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Rochester Business & Commercial Law Blog

Cryptocurrency and your estate plan

People include many different types of assets in their estate plans, and in the digital age, there may be additional considerations for you to go over when it comes to estate planning. For example, you may have invested a significant amount of money in a cryptocurrency, or you may have been an early investor who has acquired a great deal of wealth through cryptocurrency. Some cryptocurrency investors may be unsure of their responsibilities or some of the legal matters that can arise due to these assets, from tax matters to ensuring that assets are managed properly in the event that the owner passes away.

Cryptocurrency investing can be full of uncertainty and setting up an estate plan is one way you can reduce uncertainty, not only with respect to your cryptocurrency investments but all of your other assets as well. Determining how to split up your estate can be tough and this is even more true for those who own a great deal of cryptocurrency assets. For example, someone may need to think about which one of their loved ones will be able to manage these investments properly. Since the cryptocurrency markets can be confusing for outsiders and those who are not very familiar with technology, this should not be overlooked.

Ownership interest explained

When forming your own business in Rochester, it is vital that those holding the authority to manage the direction of your company is clearly defined. If you run a sole proprietorship, that distinction is easily made. Yet what if you are in business with others? The issue of ownership interests is bound to come up. Many come to us here at Dunlap & Seeger PA questioning how such interest should be determined. If you share the same question, you may be happy to know that the state has provided you with some assistance in this regard. 

State law defines "ownership interest" as corporate shares (if your company is a for-profit corporation), membership interest (if your business is a limited liability company) or partnership interest (if your company is a limited liability partnership). According to Section 319.B07 of the Minnesota Professional Firms Act, the following parties (or entities) may hold ownership interest in your company: 

  • Professionals who are licensed to provide at least one of the services your company offers
  • General partnerships authorized to furnish at least one of the pertinent services your company offers
  • Other professional firms authorized to operate in at least one category of services your company offers
  • A voting trust established in regard to some or all of the ownership interests in your firm
  • An employee stock ownership plan

Dissolving your partnership fairly takes careful planning

Operating a successful partnership often depends on knowing when it is time to step back and let the partnership dissolve. If you know that it is time to end your partnership, it is wise to understand some important aspects of the process, whether it is a small venture with few assets and liabilities, or a more complicated arrangement.

Choosing to end a partnership is similar to ending a marriage. The agreement that you set in place at the beginning of the partnership has a great deal of influence over how the dissolution progresses. It is often much more complicated to get out of partnership than to get into one.

Estrangement, family drama and inheritance

Sometimes, estate planning issues can be particularly emotional, and people may struggle to figure out which decision is best. This can be especially true for people who are experiencing problems with some of their family members, such as parents who have an estranged child that they have not spoken to in many years. If you are trying to work through these problems yourself, it is vital to take a careful look at the ins and outs of your family circumstances and decide which options are best, especially when it comes to inheritance.

Some parents may want to give their estranged child inheritance, regardless of the conflicts they have been through. On the other hand, this is not always a wise move. For example, a child may be estranged due to a drug problem and leaving them with a significant amount of assets could actually make the challenges they are facing even worse. As a result, it is pivotal to know how your estate plan could affect your estranged child and other family members and make your decisions carefully.

Objecting a will in Minnesota and penalty clause for contest

When a person drafts a will in Minnesota, he or she does so with the hope that survivors will carry out his or her final wishes in accordance with the document. Unfortunately, there are times when another individual forces a testator to alter the will against his or her wishes, or when another individual takes it upon him or herself to make alterations to suit his or her own selfish needs. When this happens, a beneficiary of the document is at liberty to contest the will.

Per Minnesota statute 524.3-407, contestants of a will have the burden of ascertaining lack of testamentary intent or capacity, fraud, undue influence, duress, revocation or mistake of any kind. Moreover, if the will in question replaced or revoked a former will, the probate courts must first establish the later will is even entitled to probate. Same goes with the former will: if a petitioner wishes to have the first will reinstated, he or she must first prove that the previous will is eligible for probate. In addition to providing proof of fraud or mistake, the petitioner must also establish prima facie evidence (establishing a legally required reputable presumption) of death, heirship and venue.

Should I have a health care directive?

If you end up in the hospital with a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to communicate your wishes, what would happen? According to the Minnesota Department of Health, doctors will usually consult with your loved ones as to what to do regarding your situation. Your loved ones may or may not follow your wishes. To prevent something from happening that you do not want, your best option is to create a health care directive.

A health care directive gives someone else the ability to make decisions about your health for you when you cannot communicate your wishes. It can also appoint who will make the call that you cannot make your own decisions. It allows you to plan ahead and make sure the person you appoint knows what you want to happen in various medical situations.

Using market analysis to strengthen your business

The excitement of starting your own business is fueling your desire to continue working hard and moving your company towards success. You are facing new decisions every day and are recognizing that sometimes, the risk is worth the reward. At Dunlap & Seeger, A Professional Association, we have helped many business owners in Minnesota to secure their intellectual assets with reliable legal counseling. 

One of the first decisions you will need to make when beginning your business endeavors is to decide where you wish to market your product. This will require you to look closely at your intended audience and assess their interests and needs. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, conducting a thorough market analysis is an excellent way to determine which direction to take your business that will capitalize on your strengths and further your success. 

Yes, you can rebuild credit quickly after a bankruptcy

Establishing yourself as credit-worthy is a process that can take many years or even decades for those with a rocky start. Unfortunately, it can take as few as three or four months to utterly destroy your credit rating. A few missed payments, combined with penalty fees and higher interest rates, can leave you in a serious financial predicament. Add in a creditor lawsuit, and your credit won't get you far.Thankfully, federal bankruptcy protections can allow people who build up too much debt to unburden themselves and hit the financial reset button. Far too many people dismiss the potential benefits of bankruptcy because they believe myths about the process. Most people can keep their home and will have the opportunity to rebuild their credit again.

Some people assume they will never be able to have good credit again, but that doesn't have to be the case. In reality, bankruptcy does affect your credit rating, but it doesn't preclude you from rebuilding a positive credit history after your discharge.

Estate planning can help you prepare for your loved one's death

While death is never an easy circumstance to work through, when you are anticipating the death of a loved one, you may have a chance to prepare yourself mentally. Often, this means making the most of your time with your family member and reliving the positive memories you have made with him or her. At Dunlap & Seeger, we have helped many families in Minnesota to understand the value of planning an estate. 

Estate planning encompasses a variety of factors ranging from determining a health care proxy to finalizing important documents like wills and trusts. Encouraging your loved one to invest in their future by getting an estate plan can help provide peace of mind for them, as well as reduce the risk of familial conflict happening after their death. According to Web MD, you should begin discussing important topics related to your loved one's death, such as funeral planning, in preparation for their death. This may enable you to get insight into how they wish for things to be done so you can make sure you honor their wishes. 

Church evicting pastor's widow from home

The main reason why estate planning experts in Rochester encourage people to see to this process while they are still able is to avoid the confusion that can ensue when they are gone. Without documentation spelling out one's wishes (or resolving any pending business affairs they may have had), those left behind may only speculate as to one's true intentions. Such speculation can often result in discord as different parties claim to know what a decedent truly wanted. 

Such are the claims being made by many involved in a dispute between a New York church and the widow of its former pastor, who has been ordered to vacate the home the two shared. The pastor supposedly sold the home to the church back in 1995. Representatives from the church say that the couple had been allowed to continue living in the home even after the pastor retired 13 years prior to his recent passing. They also claim that the pastor himself wanted his wife removed from the home within 90 days of his death. 

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