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Nelson Donovan

Estate planning Attorney at Madison, WI

5.0   2 reviews
  • Licensed for 13 years
    State WI
    Acquired 2010
    Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Nelson

Learn Nelson’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Estate planning
    Planning for what happens to your assets and loved ones during incapacity or after death.

    14 years

  2. Probate

Nelson W. Donovan has spent a lifetime talking to audiences. First as a military aviation instructor and more recently, about the importance of estate planning, tailoring plans for his clients, and writing on this subject. Nelson is also a JAG attorney for the US Army Reserves.

Nelson’s experience as a wartime aviator, military instructor pilot, and airline captain, offers our clients steady precision. He acquired his fiscal savvy from his time as a licensed financial advisor, and an ethical outlook working for the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Office of Lawyer Regulation.

A UW Law School graduate, Nelson integrates his extensive professional experience for the benefit of our clients. Nelson comes from a long family history of professionals trained at the UW, going back to 1890.

Nelson lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his family.


Estate Law Partners. LLC
440 Science Dr
Suite 101
Madison, WI, 53711

Estate Planning lawyers nearby


5.0 / 5.0
  2 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Mark | December 6, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
We are very impressed
What a great attorney! He explained everything to us in plain English, no legal jargon. He took the time to understand our goals and our family situation. He was friendly, thorough, and very knowledgeable. We are confident that should anything happen to us, our trust will take care of our family the way we want it to. We highly recommend Nelson and his firm.
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Posted by Sherry | December 4, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I first met with Mr Donovan this fall to discuss my estate planning. This is something a person dreads doing, but Nelson was very understanding and put me at ease from the introduction on. He thoroughly explained processes, answered all questions, took the time needed, and was detail oriented. I also met with him again at the end to wrap things up and go over the binder. I am confident that my wishes will be respected and honored.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.8 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Managing Attorney
  • Estate Law Partners, LLC
  • 2014 - Present
  • Attorney
  • US Army JAG Corps
  • 2010 - Present


  • University of Wisconsin Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2010
  • University of Phoenix-Tucson
  • BS - Business Administration
  • 1998

Sample of Legal Cases

  • The Estate of M.B.K
  • Achieved significant tax savings for the beneficiaries upon passing of M.B.K.


  • James E. Doyle American Inn of Court
  • Member
  • 2016 - Present
  • Madison Estate Council
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • WealthCounsel
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • Dane County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • Capital Off Road Pathfinders - IMBA
  • President
  • 2012 - 2016
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Honor Graduate Rotary Wing Aviator Course
  • United States Army Aviation Center and School
  • 1988


  • Bound Book
  • Estate Planning in Wisconsin, Privacy, Protection, and Taking Control
  • 2017

Speaking Engagements

  • Wills, Trusts, and Why Estate Planning Matters
  • Protecting Your Assets From the Government and Nursing Home Costs
  • 2019
  • Advisor CE Series
  • Planning for Blended Families
  • 2019
  • Advisor CE Series
  • The Intersection of Estate Planning and Divorce
  • 2019
  • Advisor CE Series
  • The Ins and Outs of Heirloom Properties
  • 2019
  • Advisor CE Series
  • Grantor Trusts - What Are They and When Should You Use Them
  • 2019
  • Wills, Trusts, and Why Estate Planning Matters
  • Estate Planning and Probate Avoidance
  • 2018
  • Advisor CE Series
  • Basics of Estate Planning for Business Owners, Part Two
  • 2018
  • Advisor CE Series
  • Basics of Estate Planning for Business Owners, Part One
  • 2018
  • Advisor CE Series
  • Incapacity Planning
  • 2018
  • Advisor CE series
  • Clark v. Rameker & SRT Planning
  • 2018
  • Annual Client Retreat -The Droster Team at RBC
  • What does it mean to be a Trustee?
  • 2015
  • Lunch and Learn - RBC Wealth Management
  • Retirement Plan Protective Trusts
  • 2014
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (11)
Given (7)
Endorse Nelson
Estate planning Attorney | Feb 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Nelson is in extremely capable attorney. He makes the complex simple and provides excellent advice and follow through for all his clients."
Estate planning Attorney | May 17
Relationship: Other
"Nelson is a progressive thinking lawyer, often ahead of the times thinking about what the client needs and how to make the estate planning process easier for the client. He's easy to work with and knowledgeable."
Estate planning Attorney | May 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I would not hesitate in hiring Nelson and his legal team for any estate planning needs. Nelson Donovan is a true counselor and advocate for his clients. He puts the clients needs first and above everything - he is efficient, knowledgeable and diligent in protection his clients, their families and business. If you learn more about him you will find that he is a good human who serves not only his clients but his community in general - I believe this speaks volumes to the kind of person and attorney Nelson is and would not hesitate referring him to family, clients and friends."
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Nelson completely understands the intricacies and nuances of complex planning while still being open to basic and moderate planning. We work together on a national stage where we share insights in live 2 days sessions to better serve our clients. Nelson is a valuable contributor and someone i turn to for his thoughts and opinions."
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Nelson is without a doubt a very compassionate and driven attorney. I've had the privilege of working with him in a professional setting as a fellow attorney on several occasions over the last year. He is thoughtful, well versed in the law, and adept at working with clients to establish an estate plan based on their particularized needs. I recommend Nelson without hesitation for all of your estate planning and elder law needs."
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Nelson is a top notch estate and elder lawyer, and I recommend him highly. He understands his client's needs, communicates in a way they can understand, and works zealously on their behalf."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 25
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"Nelson is very knowledgeable and solution oriented. He is quick to smile and calm a client's worries. Also was very impressed with his presenting style. Nelson is a fantastic attorney that I would endorse."
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 01
Relationship: Co-worker
"Nelson really gets estate planning! He is an engaging personality and riveting speaker. With his military and financial background, he can accomplish for his clients what most attorneys rarely do: a plan that makes sense and is executed flawlessly."
Estate planning Attorney | Feb 07
Relationship: Co-worker
"I recommend Mr. Donovan to anyone seeking an ethical and personable attorney who puts clients first. His experience as a financial advisor brings a unique skillset to his estate planning practice. When my own clients need estate planning advice in WI, I happily refer them to Mr. Donovan."
Estate planning Attorney | Dec 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Nelson for over 11 years. We attended law school together at the University of Wisconsin and regularly speak about our respective law practices. Prior to becoming an attorney, Nelson had a distinguished career as an Army Blackhawk pilot and a commercial airline pilot. He brings the same keen mind, sense of duty and loyalty, and obsession to detail to his estate planning practice that made him a successful aviator. Conscientious, good-natured and relatable, Nelson has my strongest endorsement. He is an extremely capable and competent attorney who will take excellent care of you."
Estate planning Attorney | Dec 07
Relationship: Friend
"I have known Nelson since law school, and he is a high-performance individual who always expects results of himself. He has extensive experience working in and with large organizations, including government bureaucracies, and he is adept at navigating them to find benefits and advantages therein. He is also very good at relating to many different kinds of people, and he can easily understand their goals and motivations."
View more endorsements
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