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Trustees, Executors & Fiduciaries Archives

Just how effective was Robin Williams' estate plan?

While movie fans have been shocked by the unexpected passing of some iconic performers over the last year, no other loss has perhaps resonated quite as much as that of comedic legend actor Robin Williams, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 63.

Trust prosecutors offer more oversight for irrevocable trusts

Irrevocable trusts are a popular tool in estate planning, since they offer a secure and private way to transfer assets to the next generation while minimizing the tax impact on one’s estate. These types of trusts have a lot of benefits with one major caveat – the person creating the trust must give up control of the trust and the assets. This means they must appoint a third party trustee to manage the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries. Trustees have been the primary source of management for trusts in the past, but recently as trust and tax laws have been changing, more people are seeing a need for a second set of eyes in the form of a trust prosecutor.

Emails are the new shoebox full of letters from grandma

A lot of Minnesota have a shoe box (or hat box, or file folder) full of letters from past generations. These mementos of personal correspondence link us to our relatives who are no longer with us and give us a sense of the family’s history. Today, parents and grandparents are writing fewer long-form letters that are sent in the mail, and keeping up with friends and family is done over email or social networking sites. Some of our correspondence might be as simple as a Facebook “like” or as long as an email updating our friends on some of life’s bigger issues.

Setting up a healthcare proxy

Setting up a healthcare proxy and putting together advanced care directives is a very important part of estate planning. Yet for some Minnesotans it presents a challenge since there might be a lack of suitable person to appoint as a proxy. Particularly for those without children or any nearby younger relatives, finding the right person to step in and help in the event of incapacity can be difficult to do.

Dispute over trustee fees leaves many asking what is reasonable

Three trustees who have been charged with managing a charitable trust on behalf of a friend are now embroiled in a court battle over fair compensation for their work. To understand the case it is first important to know that there are various titles for people who manage an estate, including an administrator appointed by the court for someone who does not have a will, or an executor named in a will or appointed by a court to manage affairs, or a trustee named in trust documents or a will or appointed by the court. Each of these three titles hold what is called a fiduciary duty, which means that the person holds a high duty of care and loyalty to do the job to the best of their ability and in good faith. 

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