Nonjudicial Settlement Agreements, Spendthrift Trusts, and the “Material Purpose” Dilemma

April 2, 2019
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In 2015, the Minnesota legislature significantly expanded the scope of the Minnesota Trust Code’s Nonjudicial Settlement Agreement (“NJSA”) provisions to permit a wider range of issues to be resolved by way of such agreements.  Under Minn. Stat. § 501C.0111(b)-(c), “interested persons” may enter into binding NJSAs “with respect to any matter involving a trust” so long […]

Finding Fiduciaries: The Attorney as Fiduciary, Part 3

December 7, 2018

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

December 3, 2018

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?

October 5, 2018

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

September 13, 2018

  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 […]

Pet Trusts in Action: Cats Inherit $300,000

September 6, 2017

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?

July 10, 2017

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

June 1, 2017

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!

June 3, 2016

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. […]