Daniel (Dan) N. McLean

Daniel (Dan) N. McLean


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Daniel N. (Dan) McLean is Of Counsel in the Commercial Department in firm’s Helena office. He joined the firm in 1981 after serving as a law clerk to the late Senior U.S. District Judge William J. Jameson. His practice focuses on sophisticated estate planning, estate and trust administration, elder law, charitable giving, non-profit organizations, business organizations, and mediation.

Dan received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana School of law. While in law school, he also worked for the Missoula County (Montana) Attorney under the Montana student practice rule, and was managing editor of the Montana Law Review. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1975.

Practice Areas

    • Governance
    • Non-Profit Entities
    • Pro Bono
    • Farm and Ranch Transactions
    • Real Estate Financing and Security Devices
    • Business Entities
    • Real Estate Transactions
    • Trusts & Estates
    • Business Succession Planning
    • Charitable Giving
    • Elder Law Planning
    • Estate Planning
    • Fiduciary Obligations and Estate and Trust Litigation
    • Guardianships, Conservatorships and Disability Planning
    • Premarital Agreements
    • Probate, Estate and Trust Administration
    • Retirement Planning

Bar Admission

State Bar of Montana, 1980
U.S. District Court District of Montana, 1980
U.S. Tax Court, 1985


1980 – J.D., with High Honors, University of Montana School of Law
1975 – A.B., Harvard University, cum laude

Prior Experience (Employment)

Office Auditor, Internal Revenue Service, Office of International Operations, 1975-1977
Law Clerk, Senior United States District Judge William J. Jameson 1980 – 1981

Honors & Awards

Best Lawyers in America for Trusts and Estates (2006-present)
Mountain States Super Lawyers (2007, 2011-2012, 2014, 2016-2018)
Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), (Montana State Chair 2005-2010); Professional Responsibility Committee and Digital Property Task Force;
AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
Managing Editor, Montana Law Review (1978-1980)

Community Involvement

Montana Legal Services Association, Board of Trustees 2004 – 2014, (Secretary-Treasurer 2006 – 2008, Vice-President 2009-2011, President 2012-2014)
Lewis & Clark County Community Foundation (now Helena Area Community Foundation), former Trustee
Helena Rotary Foundation, Trustee
Helena Estate Planning Council
Governor’s Task Force on Philanthropy
Montana Community Foundation, Legal Counsel
St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation, past Board Member and Chair
Lewis & Clark County Library Public Foundation, former board member
Montana Supreme Court Commission on Practice, 2010-present
Montana Uniform Trust Code Drafting Committee

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Montana
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
Yellowstone Valley (Montana) Estate Planning Council, past president
State Bar of Montana Tax and Probate Section, past chair
Legislation Committee, State Bar Business, Estate, Trust, Tax and Real Property (BETTR) Section
Montana Uniform Trust Code Drafting Committee 2012-13
First Judicial District (Montana) Bar Association, past president
American Bar Association General Practice Section Elder Law Committee, former vice-chair
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), former member
State Bar of Montana, past trustee
State Bar Elderly Assistance Committee