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 […]

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 […]

The Right Way to Inherit

Manish Bhatia / December 20, 2015
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While an inheritance is often considered a gift by the recipient, from a tax perspective, there optimal ways to inherit a retirement account. From the language used to designate the beneficiaries to important IRS-imposed deadlines, the manner in which a retirement account is inherited can significantly affect its value. If you are the beneficiary of […]