Harvard University Law School J.D., 1982

Houghton College B.A., 1979, Summa Cum Laude 

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Supreme Court 


  • Justice C. Donald Peterson
    Minnesota Supreme Court
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Terry L. Slye
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Terry Slye is a member of the Estate Planning and Administration section and co-chair of the Nonprofit practice group. Terry practices principally in the areas of:

  • Estate planning
  • Trust law
  • Nonprofit organizations law

Terry’s practice is divided between trusts and estates and nonprofit organizations. The former includes estate planning, drafting wills and trusts, estate administration, trust administration, and preparation of related federal income and estate tax returns. He advises clients of relevant income, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax considerations, plus other excise taxes which may apply to a client’s plans for transferring assets to family or other beneficiaries.

He also does substantial work with tax-exempt charitable entities, most of which are organized for educational, religious and health care purposes.

Terry was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel by its Board of Regents. Election involves a rigorous nomination and review process, and requires demonstrated excellence in trust and estate law, and significant contributions to the profession.

Terry is a frequent speaker on estate planning. Recent topics include “The Minnesota Estate Tax Dilemma and Drafting Solutions,” “The Hubert Regulations and the Estate Tax Marital Deduction”, “Drafting Charitable Remainder Trusts” and “Drafting Family Shares.” Terry is a member of the “Wax and Seal,” which publishes Drafting Wills and Trusts for the State of Minnesota. He has authored two chapters, “Taxation Issues” and “Closing the Estate and Final Accounting” for Minnesota Estate Administration, published by the Minnesota State Bar Association. He is co-author of “Succession and Estate Planning Issues for Franchisees, An Overview” ABA Forum on Franchising, (1993). Terry also has been an Associates Articles Editor for Probate and Property published by the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association. While in law school, Terry was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Honors & Awards

  • 2014 Attorney of the Year (Trusts and Estates, Minneapolis), The Best Lawyers in America
  • Top 100 Lawyer, Minnesota Super Lawyers
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Top 40 Estate Planning & Probate Super Lawyer, Minnesota Super Lawyers


  • Frequent consultant and speaker concerning the Minnesota estate tax and the Minnesota Gift Tax, including methods of planning to minimize these taxes, post death planning,  and preparation of estate and gift tax returns.
  • Extensive experience in multi-generational situations where estate and generation-skipping tax considerations must be balanced with specific family situations, including personalities and abilities of various individual beneficiaries and fiduciaries, and the need to balance inter-generational equities and interests. These situations frequently involve trust instruments written 50-100 years ago, which must be adapted to current laws and judicial practice, investment practices, and fiduciary standards.
  • Frequently consulted after deaths with other attorneys or clients who are dealing with old wills and trusts for assistance in securing particular distribution results or more beneficial estate or generation-skipping tax results, particularly through the use of disclaimers, tax elections, or settlement agreements, either judicially approved or private non-judicial.
  • Structures ownership of, and a plan of inter-generational transition for, non-publicly traded companies to insure continued family control, sound management and potential estate tax discounts for valuation purposes.
  • Significant experience dealing with dispositions of large and valuable collections of personal property: automobiles, boats, jewelry, works of art, antiques, thematic collections (early American, Asian, European, African).
  • Significant experience assisting nonprofit organizations with legal requirements for endowment, restricted and special purpose funds, including obtaining necessary approvals for changes in such requirements when they have become no longer feasible.
  • Significant experience assisting private foundations with compliance with the private foundation excise taxes for self-dealing, taxable expenditures and expenditure responsibility compliance, and disposition of excess business holdings.
  • Often serves as intermediary with demonstrated ability to listen empathetically to  various interests and help participants achieve solutions acceptable and beneficial to all parties.
  • In select cases, acts as a trustee for clients’ trusts when requested by clients, to insure their documents are administered in accordance with their intentions and applicable legal and tax considerations.

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Member

Minnesota State Bar Association, Probate and Trust Section

  • Section Council, Member 
  • Committees on Uniform Principal and Income Act, and Probate Court Forms, Member
  • Committee on Federal Tax, Co-Chair
  • Section of Probate and Trust, Former Chair, 2001-2002

Ramsey County Bar Association, Member, Section of Probate and Trust, Former Chair

Briggs and Morgan Foundation, Director

Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation, Secretary

Donald D. and Angela W. Wozniak Foundation, Director and Secretary

Christian Legal Society of Minnesota, Former Director

Houghton College, Trustee and Vice Chair

KTCA Channel 2, Advisory Committee on Planned Giving, Former Member

St. Anthony/New Brighton Education Foundation, 1990-1996, Former Director and Former Treasurer

Waite Park Wesleyan Church, Board Member

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Governing Member