Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Basics

Jennifer Santini / November 30, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 […]

Benefits for Veterans and Servicemembers

Tyler White / November 11, 2010

People join the military for a variety of reasons. For some, enlisting is a family tradition. Others join out of a strong sense of patriotism. And some folks have just watched too many war movies as a kid. Personally, the benefits were one of the many reasons I joined the military. I knew I wanted […]

Get Your Affairs in Order

Jamie Held / November 9, 2010

A recent article published by Forbes, entitled “How to Protect Your Spouse Financially After You Are Gone,” provides a great roadmap for organizing your affairs in order to assist grieving loved ones after your death.  See also my past post, entitled “Get Organized,” which provides an outline for creating an “Emergency Binder.” Taking the time […]

Til Death Do Us Part? Effects of Divorce.

Jayne Sykora / November 7, 2010

It is a fact of life that not every marriage will last until the death of either spouse. Thus, it is important to understand the effects of divorce on inheritance. Commencement of Divorce Proceedings In Minnesota, many believe that simply the commencement of a divorce will revoke any disposition to a soon-to-be-ex-spouse. This is not […]

A TV Drama We Can Love!

Jayne Sykora / November 2, 2010

When I flip through Entertainment Weekly, I don’t typically see any topics related to estate planning. However, in this past week’s edition, a very short write-up on a new television series caught my eye: The Will: Family Secrets Revealed?! The cable channel, Investigation Discovery, is premiering this eight-week series beginning today, Wednesday, November 3rd at 8pm (CST). […]

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