January 2, 2019

As estate planning attorneys, we help our clients identify goals that are important to them and their families and work to ensure that the documents we draft reflect those goals. We discuss everything from income tax, capital gains tax, and estate tax implications to charitable gifting to guardian and conservator designations and more. Many parents want an inheritance for a minor child protected and managed by someone they tru...

August 22, 2017

How to Choose a Trustee

When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee. A trustee's duties include collecting income of the trust, paying the trust's bills and taxes, and investing the trust assets. The trustee is also responsible for ensuring your wishes and directions set forth in the trust are followed. Typically, you, as the person establishing the trust, are the trustee of your own revocable or living trust...

December 6, 2016

Probate is the usual process of settling a person's affairs after they have died.

This includes paying debts and final expenses, collecting the assets, and distributing to the heirs. However, probate is not always required. Probate is just one way by which assets can pass to a person's heirs. 

There are essentially four ways in which assets pass to heirs:

                         1....

November 3, 2016

Getting your estate plan in place can feel like a major accomplishment (and it is!), but it is not the end of the story. Estate planning itself is the process of guiding the way in which assets pass to your loved ones after your death and ensuring your wishes are followed. Checking in and reviewing your estate planning documents regularly and when certain life events occur is part of this ongoing process.

While the estate plans...

September 19, 2015

It seems everyone is hearing more and more about "living trusts" and "revocable trusts" lately. A lot of people seem to think that a trust is only for the super wealthy or those that are avoiding estate taxes. The truth is that, while a trust can absolutely be used to minimize estate taxes, a trust can be a useful estate planning tool for many people in a variety of situations. 

 

In its most basic form, a trust is a privat...

July 22, 2015

In Southeastern Minnesota, family farms are not just the land, business, or way of life, but a direct link to the heritage and history of several generations. Ensuring the farm operation will be there for the next generation is often a top priority. The actual process of transitioning the farm begins many years before the change in ownership. Planning ahead can make the transition a smooth one.

 

There are a number of strategies...

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