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 […]

Division of Assets in Divorce

Zach Wiegand / February 17, 2014
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When a couple determines that it is time to end their marriage, what should be the easiest part of the divorce process can, and often does, turn into one of the most contentious: the division of marital assets and property. Parties will often spend thousands of dollars on attorney fees arguing over personal property ranging […]

Gift of Real Estate to Religious Corporations

Robert Beutel / February 3, 2014
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Gifts of real estate to religious bodies are rare, but frequently the donee is mis-identified. Many churches are known by abbreviated versions of their full name, e.g., “St. Jude’s Catholic Church” is actually “The Church of Saint Jude of the Lake, Mahtomedi, Minnesota.” Many times the beneficiary is unaware of an intended gift, and has […]

Property and Revocable Trusts – MN Estate Tax Update

Maggie Green / October 23, 2013
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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 […]

Cancellation of Debt

Jayne Sykora / October 10, 2013
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We have written here at Epilawg about a handful of tax topics, mostly related to estate or gift taxes. What has not been discussed is cancellation of debt (C.O.D.) taxation, which could have quite an impact on a person’s estate. What is C.O.D.? Depending on the circumstances, cancellation of debt taxation may arise if you […]

Appraisals

Jayne Sykora / September 16, 2013
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Oftentimes, some property in a decedent’s estate will be unique and difficult to value, like: a business, artwork, jewelry, collectibles, or real estate. Oftentimes the value will be needed to help complete an inventory in a probate and/or to determine any estate tax impact on the estate.  Additionally, objective appraisals can also help minimize or […]

Avoiding Power of Attorney Abuse

Maggie Green / July 26, 2013
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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 […]

Affidavit of Identity and Survivorship

Jayne Sykora / June 27, 2013
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In a previous post, I have detailed what it means to own real estate as joint tenants. The lengthier terminology for this type of titling is joint tenants with rights of survivorship. This means that when two people, usually a married couple, own real estate as joint tenants, when one of the joint tenants passes […]

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

Maggie Green / June 19, 2013
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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 […]