Archive for Real Estate

Pros & Cons of Minnesota’s Transfer-on-Death Deed

Minnesota’s Transfer-on-Death Deed (TODD) has been a popular estate planning tool since 2008, when a law enabling the technique became effective.

The homeowner uses a TODD to designate who should inherit a specific parcel of real estate after the homeowner’s death. The TODD must be recorded with the county recorder (or registrar of titles, as the case may be) in the Minnesota county where the property is located prior to the death of the homeowner. » Read more..

When Is Probate Preferred?

Typically, people want to avoid probate, but there are times when probate is the better path.

(Probate is a legal process in which a court formally appoints a personal representative to administer the deceased’s estate. Probate may occur whether or not the deceased had a Will. When the deceased’s Will names someone to be the personal representative, the selection is considered a “nomination” – not an appointment. It is the court that “appoints” and provides the official documentation that enables the nominated personal representative to act.)

People often prefer to avoid probate because the probate process is public, takes time, costs money, and involves some hassle.

But sometimes probate may be the preferred — or required — path because the court can resolve issues, thereby reducing pressure on the personal representative. Some examples are: » Read more..

Trusts Aren’t Just for Millionaires

Trust Doc 2You don’t need to be a millionaire or billionaire to benefit from a Revocable Living Trust.

A key benefit of a Revocable Living Trust is to control the ages at which your children receive their inheritance. Without a trust, sons and daughters as young as 18 years of age receive full distribution of their inheritance in Minnesota once your estate is settled. » Read more..

Avoiding Probate with Minnesota’s Transfer on Death Deed

iStock_000004014203SmallMinnesota’s Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) for real estate is a popular way for Minnesota families to try to avoid probate upon the death of the property owner.

Probate in Minnesota isn’t the onerous process that it is in some states, but probate takes time and costs money regardless. Thus, many Minnesotans try to avoid probate.

Probate is triggered in Minnesota when the deceased: (1) owns real estate in his or her name alone, or (2) owns $75,000 or more in probate assets in his or her name alone. This blog focuses solely on the first trigger – ownership of real estate. » Read more..

Estate Planning for Minnesota Newlyweds

Estate PlanLegal paperwork for the newly married shouldn’t stop with the Minnesota marriage license.

An important wedding gift to give yourselves, as newlyweds, is peace of mind that you’ve left your new spouse in the best situation possible should tragedy occur to one of you.

What steps foster that peace of mind? » Read more..

Keeping the Minnesota Cabin in the Family

Mountain Retreat

Keeping the beloved Minnesota cabin in the family is an oft-heard goal that is frequently addressed by placing the cabin in a revocable living trust or by setting up a limited liability company (LLC) to own the cabin.

Another common goal is to avoid potential future ownership of the revered family cabin by outsiders — i.e., the creditors or divorcing spouses of the next generation of family members.  Blocking disputes among next-generation owners from forcing a sale of the cabin, through a court “partition” action, may also be a priority. » Read more..

What is Probate?

iStock_000004014203SmallHave you seen the ads that encourage you to take steps to avoid probate?

Probate in Minnesota does take some time and does cost some money, but typically it’s not the legal equivalent of a root canal.

Probate is a Court-directed process for paying the deceased’s debts and taxes, and then transferring the remaining assets to the deceased’s beneficiaries. » Read more..

Pros & Cons to Probate in Minnesota

Probate Court

Although most Minnesotans seek to avoid probate, there are pros to probate as well as cons.

Because probate involves the court — an open and public process — probate provides a level of transparency to all potential heirs and beneficiaries that may not exist otherwise. » Read more..

Probate Advantages for Sale of MN Real Estate

houseIf several children are in line to inherit Minnesota real estate that is destined to be sold, probate may be faster, less complicated and less expensive than some of the maneuvers used to avoid probate.

Why? » Read more..

Does Your Estate Plan Need a Tune Up?

Your estate plan — like your car — needs a tune-up occasionally.

If you don’t get that tune-up, either your estate planning goals may not be met, and/or you may be paying hundreds — if not thousands — more for legal services and/or other costs than would have been the case if you had timely asked a lawyer to review your estate plan and suggest necessary adjustments based on current laws and your current goals. » Read more..