Walter M. Kelly II’s Attorney Profile

Walter M. Kelly II’s Attorney Profile

Littleton, Colorado


Phone: 303-798-2525
Toll Free: 877-659-8932
Fax: 303-798-2526

Walt is a shareholder at Miller & Steiert, P.C. where, since 1996, his practice has been limited to estate planning, trust and estate and administration, preparation of federal and state estate tax returns, probate matters and probate litigation. He is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and member of the Colorado and Arapahoe County Bar Associations. He is a past Chair of the Trust and Estate Section of the Colorado Bar Association. He is a past chairman of the Statutory Revisions Committee of the Trust and Estate Section and served as chairman of the Risbry Subcommittee, which addressed the role of a personal representative in probate litigation. He was a member of the Uniform Estate Tax Apportionment Act Subcommittee, and the Uniform Decanting Act Subcommittee which reviewed and recommended adoption of the Act in Colorado.

He authored an article for the Colorado Lawyer entitled, A Personal Representative’s Right to Participate in a Will Contest which was published in April 2004. He has been the current revisor/author of Chapter 8, entitled Inter Vivos Trusts, of the Colorado Estate Planning Handbook since 2004.

Walt has spoken to numerous groups and bar associations about estate planning and probate litigtion related issues and has been a presenter at CLE programs in Colorado. He received his B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1970 and his J.D. from the University of Denver in 1973. He has been rated since 1988.

Walt has limited his practice to the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, and probate matters. His estate planning practice involves both simple and tax-planned estates, using either will-based or trust-based planning tools. His practice includes drafting medical and business powers of attorney, living wills, last wishes documents. He reviews asset ownership and beneficiary designations to coordinate the different elements of an individual’s overall estate plan, including an individual’s retirement accounts.

His estate administration practice includes handling informal and formal probates, conservatorships, and guardianships. It includes trust administration, the preparation of federal estate tax returns, and selected contested probate litigation matters. Walt has more than 35 years of litigation experience.

Walt believes the essence of good planning is understanding and meeting the client’s needs and objectives in an efficient manner.

Areas of Practice
Bar Admissions
  • Colorado, 1973
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 1975
  • University of Denver College of Law, Denver, Colorado, 1973
  • University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, 1970
    Major:  Political Science
Published Works
  • A Personal Representative’s Right to Participate in a Will Contest, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 33, No. 4 at p. 57, April, 2004
  • Inter Vivos Trusts, Co. Estate Planning Handbook (Co. Orange Handbook) David K. Johns ed., CLE Co., Inc., Revised every Supplement since 2004
Classes/Seminars Taught
  • Joint Trusts (panelist), CLE, Denver, Colorado, 1998
  • Challenges to Appt. of the Personal Representative & The Doctrine of Fiduciary Neutrality, CLE, Denver, Colorado, 2003
  • A PR’s Right to Participate in a Will Contest, Colorado Probate Bar, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2004
  • Corporate Fiduciary’s Liability to 3rd Parties, Denver Trust Officers, Denver, Colorado, 2005
  • Protecting the Trustee, Colorado CLE (Annual Estate Planning Retreat), Vail, Colorado, 2006
  • A Personal Representative’s Standing in Estate Litigation, CLE, Denver, Colorado, 2013
Honors and Awards
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America, in the Specialty of Trusts and Estates, every year since 2010
  • Colorado Superlawyer, every year since 2010
  • Martindale Hubbell AV rated since 1988
Professional Associations and Memberships
  • Colorado Bar Association, Trust & Estate Section Executive Council,
    Chair, 2010-2011; Vice Chair, 2009 and 2010; Secretary-Treasurer, 2008-2009
    Vice-Chair 2012 – 2013
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, 2007 – Present
  • Arapahoe County Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Statutory Revisions Committee of Trust & Estate Section, CBA
    Member since 1998, Chairman, 2006 – 2007, Co-chairman 2005 – 2006
  • Risbry Subcommittee of Statutory Revisions Committee, reviewing the role of personal representation in Estate litigation, 2002 – 2003
  • Estate Tax Apportionment Subcommittee of Statutory Revisions Committee, 2004 – 2010
  • Colorado Trust & Estate Executive Council, 2003 – 2005; 2008-2013
Past Employment Positions
  • US West, Inc. & US West Communications, Senior Counsel, 1988 – 1995
  • Cogswell and Wehrle, Associate & Partner, 1980 – 1988
  • Arapahoe District Attorney’s Office, Deputy/Chief Deputy DA, 1974 – 1979
Super Lawyers
Martindale Hubbel
Best Lawyers
Legal Leaders Best Law Firm America's Top 100 Top 40 Under 40 Top 100 Trial Lawyers