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Minnesota Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Minnesota on
Q: I recently found out my mom had a life insurance policy at her time of death in 2010 that my brother received because he

Was next of kin. Without informing me the money was split up between my 2 brothers and 1 sister and I didn't receive a dime. What can I do to get my fair share of the money I'm owed?

Robert Kane
Robert Kane
answered on Apr 18, 2024

The specific facts of the situation will dictate how you should proceed. There are numerous questions that need to be answered. To start:

Have you confronted him?

The insurance company should have contacted all beneficiaries directly. Why didn't this happen?

How was...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Q: My husband and I need to make a will or trust and we don't know where to start.

We don't have a large or very complicated estate, I don't think, and we only have 1 heir that everything will go to (our 23 year old son, who does not live with us). But we do have our house and also some land in another state, in addition to the normal retirement accounts, savings... View More

Neil P Thompson
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Neil P Thompson
answered on Mar 25, 2024

Yours appears to be a straight forward basic estate plan, one that a Will plan would work well. The property in another is or can be problematic and a review of which state the property is in would be necessary. That being said a basic will, power of attorney and health care directive for each of... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Q: When the 1rst spouse dies, is his/hers estate considered 1/2 of the couples entire estate?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 20, 2024

In Minnesota, understanding how estates are divided upon the death of a spouse can be complex due to the state's laws and the specific details of your situation. Generally, when the first spouse passes away, the distribution of the estate depends on whether the assets were owned jointly or... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Minnesota on
Q: I want to contest part of the will but I do not know how to contest in a probate case?

I'm a person with a disability the other people sent a letter saying they were going to submit both Wills to the court turned out they they did not they only submitted one so there are but I believe they are using the wrong will so that's why I want to contest. I think one of my other... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Mar 15, 2024

You will need a MN attorney to contest a Will filed for Probate. You may or may not have a cause of action. Obviously 2 Wills cannot be filed for Probate by the same proponent. But it sounds like you do not have either Will, which is a problem to probate the actual Will, and you must have... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Agricultural Law and Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Q: I'm a Minnesota resident. MN has a $3,000,000.00 estate tax exemptionCan I put Iowa farmland in a trust to get below

the exemption? The farms have been, and still are family farms now operated by my son. What kind of a trust would it have to be? Thank you

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 11, 2024

As a Minnesota resident, you can use trusts to help manage your estate and potentially reduce your estate tax liability. However, the specific type of trust and its effectiveness in reducing estate taxes will depend on various factors, such as the value of your estate, the nature of your assets,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Minnesota on
Q: What happens if property is disposed according to "the deceased <lineal> descendants" ? Note the word "lineal".

Example: Both parents died instantly in a car crash and have 2 living adult children, Bob and Alice. Alice has 3 living adult kids. Bob never had any kids.

(A) Would Bob and Alice each receive 50% ?

(B) Or would Bob, Alice, and Alice's 3 kids all receive 20%, ie, the... View More

Scott Maki
Scott Maki
answered on Feb 7, 2024

Great question. It seems you are referring to "intestate succession", meaning the died without a valid will. Rather than "lineal" the term typically used is "class." Distributions in intestate succession are done by class. Since Bob and Alice are in the same class -... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Minnesota on
Q: Do I have any rights my father just passed away if my last name on my birth certificate is his last name His name is not

He is not my biological father. He was going to adopt me. But my biological father said no. I had his last name until I got married. Then I had to change it. He's passed away in my sister is claiming that I don't get half of his Ashes. I don't get nothing. I'm just wondering... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 3, 2024

In the context of family law in Minnesota, your rights regarding your father's estate may depend on various factors, including whether there was a legally recognized adoption, the presence or absence of a will, and the specific laws governing inheritance in the state. If your father had... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Social Security for Minnesota on
Q: Can Social Security Survivor Benefits be paid into a trust?

My Brother is currently in hospice and his minor child will be eligible for SS Survivor Benefits after he passes. We wish to protect these benefits from the minor child's mother who has a history of not having minor child's best interests in mind when it comes to the support she has... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Aug 23, 2023

Social Security pays children's benefits to a representative payee, an adult who is deemed responsible for handling the monthly payments. A representative payee may be a parent, relative, guardian or friend of the family. Social Security requires the payee to file an annual report of how the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Social Security for Minnesota on
Q: Can Social Security Survivor Benefits be paid into a trust?

My Brother is currently in hospice and his minor child will be eligible for SS Survivor Benefits after he passes. We wish to protect these benefits from the minor child's mother who has a history of not having minor child's best interests in mind when it comes to the support she has... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 21, 2023

Yes, Social Security Survivor Benefits can generally be paid into a trust for the minor child's benefit, with a trustee managing the funds to ensure they are used in the child's best interest. Consult with a legal professional in Minnesota to establish an appropriate trust structure that... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Q: How do we setup Power of Attorney to first go to spouse, and in case the spouse is deceased, to go to children?
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jul 17, 2023

To set up a Power of Attorney (POA) in Minnesota that first goes to your spouse and then to your children if your spouse is deceased:

Choose the type of POA: Decide between a general or limited/specific POA.

