Abbey M. Magnuson


Abbey M. Magnuson


Abbey Magnuson helps high-net-worth individuals and families with a broad range of estate planning matters. Her experience includes developing comprehensive estate plans to make use of available estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions; tax planning for estates, trusts, and beneficiaries; coordinating and working with family offices, including facilitating a CEO search for a multi-generational family office; planning for special purpose charitable vehicles, including charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts; and long-term planning for private foundations and implementation of strategic goals.

Abbey concentrates her practice in trust and estate administration and has experience in fiduciary responsibilities and liability. She regularly:

  • Advises trustees and personal representatives on management and administrative matters to fulfill fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Counsels trustees regarding fiduciary duties, rights and interest of beneficiaries, and best practices to mitigate liability.
  • Advises trustees of a single purpose, donor-created charitable trust, including review of distribution and beneficiary communication requirements to maintain special “supporting organization” status, trust accounting, and requirements of trust beneficiaries.
  • Administers ongoing operations of a private foundation, including grant making, grant agreements, distribution calculations, self-dealing and conflicts of interest, investment and cash management, and succession planning.

Abbey is a member of the Corporate and Estate Planning Practice Groups and the Family Offices and Manufacturing Sectors.

Representative Experience

  • Developed and administered a charitable lead trust funding strategy for a high-net worth client to save millions in estate tax and income tax. A Foley attorney continues to serve as trustee and assists family trustees in implementing the strategy. The payments from the trusts have allowed the family a significant and lasting philanthropic impact on the community.
  • Successfully negotiated school naming gift (over US$100m).
  • Helped manage and administer the interview process and the hiring of a new CEO for the family office, including developing a strategic plan and new position description, screening and soliciting qualified candidates, and coordinating interviews with the family. Foley then negotiated the pay package and employment contract (including confidentiality provisions) for the CEO. Foley was integral in developing an onboarding process and new review process for the CEO.
  • Worked closely with a family office to develop an education series focused both on investment management (diversification, types of investments, and costs) and legal roles of trustees and beneficiaries. The education series culminated in a new investment policy statement developed with significant input from the family and the investment consultant. Family members reported a large improvement in family engagement in the overall investments of the trusts and general ownership of the family office.
  • Served on a team of Foley attorney trustees and advisors who led an investment consultant selection process for a significant single family office. This included selecting, coordinating, and summarizing submissions from over a dozen possible providers, working with a committee of family members to develop a family-centric scorecard and criteria for selection, and assisting family members with reviewing submissions and interviewing potential providers. Foley attorneys assisted the family committee in reporting to the larger group to obtain agreement for the new investment consultant. Foley attorneys assisted the new investment manager in plans for a tax-efficient transition.


  • Former co-chair of the Milwaukee Association for Women Lawyers Estate Planning Discussion Group
  • Participant in the Young Professional Adviser Council with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation (2018-2019)

Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, “Introduction to Terms and Concepts,” 18th Annual Planned Giving Workshop Series, Milwaukee, WI (April 2019)
  • Presenter, “Charitable Gift Annuities, Gifts of Life Insurance & Gifts of Special Assets,” 17th Annual Planned Giving Workshop Series, Milwaukee, WI (May 2018)
03 April 2023 Video

Ten Minute Interview: How to Mitigate Trustee Liability

Brian Lucareli, Director of Foley Private Client Services (PCS) and co-chair of the Family Offices group, sits down with Abbey Magnuson, associate and member of the firm’s Estate & Trusts Practice Group and Family Offices team, for a 10-minute interview to discuss ways to mitigate trustee liability.
25 August 2022 Press Releases

Foley Represents Paul Newman’s Daughters in Lawsuit Against the Late Actor’s Charity Foundation

Foley & Lardner LLP is representing Susan Newman and Nell Newman, daughters of the late actor Paul Newman, in their lawsuit against their father’s charitable foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation. They are seeking $1.6 million in damages for breach of fiduciary duty.
25 August 2022 In the News

Foley’s Representation of Paul Newman’s Daughters in High-Profile Lawsuit Receives Widespread Media Coverage

Foley & Lardner LLP recently announced its representation of Susan Newman and Nell Newman, daughters of the late actor Paul Newman, in their lawsuit against their father’s charitable foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation. The case, along with the firm’s role as legal counsel in the matter, has received significant media coverage.
16 February 2021 Viewpoints

Disclosure of 1023 and 990 Forms for Nonprofits

Tax-exempt organizations (including private foundations, which are subject to special additional disclosures) are subject to certain public disclosure rules. These rules require that the organization make its exemption application and its Form 990s/Form 990-PFs for the prior three years available for public inspection. If an organization fails to comply with these requirements, it may be subject to penalties.
19 January 2021 Viewpoints

The Consolidated Appropriations Act

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA, Public Law No. 116-260) was signed into law on December 27, 2020.
11 May 2020 Blogs

CARES Act Changes to the Charitable Income Tax Deduction

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes four changes to the rules for charitable income tax deductions.