Substitute Parent. What to Consider When Choosing a Guardian

I spend a lot of time talking to clients about property, but at its core estate planning is about family. Clients want to ensure that their family will be taken care of.  For parents of young children, the most important family decision is the selection of a guardian. A guardian is someone appointed by a […]

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With tax changes, do I still need estate planning?

Happy senior couple on bicycles

When people think about estate planning, the estate tax is one of the first things that comes to mind. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017 brought significant changes to the transfer of wealth, including increasing the federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption […]

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Taking a last minute distribution from your IRA? Consider a qualified charitable distribution.

Two hands holding a warm light in a giving manner.

Most of our clients have at least a portion of their savings in IRAs. Those that do not often have savings in a 401k, which will likely be converted to an IRA upon retirement.  Both 401k and IRA plans allow a person to put money away tax free.  However, when money is withdrawn from the […]

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2017 Snowbird Update

Senior couple sitting in deck chairs on the beach

There have been significant well publicized estate planning legislative updates in 2017, including the increase in the Minnesota estate tax exemption amount and the proposed repeal of the federal exemption. Two lesser-known changes impact one of Minnesota’s most popular segments – snowbirds. “Snowbird” technically refers to people who live in northern states, but move south […]

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2017 Year-End Estate Planning Checklist

Checklist on table listing estate planning items

As the end of the year approaches and with the holiday season in full swing, estate planning isn’t typically at the top of most people’s wish lists. Nevertheless, it is important not to move on to 2018 new year’s resolutions without tying up the loose ends from the previous 12 months. For many of us, […]

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2017 Estate Tax Update

Young family meeting with tax attorney

From comprehensive tax reform making its way through congress, to the changes to the Minnesota estate tax, it has been an eventful year for estate planning. While tax changes are not the most exciting topic for many of our clients, it is a topic that continues to be important to their families and businesses. As […]

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Four Things to Consider About Do-it-Yourself Estate Planning Software

DIY problems; leaking pipe

As a price conscious homeowner, I am all for do-it-yourself projects to save a few dollars here and there. I often bite off more than I can chew, like the time I thought I could handle rerouting the plumbing in a bathroom. Predictably, this resulted in a flooded bathroom, water damage, and an emergency phone […]

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Minnesota Estate Tax Legislative Update – May 2017

Minnesota State Capitol and Quadriga

Minnesota Estate Tax Governor Dayton has signed the 2017 tax bill which will increase the Minnesota estate tax exemption from its current level of $1.8 million to $2.1 million for individuals dying in 2017. The legislation also adjusts the estate tax exemption in subsequent years; increasing the exemption by $300,000 per year until 2020 at […]

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How to protect your children’s inheritance from divorce, creditors, and lawsuits

Family in front of home

As divorce rates rise and society becomes increasingly litigious, asset protection has become an increasingly important aspect of estate planning. While most people understand the more common estate planning goals such as probate avoidance and limiting estate tax exposure, did you know that a carefully tailored estate plan can also provide asset protection for your […]

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Five tips for updating your estate plan during or after divorce

Couple back to back

Divorce is a difficult process, no matter how amicable the split. Between property division, potential custody disputes, and escalating legal bills, no one wants to think about more legal hoops to jump through. While updating your estate plan during a divorce may be the last thing on your mind, a failure to do so could […]

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