Draft the POA document: Consult with an estate planning attorney to create...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Q: would it be easier to marry my boyfriend so he inherits all of my property or file transfer on death or file a will.

I have 2 houses with land, show cars,alittle money in bank, lots of collectables and lots of junk. I have not done a will. and years are passing fast. I have no siblings and dont talk with distant relatives. I dont want the state to take over if something happens to me. I hate the thought of... View More

Robert Kane
Robert Kane
answered on May 21, 2023

It depends what you mean by "easier." If you hate the thought of getting married this seems to imply that this wouldn't be easy for you. Getting married married may involve the least amount of paperwork, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's easier for you. A will (or... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Minnesota on
Q: If my mom had a new will wrote up and she passed away before she signed it is it valid

I have been living with her and taking care of her for the past year

Neil P Thompson
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Neil P Thompson
answered on May 7, 2023

The short answer is No, it is not valid in most states. Each state has statutes that must be followed to execute a valid will. Usually, two witnesses are required and then it must be notarized.

The long answer is it may provide evidence of the intent of the decedent in a probate court,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Q: Can an attorney in fact (poa) with unlimited power change a client's 401 K beneficiary without the client's knowledge?

The attorney in fact has been managing affairs because the client is bedridden but not cognitively impaired.

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on May 22, 2024

Under most power of attorney instruments, yes... but the attorney in fact must act in the Principal's interest. If not, then Principal should revoke the POA and sue the Agent for breach of fiduciary duty.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Q: Can one;s power-of-attorny change beneficiary on the principal's 401K?

When I get cognitively impaired (I have Parkinson's Disease), I am positive my spouse would not leave any financials to the children of my first family. She just does not like them.

I asked this question about 2 weeks ago but received no notice that you got it.

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Jan 8, 2024

Absolutely...You may wish to revoke the POA and appoint someone else to act on your behalf. Consult with a competent MN attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Insurance Bad Faith and Probate for Minnesota on
Q: Can companies hide or delete accounts after someone dies?

My mom passed in 2021. She keeps receiving mail from fidelity investments about plan changes and important information. Nothing has account information on it and a search of her home found minimal information. I did find some account stubs from other companies but when I contacted them, they denied... View More

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Dec 9, 2023

A Minnesota attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for a week. Reputable companies won't usually hide accounts - but one option could be to consider using an investigator; or discuss with a Minnesota attorney about possible legal options. Good luck

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Q: What constitutes mental incapacity, and who decides it , in regards to a power of attorney taking charge?

I have Parkinson's Disease and have not yet lost cognitive ability.

Robert Kane
Robert Kane
answered on Dec 4, 2023

A judge will ultimately determine whether an individual lacks the capacity to make decisions if it is contested. The judge will rely on the admissible evidence.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Minnesota on
Q: Family cabin. Parents passed. Deed transferred to three siblings, 25%, 25% and 50%.

50% sibling died. Cabin was obtained pre-marital. Does widow get 50% or does it fall back on the deed owners.

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Oct 27, 2023

Hire a MN attorney to search the title and determine ownership. You have not stated the necessary facts.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Minnesota on
Q: Our dad recently passed away, are we able to set up a trust fund for our minor siblings & do we need an attorney?

Our dad died in May without a will and we do not want the girlfriend/mother of the minors to blow the money, we want our 3 siblings (all under the age of 5) to have something when they turn 18, 21 and finally 25. A friend told us we can not set up a trust without the mothers ok, but the mother... View More

Robert Kane
Robert Kane
answered on Aug 4, 2023

My condolences. It's difficult to tell what the situation is exactly. You seem to want to bypass the mother for the sake of her child. This seems unlikely, but without much more information it is impossible to advise. Especially, on a free online Q and A.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Minnesota on
Q: How do I setup a power of attorney form that only becomes effective if I die or become incapacitated?
Robert Kane
Robert Kane
answered on Jul 24, 2023

A power of Attorney is gone once a person dies. Thus, you can't setup a power of attorney form that only becomes effective if you die. A POA can be set up one that becomes effective if you become incapacitated. It would be a "springing" POA.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Minnesota on
Q: Dad passed away in MN, had a small check didn't have estate but check says estate. how do we cash this?

In MN an estate has to be $75,000. He doesn't have this and doesn't have an estate. He has one check from a workers comp check that is worth about $13,000. How do we go about getting this cashed. We are also in a different state. Does it need to go through probate or is there a way to get... View More

Don Oliver Keene
Don Oliver Keene
answered on May 31, 2023

I think we need more information to answer this question. If your father lived in and passed away in Minnesota, you will need to likely speak with a Minnesota Attorney. Generally, Probate is initiated in the court of the county where the decedent resided at time of death, I would assume Minnesota... View More

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