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Q&A with Practice Group Chair - Kurt Tjaden


Q: What led you to become an Estate and Business Succession Planning attorney?

A: My mother worked for a lawyer in Hastings, Nebraska who had a general practice but handled a significant amount of estate planning matters. He spoke with me a few times when I was in high school about how rewarding it was to work with families on business succession and estate planning and the distribution of their estates. Also, I’ve always had an interest in accounting and taxation. Estate and business succession planning seemed a natural fit.

Q: What are the biggest concerns business-owners face when developing their business succession plans?

A: Parents always try hard to do the right thing and that often involves whether to distribute business interests equally to children or, if more fair, to distribute business interests disproportionately based upon one or more children being actively involved in the business and contributing "sweat" equity. Generally the non-technical aspects of a plan are of more concern than technical aspects such as tax structure.

Q: Does everyone need a basic estate plan?

A: Everyone has a basic estate plan compliments of the Nebraska statutes. I have yet to meet an individual who is satisfied with that plan. Each individual should have a customized estate plan to assure that his/her objectives regarding the distribution of his/her estate

and the appointment of fiduciaries are accomplished.

Q: How is Koley Jessen’s Estate and Business Succession Planning practice different from that of other law firms?

A: We strive to provide over-the-top service to our clients. Whether it’s complex succession and estate plan or charitable giving questions, or basic plan advice, we are available and provide advice specific to each client’s situation and objectives. We work hand-in-hand with our Tax and Corporate attorneys to develop solutions to meet our clients’ goals.


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