January 1, 2019

With a new year come new estate tax exemption rates. Although estate and gift taxes are sometimes thought of as taxes that do not change that much, that has definitely not been the case in recent memory. In fact, there have been fairly significant changes to either Minnesota or federal estate and gift tax exemptions, rates, and deductions every year for the past several years. We are not expecting any major changes in 2019, bu...

November 28, 2018

The IRS recently released proposed regulations that address issues with the new estate and gift tax exclusions that were increased as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted last year. Under the new tax law, the estate and gift tax exclusion amount was temporarily doubled from its previous level, which raises questions about what will happen later if Congress does not act in the meantime to extend the increased exemption amo...

September 12, 2018

When we sit down to create an estate plan with our clients, we’re looking at the big picture. We’re looking at what we can do to reduce or avoid estate taxes, provide for a surviving spouse and minor or disabled children, avoid probate or excessive court filing fees, and mitigate potential family feuds. An improperly executed estate plan can end up costing you more in attorney’s fees, court costs, and taxes than it would have...

May 31, 2018

Among the unique set of problems farmers encounter, estate and succession planning is often the most challenging. Determining when and how to transfer the farm is a long and not always straightforward process. This can include identifying the farm successor, making decisions about the growth of the farm, venturing into other agribusinesses, and articulating a vision for the future. While these tasks can seem daunting, having a...

March 23, 2018

When we sit down to discuss someone’s estate planning, the questions we ask are quite simple: What do you have? Where do you want it to go? Who do you want to manage your affairs after you’ve passed away?

As part of these discussions, we often talk about:

  • Assets – What assets comprise your estate and what are these assets worth? Is there real estate or a business involved? Are there estate tax concerns?

  • Children and oth...

January 2, 2018

The new tax bill was signed into law on Friday, December 22, 2017, making for some big changes in federal estate tax planning. Under the new law, the federal estate tax exemption will be substantially increased for tax years starting in 2018.

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