Estate Planning for the Newly Divorced

Courtney Sebo / 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 […]

Succession – Episode 2

Jennifer Santini / June 29, 2018
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Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers from the second episode. Given how Episode 1 ended, I presumed the show would have to address the issue of health care agents and access to one’s medical records. Episode 2 begins with the Roy family gathered at the hospital dealing with the recent collapse of Logan. Early in […]

Succession – Episode 1

Jennifer Santini / June 11, 2018
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Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers from the first episode. HBO has begun airing a show called Succession, which, through some dark humor, provides examples of the importance of a proper estate plan. The first episode introduces us to the Roy family – led by patriarch Logan Roy, who is a media tycoon and about […]

MOM AND DAD, WE DON’T WANT TO CLEAN OUT YOUR HOUSE!!

George Byron (Geordie) Griffiths / June 8, 2018
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Top 5 tips for helping our aging parents (and clients) declutter A House Full of “Stuff” If you’re an adult with aging parents, chances are you’re probably going to be dealing with a house full of “stuff” in the near future. My dad still lives in the same house that he and my mom bought […]

The Case Against Do-It-Yourself Estate Plans

Jayme Kruse / August 24, 2017
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“D.I.Y.” You probably see that acronym often. It stands for “Do-It-Yourself” and is often used when discussing home repairs, decorating projects, or gift ideas. For example, if I need to fix a small chip in the paint on my wall, I may try to do it myself instead of hiring a painter to do it […]

Half-Siblings and Intestate Succession

Autumn Gear / August 22, 2017
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Ongoing changes to family structures in modern society have increased the occurrence of half-blood survivors of decedents.  When a decedent dies without a will, they are said to have died “intestate.”  Each state has enacted intestate-succession laws, which provide rules for the distribution of assets in the absence of a will.  These intestacy laws dictate […]

Diminished Capacity and Estate Planning: The First Client Meeting

Courtney Sebo / August 16, 2017
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In my first Epilawg installment, I wrote on the estate-planning needs of people with diminished capacity.  This blog post will dive into the discussion that takes place at a first meeting with a client. People with diminished capacity will nearly always come to the meeting accompanied by a spouse, child, or loved one.  This is […]

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 […]

MN Animal Lovers – Rejoice!

Jennifer Santini / June 3, 2016
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Until recently, Minnesota was one of the few remaining states that did not allow for a trust to be created for the benefit of animal. However, this past legislative session H.F. No. 1372 was signed into law by Governor Dayton, which includes the statute to allow for the creation of a “pet trust.” Under Minn. […]

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 […]

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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 […]