Many estate plans today contain trusts that will continue on for the benefit of a spouse’s lifetime and then will continue on for the benefit of several generations.  Because these trusts are designed to span several decades, it is important for the grantor (trust creator) to consider including “powers of appointment” in the trust to…

In the United States, approximately seventeen percent (17%) of people remarry after the first marriage ends. Somewhat surprisingly, the remarriage rate has dropped for each age group with the exception of the 55-and-older group (57% in 2013 versus 42% in 1960). If you remarry, there is a significant risk that your assets do not end…

Sonny Bono, the singer, songwriter, restauranteur, former Mayor of Palm Springs, and former Congressman, died in a tragic ski accident in Nevada in 1998 at the age of 62. His net worth was just under $2 million at the time of his death, yet Bono did not have a will. Apparently, he meant to have…

With all the information out there regarding wills, trusts, estate planning, and probate, how can you figure out what is right for you and your family? Here is a quick way to get you started with analyzing whether you need a will or trust in Minnesota. You want to avoid probate. Probate has a bad…

If you think you only need to create discretionary lifetime trusts for young beneficiaries, problem beneficiaries, or financially inexperienced beneficiaries, then think again.  In today’s age of lawsuits and high divorce rates, discretionary lifetime trusts should be considered for all of your beneficiaries, minors and adults alike. What is a Discretionary Lifetime Trust? A discretionary…

Federal Estate Tax for 2019 The Internal Revenue Service announced recently that the Federal Estate & Gift Tax exemptions will be increasing for 2019. In 2019, individuals will be able to pass up to $11,400,000 free of any estate tax upon their death. The estate tax is unified with the gift tax, so an individual…

Choosing a Family Member as Trustee If you want your trust to last decades for your children, choosing the right trustee is critical to the trust’s longevity and ultimate success. Initially you may think that a family member, (“Uncle Bobby” to your children), will be the best choice as trustee.  After all, Uncle Bobby understands…

Joint Tenancy – A Common Form of Ownership in Minnesota for Real Estate Most married couples own their homes as joint tenants. In Minnesota, if you own property as joint tenants, and one joint tenant passes away, the surviving joint tenant (aka the surviving owner) will automatically be the sole owner of the property (provided…

WARNING:  Many people believe once they set up a Revocable Living Trust and transfer assets into the Trust, those assets are protected from lawsuits against them.  This is absolutely not true. While Trusts commonly provide asset protection for beneficiaries, few Trusts protect assets owned by the person who created the Trust from their own creditors…

Having an estate plan is a great first step in preserving your wealth and legacy. In order to ensure that your plan is carried out as you intended, it is important that you open the lines of communication with your loved ones and let them know your hopes and wishes for your estate plan. If…

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