Brand G. Boyar
Brand’s passion, in his twenty years of practice, has been helping clients build and protect their legacies by providing focused expertise in the areas of estate and trust planning, probate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, and related business planning.
As a testament to his legal acumen and commitment to the legal profession, Brand has been recognized as a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), an international organization of approximately 2,600 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors. Brand has also been designated an “AV” (or Preeminent) attorney by Martindale Hubbell, is a past chair of the Helena Estate Planning Council, and is the immediate past chair of the Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property Section of the State Bar of Montana.
Brand earned a B.A. in Political Science from Stetson University in Deland, Florida, where he graduated from the school’s Honors Program while competing for Stetson’s Soccer and Cross-Country teams at the NCAA Division I level. Following graduation, Brand worked in Guatemala on an agroforestry project for the Alliance for International Reforestation. On completion of the assignment, he entered the U.S. Army, serving in the Military Intelligence Corps as a Korean linguist. During his service, Brand trained and led small team radio-intercept and electronic countermeasure operations in various tactical environments. Brand obtained his J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law in Missoula, and subsequently earned his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Outside the office, Brand enjoys working with various local tax-exempt organizations, spending time with his family, and taking advantage of the fishing and hunting opportunities in Montana.
- University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida
- LL.M. in Taxation- 2000
- University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Montana
- Juris Doctorate – 1998
- Stetson University, Deland, Florida
- B.A. in Political Science – 1991
- Member, Political Science Honor Society
- Class Representative, Honors Program Academic Council
- Honors Program Graduate
- Representative, Athletic Council
- NCAA Division I Athletics: Soccer, Cross Country – Most Valuable Runner, 1990
Admission to Practice
- Montana State and Supreme Courts
- U.S. District Court, District of Montana
- U.S. Supreme Court
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
- State Bar of Montana
- Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property Section of the State Bar of Montana
Selected Bar Leadership Activities/Community Service/Teaching
Adjunct Professor (2022 Fall Semester) Alexander Blewett III School of Law, University of Montana – Teaching “Estate Planning” course.
Mentor Program Chair (2021-current) of the Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property Section (BETTR Section) of the State Bar of Montana – coordinating mentorships for interested attorneys new to transactional practice.
Chair (2017-2019) of the BETTR Section of the State Bar of Montana.
Vice Chair (2015-2017) of the BETTR Section of the State Bar of Montana.
Chair (2016-2017) of the Education and Outreach Committee of the BETTR Section – Responsible for organizing annual CLE aimed at new attorneys in the estate and probate field.
Representative (2016 and 2017) ABA Business Bar Leaders Conference – Represented Montana at an annual 2-day event focused on bar leadership and sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section.
Co-Founder and Past President (2012-2016) of the Helena Estate Planning Council – Helped re-establish the estate planning council after a long dormancy; served as president for 4 years, organizing lunches and speakers for local professionals in the estate planning community.
Member (2018-2020) Board of Trustees for St. Peter’s Health Foundation – Supporting St. Peter’s Health, Helena’s hospital system.
Montana Legislature’s 2021 Regular Session
House Bill 141. Provided testimony in support of a bill codifying transfer on death designations for vehicles which aided significantly in trust funding and probate avoidance; bill was signed into law by Governor.
Montana Legislature’s 2019 Regular Session
House Bill 461. Provided testimony in support of a bill revising Montana’s uniform powers of appointment act to clarify that a holder of a power of appointment cannot be compelled to exercise the power to satisfy creditor claims; bill was signed into law by Governor.
Montana Legislature’s 2017 Regular Session
Senate Bill 118. Provided testimony in support of a bill implementing the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA); bill was signed into law by Governor.
Senate Bill 137. Provided testimony in support of a bill establishing a small case procedure for litigants before the Montana Tax Appeal Board in an effort to protect taxpayers from unduly burdensome and unreasonably expensive discovery in cases involving relatively low dollar amounts; support included assistance in coordination with Montana’s Department of Revenue; bill was signed into law by Governor.
Selected Transactional Experience
Provided 22 years of estate planning and probate services to individuals and families dealing with both simple and complex planning and administration issues, including business succession, gifting, estate and income tax minimization strategies, revocable and irrevocable trust solutions, and navigating family feuds.
Led a team of attorneys assisting a Montana hospital system through the transfer of assets and liabilities to a new parent corporation as part of a reorganization in a nonprofit setting.
Provided counsel to multiple association-related pooled health insurance arrangements. Work in this area typically included advice on choice of entity and formation requirements. It also included pursuing tax-exempt status and negotiations with the I.R.S. as necessary. Once the entity was established, representation continued addressing ongoing compliance with regard to I.R.S. and ERISA standards.
