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James Crist

James Crist

Steinhagen & Crist P.L.L.P.

Address: 5001 Chowen Avenue South

City: Minneapolis

State: MN

Phone: 612-922-2260


Category: Estate/Probate

Jim Crist has been trying probate cases for over 35 years. His focus on probate litigation has allowed him to develop a practical understanding of how Minnesota courts apply the law in these difficult situations. In addition to numerous trials, he has appeared before the Minnesota Supreme Court and Minnesota Court of Appeals on over 30 occasions. Jim has represented heirs, devisees, trust beneficiaries, guardians, conservators, trustees, and personal representatives in hundreds of probate matters. His probate litigation experience includes:
  • Challenging the validity of a will or trust based on diminished capacity or undue influence
  • Defending wills and trusts against claims of diminished capacity or undue influence
  • Representing trust beneficiaries asserting their rights under a trust
  • Defending personal representatives, trustees, guardians, and conservators against fiduciary claims of others
  • Disputes regarding whether a guardianship/conservatorship should be established, which powers should be granted, and who should serve as guardian/conservator
  • Lawsuits to recover assets stolen from vulnerable adults
  • Preventing murderers from financially benefitting from the death of their victim
  • Bringing and defending claims against surety bonds
  • Disputes involving alleged power of attorney abuse
  • Life insurance beneficiary disputes
  • Family squabbles

In recognition of his experience in the area of probate litigation, Jim has been selected by over 200 attorneys to mediate their contested probate claims with over a 90 percent success rate. Jim is also a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney.

Professional Associations
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Minnesota Association of Guardianship and Conservatorship (MAGiC)
  • Past Adjunct Professor, William Mitchell College of Law: Client Counseling Program
Volunteer Activities
  • Past President, Senior Community Services
  • Past President, Edina Athletic Boosters Club
  • Board Member, N.C. Little Hospice, Edina, MN
  • Mediating Probate Disputes, Hennepin Lawyer. Teaching Materials on Estate Planning, Fourth Edition, Beyer 2013.
  • Guardianship and Conservatorship Mediation, Hennepin Lawyer, March 2010
  • Media Scrutiny in a High Profile Case, Interview, Minnesota Lawyer, October 1997.
  • Communicating with Your Attorney: Vol. 10(2) April 1999, Journal of the Minnesota Association of Guardianship and Conservatorship (MAGiC)
  • Ten Ways to Limit Conservator Liability: Vol. 9(3) July 1998, MAGiC Journal
  • Marriage Dissolution and the Conservatee: Vol. 8(3) August 1997, MAGiC Journal
  • Mediation and Your Elder Law Practice, Minnesota Elder Law Institute, 2011
  • Surcharging the Bond, Advanced Issues in Guardianships and Conservatorships. Minnesota CLE, February 2010
  • Probate & Estate: Addressing Psychological and Emotional Aspects of the Case, Minnesota CLE Live Webcast, January 2010
  • Special Considerations When Mediating Elder Law Issues, 12th Annual Minnesota Bar Association ADR Institute, October 2009
  • Civil Remedies for Financial Exploitation of Elderly, 2008 State Conference, Minnesota Association for Guardians and Conservators
  • Litigation Within the Guardianship/Conservatorship, MILE, 2001
Representative Cases     
  • In re Conservatorship of Begin, Minn. App. (2010)
  • In re Conservatorship of James W. Kleven, Minn. App. (2008)
  • In re Conservatorship of Douglas, Minn. App. (2004)
  • In re Conservatorship of Brady, 607 N.W.2d 781 (2000)
  • In re Estate of Evanoff, Minn. App. (1998)
  • In re Conservatorship of Christopher, Minn. App. (1997)
  • In re Conservatorship of Foster, 547 N.W.2d 81 (1996)
  • In re Conservatorship of Dawson, 427 N.W.2d 15 (1993)
  • Wise v. Bix, 434 N.W.2d 502 (1989)