For those with high-value estates, proper planning isn't just about allocating the wealth among those you love. It's also about divvying up the tax burden.
A trust is just one of many estate planning tools that a Minnesota resident can choose. A recent post on this blog discussed how a trustee in Minnesota has a right to make reasonable investment decisions on behalf of the trust and its ultimate beneficiaries. While many if not most trustees do just that, some trustees are irresponsible or careless about how they invest or use trust funds.
In Minnesota, administrators of family trusts, often called "trustees" have a lot of power. Sometimes, they are in control of millions, or even tens of millions, of dollars in assets. With this power comes a lot of responsibility. Minnesota trustees have an obligation not only to preserve the property that is in the trust but also to ensure that the trust grows. This is only a just expectation of those heirs and beneficiaries who will ultimately inherit the wealth contained in the trust.
Even as far north as Minnesota, people have heard of the professional football team called the "Saints" and may have heard of the professional basketball team called the "Pelicans." These teams have been owned for a long time owned by a Southern billionaire. Unfortunately, his family is now locked in trust litigation that may depend on who owns one share of stock.
Our readers from the Twin Cities area who follow the Minnesota Timberwolves, or are just all-around fans of NBA basketball, have probably heard about the ongoing saga of Donald Sterling. Recently, the NBA prohibited Sterling from maintaining ownership of his team, the Los Angeles Clippers, and also fined him on account of certain racial slurs he made.
Minnesota residents generally want to ensure that their families are happy and taken care of. This holds true even after a person passes away. People don't want to leave their families with a burden or a massive legal headache. In order to avoid these issues, people can use different estate planning tools to make sure their families are taken care following their death. With proper estate planning people can also make sure their final wishes are respected after they pass.
Twin Cities stage show buffs may know that many community theaters rely on contributions beyond ticket sales to keep the curtains open. Following the death of its founder and primary benefactor, one community theater finds itself pursuing trust litigation as a matter of survival.
Readers in Minneapolis and St. Paul may have tuned in to our previous discussions about the risks of financial exploitation of vulnerable adults, but a recent case involving a gambling grandmother turns the tables on the usual roles of exploiter versus exploited. Criminal charges stemming from the grandmother's looting of her grandson's college trust fund still serve as a lesson in the importance of monitoring the financial practices of an elder family member, but also illustrate the importance of legal assistance in matters of trust administration.
Twin Cities outdoor enthusiasts will be familiar with the waterproof fabric Gore-Tex. The success of the popular material amassed a sizeable inheritance for the heirs of its inventor. That fortune led to a bizarre trust dispute that recently came to an end with a state Supreme Court decision.
Twin Cities residents with an affinity for history may take interest in the controversy now surrounding a will executed more than 100 years before the American colonies declared independence. An affluent businessman named William Payne drafted his will just eight days before his death 351 years ago.