Your estate includes all of the property that you own – everything that has been accumulated over a lifetime of hard work. These assets must be managed wisely during your life — and after your death or disability.
In the estate planning area, we consult with you to determine your unique personal and financial goals and objectives – and then we help you structure the estate plan that best meets your goals and objectives. To create a good estate plan, we consider tax planning, asset-transfer planning, probate avoidance and healthcare planning.
In the area of tax planning, we work with you to maximize and protect your assets in light of income taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes and special situations like divorce, sudden wealth or unmarried couples.
When planning for the transfer of assets, we work with you to consider a wide range of tools like wills, trusts, insurance policies, annuities, gifts, charitable contributions, financial durable powers of attorney, conservatorships and special needs planning.
When looking at probate as a possible future venue, we determine the optimal methods for transferring your assets in an efficient manner. That may entail the use of trusts or other probate avoidance techniques.
When it comes to healthcare planning, we assist you with living wills, medical durable powers of attorney, guardianships, long-term care planning and special situations.
When asked to advise on probate matters, we work with fiduciaries to inventory and appraise the assets of an estate; pay debts, liens, taxes and the expenses of administration with the assets; and distribute the remaining property as directed in the will. We also prepare fiduciary tax returns whether it’s the estate tax return or fiduciary income returns.
We offer a special depth of experience in cases that involve breach of fiduciary duty in the management and probate of estates. On the plaintiff side, we represent estate and trust beneficiaries. On the defendant side, we represent personal representatives, trustees and guardians. We also serve as expert witness both for and against fiduciaries.
Tim Ridley heads our wills, trust and estates practice area. Please contact him for more information about this practice. Tim is one of Minnesota’s Top 40 Estate Planning and Probate Law Attorneys, as listed in Minnesota Law & Politics magazine.