Areas of Practice
While death is not a subject many people are comfortable discussing, proper estate planning can ensure that your wishes are carried out both during your life and after your death.
Through the use of powers of attorney and healthcare directives, you can make decisions about who will take care of you if you cannot make medical or legal decisions for yourself, and you can indicate your wishes for cremation and organ donation.
Through the use of wills and trusts, you can make decisions about how your assets will pass upon your death, who will manage your estate for you, and who will care for your minor children.
We will help you through this process to ensure that you can rest easy knowing that your legacy will continue long after your death.
Special needs planning
In addition to estate planning and guardianships/conservatorships, families of persons with disabilities sometimes face an array of different questions and issues when planning for future needs. Among these is how to plan ahead financially for the family member with a disability.
Supplemental Needs Trusts and Special Needs Trusts can be used to benefit people with disabilities by supplementing and managing their resources while maintaining their eligibility for public assistance benefits.
If the person with a disability is funding the trust with their own assets, such as through an inheritance or personal injury settlement they’ve received, it is a Special Needs Trust. If the trust is funded with assets belonging to someone other than the person with a disability or their spouse, such as by a parent or grandparent, then it is a Supplemental Needs Trust.
Contact us to assist you in navigating the choices you have for planning for your loved one with a disability.
PROBATE & estate administration
When a loved one passes away, families are faced with the initial grief of the loss; afterward, the reality sets in: "Now what?"
We are here to assist your Personal Representative(s), the person/people you have named in your will, to manage and distribute your estate after your death.
The cost and duration of probate can vary substantially depending factors such as the value and complexity of the estate, the existence of a will, and the location of real property owned by the estate.
As such, the probate process for each estate is unique, but we will work to ensure that the process will go as smoothly as possible for your family and loved ones.
cabin succession planning
In the land of 10,000 Lakes, cabin ownership in Minnesota is commonplace for many families. Oftentimes, grandparents or parents either built or purchased the beloved family cabin decades ago; but, as grandparents and parents age, the question of "what happens with the cabin" is one that many families face.
Cabin ownership is unique in that, unlike other assets that may be somewhat simple to distribute after death, the family cabin often involves multiple children and families, each with different sets of expectations and financial abilities to assume ownership. Disagreements can surface regarding cabin usage, payment of expenses, decisions about repairs and capital improvements, and more.
Options for cabin succession planning may include direct transfer of ownership, drafting cabin co-ownership agreements, establishing a family LLC, or forming a Cabin Trust. Each of these options has pros and cons, so contact us to help you begin the process for thoughtful and meaningful transition of the beloved family cabin from one generation to the next.
Guardianships & conservatorships
Guardianship is a legal relationship between a competent adult and a person who because of incapacity is unable to make personal decisions, such as housing, education, and medical care.
Conservatorship is similar in concept, but allows instead for the competent adult to make financial and legal decisions for someone who is unable to make those decisions for themselves.
Oftentimes, parents need to establish themselves (and/or their adult children) as guardians if they have a child with a disability. Once that child reaches the age of 18, a guardianship and conservatorship will allow for the protection that individual needs during adulthood.
We can help you navigate through the court process to make sure your loved-one is cared for.
Over the coming years and decades, the elderly will becoming an increasingly larger part of the general population. As such, their legal and financial situations require special attention.
Our firm can assist the elderly and their families who need assistance with wills, trusts, health care planning and directives, and powers of attorney.
For families encountering other issues such as elder abuse and neglect, long-term health care planning, nursing home care, Medicare, Medical Assistance, Social Security and other public benefits, we have a network of referral attorneys who regularly navigate these issues.