Lawyer from Iowa community bank named trust fellow

Michel Nelson

Michel Nelson, senior vice president and trust officer at Iowa Savings Bank, Carroll, has been named a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Established in Los Angeles in 1949, ACTEC is a nonprofit association of lawyers and law professors skilled in trust and estate issues. Membership is capped and consists of mostly U.S.-based fellows, although it reaches worldwide. New fellows cannot apply but are nominated by current members and confirmed by the board. Nationally recognized expertise and reputation are necessary for successful nomination. The organization essentially serves as a think tank for trust and estate issues in the United States, Nelson said.

Nelson was nominated by other Iowa ACTEC members who drew on his established industry expertise consulting on Iowa trust legislation. “I knew they were nominating me, but I didn’t know how good my chances were of getting in because I’m from such a small bank,” he said.

Although other banks have lawyers on staff who are ACTEC members, the $202 million Iowa Savings is by far the smallest institution to achieve the honor. The others are all large national or super-regional banks, including Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank and Pinnacle Bank-Lincoln, Neb.

Nelson is considering joining committees which focus on the transfer of ag assets between generations or the ways in which increased digitization affect trust issues. He has bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.