10 Things you must do before you die! (Not another bucket list article)

Phillip Christenson / November 4, 2015
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Bucket Lists have grown in popularity in the last few years. While it might seem important that you go skydiving, and swim with the dolphins before you die I would suggest taking a look at the below list and giving these items priority. Many of these items have been discussed in detail in other posts […]

Have you reported your offshore funds?

Jennifer Santini / September 17, 2014
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If you are a U.S. citizen, resident alien, or certain nonresident alien, you are required to report any foreign financial assets that meet the reporting threshold to the IRS. There are different filing requirements and it just depends on the type of assets and the reporting thresholds to determine the filings an individual is required […]

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.

Hello, My Name Is…

Jennifer Santini / May 28, 2014
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I spent the Memorial Day weekend out of town for a wedding and was joking with some of the other guests that the bride (who is my stepsister) will most likely hire someone to assist her in changing her name upon her return from her honeymoon. I am one who opted to not change my […]

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 […]

How should my Estate Planning Attorney & Financial Planner work together?

Phillip Christenson / January 6, 2014
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There are many parts to your financial life which may require you work with multiple professionals from different disciplines. Two of the most important professionals you should have on your team are a Financial Planner and an Estate Planning Attorney. Each of these professionals should have an understanding of what the other is doing. Some […]

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 […]

Summary of changes to the MN Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney

Maggie Green / June 19, 2013
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Minnesota’s legislators have been busy working up new and exciting changes to Minnesota’s estate planning landscape. Perhaps less controversial and less exciting, (and, some would argue, more concrete) than the new Minnesota Gift Tax, this article will summarize some of the changes made to the Minnesota Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney document.  With its […]

Spendthrift Trusts: Sometimes it’s What You Don’t Give That Matters Most

Philip J. Ruce / June 5, 2013
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Nowhere are you more generous than with your family.  Whether you are saving for your children’s education, helping with the purchase of a first car, or helping to plan a wedding, your family is first in your mind and in your heart.  This generosity often plays out in perhaps the most tangible way when planning […]

What To Do & Ask When Seeking A Professional Advisor

Jennifer Santini / March 19, 2013
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Anytime you are looking to hire a professional advisor (which for purposes of this article shall include, but is not limited to, a financial advisor, attorney, insurance agent, banker and/or accountant), you should do some preliminary homework to determine the type of person with whom you would like to work and prepare some questions to […]

The “Power of Attorney” in Real Life

Maggie Green / September 25, 2012
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Some clients know how important the Power of Attorney document is. They may have acted as attorney-in-fact for a spouse or an elderly relative. Or they may have experienced first hand the challenges created when someone hasn’t executed a valid Power of Attorney. The Power of Attorney (aka POA) names an attorney-in-fact to make financial […]