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Mortgage contract - iStockLast fall, I covered the basics on conservatorships (see: Conservatorship Basics Part 1 and Part 2). As a review, a conservatorship is needed when an adult individual is impaired to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible personal decisions, and who has demonstrated deficits with managing property and business affairs. This type of legal action is necessary when it is clear that the individual has property that will be wasted or dissipated unless management is provided. In sum, a conservator is appointed by a court to make financial decisions for a protected person.

Step One: Court Approval

One of the most important financial decisions a conservator can make is selling the protected person’s home. This may be necessary for a host of reasons including: the protected person no longer lives in the home and will not return, or more liquidity is needed in the conservatorship estate in order to pay the protected person’s bills, or the home is a drain on the conservatorship assets in general.

In order to put the real estate on the market, the conservator must first obtain a court order. Therefore, the conservator should a file a petition to sell the property and briefly state the facts as to why it is the protected person’s best interests to sell the real property. After the filing of the petition, the court will schedule a hearing. Once the hearing is complete, if the court agrees that the real estate should be sold, then an order will be issued to describe the real estate to be sold. The conservator will then have up to one year from the date of the order to sell the property in a private sale.

Step Two: Appraisals

Once a private sale is ordered, the conservator must have the property appraised by at least two disinterested appraisers. The appraisals must be filed with the court and no purchase agreement can be signed at a value less than appraised value.

Step Three: Purchase Agreement & Court Confirmation

After a buyer is found and the terms of the purchase agreed to, the conservator must file a report with the court summarizing the appraisals and the purchase agreement. The court will then, if appropriate, confirm the sale and order the conservator to execute and deliver a conservator’s deed to transfer the property.

Also keep in mind that besides selling the real estate, a conservator could instead ask the court for permission to lease or mortgage the property, if selling it is not an ideal option. Whatever is needed to be done, be sure to contact an attorney in your area for specific information.


Minnesota and the UTC

by Maggie Green on February 19, 2015

We're ready!The 2015 Minnesota Legislature may adopt the Uniform Trust Code.  The proposed legislation would provide new rules regarding the administration of trusts, codify some common laws and clarify procedures available to those involved with the administration of trusts.  Take a look at this review on JD Supra that outlines the changes and impact that the proposed legislation will have on Minnesota Trusts.




Man & Woman at Laptop - iStockLast week, Facebook announced that users of the social media website could designate a “legacy contact,” who would be able to control and manage the user’s Facebook page once the user passed away. The legacy contact would have some limitations to what they can do with the user’s account but they would be able to take some actions on behalf of the user’s account.

When a Facebook user passes away, there are several options available to deal with his or her Facebook account. Facebook details those options here. One of the options is to memorialize his or her account, and if this option is selected a legacy contact can be designated for such account. Facebook states that a legacy contact will have the authority to:

  • Write a pinned post for your profile (ex: to share a final message on your behalf or provide information about a memorial service)
  • Respond to new friend requests (ex: old friends or family members who weren’t yet on Facebook)
  • Update your profile picture and cover photo1

However, a legacy contact will not be able to:

  • Log into your account
  • Remove or change past posts, photos and other things shared on your Timeline
  • Read messages you’ve sent to other friends
  • Remove any of your friends2

Another catch to the legacy contact is that currently users can only designate one person to serve as a legacy contact for their account. They do not have an option to allow for a contingency plan should something happen to the first legacy contact.3

You can read more about the legacy contact at Dying on Facebook Just Got a Little Less Awkward.

1&2 What is a legacy contact?

3 Facebook Heir? Time to Choose Who Manages Your Account When You Die, The Wall Street Journal – February 12, 2015


Timeshare Exit Strategies

by Jayne Sykora February 5, 2015 Real Estate

Over the last few years, I have had a few clients who own timeshares. A timeshare is typically a resort of units in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property and each owner […]

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To Amend or Just Start Over?

by Jennifer Santini February 3, 2015 Estate Planning 101

If you have a current estate plan, as you know, we recommend that you review it on a regular basis. If there are changes that need to be made, it can be done through an […]

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Tax Season Considerations: 1099 and Tangible Property

by Erik Doerr January 22, 2015 Business

The month of January, of course, brings the start of the tax filing season.  As such, there are a couple of items to think about. These two particular items are mainly directed at businesses, however, […]

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Privacy and your estate plan

by Maggie Green January 19, 2015 Estate Planning 101

The British government announced recently that 4 million historical wills have been digitized and are now available for download by the public. As in the United States, these documents were previously available by traveling to […]

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Becoming an Organ Donor

by Jamie Held January 15, 2015 Estate Planning 101

Becoming an organ donor is easy. You can indicate that you want to be a donor in the following ways: Register with your state’s donor registry. Most states have registries. Check the list at […]

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What is Organ Donation?

by Jamie Held January 12, 2015 Estate Planning 101

Whether to be an organ donation is a question most of us face only when we renew our drivers’ license. We may be faced with the decision again if we visit an estate planning attorney […]

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What to do When You Get a Traffic Ticket

by James Gempeler January 5, 2015 Guest Articles

At some point in your life, you’re bound to get a traffic ticket – most likely a speeding ticket. If you are smart (and lucky) enough to avoid this, take a bow. But for the […]

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Year End Tax Planning Part 4: Minnesota Changes

by ET Kelly & Associates, LLC December 30, 2014 Guest Articles

In addition to changes intended to align Minnesota tax with Federal calculations, the state also made several additional benefits available. If any of these may apply to you, please a tax professional for more in-depth […]

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