Yours, Mine, Ours And Theirs…

In this modern time, many families do not fit neatly into the traditional father, mother, son and daughter depicted in the “stick men” figures we see on car bumper stickers. Therefore, many people need to modify traditional estate planning documents and techniques to accomplish their goals and to carry out their legacy. Estate Planning Solutions is familiar with these new techniques and has assisted many people with blended families or unique requirements. If we can assist you, please contact us. Read More

Is Probate Always Required When A Person Passes?

I have had many clients ask me if probate is always required when a person passes. Probate is required when a person dies owning a probate asset. An easier way to explain this term is to define what a probate asset is not. Probate is not required for “Non-Probate” Assets. Non-Probate assets are defined as joint tenancy assets with right of survivorship, payable on death accounts, assets held in a revocable (living) trust, life insurance and retirement plans that pass by beneficiary designation, brokerage accounts that list someone other than the decedent as beneficiary, etc. The reason why a revocable trust does not require probate is because the assets in the trust are deemed to be non-probate. The reason why the others do not require probate is because the assets pass to the named beneficiary or survivor by operation of law at the decedent’s death Read More

Getting Away


As I am writing this article we just had a major snowstorm in Southern Minnesota. While the storm missed the metro area, a cold front followed the storm and dropped the temperature down to the normal seasonal level. While this area is our home, the winter does seem to linger. So this is the time of year when many of us take a brief respite to a warmer climate. When you are planning your vacation, make sure you check your estate planning as follows: Read More


Completing One Year And Preparing For A New One (See Special Discount below!)

If you are like me, this is a very busy time of the year. The holiday season is filled with excitement and joy, but there are so many activities and events to plan or attend, holiday cards to send, gifts to buy and the list goes on. If we operate a business, we are also trying to follow through on our accountant’s recommendations to minimize our 2016 tax liabilities by allocation of income and expenses between 2016 and 2017, contributions to our retirement plans, charitable giving etc. (Keep reading to receive your discount!) Read More

Estate Taxes In A Trump Administration; A Few Words About The Minnesota Estate Tax.

This report is not intended to be exhaustive or definitive. I will not cite authorities or quote from experts. I will just speak from my own experience as an estate planning attorney for the past 35 years. The following in just my opinion about what the future of the federal estate tax may be under President Elect Trump. It may turn out that none of my predictions below will occur. I am writing this to let you know about this important subject so you can personally monitor and evaluate what may occur.

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Pet Trust

Pet Trust

For many of us, our pets are part of our family and we want to provide for them, and make their lives as comfortable as possible. However, we don’t think about who will care for them if we are not around. We name guardians to take care of our minor children and we make gifts, or set up trusts, for our children, but what about our pets? I would like to tell you about an option available to you. Read More



Most people do not even want to think about anything potentially negative or difficult; let alone plan for it. You may have heard plan for the worst and hope for the best. This is a good way to ensure you have a plan for potentially negative or unfavorable outcomes if they arise, but this goes against the way our brains are wired. Read More