The Basics of Business Succession Planning

Two business people

This article appeared in the Winter 2018 Business Insights newsletter of First State Bank and Trust of Hudson. Business owners are busy. Starting, running, and growing a business takes time, and normally carries the business owner well outside of the bounds of a normal nine to five business day. It should, therefore, come as no […]

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Can the State of Minnesota Tax Your Trust?

Minnesota income taxes are currently among the highest in the nation, which is why many of our estate planning clients prefer to create trusts that will be taxed in other states. Many of these other states, such as South Dakota, have no income taxation, and favorable laws relating to trusts. Minnesota income tax generally applies […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Minnesota’s Revocation on Divorce Statute

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling assures that Minnesota’s revocation-on-divorce statute will operate to revoke all pre-divorce beneficiary designations to the ex-spouse, even on insurance policies entered into before the enactment of the Uniform Probate Code (UPC). Minnesota adopted the UPC in 2002 which directed that beneficiary designations from life insurance policies and other similar […]

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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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