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Minnesota Probate and Estate Planning Blog

Should I Rip Up My TRUST?

Woman ripping up Trust

If you have a family Trust, it may be serving your family and your finances well.

On the other hand, the Trust may be needlessly costing your family a large amount of money now or in the future.

In that case, you should consider dissolving the Trust.

Typical Debts That Are Paid in Probate Proceedings


You may feel relieved to know that your adult children will probably not inherit your debts when you die unless they have co-signed on a loan or credit line. However, this is not to say that your debt will not affect them.

During probate proceedings, one of the duties of the personal representative (also known as the executor) of your estate is to pay off your debts using the assets you have left behind. But which debts will be a drain on your children's inheritance?

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canstockphoto23961718.jpg"That woman was only married to Dad for six months before he passed away. Why should she get anything?" That is a question we have heard a number of times in probate cases. It is a difficult subject for many families when the parent has children from a prior marriage, marries a second time and then passes away without a will.

Estate Plan Should Include Nursing Home Option

Can Stock PhotoNo one likes to think about having to enter a nursing home. The idea can seem especially unfathomable when you are in good health, no matter your age. However, the odds that you will never have to go into a nursing home are not something you want to gamble with. Why?

For one thing - and most importantly for quite a few people - a lack of planning could lead to you selling your house and other assets rather than leaving them to your children or other heirs, as you would prefer. In fact, you could have nothing left to probate. It is important to understand that planning for a nursing home does not mean absolutely having to go live in one. It only means being ready for that eventuality financially and legally should the need arise, as it does for many people.

Does my special needs child need a guardianship?

Planning for your child’s future can be stressful, but that stress further compounds when your child has special needs. The designation of special needs encompasses a broad spectrum of cognitive disabilities and when children near legal adulthood it can be difficult to decide whether or not to seek guardianship over them.

If your child is a minor you still have guardianship over them and can make legal, medical and financial decisions for them, but once they turn 18 your authority abruptly ends. Not every disabled child needs to have a guardian, yet in some cases guardianship is an obvious choice.

Will my Doll Collection Have to Go Through Probate?

dolls collection.jpgUnderstanding the probate process and what assets it involves will be part of the discussion when you meet with an attorney to prepare your will. For example, if you want to know whether your collection of vintage dolls will be subject to probate, the short answer is yes.

Personal property that belongs to you alone will usually pass through probate, but there is a way around that.

Estate Plan Fit for a Prince?

Prince_by_jimieye (1).jpgDuring his lifetime, the late and great Prince of Minnesota had amassed what many expect to be a very significant estate. According to, estimates suggest Prince's net worth is over $300 million. Prince smartly took measures protecting his ownership rights to his music. He retained control of his art, including performance royalties, publishing rights and more.

A large estate with no will or trust

Should we put one of the kids on a joint account with Mom or Dad?


When Mom or Dad is in failing health, the adult children may think it is a good idea to put one or more of them on the parent's account and make it a joint account. The idea is that the child can deposit the parent's income, pay their bills and divide up the account among their siblings when Mom or Dad dies.

This can be a very dangerous thing to do, as a Minnesota Supreme Court case a few years showed.

Health care directives: vital parts of estate planning

DoctorEstate planning is sometimes a difficult topic to think about. It makes us not only take an inventory of the fruits of our life's labors, but to also consider our own mortality.

In conjunction with the asset protection and inheritance aspects of testamentary planning, another key component is another difficult topic to ponder: a health care directive, also known as a "living will."

Estate Planning After Divorce

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If you are getting a divorce from your spouse, you have a lot of planning to do. You will need to name your own beneficiaries, organize your divided assets, and set up your individual property. It is vital that you meet with a qualified attorney to discuss the specifics of planning your estate to ensure that your wishes are to be implemented as you desire.


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