Wedding Bells Ringing?

Jennifer Santini / December 12, 2010
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Each year thousands of people who will be getting married need to consider whether or not they will change their last name.  This no longer applies just to women. More often, men are considering changing their last name and more same-sex marriages are occurring.  If an individual does decide to change his or her last […]

Laid to Rest in a Casket for All of Eternity? Not Necessarily. . .

Jayne Sykora / December 7, 2010
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For those that wish to be buried as opposed to cremated, take note that there are many options available for your burial, at least if you want to be buried in Minnesota. Minnesota statutes do not require an embalming procedure, a casket, or any type of outside burial container. Instead, cemeteries make their own regulations.  So […]

Trustee Duties Part 1: Loyalty and Care

Maggie Green / December 5, 2010
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Trustees are given certain responsibilities and duties when administering a trust.  These responsibilities can vary depending upon the trust instrument or document, but there are a few duties that apply broadly to all trustees.  This article will cover the two main duties, those of Loyalty and Care, that all trustees must understand before accepting the […]

Probate: The Very Basics

Jamie Held / December 1, 2010
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Probate is very often misunderstood. This post seeks to provide a basic overview of Probate in Minnesota. What is Probate? Probate is the legal process whereby the decedent’s Will is presented to the court for validation and the Personal Representative is appointed and granted permission to act. If decedent dies intestate, or without a Will, […]

Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Basics

Jennifer Santini / November 30, 2010
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Generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax is the tax imposed on bequests that are made to an individual who is at least two generations younger than the donor (for example, a gift from a grandparent to a grandchild).  The purpose of the GST tax is to ensure that certain gifts, which could avoid either the estate and/or […]

Famed Actor Leslie Nielsen Dies at Age 84

Jennifer Santini / November 29, 2010
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Hollywood lost a comedic icon on Sunday.  Leslie Nielsen died at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale where he was being treated for pneumonia.  Mr. Nielsen was primarily known to younger generations for his roles is numerous parody films, most notably the Naked Gun movies and Airplane! However, his acting career spanned back to the 1950s.

Powers of Attorney: The Basics

Jayne Sykora / November 25, 2010
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Powers of Attorney are quickly becoming a very useful estate planning tool.  People are living longer, so there is greater likelihood that persons will need assistance managing their affairs due to some sort of disability or incapacity. A Power of Attorney is useful because it allows a person (the principal) to select an agent (their attorney-in-fact) to […]

“The New Old Age” on Medicaid & the Primary Residence

Maggie Green / November 24, 2010
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Assisting an elderly parent with the Medicaid application process can be quite complicated.  The New Old Age blog recently published an article by an experienced Elder Law attorney. In the article, Craig Reaves provides basic information on how Medicaid benefits may affect an applicant’s ownership of his or her primary residence. Mr. Reaves notes that […]

Planning for Singles and Non-Traditional Couples

Jennifer Santini / November 21, 2010
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Everyone should have an estate plan to ensure his or her final wishes are expressed and followed. However it is even more important for the following individuals to have an estate plan to protect and provide for their loved ones:

Probate can inspire estate planning

Maggie Green / November 19, 2010
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Almost all of my non-lawyer friends give me a funny look when I talk about probate.  Yes, it is an odd word, but with a short explanation, it makes sense.  I  find that the basics can be easily explained in one sentence – Probate occurs when someone dies and a court gives someone else (the […]

2010 Roth IRA Conversion

Jamie Held / November 14, 2010
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Do not miss out on an unprecedented retirement and estate planning opportunity.  During 2010, converting “traditional” IRA accounts into “Roth” IRA accounts present some unique opportunities. TRADITIONAL vs. ROTH A traditional IRA is an individually-owned retirement account in which the owner can receive a tax deduction upon the contribution of assets (maximum of $5,000 for […]

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