February 26, 2020

I recently met with a client for estate planning. During our discussions about the various ways that assets pass after death, she said, "I heard at an estate planning seminar that a trust is the only way to avoid probate. Isn't that true?" The simple answer to the question is, a trust is not the only way to avoid probate. This answer also highlights the different approach we take in advising our clients on their...

June 17, 2019

A Minnesota transfer-on-death deed (a “TODD”) is type of deed that transfers ownership of real estate effective only upon the grantor’s death. Think of a transfer-on-death deed as analogous to adding a beneficiary designation to your real estate, just as you would a life insurance policy or a bank account. We’ve covered more of the basics of using a transfer on death deed here.

In order to be effective, a transfer-on-death deed...

May 16, 2019

We’ve discussed how assets pass after death in previous posts on our blog, but how do we know when a probate is actually required?

The assets owned by a deceased person can be split into two separate categories: probate assets and non-probate assets.

Non-probate assets are those assets that have a beneficiary or pay-on-death designation, have a joint owner who has a right of survivorship, or those assets administered by a trust....

November 6, 2018

Since probate is a court process, all probate records are public records that anyone can read and access. Minnesota also has remote viewing of summarized probate records so that much of the information can now be found online from anywhere in the world.

August 23, 2018

It has recently been reported that the legendary singer, Aretha Franklin, died without a will or a trust. How do we know? Frankin's niece filed a petition with the probate court in Michigan seeking to be appointed as personal representative and indicating that there is no will. In Michigan and every other state (including Minnesota), probate is public record. Soon, the type, size, and value of Franklin's assets and debts will...

June 19, 2018

A homestead is more than just a home. Homes are places where families have made memories over the years, a source of pride for the owners, and one of the largest financial investments a person will have. Understanding how a homestead will transfer upon your death is something that needs to be considered in advance.

Minnesota law has some special provisions for the disposition of a homestead after the death of an individual. A h...