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Helping You Navigate Complex
Legal Issues

Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

November 2014 Archives

Gregory A. Lang

The role of trusts in estate planning

A trust can be a very useful tool when estate planning, and its benefits are not limited to placing conditions on how assets are distributed. Minnesota residents may find that a trust can also help decrease or avoid the diminution to their estate invariably associated with probate court, estate taxes, gift taxes, creditors and lawsuits.

Understanding charitable trusts

Estate owners Minnesota may benefit from learning more about charitable trusts as described by the Internal Revenue Code. The charitable trust is not tax-exempt; however, it may qualify for charitable contribution deductions, according to qualifications established by the IRS. Charitable trusts are subject to treatment as a private foundation for excise tax provisions and other requirements unless they meet the qualifications to be considered a public charity. Still, the charitable trust would not be exempt from taxes.

Understanding holographic wills and their legality in Minnesota

Different people have different ideas on what a will should be. Some may think it's a document drawn up by an attorney and signed in the presence of witnesses. Others may see it as something that can be written up on one's own on a piece of notebook paper as long as it's also signed. Neither of these are incorrect, but a holographic will most resembles the latter. Due to Minnesota state law, though, citizens should understand the basics of these wills before creating them.

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