Joseph M. Higgins

Senior Counsel


Joe Higgins is a business lawyer and senior counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP in its Estates & Trusts Practice.

Joe focuses his practice primarily on estate planning and administration, representing owners of closely-held businesses, private equity fund principals and other ultra-high net worth individuals and their families across the country in connection with tax-efficient wealth transfers, charitable giving and business succession planning. Joe has extensive experience using sophisticated estate planning strategies and structures for these purposes.

Speaking Engagements

  • Tax Fundamentals for Estate Planning Attorneys, Course, National Business Institute (2020)
  • Step-Up Basis in Trusts, Estates & LLCs, Course, National Business Institute (2020)
  • Greater North Shore Estate and Financial Planning Council (2018)
  • Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute (2017)


  • Member, Madison Estate Planning Council
  • Member, Wisconsin Association of Charitable Gift Planners
  • Former member, The Young Professional Advisory Committee for The Chicago Community Trust
  • Former member, New Practitioners Committee for Trusts & Estates Magazine


  • “BDIT 2701: Avoiding Section 2701 by Selling Carried Interest Directly to Beneficiary Defective Inheritor’s Trust,” Estate Planning Magazine
  • “Transfer Tax Playbook,” Trusts & Estates Magazine
  • "Tricky GST Issues," Bloomberg BNA
  • Contributor, "Year in Review" and "E-Newsletter" Trust & Estates Magazine
  • Contributor, "The Complete Estate Planning Sourcebook," Wolters Kluwer
  • "Monthly Tax Law Update," Hennepin County Bar Association


  • The University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Carthage College (Accounting)


  • Florida
  • Illinois (ARDC)
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin