Marya P. Robben

Marya Robben practices in the areas of estate planning, estate and gift taxation, fiduciary representation, probate administration, trust formation and administration, and guardianship and conservatorship law.

She was elected to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a national 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.

Marya frequently writes and speaks on estate planning and probate matters, advanced planning matters (including generation skipping transfer tax planning and intentionally defective grantor trusts), marital deduction planning, disclaimer planning, business succession planning, and navigating fiduciary duties to other professionals. For ten years, she served as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, teaching courses on Wills, Trusts & Estates.

Representative Experience

  • Assisted private client in forming irrevocable grantor trusts for gift planning and structured funding to include part gift and part sale in a way that transferred assets free of all estate and gift transfer taxes for multiple generations through South Dakota dynasty trust.
  • Represented professional trust company to obtain court approval for termination of contested trust, approval of proposed distribution plan, and approval of trustee actions where trust had existed for several decades with illiquid assets.
  • Guided closely held business owners through creation of irrevocable trusts as part of holistic estate plan prior to liquidity event so as to save several million dollars in future estate taxes.
  • Assisted physician and spouse in creating understandable, holistic estate plan to address needs of family, including minor children, in event of incapacity or death and sheltering life insurance assets in an irrevocable life insurance trust so that policy proceeds would not be subject to state or federal estate taxes.
  • Navigated court proceedings to assist trust beneficiary in changing professional trustee where terms of trust instrument were silent regarding removal of trustee and appointment of new trustee.
  • Assisted individual attorney-in-fact in navigating powers and duties while facing uncooperative and problematic co-fiduciary where assets included revocable trust, investment accounts, real estate, and other assets.


Professional Affiliations

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Probate & Trust Law Section, Litigation Committee Co-Chair, 2019-current

  • North Dakota State Bar Association

  • Hennepin County Bar Association

  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Committee, Former Co-Chair, 2017-2019

Community Involvement

  • Normandale Community College Foundation, Board Member, Treasurer, 2016-2017
  • St. Therese Catholic Church of Deephaven, Sacristan, Usher, Greeter, Event Volunteer


  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow
  • “Minnesota Super Lawyer,” Thomson Reuters, 2015–2020
    • "The Top 50 Women," 2019-2020
  • “Minnesota Rising Star,” Thomson Reuters, 2006–2008, 2011–2012
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, 2015–2021
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching, University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2013
Photo of Marya P. Robben
  • Minneapolis

    80 South Eighth Street
    500 IDS Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55402


Shelly Parker

Court Memberships

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota


University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1998

Marquette University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1995