Estate Planning

Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way

Many people in Minnesota are married. Many of those same people own a home, cabin, farm, hunting land or other real estate and many of our clients think that because both the husband and wife have their names on the deed, that the survivor simply become the sole owner of the real property upon the death of their spouse. This is incorrect. In order for title to real estate to pass to the surviving spouse, they must own the property as Joint Tenants. If the title does not list husband and wife as Joint Tenants, then the default is Tenants in Common. This means that when one owner dies, their interest in the property is subject to a probate court proceeding. If the Decedent has..

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Things to Update After Divorce

The divorce has been finalized. You’ve paid your divorce attorney. Now what? Aside from moving on with your life, there are several things that you’ll need to update after the divorce. While each case is unique, there are some common steps that nearly every couple will take after they’re officially divorced. These include: Dividing up all the property as per the divorce decree. Change your motor vehicle titles to reflect appropriate ownership as per your divorce decree. Change your name with Social Security and on your passport. Change the name on your driver’s license. The requirements for this will vary from state to state, but in most cases, you will need to..

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Business Law Information: New Ruling Allowing an LLC to adopt an ESOP

The IRS released a recent Private Letter Ruling (PLR 201538021) that surprisingly allows a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) to adopt an ESOP. This is a new development that should be considered with caution since a PLR only applies to the taxpayer that asked for the ruling and there are some pre-requirements that may continue to create a tax problem if implemented. Here’s the story: Background The rules under the Internal Revenue Code have so far limited the use of ESOPs to C- or S-Corporations. One of the requirements for an ESOP is that it invests predominantly in qualifying employer securities. LLCs were not permitted to have ESOPs because the membership units were not considered qualifying employer securities. As a result, an LLC had..

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What is a Revocable Living Trust?

A revocable living trust is one way to approach estate planning. People use revocable living trusts to bypass the probate process. Think of a trust as a sort of legally created box. Once you create the box you can start filling it with your assets. This is known as “funding the trust.” The assets could be anything: bank accounts, real estate, cars, boats or anything else that you own. To fund it property is retitled into the appropriate trust. As long as you’re still alive you’ll maintain total control over these assets. For example, if you place your house in the trust you would continue to live in the home, repair it or update it as you saw fit, and pay any and all bills..

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The Disadvantages of DIY Estate Planning

These days it seems like there are thousands of DIY legal forms on the Internet. To believe some websites you don’t really need a law degree to practice law—you just need the right “template!” But attorneys need special training and licensing for a reason. The law can be a tricky thing, especially when it comes to estate planning. If you do something incorrectly while writing your will then you could end up costing your heirs a great deal of time and money trying to fix your mistakes. Legal language is written in a very precise way. It’s meant to eliminate ambiguity and to address specific issues that you might not think of. Something that seems very clear to you may not make any sense..

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