2010 Roth IRA Conversion

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

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

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.

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!

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). […]

2010 Minnesota Vikings, We Hardly Knew Ye

November 1, 2010

July 30, 2010 – October 31, 2010 As quickly as a Brett Favre pass sails into the hands of an opposing defensive back, the season of the 2010 Minnesota Vikings ended in Foxborough, MA on October 31, 2010. Questionable coaching, erratic play from its superstars and a bizarre postgame press conference from one of the […]


October 27, 2010

Prenuptial agreements, also referred to as antenuptial agreements or prenups for short, are agreements entered into before marriage that most often outline the ownership and division of property should a marriage end either by divorce or death of one of the spouses.  Prenups have commonly been associated with the ultra wealthy but that is no […]

Spotlight on Wills for Heroes

October 26, 2010

This week, October 24 – 30, is the 2010 National Pro Bono Celebration, sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.  In honor of this celebration, I wanted to take a moment to spotlight a wonderful program that my fellow Epilawgers (Maggie Green, Jamie Held and Jayne Sykora) and I are […]

Estate Tax Update

October 24, 2010

  The current year has been and still is a chaotic year in the area of estate planning.  Currently, there is no federal estate tax.  And, what will ultimately happen to the federal estate tax is still unknown. How did we get here? The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) provided […]

The Benefits of Utilizing Corporate Trustees in Your Estate Plan

October 18, 2010

Selection of the appropriate trustee is often an emotional decision. While many grantors may feel that naming someone outside the family to act as trustee may be seen as a “vote of no confidence” for their family, they should instead view that decision as both loving and prudent. Simply put, when a grantor names a […]

Incorporating Flexibility in Uncertain Times

October 14, 2010

As you may or may not know, 2010 has been a tumultuous year in the area of estate planning. Currently, there is no federal estate tax.  And, worse yet, no one knows exactly what the future holds for the federal estate tax.  How do you plan when there is so much uncertainty? Marital Deduction Given […]