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Trusts & Estate Planning

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Dunlap Seeger provides clients with smart counsel and estate planning expertise for building their legacy, protecting assets and transferring wealth. Every client and their estate are unique and have their individual needs and challenges. We supply guidance and tailor each clients’ strategies to meet their long-term goals. Whether it be guiding philanthropic endeavors, working through succession planning or monitoring asset distribution, we take great pride in giving our clients peace of mind.

 

Related Services


  • Business Succession Planning
  • Charitable Giving Planning
  • Conservatorships & Guardianships
  • Estate & Gift Tax
  • Estate & Probate Litigation
  • Estate Planning
  • Health Care Directives & Living Wills
  • Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Home & Elder Law
  • Probate
  • Wills, Trusts, Codicils & Powers of Attorney

Client Results Coming Soon.

March 23, 2020 Dunlap Seeger

Parents May Worry About Sibling Conflict When Estate Planning

Having children can be the biggest joy of many Minnesota residents’ lives. Of course, siblings do not always get along, and it can often be difficult for parents to make decisions that will be good for everyone. As a result, some parents may struggle with estate planning. It is not uncommon for sibling rivalry to affect estate plans and the probate process. Some siblings may fight over assets or have other disputes that could lead to probate litigation. Parents who want to More +
February 28, 2020 Dunlap Seeger

Succession Planning for Small Businesses is Important

Family-run business owners have to make sure that they have a plan for what’s going to happen with the company if they pass away. Part of this has to do with the estate plan that they set up. Having everything in order with their personal estate plan can help to provide for their family members, which may make it easier for the business’ staff to focus on running the company. It is important to get your plan in place as More +
February 25, 2020 Dunlap Seeger

Estate Planning After Welcoming a Child is Vital

Welcoming a child into a family changes life completely. Whether through birth or adoption, changing the family dynamic in such a way warrants important planning for the future. As a result, new parents in Minnesota may want to consider starting estate planning or updating their already-existing estate plans. One major estate planning document that new parents may want to create or update is a will. Though a will is an important planning document for anyone, it is especially important for new parents More +
February 11, 2020 Dunlap Seeger

Outdated or Missing Information Can Hinder Estate Planning

Creating a will is a useful first step to creating an estate plan. However, if Minnesota residents stop their estate planning process there, they may miss out on some useful tools that could help them address more aspects of their lives and estates than just their property. Plus, if individuals took a set-it-and-forget-it approach to their wills, it is possible the information is outdated. Certainly, a will can have benefits that other estate planning tools cannot. For example, parents can use More +
February 03, 2020 Dunlap Seeger

Avoid These Simple but Costly Estate Planning Errors

Wanting to do what is best for one’s family is not always easy. Some Minnesota residents may think that they have done the right thing by creating an estate plan for their loved ones to follow, but too many people make errors while estate planning. As a result, families may not have as smooth a probate process as a loved one may have intended. One issue that some people may overlook is the expenses that can come along with closing an More +
January 22, 2020 Dunlap Seeger

Discretionary Trusts Can Be Useful When Estate Planning

Many Minnesota residents may want to use their estate plans to protect assets for beneficiaries. Fortunately, trusts are one estate planning tool that can easily achieve this goal. In particular, discretionary trusts can ensure that beneficiaries are not at unnecessary risk of losing their assets. Assets in a discretionary trust are managed by another person. As the name suggests, the assets are handled at the discretion of another party. As a result, the beneficiaries cannot demand a distribution and cannot tell the More +
January 06, 2020 Dunlap Seeger

The New Year Can Be a Catalyst For Estate Planning, Updates

Creating an estate plan can be a prudent resolution to make in the new year. Even if Minnesota residents have already created a plan, they can resolve to review and update those plans as needed. Estate planning can certainly be helpful, but the information is the most helpful when it is up to date. If individuals are not starting their plans from scratch, they may still find that they have a considerable amount of work to do with them. If someone has More +
December 23, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Starting Small May Be a Good First Step for Estate Planning

Getting any type of important affairs in order can be tricky. When Minnesota residents are trying to figure out where to start when it comes to estate planning, they may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they may need to organize. Fortunately, an estate plan can start small and turn into a more comprehensive plan. The first document that often comes to mind when creating an estate plan is the will. This document can cover certain important information like who More +
December 09, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Estate Planning is Not Just For After-Death Matters

