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.

Lessons from the McCourt Divorce Battle

Jennifer Santini / August 8, 2011
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Since 2009, Frank and Jamie McCourt have been embattled in one of the messiest, public divorces. The McCourts were like any other couple. They met, fell in love, got married, and had four sons. However, along the way they purchased a major league baseball team, numerous homes costing millions of dollars and led an extravagant […]

Appointing a Guardian for Minor Children

Anna Lima / June 5, 2011
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Having a baby or adopting a child is a major life event that should cause people to start thinking about estate planning. Most specifically, creating a will to nominate a guardian if something were to happen to both parents. For many, choosing a guardian for minor children is a very difficult decision; so difficult that it prevents many […]

Unusual Will Provisions in a Multimillion Dollar Estate

Jamie Held / May 24, 2011
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Wellington R. Burt made millions off Michigan’s lumber industry and Minnesota’s iron mines. At one point, Burt ranked among the eight wealthiest men in America. He died on March 2, 1919, leaving an estate estimated, at the time, at $40 million to $90 million. For some his death marked the beginning of a long wait. […]

Teach Your Children Well Part 1: Basic Financial Education

Eric Simonson / March 10, 2011
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Even before your children can count, they already know something about money: it’s what you have to give the ice cream man to get a cone, or put in the slot to ride the rocket ship at the grocery store. So, as soon as your children begin to handle money, start teaching them how to […]

The Battle is Over

Jamie Held / February 16, 2011
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Call it coincidence or fate but Al Barnes, the 85-year-old Scandia, Minnesota man at the center of a court battle between his wife and his doctors regarding his treatment, passed away on Monday morning; the same day a ruling was expected from the Hennepin County Probate Court to allow the removal of life support.

Naming a Guardian

Jamie Held / January 17, 2011
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Naming a Guardian for your minor child(ren) is a difficult task. There is no perfect choice because there is no second you.  However, it must be done. The alternate to you naming a Guardian is a judge, who does not know you, your children, or the guardian options, making the choice for you. WHO TO […]

Trustee Duties Part 2: Follow the Trust Instrument

Maggie Green / January 2, 2011
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The duty to follow the written trust instrument is fundamental to a successful trusteeship. This duty requires a trustee to, “carry out the directions of the testator or the settlor as expressed in the terms of the trust.”[1] If a trustee’s actions are questioned, a court will look to the trust instrument when assessing whether a trustee […]

Trustee Duties Part 1: Loyalty and Care

Maggie Green / December 5, 2010
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Trustees are given certain responsibilities and duties when administering a trust.  These responsibilities can vary depending upon the trust instrument or document, but there are a few duties that apply broadly to all trustees.  This article will cover the two main duties, those of Loyalty and Care, that all trustees must understand before accepting the […]