Appointing a Personal Representative

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Sep 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

In today's video we discuss the process of getting appointed as personal representative. Who can legally qualify and what is the priority of appointment. Also, what happens when two people want to be co-personal representatives, or what if nobody wants to be personal representatives? It's a compl...

Video Recording a Will Signing

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Aug 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

Sometimes when one is anticipating that someone will challenge their will, they want to provide extra proof of “testamentary capacity” – i.e., that they were of sound mind when they signed their will. One way to attempt to do this is to video record the signing of the will. In today's video we di...

Estate Planning and Turning 18

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Aug 04, 2021 | 0 Comments

Most people don't think about estate planning until they have a kid, a house, some assets, or even until they are retired. But there are some aspects of estate planning that are important for people who are turning 18 and leaving the house or going to college. In today's video we discuss what est...

Working with an Estate Planning Attorney

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Aug 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

You've watched some videos, learned about estate planning, put together your needs and wants, attended an initial consultation, come up with an estate planning strategy, and turned it over to the attorney to do their thing. A week or two later you get an email with a link to an encrypted file con...

Trusts for Children: Pot Trusts v. Separate Trusts

Posted by Gregory Singleton | May 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

In today's video we look at trusts for children. The two key structures are setting up pot trusts and separate trusts. We look at how they are structured and why you might prefer one over the other. In Minnesota, a person cannot inherit until they reach the age of 21. That means anything they inh...

Pets & Estate Planning – Part II

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Apr 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

Pet trusts are a relatively new concept in the world of law, and the courts are still trying to figure out how to best treat them. In today's video we explore some famous examples of pet trusts. We look at the circumstances, litigation, and current disposition of the pet trusts of Leona Helmsly, ...

Pets & Estate Planning – Part I

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Apr 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

Our pets are part of our family. But have you taken steps to care for your pet after you have passed? There are essentially two ways to do so in estate planning. First, you can assign the next caretaker of your pet in a will. You can even leave the caretaker of your will a lump sum of money to he...

Bases for Challenging a Will: Part II

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Mar 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

In todays video we tackle Part 2 of our two part series, Bases for Challenging a Will. In Part 1, we discussed statutory bases for challenging a will. In Part 2 we discuss the non-statutory bases, which include: Promises Life Partner Situation Drafting Error (errors in execution and ambigu...

Bases for Challenging a Will: Part I

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Mar 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

In today's video we start our discussion of challenging a will. In order to do so, of course, you need a legal basis. In Part I of this two part series, we look at the statutory bases for challenging a will. Those are: Testamentary Capacity Undue Influence Fraud Duress Mistake Revoca...

How Much Money Should I Have Before I Make A Will?

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Mar 02, 2021 | 0 Comments

It's a trick question really – how much money do you need to have to make a will. The real question is what are you trying to do. In today's video we discuss some of the reasons you may have for planning your estate, as well as some reasons you may not need to. Some of the questions you should be...

Where to Distribute Estate Planning Documents

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Mar 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

Having and storing your estate planning documents in the right place is important. However, some of the documents are best served when they have been distributed to certain people. In today's video we discuss which documents should – and shouldn't – be distributed, and to whom.  If you are planni...

Where to Store Estate Planning Documents

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Feb 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

Now that you have your estate planning documents, where is it that you should store them? In today's video we discuss the common places – good and bad – that people store their estate planning documents. Each has their pros and cons, so put some thought into where your documents should go: The va...

The Big Question: Will or Revocable Living Trust

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Feb 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

In today's video we tackle one of the biggest questions in estate planning: Should you have a will or a revocable living trust? There are many attorneys out there who believe that everyone should have a revocable living trust, no matter what. But this is short sighted and bad advice. In this vide...

Guide to Gift Giving in a Will

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Feb 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

Wills are the foundation of estate planning documents. But just because they are central doesn't mean they are simple. In today's video we discuss gift giving in wills: both what are the options and what are some of the pitfalls of doing things wrong.  Essentially there are three kinds of gifts t...

Top 10 Issues for Single Parents in Estate Planning

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Feb 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

Being a single parent is a tough job. It is essential that they make sure to take care of their estate so that their children are cared for in case of an untimely death.  Guardianship Designations for when the parent is alive but incapacitated: This requires a guardianship designation power of...

Universe of Estate Planning Documents

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Feb 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

In today's video we discuss the five core documents that make up an estate plan. These documents are determined by the goals that we are trying to reach. There are generally six goals that we are trying to address in an estate plan. The goals are for when (1) we are alive and incapacitated and (2...

Probate 101: Summary Proceedings

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Jan 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

A Summary Proceeding is a probate proceeding used for administering small estates. Basically, they are allowed when the value of the estate is less than $150,000 after payment of all expenses and deducting the homestead, exempt property, and family allowances. (See Minn. Stat §§ 524.2-404 through...

Holidays: Prime Time for Estate Planning

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Dec 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

The holidays are when families come together. Nobody really wants to think about dying, let alone what will happen to their stuff after they have died. But doing so can have many benefits. It can bring you peace of mind. It can make things easier for those you will leave behind. And it can bring ...

Will Contest: In re Darkenwald Revocable Trust

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Jun 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Challenging a will is the process of getting a Court to decide that a will cannot be upheld. One way to do this is to prove a lack of “testamentary capacity” when the decedent wrote their will. In Minnesota, “testamentary capacity” exists if “the testator can form a rational judgment concerning h...

Disclaimer Trust: Having your cake and eating it too

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Oct 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

Consider the following hypothetical: A husband dies, leaving his wife $4 million. Because this is greater than the $2.7 million threshold for estate taxes in Minnesota (in 2019), $1.3 million would be taxed. If the estate tax in Minnesota were 10 percent, that's $130,000 in taxes, and not an insi...

Probate Court: What is it and why is it necessary

Posted by Gregory Singleton | Sep 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

Probate is the legal process of getting a Probate Court's authority to distribute or transfer a person's property after they die. A person who dies is called a “decedent”. Also, probate court is where a personal representative of the estate is approved by the Court. In Minnesota, probate can be e...

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