Overview of 2019 Estate Exemptions Tax


February 1, 2019
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The slogan for many with the turn of the year has been “New Year, New Me”.  In homage to this phrase, the time has come to address “New Year, New Tax Changes”.  Tax changes affect most, if not all, of financial planning and that is why it is important to be conscientious of changes, especially […]

Legacy Planning with a Pinch of Imagination


January 29, 2019
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So a funny thing happened when we introduced an amazing new idea to the funeral service industry. Using one-off manufacturing technologies, we were able to completely reinvent what was known as the common cremation urn. So a funny thing happened when we introduced an amazing new idea to the funeral service industry. Using one-off manufacturing […]

Could There be Money Waiting for You?


December 21, 2018
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The notion that there could be hundreds to thousands of dollars in unclaimed money seems rather thrilling.  And you could be one of the lucky winners.  Over the last few years, there has been a rise in the amount of unclaimed money.  So much so, that in 2016, nearly $750 million was just sitting there, […]

Finding Fiduciaries: The Attorney as Fiduciary, Part 3


December 7, 2018
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Occasionally a client will ask her attorney to serve as trustee (or trust protector). Any attorney considering acceptance of a fiduciary appointment must be mindful of several practical and ethical considerations. First, the attorney should determine whether her professional liability insurance covers acting as a fiduciary. The attorney should then consider the following ethical obligations […]

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Finding Fiduciaries: Using Trust Protectors and Directed Trustees, Part 2


December 3, 2018
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The Minnesota Trust Code introduced several new fiduciary or quasi-fiduciary positions into Minnesota trust law. Minnesota Statute section 501C.0808 creates the offices of “trust protector”, “directing party” and “directed trustee.”  The estate planning attorney should be familiar with the “directed trust” concept and understand how these new positions may be used to enhance an estate […]

Decanting– Friend or Foe?


October 5, 2018
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I recently went to a CLE conference on trusts and heard the word “decanting” thrown around. Naturally, my ears perked up because, well, I thought of wine or tea for that matter. But no. Turns out, irrevocable trusts can be decanted. Who knew? The definition of “decant” is: “gradually pour from one container into another, […]

Finding Fiduciaries: General Considerations, Part 1


September 21, 2018
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Fiduciary selection is often given insufficient consideration in estate planning engagements. Too often the process of choosing a fiduciary is limited to the consideration of which family members are disqualified from acting as trustee; with little or no consideration of the skills required of a trustee. An attorney must help her client understand the fiduciary’s […]

Estate Planning for the Newly Divorced


September 13, 2018
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  Divorce is a time of massive change.  Change in schedule, change in routine, change in living situation, change in dynamic, change in budget – you name it, it changes after a divorce.  Many divorcing couples do not understand, however, that divorce should also be accompanied by a change in estate plans.  (An estate plan […]

Millenials Need an Estate Plan, Too


July 25, 2018
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I’m twenty-four.  I don’t have a home, a family I support, or any of the assets I typically see in an estate plan.  On top of that, I’m young and plan to live at least into my sixties, so what is the point in investing in an estate plan?  Over the past year learning more […]

Tidbit #57 on Life Insurance


July 12, 2018
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I read a lot. I much prefer non-fiction over fiction though the other day, the (very) fictitious article entitled, “Whole Life Insurance vs. 529 College Savings Plans…Who Wins?”, got my interest as no other piece of fiction that I can recall. The author’s position (which I deduced from the title alone), is that whole life […]