William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 1993, Magna Cum Laude

Moorhead State University, B.A., Summa Cum Laude

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  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
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Darlene Cobian serves on the firm's board of directors and is a member of the Estate Planning and Administration section. She practices principally in the areas of:

  • Estate planning
  • Trust and estate administration
  • Charitable gifting
  • Tax-exempt organizations

Darlene assists multi-generational families with high and ultra-high net worths address complex estate and tax issues. For many years, Darlene has helped families and their advisors structure estate plans that accomplish the multiple issues affecting these families. For example:

  • Minimizing taxes related to the transition of wealth from one generation to the next.
  • Assuring the effective transition of management of family wealth and/or business from one generation to the next.
  • Assisting with addressing unique needs of a family, such as special needs beneficiaries, divorces, premature deaths and education.
  • Addressing philanthropic interests and ways to meet these interests.

Darlene's experience includes working closely and confidentially with high and ultra-high net worth families. The relationships Darlene builds with clients yield great confidence, allowing families to share their most confidential information and concerns. As a member of Briggs' Estate Planning and Administration team, which boasts a more than 125-year history of counseling Minnesota's most notable families, Darlene can consult with other senior attorneys (an invaluable resource to clients).

Some of the specific planning activities in which Darlene is engaged are: wills, revocable trusts, generation-skipping trusts, family partnerships and other family business succession and estate planning techniques to preserve assets and minimize taxes. Her practice includes estate administration, trust administration and preparation of related federal and state income and estate tax returns. She works with clients to identify and prioritize their goals, and implement estate planning techniques to carry out those goals. She also advises individuals and nonprofit organizations on donor gift techniques and nonprofit corporate and tax issues.

Darlene is a frequent lecturer and author on topics associated with estate planning, tax-exempt organizations and charitable gifts.

Prior to joining Briggs in 1992, Darlene was a probate registrar and clerk of court in North Dakota.

Honors & Awards

  • Super Lawyer, Minnesota Super Lawyers

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Member

  • Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Taxation Section

Minnesota State Bar Association, Member

  • Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Taxation Section

Ramsey County Bar Association, Member

  • Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Taxation Section

Minnesota Women Lawyers, Member

Gillette Children's Foundation, Board Member

St. Paul Rotary, Member

Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation, Board Member