Photo of Alexander C. Ellman

Alex advises clients in all aspects of estate and business succession planning, including the formation of dynasty and special needs trusts and business succession documents to implement such plans.  Alex also advises personal representatives and trustees in the administration of probate and trust estates.



Primary Practice Groups:

  • Business Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust and Estate Administration

Alex’s professional background:


  • Vanderbilt University Law School (J.D., 2015); Notes Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review
  • University of South Dakota (B.S., History and Criminal Justice, magna cum laude, 2010)

Professional Experience

  • Alex previously practiced with Ballard Spahr, LLP in its private client services practice group, and he later formed White Oak Law Firm, with a focus on trust and estate planning and fiduciary representation.
  • Alex retired from the U.S. Army Reserve with over twenty-four years of service.  He served as acting battalion staff Sergeant Major during his last assignment, and he supervised and instructed soldiers on chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological warfare operations at the U.S. Army Chemical School, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Alex deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom, and he supported several domestic emergency response operations.
  • Prior to entering law, Alex was a small business owner and a veteran police officer and crisis intervention team member with the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Police Department.


  • "The Emergency Aid Doctrine and 911 Hang-ups: The Modern General Warrant," 68 Vanderbilt Law Review 919, 2015

Speaking Engagements

  • "Estate Planning: Why it Matters," Seminar, November, 2021
  • "Basics of Estate Planning," SENRG Learning Series, 2018
  • "Estate & Succession Planning 101," Crossroads Summit, August 17, 2017
  • "Special Needs Trusts," Trusts and Estates Lunch and Learn Series, February 22, 2017
  • "Preparing Your Estate Plan," Seminar, February 16, 2017
  • "Death and Divorce – Estate Planning Considerations," National Business Institute, December 7, 2016
  • "Estate Planning from Start to Finish," National Business Institute, May 10, 2016
  • "Avoiding Litigation Part I: Modifying Irrevocable Trusts and Litigation Pitfalls," Trust and Estate Lunch & Learn Series, January 6, 2016


  • State Bar of South Dakota
  • State Bar of Minnesota
  • Sioux Falls Estate Planning Council

Most interesting place he’s visited in South Dakota:  Alex says rappelling off Sheep Mountain Table at 1:00 a.m. in the Stronghold Unit of Badlands National Park on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is the most interesting place he has visited in South Dakota.

Little known fact about Alex:  If I told you, it would no longer be "little known."  In the interest of playing nice, though, I have an impressive collection of antique militaria, including an original 1796 version of our nation’s first military manual, the "Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States" by Baron Friedrich Von Steuben.

Places where Alex is serving to Make It Better:  Alex believes strongly in public service.  He has served his communities as a volunteer firefighter and full-time police officer, and he has spent his entire adulthood serving his nation as a soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Alex’s favorites:

Movie:  "Spaceballs…are there any other movies?"
Favorite Place Alex has traveled:  The ruins of Chichén Itzá in the Mexican Yucatan
Favorite Singer/Musical Group:  Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” and anything Aerosmith, although Alex has yet to see a successful pairing of the two!  A guy can Dream…On.
Hobby:  Collecting and gunsmithing antique firearms

While not at the office working with the Redstone Team, Alex enjoys:  Spending as much time as possible at his off-grid cabin on King Charles Island in the middle of Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada.  You will find Alex chopping firewood, watching bears and hummingbirds from his deck, and catching muskie from his dock.