and refinancing interests in closely held businesses.
- Formed and dissolved 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entities on behalf of institutional and fiduciary clients.
Estate Planning and Administration
Michael has extensive experience representing clients in all phases of estate planning and administration, including drafting wills and trusts for large and small estates, advising fiduciaries on legal duties in specific circumstances, and structuring agreements to efficiently resolve disputes among estate heirs, trust beneficiaries, and creditors. Michael makes it a priority to stay abreast of changes in the laws affecting trusts, estates, and fiduciaries. Michael also regularly lectures to other attorneys, CPAs, and other professionals on wills, trusts, and probate issues.
- Drafted dozens of wills and trusts, and represented individual and institutional fiduciaries in a variety of probate and trust administration matters.
- Drafted several TEDRA (Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act) agreements to assist clients in reaching compromises with other trust beneficiaries or estate heirs.
- Advised trustee clients on successful resolution of dispute with beneficiary demanding liquidation of depreciated trust real property.
- Represented several agricultural clients in drafting wills and trusts with complex distribution requirements designed to preserve viability of agricultural operation in succeeding generation.
- Advised clients on estate planning structures designed to minimize gift and estate tax liability.
- Obtained summary judgment for fiduciary client in contested issue involving intersection of Idaho’s intestate succession laws and slayer statute.
- Successfully petitioned court to construe power of attorney to allow agent client to transfer assets to irrevocable trust for Medicaid planning purposes.
- Successfully petitioned court to modify trust agreement to permit trustee to make estate reducing inter vivos gifts to trust beneficiaries to minimize state estate tax.
- Drafted first-party and third-party special needs trusts to achieve favorable estate planning and Medicaid eligibility outcomes.
- Obtained upward revision of community spouse resource allowance for client, allowing client to facilitate Medicaid qualification for spouse while preserving client’s assets.
Michael regularly represents clients in real estate matters, including purchases, sales, refinancing, gifts, judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures, boundary agreements, well agreements, easements, quiet title actions, and curing title defects. Michael understands that successful representation of clients in real estate matters requires precision and uncompromising attention to detail.
- Negotiated, reviewed, and drafted transactional documents for clients in dozens of real estate transactions involving commercial, agricultural, and residential properties.
- Obtained decree of judicial foreclosure in complex foreclosure action involving multiple parties and underlying obligation in excess of $8 Million.
- Successfully represented client in judicial foreclosure in which debtor declared bankruptcy; persuaded bankruptcy trustee to abandon objections and consent to relief from automatic stay.
- Acted as trustee of several deeds of trust, including deeds of trust in default requiring non-judicial foreclosure.
- Represented clients in resolving complicated title issues by preparing appropriate deeds, affidavits, and, when necessary, obtaining court decrees.
- Advised financial institutions and individuals in negotiation and acceptance of deeds in lieu of foreclosure.
- Provided general legal
- Idaho State Bar
- Taxation, Probate & Trust Law Section
- Colorado State Bar
- Colorado Supreme Court
- Utah State Bar
- SE Idaho Estate Planning Counsel
- Wealth Counsel
- Kiwanis International
- Beard St Clair Gaffney PA
- 2008 to Present