The Wealth & Wisdom Blog

Information on Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration and Unique Asset Planning

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Family Vision Statement

A Family Vision Statement can be any non-legal written direction made by a “senior generation” (e.g., mom and dad) to the named beneficiaries of the senior generation’s legal estate plan detailing how an inheritance should be used following death.  The Statement is directed towards whomever is receiving the inheritance, whether children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings […]

Asset Ownership: Sole Ownership & the Probate Estate

At your death, any asset owned in your individual name and that does not pass either by (1) joint ownership with rights of survivorship, (2) by beneficiary designation or (3) by a revocable trust becomes owned by your “estate.”  Your estate is an intangible legal entity, like a partnership or a corporation, which becomes the […]

Asset Ownership: Contract Property / Beneficiary Designations

Some types of assets, such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies, pass by beneficiary designation. 

Asset Ownership: Survivorship Rights on Jointly-Owned Property

Certain types of jointly-owned (co-owned) assets automatically pass to the surviving co-owner at death as a “right of survivorship.”  For example, most of my married clients purchased their residence as “joint tenants with right of survivorship.”  As a legal attribute of this kind of ownership, the ownership on the property is automatically transferred to the […]

Estate Planning for a Blended Family

Many of our married clients have children that are not the children of both the husband and wife.  Knowing many of these families personally, I know the joy that the parents have in treating both their own children, as well as their step-children, as equal members of the household.  While many of our married clients […]

Marital Trust Planning

You can provide for your spouse through either an “outright” gift of all your assets, or through a plan to allocate your assets to a “marital trust” for his or her benefit.

Outright vs. Testamentary Gifts

You can choose to benefit a child or other beneficiary through one of two means: (1) through an “outright” gift, or (2) to an ongoing “testamentary trust” for the benefit of the child or other beneficiary.  We assist our clients understand the pros and cons of each approach, as it is critically important to understand […]

The Benefits of a Revocable Trust

To accomplish your estate planning objectives, you could implement a plan through one of two different legal documents.  You could utilize either a traditional Will, or you could utilize a plan focused on the use of a Revocable Trust, also sometimes referred to as a “Living Trust.”  In comparison to using a Will, implementing a […]

Minnesota Estate Tax Rules

  Minnesota imposes an estate tax at death on the assets of anyone who, at the time of his or her death, either (i) was a Minnesota resident or (ii) owned real estate or business assets physically located in the State of Minnesota. The key points about Minnesota estate taxes are as follows:

Utilizing a Tax Savings Trust for Married Clients

In order to minimize the incidence of Minnesota estate taxes following the death of the surviving spouse, a married couple residing in Minnesota who own assets in excess of $1.8M should include specific provisions in their estate plan during their joint lifetimes. Through the creation of a “Tax Savings Trust” following the first death between […]