Prince Leaves a Complex, Unplanned Estate

Manish Bhatia / May 4, 2016
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Unfortunately, too many recent newsletters have focused on the death of musical legends. This month left us with another untimely death. Prince, whose legal name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died on April 21st at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota. As unbelievable as it may seem, according to his sister, Tyka […]

The Missing Will

Manish Bhatia / January 11, 2016
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The Missing Will Do you know where your original Will is located? You should, and so should your executor. The dilemma of a missing original Will has come up in the death of Melissa Mathison, screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and ex-wife of Harrison Ford. Mathison died on November 4th as a resident of […]

The Right Way to Inherit

Manish Bhatia / December 20, 2015
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While an inheritance is often considered a gift by the recipient, from a tax perspective, there optimal ways to inherit a retirement account. From the language used to designate the beneficiaries to important IRS-imposed deadlines, the manner in which a retirement account is inherited can significantly affect its value. If you are the beneficiary of […]

Excluded Assets for Medical Assistance: Burial Space and Burial Space Items

Jill Sauber / December 10, 2015
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This article focuses on burial spaces, burial space items, and irrevocable insurance-funded burial agreements. There are various types of burial agreements, but only one type of burial agreement is discussed below because of the potential to exclude the entire amount for MA purposes if it is properly written. Medical Assistance (MA) is a means-tested program […]

Year-End Estate Planning To-Do List

Manish Bhatia / December 5, 2015
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The end of the year is an ideal time to review your current estate plan and confirm that you are taking advantage of all planning opportunities available to you. This includes not only tax planning, but also asset protection, probate avoidance, beneficiary designations and changes in your family and financial situations. On the other hand, […]

An Introduction to Trusteed IRAs

Maggie Green / June 8, 2015
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An individual retirement account (IRA) is typically established in one of two ways. As a custodial account, where the bank or financial institution is simply acting as a fiduciary and must follow the directions of the account owner (including the instruction to cash out the entire balance). An IRA can also be held in trust (the […]

What are a surviving spouse’s debt obligations?

Jamie Held / September 11, 2014
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Awhile back, an article in the Star Tribune discussed the egregious practices used by some credit card companies and banks to collect debts owed by deceased persons, often targeting surviving family members who may or may not have a legal obligation to pay.

Organizing Your Accounts and Passwords

Maggie Green / March 5, 2014
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I emphasize to all of my estate planning clients the importance of keeping track of your assets, what they are, where they are located, etc. The reason: a Will or Trust instructs your Personal Representative or Trustee on how you want your assets to be distributed after your death, but not always what those assets […]

ESTATE PLANNING FOR YOUNG ADULTS…REALLY?

Jamie Held / November 27, 2013
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If you have a young adult child coming home for the holidays, the Thanksgiving table might serve as a good opportunity to talk with them about estate planning.   While most young adults do not own property or have children that may necessitate a Will, two major estate planning documents are often overlooked by young people […]

The Debt Left Behind by a Spouse

Jayne Sykora / November 4, 2013
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As discussed in a previous post, preparing for a death of a spouse can be extremely difficult and nearly unbearable to even think about. However, it is important to understand the financial impacts so that, if and when the time comes, the surviving spouse is equipped with the right information and is organized. This preparation […]

Who Cares If Stretch IRAs Are Eliminated?

Chris Revak / August 29, 2013
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Only wealthy people benefit from the “loophole” anyways. Retirement plans were never intended to be an estate planning tool. It won’t impact me. I don’t care. These are some of the comments in the press right now regarding proposed legislation to end the ability of heirs to take inherited IRAs out over their life expectancies […]