Stacie Polashuk Nelson is a partner in Holland & Knight's San Francisco office and is a member of the firm's Private Wealth Services Group.

Trust and Estate Litigation and Dispute Resolution. Since 1998, Ms. Nelson has concentrated her practice on all aspects of disputed trust, estate and conservatorship matters. Her practice includes will and trust contests, accounting disputes, disputed conservatorships, breach of fiduciary duty matters and financial elder abuse matters. She is an experienced trial attorney, but is dedicated to finding the best resolution for the client, including strategizing with clients to avoid litigation, client counseling, mediation, settlement negotiations and/or trial.

Estate and Trust Administration. Ms. Nelson assists clients with contentious administrations of trusts and estates and advocates for and protects bequests made to individuals and charitable beneficiaries. With the goal of avoiding litigation, Ms. Nelson helps fiduciaries meet their duties and, if necessary, works with them to seek court approval to confirm their actions or receive instruction from the court.

Because financial institutions are under particular scrutiny in their service as fiduciaries, Ms. Nelson assists corporate fiduciaries during the administration to avoid litigation and ensure best practices are followed and in any disputed matters that may arise with beneficiaries.

Ms. Nelson’s clients also include individuals, families, charities/nonprofit organizations and private professional fiduciaries.

Ms. Nelson's experience includes some of the most sensitive and high-profile cases in her field. For example, she was admitted to appear pro hac vice in the New York County Surrogate's Court as a key member of the jury trial team propounding and defending the will of Huguette Clark, in the matter of The Estate of Huguette M. Clark, File No. 1995 - 1375A.

In addition, Ms. Nelson also devotes a portion of her practice to pro bono legal services. In addition to her pro bono legal work, Ms. Nelson is active in her community and local charitable organizations.

Reported Decisions

  • Colvis v. Binswanger, 96 Cal. App. 5th 393 (2023)
  • Estate of Dehgani-Fard, 141 Cal.App.4th 797 (2006)

Representative Experience


  • University of Southern California Gould School of Law, J.D.
  • UCLA, B.A., Political Science
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow; Fiduciary Litigation Committee, Member
  • Estate Planning Council of Diablo Valley, former member of Board of Directors
  • San Francisco County Bar Association
  • Alameda County Bar Association, Trusts & Estates Litigation Section, Co-Chair, 2007-2008; Past Member
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Trust & Estate Section, Executive Committee, Past Member
  • California Lawyers' Association, Litigation Subcommittee for the Trusts and Estates Executive Committee
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, San Francisco Litigation - Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year, 2020, 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Litigation - Trusts and Estates, 2018-2023
  • Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2021-2024
  • Chambers High New Worth guide, Private Wealth Disputes: California, 2019-2023
  • Chambers High Net Worth guide, Private Wealth Law: Northern California, 2017, 2018
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2014
  • Rising Star, Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2010


Speaking Engagements