Millennials vs. Baby-Boomers: Selling an Outdated House in Today’s Real Estate Market

Eric Hopf / August 4, 2016
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The Problem There is a great divide in the current real estate market caused by the large percentage of homes being sold by baby-boomers and older generations or their heirs. Many of these homes are outdated and unappealing to Millennials and Gen Xers, who comprise 61% of all buyers and more than 80% of first-time […]

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 […]

Excluded Assets for Medical Assistance: Homestead

Jill Sauber / December 3, 2015
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In Minnesota, it is important to know which assets are excluded for Medicaid/Medical Assistance (MA) eligibility purposes when contemplating MA Long-Term Care benefits for individuals who are 65 years of age or older, blind, or disabled. This article focuses on excluded assets for MA eligibility purposes, and will not detail income requirements, asset allowances for […]

Nuts and Bolts of Real Estate Filings in Minnesota for Estates and Trusts Professionals

Jeff Miller / October 14, 2015
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As a freelance probate and estate planning legal assistant/paralegal (call me what you like) I work with a lot of real estate documents.  Most commonly I’m involved in preparing and recording… Quit Claim Deeds transferring property into a trust; Deeds of Distribution distributing property out of an estate; Trustee’s Deeds (along with an accompanying Certificate […]

Pros & Cons of Joint Tenancy

Emma Maddy / August 11, 2015
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A comprehensive estate plan deals with multiple types of property; from probate assets that pass through your will, to non-probate assets that pass outside a will via a trust or beneficiary designation, to jointly held assets, which pass automatically at the time of the first death. One of the most common joint assets people hold […]

Selling Real Estate Out of a Conservatorship

Jayne Sykora / February 23, 2015
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Last fall, I covered the basics on conservatorships (see: Conservatorship Basics Part 1 and Part 2). As a review, a conservatorship is needed when an adult individual is impaired to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible personal decisions, and who has demonstrated deficits with managing property and business […]

Timeshare Exit Strategies

Jayne Sykora / February 5, 2015
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Over the last few years, I have had a few clients who own timeshares. A timeshare is typically a resort of units in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property and each owner is given a specific period of time (i.e., one week per year) in which the owner may use the property. […]

Minnesota Homestead Classification

Jayne Sykora / November 20, 2014
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In Minnesota, many homeowners can qualify their primary residences for homestead status. By classifying a piece of property as a homestead, the property may qualify for a reduced classification rate, a reduced taxable market value, a property tax refund, and/or other special program eligibility. To qualify for homestead status, the following criteria must be met: […]

Intestate succession for a blended family

Maggie Green / November 18, 2014
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A married couple, of which each spouse has children from previous relationships, faces certain issues with regard to distribution of their estates. The most basic of these issues involves what happens if a spouse dies without a will. When any individual dies without a will, the statutory rules for the intestate succession dictate the distribution of […]

Cabin LLCs: The Basics

Jayne Sykora / September 25, 2014
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For many, cabins provide an opportunity to get away from it all, to spend time with family and friends (maybe beside a body of water) and decompress from daily life. Unfortunately, cabins can also cause frustration and confusion as to how families (immediate and extended) will share it and how the cabin can be passed […]