Trusts & Estates
Proper estate planning is essential to ensuring the orderly transfer of family assets, including business assets. Wealth transfer can occur both before and after your death. The goal of a well-designed estate plan is to ensure that your assets pass to those whom you wish to receive them, in the manner in which you wish those persons to receive your assets, and at a minimum cost in terms of administration expenses, court costs, attorney’s fees and taxes.
If you create a trust during your lifetime, then the provisions of your trust will control the disposition of the assets held in the name of the trust or transferred to the trust upon your death pursuant to your will. In many estate plans a revocable trust is the core planning document. If properly structured and funded, a revocable trust plan may avoid the need for a probate proceeding.
Good estate planning requires expert advice about tax law, business succession, contingency planning and property law. If you or a loved one becomes incapacitated or dies unexpectedly you will have peace of mind knowing everything is in order.
Areas of Expertise
- Business Succession Planning
- Charitable Gift Planning
- Estate & Gift Tax
- Estate & Probate Litigation
- Estate Planning
- Farm Estate & Succession Planning
- Health Care Directives & Living Wills
- Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Home & Elder Law
- Wills, Trusts, Codicils & Powers of Attorney
Our accomplished attorneys bring substantial expertise to Trusts & Estates to deliver the very best in service and results.
Cases & Clients
Ongoing Management of Trusts
Kaitlin Pals provided legal guidance regarding ongoing management of trusts holding business and farm property
Estate and Trust Planning
Rhett Schwichtenberg has provided succession planning for individuals and families ranging from drafting basic powers of attorney, health care directives, and wills, to complex tax planning. Focusing his law school tenure on tax and estate planning, Rhett has a passion for helping his clients establish an effective and comprehensive estate plan.
Led design and implementation of succession planning for third and fourth generation family owned holding company engaged in real estate, beverage distribution, banking and insurance industries.
Succession Planning for Family Farms
Worked with farm families throughout southern Minnesota in planning for the future transfer of the family farm from generation to generation. Special planning was needed to ensure that older generations can continue to earn a livelihood and be financially supported while transitioning ownership of the farm, and to provide for non-farming children as well as the children who wish to continue to the family business.
Litigated Probate Claims
Litigated probate claims involving trusts, removal of personal representatives, undue influence and breach of fiduciary duties.
Corporate and Personal Succession Planning
Kaitlin Pals advised business and farm owners on all aspects of corporate and personal succession planning, including Minnesota’s recent Qualified Farm Property and Small Business estate tax elections.
Estate and Trust Litigation
In 2018 Cory Genelin obtained an exceptional settlement on behalf of heirs of a $1.5M estate. The decedent had executed a will in favor of two strangers. The heirs contested the will on the basis of undue influence and lack of capacity. Cory and his team conducted an in-depth fact investigation raising serious doubts about the will and forcing the will proponents to concede
See Chippewa County File No. 12-PR-17-591
In 2016 Cory Genelin defended the administration of two farm trusts valued at $5.2M. This followed previous litigation in 2014. In that litigation, Mr. Genelin had the court appoint a new trustee favorable to his client, the lifetime beneficiary of the trusts. After two years of favorable administration, a death beneficiary of the trust (who was also one of the trustees who lost power in the 2014 litigation) brought suit to remove the trustee and undo over $320,000 in payments to Mr. Genelin's client. After full litigation, the court upheld the actions of the new trustee including the payments to Mr. Genelin's client.
See Nobles County File No. 53-CV-14-223
Farm Estate and Succession Planning
Represented major agricultural producers in farm estate and succession planning.
Rhett Schwichtenberg has successfully settled a large probate estate involving a family farm and navigated a contentious sibling and third-party dispute to obtain a strong settlement for clients.
Gift and Trust Transactions
Structured gift and trust transactions to minimize estate, gift and income taxes and preserve family business ownership.
Estate Planning for High Asset Individuals
Drafted a wide variety of trust instruments in order to maximize tax efficiency and carry out clients wishes to provide for their families and future charitable giving.
- Life Insurance and the Taxable Estate
- How to Administer an Estate: The Personal Representative’s Handbook
- Common Challenges To Testamentary Documents
- Purposes Of Estate Planning
- The Difference an Attorney Makes in Estate Planning
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- Where There’s A Will, There’s A… Wait: Important Estate Planning Considerations Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
- Income Taxation of Trusts
- Intestate Succession—Dying Without a Will
- How to Access a Safe Deposit Box Upon Death
- Reality Check: Why Millennials Need an Estate Plan
- Financial Concepts for Small Business Owners
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- Errors to Avoid to Build a Successful Business Online
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- Negotiating a Settlement with the IRS
- Minnesota’s New Limited Liability Act
- The Legal Implications of Running a Family Business
- The Importance of Clearly Written Contracts
- What Types of Mergers Are There?
- An Overview of Business Taxes in Minnesota
- Family of Businessman Close to Settlement With Accountant
- Withstanding IRS Audits in Minnesota
- Keep in Mind Trust Assets When Getting Divorced in Minnesota
- University of Minnesota Launching an Investment Program
- Revisiting and Revising a Business Plan
- Small Business Tax Planning
- Business Competition Sees Boost in Female Participants