When carrying out almost any action in life, there is room for mistakes. The same goes for estate planning, which can be a very involved process. Some Minnesota residents may think that they have created a plan that will be beneficial for themselves and their families, but too many make mistakes during this process. For some, a mistake may be thinking that they have a solid estate plan when they do not. They may think that because they quickly created More +
December 02, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Trusts Can Help Achieve Estate Planning Objectives

Finding the right way to plan for the future is not always easy. Fortunately, Minnesota residents who are interested in estate planning can find the best options that fit their particular needs. Various planning tools exist for specific purposes, and some parties may find that trusts could suit their needs. When creating a trust, individuals may want to think of an objective for their document. Parties could create a trust for charitable giving or to provide funds for the care of More +
November 26, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Using Estate Planning to Disinherit Family Members

When they think of their end-of-life wishes, many Minnesota residents may think of whom they want to leave assets to. However, some of them may also think about who they do not want to receive anything. Family relationships are not always loving or healthy, and as a result, some individuals may be interested in ways to disinherit family members as they go through the estate planning process. Some people may reach a point where they are no longer happy in their More +
November 14, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

During Estate Planning, Some May Choose an Unbiased Executor

Making decisions that can have a significant impact on loved ones is not always easy. When Minnesota residents are estate planning, they may worry that they will choose the wrong person to act as the executor. In some cases, the potential for family conflict over who was named could be a deciding factor. Fortunately, individuals do not have to appoint a family member to act as their executor if they do not feel it would be best. Banks and other financial More +
October 30, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Reasons For the High Family Business Failure Rate

If you run a family business, you may be well aware of the dire failure rate. Even if you keep the company strong while it is under your control, the reality is that most family businesses fail as they move on to the second or third generation. It’s just too hard to sustain. The vast majority end up folding. This is an issue that impacts both your business decisions and your estate planning. You may want to pass that company More +
October 28, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Estate Planning can Help Address Future Business Matters

Many Minnesota residents achieve their dreams of starting their own businesses. This accomplishment is one that can follow them throughout their lives and even continue after their passing. As a result, it is important to remember the business when estate planning. Business owners need to include their business-related matters in various parts of their estate plans. For instance, it is likely that a business owner will want to distribute his or her business assets to loved ones or other beneficiaries, and creating More +
October 15, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Inventorying is a Good Place to Start When Estate Planning

The idea of having to assess their entire lives can make many Minnesota residents put off creating an estate plan. It may seem like too much work at the moment or something better left for another time. However, if estate planning is put off for too long, individuals may not have time to create their plans. Getting started sooner rather than later is ideal when it comes to estate planning. If parties do not know how to get started, they can begin by More +
October 12, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Can You Avoid Taxes With a Trust?

You should have a professional look at the tax implications of any terms you include in or changes you make to your estate plan in Minnesota. The documents that support your plan probably deal with a variety of laws, from the municipal level up to the federal level. This diversity makes attention to detail important, especially when you are trying to minimize the tax burden on your estate. While there are many techniques and tools by which you can do More +
October 01, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Taking Inventory and Creating an Estate Plan

Estate plans are a crucial part of protecting the assets that one has worked so hard to acquire over the course of their lives, and those who have decided to create one should not ignore any aspect of the process. The amount of effort that one puts into reviewing all of their options and approaching the estate planning process could have a significant impact on their loved ones in the years ahead, and there are many facets of preparing properly. More +
September 30, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Taking Some of the Stress Out of the Death of a Spouse

Preparing for the death of a spouse is not just something that people should be thinking about if their husband or wife is dying, but it is a consideration that everyone should take. Couples who openly discuss what each other should do if they end up as the surviving spouse may be able to instill confidence and hope in each other before anything happens to one of them. As such, these prepared couples in Minnesota may be able to reduce More +
September 19, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Considerations When Writing a Will

Determining what will happen to your property and assets if you should pass away is not a task many people rush to complete. It is difficult to think of our mortality and what will happen to the beloved possessions we have accumulated throughout our lives when we leave this place. Yet, for many people, creating a last will and testament can help give peace of mind when it comes to knowing what will happen to an estate if you are no longer More +
August 24, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Why is Estate Planning so Important for Blended Families?

If you have been divorced or widowed before and now met a new person that you would like to get married to, that is certainly something to celebrate. However, Minnesota residents in this situation should be sure to use their heads as much as their hearts when making this decision. If either you or your new partner have children from a prior marriage, it is extremely important that you engage in frank, open and honest discussions about your assets, debts More +
August 16, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

When Should You Use an Irrevocable Trust?

