Estate and Gift Tax Laws 2011

February 25, 2011

On December 17, 2010 Congress passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (HR 4853).  This legislation dramatically changed the laws that would have come into effect on January 1, 2011; however, they only extend the existing legislation for two more years.  So although we have some certainty, it is […]

A Useful Tool: Transfer on Death Deeds

February 20, 2011

A Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) allows the owner of real estate to execute a deed that names the beneficiary who will succeed to ownership of the real estate at the owner’s death.  A TODD can be a useful estate planning tool because it allows the transfer of real property without the need of probate […]

Airline Miles in Your Estate?

February 18, 2011

You have traveled the country and world over and have racked up thousands of airline miles – now what do you do with them? Hopefully you take advantage of the free flights and continue to travel and experience new places. However, if you truly have so many miles and can not use them all, there are […]

The Battle is Over

February 16, 2011

Call it coincidence or fate but Al Barnes, the 85-year-old Scandia, Minnesota man at the center of a court battle between his wife and his doctors regarding his treatment, passed away on Monday morning; the same day a ruling was expected from the Hennepin County Probate Court to allow the removal of life support.

Digital Assets

February 10, 2011
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In November 2004, a US Marine named Justin Ellsworth was killed in action in Iraq. His parents wanted access to Justin’s email account and asked Yahoo! for help. Yahoo! said no; allowing anyone access to another person’s email account is against their terms of service. Ellsworth’s parents decided to take Yahoo! to court and on […]

So You’re a Personal Representative. Now What?

February 8, 2011

Most people that are nominated as a Personal Representative of a decedent’s estate do not know the duties – or the amount of time – that come along with the nomination. In short, the main responsibility of the Personal Representative is to take possession of and manage, protect and preserve the assets of the decedent. […]

Update on Al Barnes’ Plight

February 4, 2011

In a recent post entitled, A Case for Health Care Directives, Ms. Green introduced us to Al Barnes, an 85-year-old from Scandia, Minnesota, diagnosed with dementia, kidney failure, and mental incapacity. On Wednesday, the court battle over who has authority to make medical decisions on his behalf was back in full swing. 

A case for Health Care Directives

January 31, 2011

In the Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune today, Jeremy Olson reports on a woman’s battle to maintain control over her husband’s medical decisions. With diagnoses of dementia, kidney failure, and mental incapacity, Al Barnes needs someone to make his health care decisions for him. Up until recently, Al’s wife Lana was that person. Lana Barnes was designated […]

Second Marriages and Blended Families

January 30, 2011

The picture of the American family has evolved greatly over the last few decades, creating more considerations when it comes to estate planning. Blended families can be characterized in a wide variety of ways including, but not limited to, families with divorced parents, remarried parents, deceased parents, half-siblings and step-siblings. With the prominence of blended […]

After Hours with Sarah Gohl Isabel

January 26, 2011

  Employer:  Law Office of Sarah Gohl Isabel Position:     Attorney Location:    St. Paul, Minnesota Education: JD & LLM, Duke University; BA, Eureka College Questions How long have you been practicing? I am entering into my tenth year of practice.  This is my first year of solo practice.  I previously worked for two large law firms in Atlanta, Georgia.  When […]

A Brief Overview of the History of Funerals

January 25, 2011

Death may be universal, but how it has been handled varies significantly from culture to culture. Below is a very small sampling: Ancient Egypt Funerals, or the rituals surrounding death, were at the heart of public life in ancient Egypt. The pyramids, Valley of the Kings, and King Tut’s tomb are all evidence of the […]