Christopher BurnsAttorney, Shareholder
(612) 252-2833 LinkedInPdf print

“I am privileged to help people every day plan for their futures and provide them with peace of mind knowing that their affairs are in order. For me, there is no job better than being a trusted advocate.”

Contact Me

My clients receive my undivided attention. I focus on learning your story and understanding your specific needs. With a broad base of legal knowledge, I will thoughtfully consider your issues, identify your options, and strategically use the right tools to accomplish your goals.

With over 20 years of experience, I bring considerable expertise in the following areas:

  • estate planning: planning and preparation of wills, revocable trusts, health care directives, financial powers of attorney, beneficiary designations for life insurance, and retirement plans
  • estate and trust administration
  • litigation of contested probate, trust, guardianship, and conservatorship matters
  • business succession planning
  • private foundation administration
  • antenuptial/prenuptial agreements
  • drafting and administration of family limited partnerships (FLPs); family cabin trusts/Limited Liability Companies (LLCs); irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs); qualified domestic trusts (QDOTs); grantor trusts (GRATs); intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs); charitable remainder trusts (CRTs); charitable lead trusts (CLTs); special and supplemental needs trusts

Conscientious in my approach, I will engage you in a conversation to explore the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges of important life decisions. Your best interests are my top priority.

In addition to my practice, I teach continuing education courses to lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors on a variety of estate planning, business succession planning, and estate administration topics. I am dedicated to serving my community through prominent roles in local government, and committed to education. It was an honor to be named “Hero of the Week” by a radio station, designated a “North Star Lawyer” by the Minnesota State Bar Association, and recognized for my commitment to pro bono work by Woodbury Magazine. I enjoy spending time with my wife and children, and we are active members of our church. In addition, I like reading, writing, politics, bicycling, and playing and watching basketball.


“From the moment you meet Christopher you know that he’ll take care of you; he instills confidence.”

“I can put Christopher in front of my best clients without worry, confident they are in good hands.”

“Christopher is an extraordinary talent. He makes a long-standing impact on the lives he touches.”

“There are thousands of lawyers to choose from, but Christopher’s willingness to collaborate with other professionals is his competitive advantage.”

“He is genuinely engaged, patient, and calm. His persistent manner, willingness, and leadership when working with our financial advisors simplified and streamlined the entire process.”


Tami Williams
(612) 252-2872
Sarah Ripley
(612) 252-2898

  • J.D., cum laude, Syracuse University College of Law, 1999
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin–River Falls, 1995
  • Minnesota
  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota
  • Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2014–2022
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018–2023: Elder Law, Litigation – Trusts & Estates, Trusts & Estates
  • Pro Bono All-Star, Honored by Minnesota State Bar Association for 8 consecutive years of pro bono service, 2020–2021
  • Featured in Minnesota Monthly Magazine as a Top Lawyer in Minnesota 2022: Trusts and Estates
  • Featured in Minnesota Monthly Magazine as The Best Lawyers in America® 2019
  • North Star Lawyer, Honored by Minnesota State Bar Association for commitment to pro bono service, 2013–2021
  • Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers–Rising Stars® Edition, 2006–2012
  • Five Star Estate Planning Attorney for work and dedication in providing quality services to clients, 2014–2016; Selected by Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business
  • AV® Preeminent peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Minnesota State Bar Association Member, 1999–Present
  • Hennepin County Bar Association Member, 1999–Present
  • Twin Cities Financial and Estate Planning Councils Member, 2001–Present; President, 2009
  • Christian Legal Society Member, 2009–Present
  • Washington County Bar Association Member, 2002–2017
  • Minnesota Planned Giving Council Member, Leave a Legacy Steering Committee, 2015–2016
  • Children’s Legacy Advisors Member, 2015–2016
  • Minnesota CLE Probate & Trust Law Section Conference Planning Committee Member, 2011–2015
  • St. Paul Community Foundation/Minnesota Community Foundation Cornerstone Council Member, 2009–2014
  • Lutheran Social Service Foundation Board Member, 2010–2013
  • Hennepin County Bar Association’s Probate and Trust Law Section Chair, 2003-2005