Minnesota could offer you a range of options when it comes to estate planning. An irrevocable trust is one of these tools. When you create one of these trusts, you basically set up a separate legal entity over which you have no control and supply it with assets. In this role, you would be the grantor, trustor or settlor. This naturally begs the question of why you would want to create an irrevocable trust. Although it would largely depend on More +
August 04, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

What is the Difference Between a Guardian and Conservator?

Guardians and conservators are both, generally speaking, types of custodians under Minnesota law. However, the general idea of caring for someone is more or less where the similarity ends. As detailed by the Minnesota Conference of Chief Judges, the basic difference between guardianship and conservatorship is that guardians perform personal or healthcare decisions while conservators handle finances. Please read on for a brief discussion of both of these in more detail. You may want to establish a guardianship if you need to More +
August 02, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

How Does the Probate Process Work?

It is never easy when a close friend or family member passes away. Often there are strong emotions involved, and it can be difficult to make the final arrangements. One of the most overwhelming items to deal with may be that of finalizing the estate and distributing the deceased’s property. The difficulty of doing so depends on how the final terms were set up and whether the estate will be required to go through the probate process. The probate process is designed More +
June 27, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

It Could Be Time to Update Your Estate Plan

Considering the constantly changing nature of Minnesota and federal tax laws, it could be time to revisit your estate plan. In fact, even in the absence of major overhauls, such as the new tax bill that is going into effect, it may be a good idea to adopt a regular schedule for the review and revision of your plans for the future. At Dunlap & Seeger, P.A., we always attempt to keep our clients abreast of the changes that could affect their wills, More +
June 25, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Use Caution When Naming an Estate Administrator

When it comes time to organize your estate and get your affairs in order, there are several items that you may want to consider. One critical element of the estate planning process involves appointing an estate administrator. This person will oversee the affairs of your estate after you pass. Not only is it important that you choose a person that is honest and trustworthy, but you want to select someone who has the time to handle your estate in a More +
June 07, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Financial Uncertainty and Your Estate Plan

When it comes to estate planning, there is a myriad of factors to take into consideration. On the one hand, creating an estate plan (or making certain changes to an estate plan when necessary) can provide a great deal of security and allow people to rest easier at night knowing that the future of their estate is protected. On the other hand, people may experience financial uncertainty for any number of reasons, whether their job is lost, they face major More +
May 25, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Discussing Estate Plan Revision With Loved Ones

People decide to revise their estate plan for an array of reasons, whether their financial circumstances have changed due to a personal injury settlement, a new job or the loss of their job, among many other issues. Moreover, divorce, the birth of a child or grandchild and changes with respect to the health and well-being of family members can also necessitate estate plan revision. However, some people may be unsure of which revisions are necessary and how these changes could More +
May 17, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

The Basics of Trusts

Many people in Minnesota might have heard others talk about creating a trust instead of a will when making an estate plan but they might not really understand what a trust is or how it works. The fact of the matter is that a trust may be even used in conjunction with a will but the trust has some very specific uses and benefits. As explained by The Motley Fool, one benefit to a trust is that it is almost always private More +
May 06, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Filing a Small Estate Affidavit

A common question we receive here at Dunlap Seeger is exactly how long does it take to probate an estate. If you share the same question, you might not like hearing the answer we give that every estate case is different, and thus placing a standard expectation on how long probate might take is difficult. Yet before you begin worrying about the length of time it might take to complete the probate process, a better question might be whether the estate you More +
May 05, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Divorce and Your Revocable Trust

When it comes to both estate planning and divorce, there are a plethora of legal issues to consider and many ways in which you may be impacted. In this post, we will examine some of the different factors that you may need to take into consideration if you are in the middle of ending your marriage and you have a revocable trust. Although the divorce process can be very overwhelming at times, you should not neglect other important responsibilities that More +
April 19, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Finding Time in Your Busy Schedule to Create an Estate Plan

Estate planning can be tough for a number of reasons, from uncertainty over which type of trust or will is ideal to making decisions regarding beneficiaries. For some people, such as business owners, CEOs, those with children, and workers with demanding jobs, setting up an estate plan can be challenging because they do not have a lot of free time. If you have a busy schedule, it is imperative to set aside enough time to create an estate plan for More +
April 14, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

How to Create a Good Estate Plan for a Blended Family

Many people in Minnesota are able to find a new love after previously getting divorced. If you are one of these people, you should be able to feel positive about your future but you should also know that it is important to take clear steps to outline your wishes for your estate after you die. Estate planning with a blended family can be more complex than estate planning in a first marriage. You will likely want to provide for both your More +
March 23, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

What Protections Are Offered to Heirs With a Will?