Successfully assisted a Montana hospital system in remedying compliance issues with its pension plan through the voluntary correction program of the I.R.S.
Counseled tax-exempt organizations on compliance issues related to obtaining and maintaining federal tax-exempt status, recognition as a public charity, support testing, unusual grant determinations, and supporting organization standards.
Defended the cafeteria plan structure implemented by a Montana city in the face of an audit by Montana’s Public Employees Retirement Administration on benefit issues involving I.R.S. review and voluntary correction program submissions.
Provided extensive legal assistance to numerous businesses and individuals with immigration-related issues including securing appropriate temporary and permanent employment-based visas and guiding employers in compliance measures.
Thomson Reuters Practical Law Series, Trusts & Estates, Co-Author with Noah Hill:
“Power of Attorney (MT)” – 2021
Lexis Nexis Practice Insights Tax Series, Author:
“Montana Rules Regarding Apportionment” – 2008
“Real v. Personal: Classification for Montana Property Tax Purposes”– 2008
“Exemptions for Purposes of Montana Property Taxation” – 2008
Selected Litigation Experience
Fiduciary Litigation (2016) – Successfully challenged and removed personal representative after detailed analysis of fraudulent expenditures and breach of fiduciary duties; removal facilitated a mediated settlement of underlying will-challenge litigation.
Fiduciary Litigation (2014) – Conducted forensic accounting and document-intensive cross-examination resulting in the removal of a personal representative for breach of fiduciary duties.
Fiduciary Litigation (2011) – Assisted personal representative in closing contentious probate involving defense against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and a successful result following hearing on a family ranch valuation dispute.
Property Tax Litigation (2008) – Represented a Montana utility in its property tax appeal for tax year 2005 against Montana’s Department of Revenue involving the following issues: intangible property; unitary versus non-unitary operations; allocation of value among states; and appraisal methodology. After conducting a week-long hearing at Montana’s State Tax Appeal Board, the matter was appealed to a Montana district court which ultimately issued an order favorable to the taxpayer and remanded to the appeal board for further determinations. The matter settled shortly thereafter.
Securities Litigation (2008) – Co-counseled with Denver-based law firm to represent a national broker-dealer in litigation brought by the Montana Securities Department claiming failure to supervise and fraud by an account executive. The administrative case settled prior to hearing, but representation continued in twenty-six separate civil cases, which ultimately settled on terms satisfactory to the client.
Forfeiture Litigation (2008) – Represented a golf course construction company in a federal forfeiture action, dealing with an alleged violation of immigration law. This case was pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, Helena Division, and was settled prior to trial.
Minority Shareholder Oppression Litigation (2007) – Assisted a group of minority shareholders seeking relief in a shareholder oppression matter. Issues involved included the valuation of a long-standing family business and both director and officer fiduciary obligations. Following a week-long trial in Montana District Court, the clients received their requested share value and were also awarded attorney fees and expert costs.
Student Loan Relief Litigation (2006) – Pro bono representation of a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding which included successful litigation to discharge her federal student loan debts.
“Estate Litigation – Your Guide to the Real-Life Family Feud” – Author and Presenter at the BETTR Section’s Summer CLE, 2018
“Intellectual Property Law and BETTR Law Sections Come to Your Emotional Rescue on Business Startups”- Served as a Panelist addressing estate planning implications in business structuring at the State Bar of Montana’s 2017 Annual Meeting
“2017 BETTR Section Practice Primer CLE” – Served as the Moderator for an estate and probate focused CLE sponsored by the State Bar of Montana’s Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property Section and held in Billings, Montana.
“Picking the Correct Legal Entity for Your Business” – Speaker addressing entity selection issues at the 2017 Boots to Business Reboot for Veterans and Military Service Members Conference held at Carroll College and sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“The A,B,Cs of Charitable Giving” – Speaker presenting on charitable giving techniques to the development committee of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in 2017.
“2016 BETTR Section Practice Primer CLE” – Served as the Moderator for an estate and probate focused CLE sponsored by the State Bar of Montana’s Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property Section and held in Missoula, Montana.
“How to Protect Assets During Life and Avoid Estate Tax at Death in Montana” – Speaker on asset protection techniques at a National Business Institute event in Helena, Montana, in 2005.
“Enforcing Arbitration Clauses in Business Agreements” – Speaker on arbitration clause issues at State Bar of Montana’s annual Ski and CLE conference in 2003.
“Estate Planning and Probate for the Paralegal/Legal Assistant in Montana” – Speaker on estate and probate basics at an Institute for Paralegal Education event in Helena, Montana, in 2002.
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