5 Questions with Founder and Managing Partner, Matt Guttman
Twin Cities estate planning attorney, Matt Guttman, has spent more than a decade of his career educating Minnesotans on the importance of estate planning. Over the course of hundreds of lunch-and-learn events, corporate seminars, and community gatherings, Matt has dedicated a significant portion of his career to teaching Minnesotans how proper planning can help to protect their family and their legacy.
1. You have more than a decade of experience in estate planning, trust administration and probate, what made you passionate about this area of law?
Many years ago, a beloved family member died without having an up-to-date estate plan. Watching the problems created by the failure of this loved one to update their estate plan was heartbreaking. I powerlessly watched as one family member received a disproportionate share of the estate, while several other family members were inadvertently disinherited. Also, the first family member who visited this relative’s home improperly took many sentimental belongings that were meant for other family members. This situation ended up in an extended litigation, our family was forever fractured. I realized that I never wanted to see a family go through the trials and tribulations that my own family went through.
As an attorney, we often are called in to do damage control after something has gone wrong. With estate planning, I get the opportunity to help people prevent problems from occurring in the first place, which is a great feeling.
2. What inspired you to open Guttman Law?
In opening my own firm, I wanted to focus on providing a client-centered estate planning experience that speaks to the way Minnesotans do business. At Guttman Law, our team cares about our clients and really takes the time to understand their unique circumstances, concerns, and goals.
When designing an estate plan, we often work hand in hand with a client’s trusted financial advisor to make sure their estate plan is a perfect match to their financial strategy. And once a plan is complete, we invite our clients to bring their loved ones in for a review meeting so the people who may later help to execute the estate plan know about the estate plan, where to find the plan, and who to call if they have questions down the road.
My goal is not just to create great estate plans, it’s also to educate my clients and be an ongoing resource for them. At Guttman Law, estate planning isn’t the one-and-done creation of a will or trust. We’re helping clients to create an effective plan and keeping an open line of communication so that they don’t hesitate to reach out when they have questions.
3. What is something important you’ve learned over your years working in estate planning?
Through my work over the years, I’ve seen first hand that creating an estate plan or going through probate can be a really vulnerable and overwhelming process for people. Planning for the unknown or navigating the challenges of losing a loved one are deeply difficult and emotional legal matters. And it’s important to have someone in your corner to advocate for you. It’s my goal to ensure my clients have the ongoing support they need to take care of these important matters today and in the future.
4. What do you enjoy most about living in Minnesota?
As a Minnesota transplant, I am so glad I get to live and practice law here. I think Minnesota is a fantastic place to raise a family, and my family is the center of my world. Anytime I’m not in the office, I’m likely chauffeuring one of my three kids from activity to activity or attending one of their soccer, basketball, lacrosse or baseball games. The Guttman crew are especially big baseball fans; we love going to Twins games!
5. What is your favorite Minnesota specific activity?
It’s so hard to pick just one. For those of you who know me, I am a huge fan of the Minnesota State Fair! I attend the Fair multiple times a season, entertaining friends and family from Minnesota and around the country. I was absolutely heartbroken to miss the full State Fair experience in 2020, because it’s an event I look forward to all year. Fortunately, my family made it to the State Fair car-based food parade. Typically our work family closes down our office on opening day of the Fair so we can all go together. It may not be the healthiest of days, but we always have an incredible time indulging in all the deep-fried, sugar-coated, and calorie-loaded foods the State Fair has to offer!