Many residents of Minnesota erroneously assume that they have no need for a will or estate plan because they do not have large sums of money or excessive assets. If you are one of those people, you may want to consider the many benefits and protections that are offered to you with a will. These are not just for the individual with the property, but also for their heirs and those who inherit their wealth after they die. If you have children More +
March 22, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Emotional Challenges Associated with Estate Planning

We have covered an array of legal topics related to estate plans, but sometimes the process of setting up an estate plan or making changes to an existing estate plan can be difficult for other reasons. For example, some people may experience strong emotions as a result of estate planning, or they may be going through other issues in life which can affect their ability to work through matters related to estate planning. From anger and depression to anxiety and More +
March 13, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Getting Started With Estate Planning: Writing Your Will

With so many components working together to form a well-rounded estate plan, you are questioning where to begin. Developing your plan will take time and is a process that you should carefully complete to guarantee that your plan is completely customized to meet the needs of your family and your lifestyle. At Dunlap & Seeger, we are committed to helping people in Minnesota recognize the importance of establishing an estate plan for their posterity. Writing a will is one of the most notable elements of More +
March 09, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Tax Law Changes and Your Estate Plan

If you are one of the many people in Minnesota who has had an estate plan in place for a while, you might want to make now the time you re-evaluate your plan. One reason that makes this a great time to review and potentially update an estate plan is the new tax law that took effect earlier this year. As reported by Forbes, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects a lot more than just your annual federal tax More +
February 28, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

What is a Minnesota Health Care Directive?

As a Minnesota resident, you may be wondering what kind of state laws affect end-of-life decisions. If you want to ensure you have control over your medical care, you may follow the state’s guidelines for creating a health care directive. If you are over 18 years of age, Minnesota law allows you to make such a document, and the state even provides forms to make the process simpler. According to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, a health care directive contains directions More +
February 23, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Providing for a Disabled Child After Your Death

Creating a will, naming and assigning assets to named beneficiaries is not something most Minnesota residents enjoy doing. While having a will is important for everyone, it is essential if you have a disabled child. At Dunlap & Seeger, P.A., we often assist clients in setting up a trust that ensures their child is taken care of after the parent passes away. According to U.S. News & World Report, families frequently establish a supplemental needs trust, also called a special needs trust, while the More +
February 03, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Strategy Can Keep an Estate Plan Current and Relevant

When people first sit down to discuss their estate plan, they may be overwhelmed with how many options they have and how many components there are to planning an estate in Minnesota. However, if they take things slowly and take adequate time to articulate their end-of-life wishes and desires, they may be more productive at putting together a well-rounded estate plan that will give them confidence and peace of mind. According to Ameriprise Financial Inc., there are several considerations that people More +
February 01, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

New Parents Must Develop an Estate Plan With the Baby in Mind

Having a baby is a happy event for most couples, but it is one that comes with big responsibilities. One thing that many new parents might not want to think about is what will happen to their children if both parents pass away. While it is a horrifying thought, taking the time to make plans in case this happens can give you peace of mind to know your children have the best chance to continue on safely after you pass More +
January 27, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Updating Your Estate Plan is Critical to Keeping it Valid

Once you have finalized your estate plan in Minnesota, you breathe a breath of relief. A burden has been lifted and you suddenly feel at ease about being able to provide direction and comfort for your family when you pass away. At Dunlap & Seeger, we have helped many people with the development of an estate plan that meets their personal needs. One of the important aspects of having an estate plan is maintaining it and keeping the components up-to-date. Leaving it to More +
January 18, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

Understanding an Estate Plan is Critical to its Effectiveness

When people recognize a need to begin planning their estate, they may be instantly overwhelmed with the breadth of important decisions that are awaiting them. However, when people in Minnesota put in adequate time learning about the purpose and function of an estate plan, they may be much more confident and effective in putting together a comprehensive document that accurately depicts their final wishes. Because estate planning is such an involved process that addresses many key issues including distribution of assets, More +
January 05, 2019 Dunlap Seeger

How to Give Money to Someone Who’s Bad at Conserving It

Imagine you’re planning your estate, trying to decide how you want to distribute your assets after you die. This money and other property is the product of a decades-long and prosperous career. You’ve only managed to hang onto it because you’re frugal and wise about managing money. In fact, everyone in your family is excellent at conservatively managing their money, too — except for your daughter. She’s a free-spirited, self-sabotaging “spendthrift.” In other words, if you give her a few More +

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Robert G. Benner
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Kari C. Stonelake-Hopkins
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