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 […]

What You Need To Know About The MN Trust Code For Drafters Part III: Limitation on Action Contesting Validity of Revocable Trust

Jennifer Santini / December 8, 2015
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Often when people set up their estate plan they will ask the attorney “Can someone challenge this?” Truthfully, anyone can try to challenge a person’s estate plan – the bigger question is whether that person would be successful in his or her challenge. Even if the testator attempts to prohibit someone from challenging his or […]

Year-End Estate Planning To-Do List

Manish Bhatia / December 5, 2015
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The end of the year is an ideal time to review your current estate plan and confirm that you are taking advantage of all planning opportunities available to you. This includes not only tax planning, but also asset protection, probate avoidance, beneficiary designations and changes in your family and financial situations. On the other hand, […]