Minnesota Statute Allows for Vehicles to be Titled in Transfer-on-Death Form

Rhett Dial / September 7, 2017
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Until recently, vehicles in Minnesota were always considered potential probate assets if titled in the decedent’s name alone.  This could cause unnecessary and prolonged hassle to surviving family members who either inherited a vehicle or were looking to sell the vehicle. Now, according to new Minnesota Statute 168A.125, vehicles may now allow a transfer-on-death (TOD) […]

Divorce and the ERISA

Sarah Sicheneder / August 15, 2017
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Divorcing couples likely feel relief once they learn that the court has signed an order legally ending the marriage.   However, just because the order is signed does not mean the divorce process is done – new deeds need to be recorded, mortgages assumed by one party or the other, credit cards paid off and closed, […]

Please: get the correct acknowledgement if you want to deduct that property contribution

Robert Lynn / June 30, 2016
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“Close” counts with horseshoes and hand grenades. Unfortunately, it doesn’t count for entitlement to deduct a charitable contribution, once the amount claimed exceeds a trigger point. When that happens, the taxpayer’s own records – no matter how convincing – won’t suffice. There has to be an acknowledgement from the charity itself that follows the law […]

Prince Leaves a Complex, Unplanned Estate

Manish Bhatia / May 4, 2016
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Unfortunately, too many recent newsletters have focused on the death of musical legends. This month left us with another untimely death. Prince, whose legal name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died on April 21st at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota. As unbelievable as it may seem, according to his sister, Tyka […]

Spectrum of Withdrawal Limitations

Manish Bhatia / February 26, 2016
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The phrase “control from the grave” is often used to describe withdrawal limitations on an individual’s inheritance.  These provisions direct or require a beneficiary to reach certain benchmarks before a trustee can permit a withdrawal.  While some grantors (the creator of the trust) may be motivated by control, simpler withdrawal limitations can provide significant asset […]

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Using a Testamentary Letter to Explain Your Estate Plan

Robert Lynn / January 20, 2016
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Your estate plan likely includes formal documents (a will, perhaps one or more trusts) that direct transfers of your property when you die. But those documents won’t identify each and every item to be transferred. Eventually, whoever settles your affairs will find a sentence in one of your documents such as “I leave the rest […]

The Missing Will

Manish Bhatia / January 11, 2016
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The Missing Will Do you know where your original Will is located? You should, and so should your executor. The dilemma of a missing original Will has come up in the death of Melissa Mathison, screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and ex-wife of Harrison Ford. Mathison died on November 4th as a resident of […]