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, […]

Selling Real Estate Out of a Conservatorship

Jayne Sykora / February 23, 2015
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Last fall, I covered the basics on conservatorships (see: Conservatorship Basics Part 1 and Part 2). As a review, a conservatorship is needed when an adult individual is impaired to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible personal decisions, and who has demonstrated deficits with managing property and business […]

Gift of Real Estate to Religious Corporations

Robert Beutel / February 3, 2014
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Gifts of real estate to religious bodies are rare, but frequently the donee is mis-identified. Many churches are known by abbreviated versions of their full name, e.g., “St. Jude’s Catholic Church” is actually “The Church of Saint Jude of the Lake, Mahtomedi, Minnesota.” Many times the beneficiary is unaware of an intended gift, and has […]

Property and Revocable Trusts – MN Estate Tax Update

Maggie Green / October 23, 2013
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Individuals that own property in multiple states often consider placing the property into a revocable trust for planning purposes. While this can be an effective planning technique, there are some important points to consider. For purposes of the new Minnesota estate tax [2], a Minnesota resident’s gross estate includes any property that is physically located […]

Appraisals

Jayne Sykora / September 16, 2013
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Oftentimes, some property in a decedent’s estate will be unique and difficult to value, like: a business, artwork, jewelry, collectibles, or real estate. Oftentimes the value will be needed to help complete an inventory in a probate and/or to determine any estate tax impact on the estate.  Additionally, objective appraisals can also help minimize or […]

Avoiding Power of Attorney Abuse

Maggie Green / July 26, 2013
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In a previous post I spelled out the basics of the changes made to Minnesota’s Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney that will take effect January 1, 2014. As I mentioned, many of these changes were made to address the potential for abuse. Indeed, a Power of Attorney document gives broad and sweeping powers to […]

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 […]

Obtaining A Clearance Certificate

Jayne Sykora / March 7, 2013
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In many posts, we have eluded to and discussed the basics on Medical Assistance (see: Jamie Held‘s Medical Assistance & Real Property and Jen Santini‘s Medical Assistance Basics for Minnesotans). Medical Assistance, or Medicaid as it is known, is the insurance program provided by counties to those who have no money of their own to […]

1 or 2: Joint vs. Separate Revocable Trusts

Jennifer Santini / January 7, 2013
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We have written about the benefits of utilizing revocable trusts for incapacity planning, probate avoidance and out-of-state real estate. However, we often get the question from couples, “Why do we need two trusts? Why can’t we just have one joint trust?” To be honest, in some instances, a joint revocable trust might be the appropriate option […]

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 […]

Real property in an estate or trust administration

Maggie Green / March 22, 2012
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Personal representatives and trustees are commonly responsible for distributing real property from an estate or trust to its designated beneficiaries. Such distributions present unique challenges for personal representatives, trustees, and beneficiaries alike.  To this end, there are several considerations that should be made prior to distributing real property from an estate or trust.