Minnesota Trust Laws Receive Needed Revisions

Minnesota finally has a new set of trust laws; 25 years after the laws were last updated. The new bill had to pass through both houses of state legislature before it was ratified by Governor Mark Dayton. It has been dubbed “The Uniform Trust Code”.

The Uniform Trust Code was drafted (in part) by the Uniform Law Commission. This group works on laws which are not federally mandated and attempts to make them uniform across states. However, nearly all states make modifications to the ULC proposed laws before enacting them. The resulting laws are similar, but not completely identical.

A MBSA (Minnesota State Bar Association) subcommittee has spent more than four years combining Minnesota’s current trust laws with the new Uniform Code. This work has resulted in laws that make it easier to modify trusts, correct errors, successfully plan tax objectives and more.

One of the most anticipated changes in the … Read More

The Viagra College Fund Phenomenon

Mary Beth Franklin (contributing editor for investmentnews.com) published an interesting piece recently. In it, she describes a Social Security benefit strategy which she titles The Viagra College Fund.

This college fund strategy applies to retirement age fathers with children who are still minors. These children can be your natural children, adopted children or dependent stepchildren.

The first step of the strategy is for you to reach the official retirement age. Once you hit full retirement age, your earnings cap is removed and you can continue to work without lowering your benefits. You are also allowed to postpone filing, electing to suspend your Social Security benefits instead.

If you have a child who is a minor, your suspension will automatically trigger a monthly payment for your dependent. This payment is worth 50% of the full retirement benefit you would receive.

To further improve the situation, the payments received by your dependent do … Read More

Financial Planning for All of Life

Financial planning is extremely important, whether you are in high school or are approaching retirement.  However, many people appear lost when it comes to setting financial goals for their future and achieving them.

There are three steps to successful financial planning, no matter your current situation.  First, according to financial coach Ross Riskin, it is crucial to split your monetary objectives into short, intermediate and long term goals.  This step is relatively simple.  Goals such as getting rid of student debt, purchasing property or building a retirement nest egg can easily be categorized based on their timeframes.

Step two of financial planning is to carefully calculate what you need to do to meet your objectives from step one.  Know how much your end goal will cost and assign it a timeframe.  If you are successful in this step, you will likely be able to see yourself moving closer to achieving your … Read More