  • South Washington County Scholarship Committee Voting Director, 2018-Present
  • University of Wisconsin–River Falls, College of Business and Economics Dean’s Council Member, 2014-2016
  • Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation Board Member, appointed by Governor Pawlenty, 2005-2010, Past Chair
  • Gathering of Champions and Academic All-Star Students Volunteer and Presenter, 2005-2010
  • St.Thomas Law School, Past Mentor


  • The Salvation Army Advisory Board Member, Northern Division, 2019-Present
  • Woodbury City Council Member, 2010-2018
  • City of Woodbury Audit and Investment Commission Member, 2017-2018
  • Woodbury Street Rehabilitation Task Force Chair, 2013
  • Woodbury Business Development Committee Member, 2006-2010; Chair, 2008-2010
  • Woodbury Economic Development Commission Member, 2005-2010
  • Panelist, “Large Estate Panel: Flaunting Flexibility – Keeping Your Options Open in a Temporary World,” 2018 Minnesota CLE Probate & Trust Law Section Conference, June 2018
  • Presenter, “Trustee Duties Presentation,” Minnesota CLE, September 2017
  • Presenter, “Estate Plans: Do Not Die Without One!,” Minnesota CLE, July 2017
  • Presenter, “Charitable Component of Estate Planning,” Minnesota CLE, April 2016
  • Presenter, “Summary of Heckerling Institute,” Twin Cities Estate Planning Council, February 2016
  • Presenter, “Balancing Act...Sandwich Generation Seminar,” AdvisorNet, January 2016
  • Presenter, “Heckerling Update,” Twin Cities Estate Planning Council, January 2016
  • Moderator, “Experienced Corporate Trustee Panel,” Twin Cities Financial & Estate Planning Council, January 2014
  • Co-Presenter, “Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples,” Financial Planning Association, October 2013
  • Co-Presenter, “DTT (Divorce, Death, and Taxes),” 39th Annual Probate and Trust Law Section Conference, June 2013
  • Presenter, Estate Planning for Mid-Career and Pre-Retirement Professionals, Ft. Snelling federal employee seminars, 2002–2013
  • Co-Presenter, “Estate Planning in Uncertain Times: Divorce, Death, and Taxes,” Twin Cities Estate Planning Council, October 2012
  • Presenter, “Estate Planning for the Family Cabin,” St. Croix Advisors, June 2011
  • Presenter, “Preparing Your Estate Plan,” Edward Jones, Spring 2011
  • Presenter, “Non-Traditional Estate Planning–Brady Bunch to Modern Family,” AdvisorNet, Spring 2011
  • Presenter, “Estate Taxes in 2011 and Beyond,” Thrivent National Sales Telephone Conference, Spring 2011
  • Presenter, “Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts,” Thrivent National Sales Meeting, Fall 2010
  • Featured Co-Presenter, “Estate Planning and the Use of Trusts,” Ameriprise Affluent Client Seminar Series, April 2010
  • Presenter, “Estate Planning in Uncertain Times,” Association of Lutheran Development Executives, April 2010
  • Presenter, “You Can’t Take ‘It’ With You–How You Can Leave ‘It’ Behind,” Farmers Insurance Advanced Life Training Luncheon; Cardinal Pointe Cooperative; Woodbury Lutheran Church; CPE Seminar; and other seminars
  • Guest appearance, Bloomberg TV, Lifestyles of the Rich, Famous and Furry on What’d You Miss, February 2019
  • Guest appearance, ABC News Good Morning America and KSTP-TV, on the topic of Prince’s estate and Minnesota’s intestacy laws
  • Guest appearance, KARE-11, regarding estate planning considerations for pet owners
  • Guest appearance, WCCO-TV’s 4 News on Sunday, concerning estate planning
  • Multiple guest appearances, WCCO-Radio, on various estate planning topics
  • Featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Today’s Spotlight
  • Featured in Woodbury Magazine article regarding community and education work