Property and Revocable Trusts – MN Estate Tax Update

October 23, 2013

Individuals that own property in multiple states often consider placing the property into a revocable trust for planning purposes. While this can be an effective planning technique, there are some important points to consider. For purposes of the new Minnesota estate tax [2], a Minnesota resident’s gross estate includes any property that is physically located […]

Beneficiary Designations and Estate Planning for Retirement Accounts

October 7, 2013

One of the most commonly overlooked items I see in client’s estate plans and during probate administrations is retirement accounts and their beneficiary designations. I think this has to do with the cumbersome nature of updating beneficiary designations.  You call the plan administrator or custodian who sends you paperwork with tiny print and all sorts […]

And the Huguette Clark estate drama continues

September 20, 2013

Huguette Clark’s estate litigation reaffirms some lessons that we already know.  Primarily, caretakers and advisors must take precaution when conflicts of interest arise, namely when they receive more benefits from a client than they would otherwise receive for their services. We all know that, as advisors, we should take extra steps to ensure that the […]

On the lookout … financial and estate planning writers to follow

September 4, 2013

I love finding new estate planning authors and professional bloggers to follow. They inspire me improve my writing and help me think of better ways to discuss estate planning concepts with clients. Two women in particular, Natalie Choate and Deborah Jacobs, are definitely worth following. So, if you are looking for talented, professional estate planning […]

Avoiding Power of Attorney Abuse

July 26, 2013

In a previous post I spelled out the basics of the changes made to Minnesota’s Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney that will take effect January 1, 2014. As I mentioned, many of these changes were made to address the potential for abuse. Indeed, a Power of Attorney document gives broad and sweeping powers to […]

Trust Funding, Trust Funding, Trust Funding!

July 10, 2013

According to a New York Times article, Michael Jackson did have a Revocable Living Trust in place at the time of his death.  A Revocable Trust makes good sense for a public figure because it is privately administered and not subject to the lengthy, costly, and public Probate process. There are quite a few good articles […]

Summary of changes to the MN Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney

June 19, 2013

Minnesota’s legislators have been busy working up new and exciting changes to Minnesota’s estate planning landscape. Perhaps less controversial and less exciting, (and, some would argue, more concrete) than the new Minnesota Gift Tax, this article will summarize some of the changes made to the Minnesota Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney document.  With its […]

Minnesota Gift Tax 2013

June 3, 2013

Last month, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Omnibus Tax Bill.  Erik Doerr wrote a great overview of the Tax Bill for Epilawg, check it out here.  My article below will focus on the new (or reinstated) Minnesota Gift Tax. The Minnesota Gift Tax law will operate similar to the Federal Gift Tax.  It includes an annual exclusion. […]

Here comes Uncertainty … again.

May 2, 2013

We all know the saying about death and taxes being the only certainty in life.  Well, ironically, there is very little certainty when it comes to the “Death Taxes.”  Just this week, I received a newsletter from an Illinois attorney, Manish Bhatia, in which he explained how President Obama’s new tax proposal included changes to […]

Do I need a Trust?

April 9, 2013

I field this question every day.  My response is always the same, it depends.  So, when should someone consider a Trust-based estate plan*?  Well, here are a few things to consider: Do you own property in another state? If so, a trust may be a good way to prevent the need for multiple probate proceedings. […]

a tax for more snow birds?

March 21, 2013

Governor Dayton recently proposed a budget that, among other things, may broaden the “snow bird” tax base. While those affected by the proposed legislation are most likely wealthy people who have second homes in warmer climates, the law would affect any individual who owns Minnesota real estate and spends more than 60 days in Minnesota […]