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Minnesota homeowners facing foreclosure may have options

No one in Minnesota can predict the future. For example, when a person buys a home, they do so believing they will be able to make their mortgage payments on time and in full until the house is paid off. However, sometimes unexpected financial events take place that make paying one's mortgage difficult, if not impossible. For example, a person could rack up significant expenses in another area of their life, such as medical expenses. Or, a person could lose their job leaving them without a source of income.

When a person misses mortgage payments, they may find themselves facing the threat of foreclosure. This can be very intimidating, and a person may believe that there is no way out and they will lose their home. However, there may be ways homeowners in such situations can work with their lender to avoid foreclosure.

The world of trusts is wide, with many choices to consider

Many people in Minnesota may have a will, but they may not know much about how a trust works and how it will benefit them. Trusts can be an integral part of a well-rounded estate plan. The following are some types of trusts that Minnesotans may want to consider executing.

One basic type of trust is a revocable living trust. This trust is executed and funded during a person's lifetime. When the person dies, the trust assets are not probated, but, instead, are distributed directly to the trust beneficiaries. Compare this to a testamentary trust, which is part of a person's will and is probated.

Watch out for these estate planning mistakes

St. Paul residents may do a lot of planning for their futures. They plan for vacations. They save money for a rainy day. They plan for retirement. However, how many have taken the step of planning for the inevitable -- death? It's not pretty to think about, but, if there's anything we can all count on in the future, it is that someday we will pass away. We can plan for this eventuality through estate planning. However, it is important to look out for certain estate planning mistakes.

One mistake is to procrastinate. If a person puts off estate planning and dies suddenly without a will or trust, their property will go through probate and the state will decide who is to inherit through intestacy laws. Since it is quite possible that a person might have a different idea about how they want to pass on their assets, it is important to execute an estate plan sooner rather than later.

What requirements must be met to execute a will?

The New Year is here and people across Minnesota are making their New Year's resolutions for 2018. While some may be looking to change a personal habit in their lives or to meet certain items on their "bucket list," in general, most New Year's resolutions deal with the here and now. However, one thing they may not think of, but that could affect not only their future, but the futures of their loved ones is estate planning.

Through estate planning, people can execute documents cementing not only who they want to inherit their property, but also draft crucial documents stating how they want their health and finances to be taken care of should they become incapacitated. This may seem like a tall, confusing order for those who have never taken any steps towards estate planning. So, in 2018, they may want to start with the basics: executing a will.

What are some common business entities in Minnesota?

For some people, it is a spark of inspiration for a new product or service that makes them decide to start a small business. For others, it is the desire to turn a hobby into a lucrative profession. And, for some, the idea of being their own boss fuels the decision to establish their own small business. Whatever the reason, when a person in Minnesota decides to start a business, there are a number of business entities they can choose from.

One option is a general partnership. This is a business that has at least two owners with equal rights and responsibilities in the management of the operation. Each owner is also responsible for any debts of the business. The terms of the enterprise will generally be included in a formal partnership agreement.

Sometimes redundancy is better than gaps in estate planning

If there is anything that is sure in life, it is that one day we will all pass away. Some people in Minnesota may have already given this life certainty thought and have executed a will. However, this is not the only estate planning document that should be in their arsenal. Here are some other documents that could prove helpful to ensuring one's end-of-life wishes are met.

First, there is a living will. This instrument states what types of medical treatment a person would want in certain situations. Not to be confused with that is a power of attorney for health care, which allows another person to make health care decisions for that person should that person become incapacitated.

Some propose raising the threshold of the estate tax exemption

The issue of the estate tax has come to the forefront of American politics lately, as the government looks to revamp U.S. tax laws. Therefore, it is important for people in Saint Paul and across the nation to have a basic understanding of what the estate tax does and who it affects.

Currently, if an individual's wealth amounts to $5.49 million or more, their estate will be taxed by the federal government when they pass away. Since it is set at such a high level, in actuality, few people are subjected to the estate tax. The Tax Policy Center reports that in 2013, while 2.6 million individuals passed away in the United States, merely 11,300 of their estates were subjected to the estate tax. To put it another way, the estate tax affected under 0.2 percent of all those who died in the United States that year.

Getting your business in Saint Paul started on the right foot

Many people in Saint Paul have a moment of brilliance, in which they come up with a great idea for a business. While they may be excited to make their dreams a reality, business planning should be done with care. After all, improper planning could lead to liability issues, unwanted tax consequences and expensive litigation.

There are a lot of aspects of business planning to consider. Potential business owners will want to make sure they understand applicable taxes. They will also want to make plans to protect their hard-earned assets and shield themselves from liability, as much as possible. It can also help to have a plan for passing your business on to others in the future should you decide to exit it.

Do your homework before purchasing a short-sale home

A short sale takes place when a person, with their lender's consent, puts their home up for sale for less than what they still owe on their mortgage. Home buyers in Saint Paul interested in a short-sale home may feel like they have found the house of their dreams at a real bargain. However, there are certain issues they should look out for before purchasing a short-sale home to ensure the deal isn't too good to be true.

First, a buyer should not ignore problems with the home. Sometimes, homeowners selling their property in a short sale will let the house go to waste or may even purposely damage it. Moreover, if a home has been vacant for a while, issues such as insect or rodent infestations, broken pipes, mold or even thieves or squatters could damage the property.

Can a parent have multiple executors of their estate?

Parents in Saint Paul are often very conscientious about treating all their children equally. This is especially true when it comes to estate planning. For example, they may draft their wills in a way that divides their estate equally between all their children. However, there are certain aspects in which treating their children equally could cause problems.

For example, when a person drafts a will, they will need to appoint someone as executor of the will. Parents may want to have all their children named as executor in an effort to be fair. However, there are some points parents should consider before naming multiple executors.

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