Citizenship Impacts Estate Taxes

Jamie Held / January 1, 2011
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Are you and your spouse both U.S. citizens?  If not, the foreign citizenship of you and/or your spouse may have a surprising estate tax impact. THE MARITAL DEDUCTION If an individual’s estate exceeds the estate tax exemption amount ($1 million for federal and Minnesota estate taxes in 2011, if no Congressional action), he or she […]

Medical Assistance Basics For Minnesotans

Jennifer Santini / December 30, 2010
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Medical Assistance (“MA”) is Minnesota’s Medicaid program* that is funded by state and federal dollars. MA is an extremely complex area of the law and one that gives many individuals great pause when thinking about his or her future and the aging process. Eligibility Requirements An individual’s eligibility for MA is based on several factors. […]

Informal vs. Formal Probate Proceedings

Jayne Sykora / December 27, 2010
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Informal Probate In Minnesota, an informal probate proceeding is relatively straightforward and simple, as compared to Formal Probate. Informal Probate can be used for both testate and intestate estates. Informal commencement of a decedent’s estate is made by Application to a probate registrar, not a judge. Since there is no formal hearing, it is important that […]

Basis primer: Step-up vs. Carry-over

Maggie Green / December 25, 2010
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“Basis” is not something that is simple to explain these days. Up until last week, the basis rules that apply to decedents in 2010 were in limbo. This article WILL NOT cover the advanced estate planning issue of basis allocations in 2010 and how they relate to the federal estate tax. Instead, this is an […]

Fido’s Fate

Jamie Held / December 20, 2010
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“Man’s best friend” Ironically, the phrase “man’s best friend” was coined by an attorney. In 1869, a man’s dog was shot and killed by his neighbor; he hired three attorneys to sue the man who shot his dog.  One of the three attorneys used the phrase “man’s best friend” during his closing argument to the […]

Business Succession Planning

Jack Roberts / December 16, 2010
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Business succession planning is an important issue that should be addressed not only as part of an individual business owner’s estate planning process, but also by all of the owners of family-owned and closely-held businesses. Whether a business is owned by a single individual or a large group of investors or family members, everyone with […]

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 […]

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