Economic Update

J.B. L'Esperance / September 29, 2011
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While many economists have said we have come out of the recession, as of late many of them may be thinking we are heading for another one.  A 512-point drop does not make anybody happy, especially me. It seems that we are back to the 2008 days of extreme volatility. 

Preventing Estate Litigation

Maggie Green / September 26, 2011
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Regardless of the size or complexity of your estate, there are no guarantees that your beneficiaries will agree with the terms of your estate planning documents. For that reason, I suggest that everyone read this article by Ashlea Ebeling on reducing the likelihood of estate litigation. I particularly like #4 “Transfer a Business with a Contract”. If […]

Theodor Seuss Geisel

Jennifer Santini / September 24, 2011
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March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991 Better known to most as Dr. Seuss, Mr. Geisel died 20 years ago today at the age of 87. He left one of the greatest legacies to children – a mass of literature that captures the imagination. While most of the works are elementary in nature, throughout the […]

529 Plans

Jayne Sykora / September 21, 2011
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529 plans are tax-advantaged programs that help families save for qualified higher education expenses associated with college. How are 529 Plans helpful for estate planning? Well, contributions to a 529 Plan can help you reduce the taxable value of your estate, if that is a concern.

Undue Influence

Jennifer Santini / September 17, 2011
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When clients execute their Wills, attorneys typically ask the following questions, in some manner, to determine the client’s mental capacity to execute the Will and whether or not they are doing so freely: Does this Will accurately reflect your wishes for the distribution of your property? Did you have the opportunity to review and discuss […]

Estate Planning is Crucial for Same-Sex Couples

Todd Bagby / September 13, 2011
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Anyone who attended a Twin Cities Pride event this summer can attest to the vitality of Minnesota’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community. The turnout and support for the GLBT community proved Minneapolis deserving of the honor, “Gayest City in America,” bestowed on the city earlier this year by The Advocate. As an estate […]

Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning is Dangerous

Jamie Held / September 9, 2011
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Cost and convenience are often deterrents to completing an estate plan.  Consequently, many individuals and couples turn to “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) options. Plenty of DIY options exist:  websites, other online applications, books with CDs, etc.  These options are admittedly less expensive; however, you get what you pay for … and that is not much.  These options […]

Margaret Sanger

Jennifer Santini / September 6, 2011
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September 14, 1879 – September 6, 1966 Margaret Sanger was an extremely controversial figure during her lifetime (and some would say still to this day). However, she left a lasting legacy with her fight for reproductive freedom for women. She sought to provide women information to be able to make their own decisions about reproduction. […]

Make list, update often

Maggie Green / September 5, 2011
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List of Assets and Information with their Estate Planning documents.  The list should include the following items: The institutions that hold your bank accounts and life insurance policies, The contact information for tax and financial advisors, The location of important documents (deeds, contracts, business or entity formation documents), List of debts and/or receivables, Any information […]

Codicils

Jayne Sykora / September 1, 2011
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Oftentimes, potential clients tell us they have a Will (excellent!), but that they would like to make a couple small changes to it. So, they ask, can they simply amend the Will, instead of having a whole new Will drafted? Whether these people know it or not, they are requesting a codicil to their Will. […]