Probate and Trusts

The firm has extensive expertise in the area of transfers occasioned by a death. This may often take the form of handling all aspects of probate from A-Z needed to deal with the court system, orderly transfer of assets, detailed record keeping throughout the process as well as the preparation and filing of all needed income tax and estate tax returns. With society and investments becoming more and more diverse and complex, it is a comfort for a client to have a firm take charge of the process and assist the client through the entire process. This may include assisting in the sale or transfer of real estate; sale of businesses or business interests; and the sale or transfer of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and various other traditional investment assets. We also help in the orderly transfer of non-probate assets, which may include real estate; life insurance and annuities; and 401(k) and other pension, profit sharing, or retirement assets.


Estate Planning
The firm's attorneys and staff pride themselves on taking the time to understand clients' needs and to provide them with an estate plan and the appropriate documents to implement that plan. This includes the entire spectrum from simple to complex plans. Simple plans may include a simple will, durable powers of attorney, and health care directives. As the plans get more complex, there may be a need for revocable trusts for avoiding probate, wills and trusts with provisions needed to minimize estate taxes, family limited partnerships, charitable remainder and other trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, and advice and assistance on lifetime gifting. The firm will keep the client's needs and unique factual situation in mind throughout the drafting process. We recognize that this is an ongoing process and that as a client's family matures, the estate plan and documents may need to change too.

The firm has remarkable expertise in the area of taxation, including tax planning and the preparation of tax returns, sometimes referred to as tax compliance. The firm's focus is on tax planning, which takes place throughout the year and often includes year-end tax planning discussions. We then use sophisticated state-of-the-art software to assist our staff in the preparation of all levels of tax returns from the very simple to the very complex. Because we have many clients who have a primary or secondary residence outside Minnesota, we prepare many out-of-state and multi-state tax returns. The firm specializes in individual tax, which includes compliance as well as tax planning. We also have a significant practice in fiduciary income tax returns as well as tax returns for small and closely held businesses, such as S-corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies. The firm has substantial expertise in the representation of clients concerning audits and tax controversies with the IRS and state taxing authorities.


Corporate and Real Estate Law
The firm does a considerable amount of business formation of various types. We assist you in choosing the appropriate entity, which may include corporations, S-corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, and trusts. We draft the organizational documents for your newly created entity, set up the initial governance documents and structure, and assist with ongoing entity documents, such as minutes. We help your newly formed entity obtain federal and state ID numbers, and draft shareholder control or other agreements among and between owners. The firm assists clients in transactional work, which includes the purchase, sale, and transfer of entity ownership interests. We prepare or review contracts relating to the operation of your businesses. In the area of real estate, we help in the purchase and sale of residential and commercial property. We review mortgages and other financing documents and can prepare or review leases. We can assist clients with all real estate transactions.

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