Finding Fiduciaries: The Attorney as Fiduciary, Part 3

James McNary / December 7, 2018
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Occasionally a client will ask her attorney to serve as trustee (or trust protector). Any attorney considering acceptance of a fiduciary appointment must be mindful of several practical and ethical considerations. First, the attorney should determine whether her professional liability insurance covers acting as a fiduciary. The attorney should then consider the following ethical obligations […]

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Finding Fiduciaries: Using Trust Protectors and Directed Trustees, Part 2

James McNary / December 3, 2018
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The Minnesota Trust Code introduced several new fiduciary or quasi-fiduciary positions into Minnesota trust law. Minnesota Statute section 501C.0808 creates the offices of “trust protector”, “directing party” and “directed trustee.”  The estate planning attorney should be familiar with the “directed trust” concept and understand how these new positions may be used to enhance an estate […]

Decanting– Friend or Foe?

Maya Missaghi / October 5, 2018
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I recently went to a CLE conference on trusts and heard the word “decanting” thrown around. Naturally, my ears perked up because, well, I thought of wine or tea for that matter. But no. Turns out, irrevocable trusts can be decanted. Who knew? The definition of “decant” is: “gradually pour from one container into another, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pet Trusts in Action: Cats Inherit $300,000

Rhett Dial / September 6, 2017
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As pets continue to be included in estate plans, make sure you’re aware of Minnesota’s Statutory Pet Trust.  Big bucks can sometimes be at stake, as was the case here when a famous author left her cats $300,000

Big Banks vs. Community Banks: Who Should You Trust with Your Trust?

Pam Baker / July 10, 2017
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When it comes to large estates, the advantages of using a corporate trustee instead of administering your own trust are relatively straightforward. A corporate trustee ensures that costly errors don’t take a large chunk out of your assets, while also offering protection against fraud, theft, and other risks. When deciding on a corporate trustee, however, […]

Decanting a Trust: What it Means and When it Should be Considered

Manish Bhatia / June 1, 2017
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Is this about wine?  Unfortunately, no.  What does it mean to decant a trust?  Trust decanting is the process of pouring the assets of one irrevocable trust (the “original trust”) into a second irrevocable trust with more desirable terms (the “new trust”).  There are many restrictions on when and how a trust may be decanted, […]

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 […]