ABLE Accounts


September 27, 2017
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The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) was enacted on December 19, 2014.   Minnesota enacted ABLE accounts into law in 2015.  An ABLE account is established through a savings plan known as the Minnesota ABLE Plan in compliance with Minn. Stat. § 256Q.01. ABLE accounts are tax-exempt accounts (treated like 529 Plans) that […]

Minnesota Statute Allows for Vehicles to be Titled in Transfer-on-Death Form


September 7, 2017
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Until recently, vehicles in Minnesota were always considered potential probate assets if titled in the decedent’s name alone.  This could cause unnecessary and prolonged hassle to surviving family members who either inherited a vehicle or were looking to sell the vehicle. Now, according to new Minnesota Statute 168A.125, vehicles may now allow a transfer-on-death (TOD) […]

Pet Trusts in Action: Cats Inherit $300,000


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

The Case Against Do-It-Yourself Estate Plans


August 24, 2017
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“D.I.Y.” You probably see that acronym often. It stands for “Do-It-Yourself” and is often used when discussing home repairs, decorating projects, or gift ideas. For example, if I need to fix a small chip in the paint on my wall, I may try to do it myself instead of hiring a painter to do it […]

Half-Siblings and Intestate Succession


August 22, 2017
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Ongoing changes to family structures in modern society have increased the occurrence of half-blood survivors of decedents.  When a decedent dies without a will, they are said to have died “intestate.”  Each state has enacted intestate-succession laws, which provide rules for the distribution of assets in the absence of a will.  These intestacy laws dictate […]

Diminished Capacity and Estate Planning: The First Client Meeting


August 16, 2017
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In my first Epilawg installment, I wrote on the estate-planning needs of people with diminished capacity.  This blog post will dive into the discussion that takes place at a first meeting with a client. People with diminished capacity will nearly always come to the meeting accompanied by a spouse, child, or loved one.  This is […]

Divorce and the ERISA


August 15, 2017
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Divorcing couples likely feel relief once they learn that the court has signed an order legally ending the marriage.   However, just because the order is signed does not mean the divorce process is done – new deeds need to be recorded, mortgages assumed by one party or the other, credit cards paid off and closed, […]

Minnesota Changes Agricultural Statute


August 9, 2017
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As of August 1st of this year, agriculturalists will now be benefited by a change in Minnesota Statutes Section 500.24. The statute has been amended in order to eliminate the need for Revocable Trusts to file with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Previously, Certificate Holders, including Revocable Trusts, were required to be certified and submit […]

Life Insurance as an Estate Planning Tool


August 3, 2017
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Life insurance is not something many people think of when it comes to estate planning. Let’s face it, it’s a boring product that people tend to think of when they are getting a mortgage! However, you may not realize that top professionals in estate planning work along with insurance pros to use life insurance as […]

Minnesota Changes Estate Tax Law


August 2, 2017
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The Old Law Minnesota estate tax law recently changed in a way that will benefit the estates of wealthy and upper-middle class people. Until recently, Minnesota’s estate tax exemption was at $1.8 million, which means a Minnesota resident could die in 2017 and leave up to $1.8 million dollars tax free to non-spouses. As one […]