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Estate Planning

Newsworthy Category

Estate Planning Still Necessary

With the doubling of the Federal estate tax exemption, the number of tax payers required to file a Federal estate tax return will drop substantially. However, estate planning and review of existing plans is important. The most important object of estate planning has always been to provide a thoughtful plan for property distribution, avoiding the arbitrary rules of each state’s intestacy statutes. Minnesota, along with many other states, imposes an estate tax with a far smaller exemption than provided for by the Federal exemption. Many estate plans for married couples routinely used formulas to distribute property between a Marital Trust...
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New Minnesota Estate Planning Legislation

The Minnesota legislature recently enacted legislation that impacts estate planning.  Two of the more interesting new laws include: A prohibition of using the location of a taxpayer’s attorney in determining the residency of a tax payer and The tax bill raises Minnesota’s estate tax exemption to $2.1 million for 2017 (retroactive to January 1) and an additional $300,000 each year until it hits $3 million in 2010. Unfortunately, one proposal we closely watched failed to make the cut: Allowing married farm couples to retain agricultural homestead status despite splinting their property into two trusts. If you have questions about this...
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Update! Revocable Trust Reporting

In March, Farrish Johnson Law Office let you know about pending Minnesota legislation regarding revocable trust reporting to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (find the article here).  Now, Governor Dayton recently signed legislation providing that the trustee of a revocable trust with respect to which either the settlor, the settlor’s spouse, or both, are the primary beneficiaries during the settlor’s lifetime shall not be required to file with the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture a corporate farm application seeking approval to allow the trust to hold agricultural real estate during any period that the trust is revocable. This legislation...
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Join Farrish Johnson at the Mankato 50+ Lifestyle Expo

Attorneys and staff from Farrish Johnson Law Office will be at the Mankato 50+ Lifestyle Expo tomorrow, Tuesday, May 9 from 9am to 2pm at the Verizon Event Center.  Paul Moosbrugger and Steve Fink will be available to answer your questions about estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, tax law, heath care directives, power of attorney and more. Farrish Johnson Law Office offers a comprehensive range of legal services and we look forward to see you at this exciting event!

Minnesota Homestead Property Tax

Many of us are not clear what the various abbreviations mean that our found on our real estate tax statement. How and why property receives homestead classification or non-homestead classification can be a mystery, particularly for those owning agricultural land. Losing homestead classification usually results in higher real estate taxes payable each year but the hidden loss may be the unavailability of the estate tax credit available to farmers. Under current law, qualified farmers have a Minnesota estate tax credit of $5 million. To qualify for these additional credit, the farm must be, among other things, taxed as homestead property....
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Estate Taxes Still an Issue

With the federal estate tax beginning for estates in excess of $5.4 million, most families no longer concern themselves with avoiding the imposition of this tax.  However, Minnesota residences or non-residences with Minnesota property still face Minnesota taxes for estates that exceed $1.6 million.  Do not assume that estate planning is no longer necessary simply because of the size of the federal exemption. There are a number of planning opportunities for families to avoid or minimize Minnesota estate tax. For more information on Estate Taxes and Estate Planning, contact Steve Fink at Farrish Johnson Law Office. This webpage contains general...
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Changes to Medical Assistance Recovery

In 1967, Minnesota instituted a medical assistance (MA) estate recovery program.  The program authorized counties to recover the cost paid for MA services received by a deceased person.  In June of 2016, new legislation was passed which limits the number of MA services that can be recovered by the counties. The new legislation limits the number of MA services which are recoverable against an estate if the decedent received MA services on or after January 1, 2014. Specifically, recovery is limited to cost of Long Term Care (LTC) that a decedent received from January 1, 2014 to the present. LTC...
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Estate Planning–Revocable Trusts

A revocable living trust allows the maker of the trust (Settlor) to make changes to the trust during his or her lifetime.  A revocable trust usually directs the trustee to pay all income to the Settlor for life and pay the trust assets to the main person after the Settlor’s death.  Revocable living trusts often avoid a lengthy probate process but they don’t necessarily shelter assets from federal or state taxes. If you have a revocable living trust which holds title to your home, care must be taken to check with your county tax department to make sure you are...
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Estate Planning–Not Just for the Wealthy

Prince’s death is now being overshadowed by his apparent lack of a will.  Prince’s sister filed a Petition for the Appointment of Special Administrator for the artist’s estate stating she had no knowledge of a will and no reason to believe Prince had one. The absence of estate planning means Prince’s estate could be embroiled in legal disputes for years to come.  Proper estate planning not only minimizes tax liability, but also ensures the decedent’s wishes are carried out. Having a proper will and estate plan determines what will happen with your assets and property when you die and planning for tax...
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